Archive

Supporting Charities Through The Covid-19 Pandemic

TheWebDesignerGroup is looking to help Charities supporting the Covid-19 Pandemic.

If you’re Charity is interested in a donation, then please get in touch: covid-19@thewebdesignergroup.co.uk

We will be donating between £250 – £500 every month, over the next few months as we are all facing difficult times.

Please email the full details of what website / social media exposure you can offer The Web Designer Group in exchange for a donation.

Please email your proposal to: covid-19@thewebdesignergroup.co.uk


Date 20/05/2020

We are pleased to confirm The Web Designer Group has donated £250 to the Mind – Mental Health Charity

Mind Charity Donation

 

The Pros & Cons of Using WordPress Themes

WordPress is the most popular web site creation kit out there on the World Wide Web. Most web design companies use WordPress to build their websites on and since it’s quite simple to use it’s a favourite. Most businesses will be able to figure out how to use WordPress as simplicity is key when it comes to this fantastic software.

When building a website with a WordPress builder you have one or two options.

First is to use an already existing theme which you can purchase from websites like themeforest which has thousands of pre-built themes that you can take advantage of. Prices of course vary in regards to more premium themes, which are usually more reliable than the cheaper themes.

Your second option is to get a web developer to develop and design a custom built website through WordPress. Pricing with this can vary as well depending on the developer of your choice.

Now that you have the base knowledge let’s talk about the pros and cons of using WordPress themes and custom coding a website. Starting off with the pros of using WordPress themes.

The Pro’s

Time is money

Pile of money british pounds sterling gbp for business and finanOne of the many benefits of using a theme over using any other website building platform is that it generally takes less time to build your website. The reasoning behind this is that you already have a lot of the code in place when using a theme, most of the work that your chosen web design agency will be doing is more tailored to the design aspect. Therefore, you have taken a huge chunk of time out of the build of the website. Sufficed to say if a web design company turns around and tells you that your website will generally be ready in a month if they’re using a theme…then simply take your money and look elsewhere. The Web Designer Group is known for creating responsive and modern websites using these that are generally completed within seven days.

Regularly Updated

Another benefit is the fact that themes are updated regularly with every update that WordPress pushes out. What this means is that your website will always be optimised with the new and more than likely improved updates. You’ll also get some of the advanced features that WordPress might be pushing through as well meaning that they will be automatically put into your website.

No limit to customisation

CUSTOM - Glowing Neon Sign on stonework wall - 3D rendered royalty free stock illustration. Can be used for online banner ads and direct mailers.There are endless possibilities with themes and considering you don’t have to de-activate your website or put it on a subdomain to work on you can tinker around with what works for you. Depending on your business you’re probably going to want to tweak bits of your website every so often. Thankfully with a WordPress theme you have endless opportunity as there are many plugins and widgets that you can fully take advantage of.

Easy to Use

We make it easyWordPress is relatively easy to figure out. It has a really simple layout which makes it a favourite for many businesses. There are courses you can take and YouTube video tutorial videos you can watch on how to use wordpress multisite as well. Overall the back office is simple and when you look at the front (which is how other people will view your website) you might just be gobsmacked with how such a simple back office can create such a magnificent website.

Search Engine Friendly

Smiling Manager Touching An Empty Search BarThe most important thing you have to take into consideration is if the website you have and the platform you are building your website on is search engine friendly. Thankfully, WordPress is extremely search engine friendly and you can take full advantage of the many free plugins that are provided by the talented WordPress developers that create these plugins like Yoast and much more. Without these plugins your ability to do the necessary changes to say an article like adding meta descriptions is severely limited.

A Wide Variety

VARIETY -Realistic Neon Sign on Brick Wall backgroundThankfully as mentioned previously there are thousands of WordPress themes to choose from all with their different styles and coding. You wouldn’t expect it but there are many people who have a job and make money from just creating WordPress themes. These WordPress templates are often more secure than a custom built content management system as well. That’s why a lot of huge corporations use this platform because they can also switch and change between any theme that they prefer.

Security

Protection network security computer and safe your data concept, Businessman holding shield protect iconAs mentioned briefly WordPress is one of the most secure platforms that you can be on. When The Web Designer Group buy a theme it comes with added security and when updates are brought out this means that it is automatically updated.  Also, if you are taking advantage of The Web Designer Groups free web hosting then you should know that your website is in safe hands. The Web Designer Group guarantees that there won’t be anything malicious across your website and your load time will more than likely be reduced.

You will have a powerful website to compete in the market

No matter whatever industry you are in The Web Designer Group can build you a powerful custom website that will smash your competition. There are many reasons to choose us and these you can see all over our website. If you want a free quote in regards to web site design then visit our request a quote page and one of our extremely helpful staff members will answer the phone and help you get an idea of just how much we care. Check out our video tutorials on web design and seo if you have the time!

The Cons

Similarity

One of the things that bugs people with themes is that they might look extremely similar to another website. Colour is easily changeable however; it is the layout of the website that might look extremely similar and if that is the case with one of your competitors you could be running into some issues. If your designer has any understanding, he will take a look at the websites that you personally like and design something similar but different as well.

Do It Yourself

If you think you are a smart individual then you might take it upon yourself to do it all yourself. But if you aren’t versed in coding then you might end up making a horrible mistake and the next thing you know…bye bye website. Be very careful with both themes and custom coding in this manner otherwise you might end up wasting all of that money with one mistake. This is why you should get in touch with The Web Designer Group and let us look after all of the coding for you!

Conclusion

We absolutely adore wordpress theme websites as we build them to be seo friendly. We can custom code a website for you but that will generally take longer as our coding skills are impressive but it’s the time that is important.

At the end of the day the pros outweigh the cons.

So, give The Web Designer Group a call on 0800 09 88 508 and we can make it all happen for you. Not only that but we will add you to our portfolio of websites that we have created and are proud of. We’ll integrate your social media accounts into your new websites for a small fee as well!

If you enjoyed reading our article on The pro’s and cons of using wordpress themes then leave us a comment with your thoughts!

Best WordPress Rich Snippet & Structured Data Plugins – UPDATED 2019

When you go on a Google search, do you notice anything about some of the results? Perhaps you were looking up a recipe for your holiday dinner and noticed that the top results were completely unlike any of the others. For first things, they had pictures. They also had approximate cooking time, difficulty level and review ratings indicated right below. They were completely set apart from the rest.

This is the work of some pretty simple technology that you can make use of yourself. Rich snippets, as these little add-ons are so called, help search engines identify the content on your page. This is also known as schema markup. The more info you have, the more search engines identify your page as a legitimate source and rank it higher on the search page results.

Ensuring your page is as high on the search results as possible is imperative to how much traffic you will receive. Did you know that nearly 70 percent of people do not click past the top three results and over 90 percent don’t even scroll past the first page? With stats like this, it’s easy to tell just how competitive it is to get on the first page of results, let alone the top three slots.

wordpress. word cloud design

So how exactly do you use schema markup? Well, unless you have a good hand at coding, this could be pretty difficult, but not if you have a plugin to do all the rough work for you.

WordPress rich snippets plugin can help you add all kinds of cool little snippets on Google for your page. These snippets could range from reviews and ratings, embedded photos and videos, product info, contact details and addresses, or if you’re hosting an event you’d like people to know about, there’s also an event time and place snippet! Or if you’d rather just let people know your working hours so they can contact you directly for further enquiries, that’s available too.

Now that you’re acquainted with all the ways you can spruce up your results by use of WordPress rich snippet plugins, let’s go on to our top 5 plugin recommendations that you can try out yourself.

1) WP Review Proreview word in metal type

This plugin specialises in adding reviews to your results. Though there is a free, basic version of this plugin, the ‘Pro’ version offers one of the strongest schema markup programmes on the market right now.

Not only is this plugin faster and lighter than the free version, it has the option of customisable snippets! Whether you’d prefer a point rating system, or a star rating system or others, they’re all here. They even have an option of adding pros and cons to a review! If all this isn’t enough for you, WP Review Pro also allows you to add CSS animations to your ratings and even has the ability to display ratings when the user hovers their pointer over the post thumbnail.

The great thing about this plugin is that it allows you to optimise your web page without compromising any of the stuff you already have on your page. The premium version also allows support for translation, is WPMU compatible, and has unlimited colours.

The pro version is available for $39.

2) Schema ProConceptual business illustration with the words schema

Schema Pro has been tried and tested to be one of the most reliable rich snippet plugin solutions today. It receives constant updates to ensure its users are always ready with the newest rich snippets.

Most plugins simply add new content in the form of a separate box, like for reviews, etc. Schema Pro adds schema markup to your existing content meaning all your content will show up in one place as opposed to several different boxes.

Though this would have been complicated to achieve through coding, Schema Pro allows you to achieve this comfortably with an easy to navigate interface with step by step instructions. When the user has installed the plugin, they are greeted by a setup wizard to help configure the website of choice for global schema. After this, they are led through a series of pages each for setting up schema types for specific content, choosing which content to target, then mapping various markup options.

Schema Pro is available for $59 for a one year license while the lifetime license is available for $199. Both options are available to be used for an unlimited number of sites.

3) All In One Schema Rich Snippets

If the prices of the first two plugins seemed intimidating, don’t worry. There are tons of free plugins you can use that will achieve basically the same thing. Though, yes, the paid versions will give you more options and flexibility than the free versions, this plugin definitely seems to give nearly as many options for absolutely no cost at all. And on top of that, it is an open source software for users to build upon.

All In One Schema currently supports 8 different schema types, namely: reviews, events, people, products, recipes, software applications, videos and articles and is planning on expanding to allow 3 more types (breadcrumbs, local businesses, and books).

4) Rich Snippets WordPress Plugin

Though this isn’t a free option as the plugin above, it is certainly a lot more affordable than most premium rich snippets plugins. With a price of $20, this plugin operates similarly to the All In One Schema Plugin with the exception of allowing its user to create their own schema markup shortcode with a shortcode generator. This is especially handy for those who feel the standard schema options just don’t fit their needs.

And lastly,

5) WP Product Review Proproduct concept with business elements on blackboard

Just like the WP Review Pro, but this one is geared toward product reviews specifically. This plugin also has a free version, but the premium version, priced at $75 for a single site license, has a wealth of great features geared specifically toward advertising products.

These features include custom icons, pros and cons list, comparison tables and preloading functionality. The $299 package for this plugin, however, allows its users a multiple site license as well as an Amazon import feature.

Top 10 – Best Node.js Hosting (Cheap) – UPDATED 2019

In this article we will help you to find a reliable and secure platform to host your Node.js application

Ever since its inception in 2009, Node.js has been gaining increasing popularity among developers around the world. Written in JavaScript, the open-source, cross-platform environment is an excellent choice for businesses that use real-time applications. Node.js allows fast development thereby increasing productivity.

It is also scalable and ideal to build modern applications. It scales well without having to invest too much in hardware. There are many reasons why developers of varying experience levels are attracted towards Node.js for app development. You may have already downloaded Node.js and got your code ready.

The next step is finding a reliable and secure platform to host your Node.js application. To make your job easier, we have compiled a list of top ten best Node.js Hosting services to find the right choice for cheap hosting.

  1. AWS

Amazon Web Services lets you deploy high-availability Node.js application with the use of AWS Elastic Beanstalk service. It is a container system intended to make it easy pushing packaged applications to AWS as PAAS (Platform as a Service). The advantage of this method is you get complete control over the server on which the application runs and you can even run multiple applications on the server without any additional costs.

AWS offers a free tier that serves as a good starting point for your Node.js hosting. It offers great pricing and amazing support in terms of plans, forums and documentation.

  1. DigitalOcean

Offering single-click installation and Node.js deployment, DigitalOcean is quite popular among developers and it is pretty cheap – as low as $5 per month. You can install the service on your own by requesting a plain droplet with the OS you use and install it easily.

DigitalOcean offers a wide range of services like object storage, load balancer, cloud firewall and other infrastructure services to help you create an instant enterprise-ready application. It is possible to scale up and down as required. You pay for the size of droplet you choose and hence DigitalOcean can be a cheaper option.

  1. Heroku

This developer-friendly platform has recently added support for a variety of environments and languages including PHP, Java, Perl, Python and Node.js. It offers seamless integration with a wide range of third-party services and supports deployment across multiple regions. Heroku offers a Free plan including 512 MB of memory to help you get started with Node.js hosting.

The documentation it offers is amazing for beginners as well as experienced developers. It also has a list of services and plugins which can be added instantly. The downside is that larger applications may deploy slowly.

  1. AppFog

Featuring a highly intuitive interface, REST API and powerful command line for robust development, AppFog is another popular Node.js hosting platform. PaaS offering lets you host Node.js applications on the cloud with ease, supported by automatic scalability and quick deployment. What sets AppFog apart from the competitors is its round-the-clock, responsive live-chat support and simple command line utility. The free tier offers 2GB memory and 100MB storage.

Though the platform offers a simple deployment process, it is not always quick. This might not be acceptable for those who indulge in regular deployments and wish for speed.

  1. A2 Hosting

Another cost-effective hosting platform, A2 Hosting is a great choice for all-around Node.js hosting. Not only does this service enable shared hosting, but it also excels at affordable server performance and developer-friendly software.

Access to unlimited databases and multilingual support and a ton of other features make this platform stand out from others. You can get started with Node.js hosting for as low as $4 per month.

Every hosting plan comes with unlimited storage. But scaling depends on the package you choose. With a money back guarantee, A2 Hosting is a provider worth giving a try.

  1. RedHat OpenShift

A favourite platform among beginner developers, RedHat OpenShift offers free hosting for Node.js apps. This Platform as a Service option delivers a stress-free cloud hosting that enables you to focus completely on improving your applications.

The service supports automatic scaling to keep you covered in case the app receives an unexpected spike in traffic. It also provides free access to built-in databases and multi-region support.

Though the hosting is free, users are limited to three Node.js applications.

  1. Microsoft Azure

Cloud-based platform from Microsoft, Azure lets developers build, deploy and manage websites and apps quickly. It is a reliable platform with high-availability and flexibility and features multi-region support.

Working across Linux and Windows machines, Azure lets you monitor all the Node.js applications in real-time with support for automatic scalability.

Microsoft Azure offers a great free plan for Node.js hosting allowing you to host up to 10 applications on every data centre. Scaling the app up or down is super easy with Azure. Enabling autoscaling gets your app scaled in accordance with the traffic.

  1. NodeChef

Specialised at hosting modern web and mobile applications, NodeChef is an excellent Node.js hosting platform and supports a number of application languages including Go, PHP, Java, Python, etc. It hosts your app inside docker container and gives you the option to choose from SQL and NoSQL database.

Some of its exciting features include one-click deployment, scalability, real-time logs, caching, multiple data center locations, automatic SSL provision, metrics monitoring and more. Pricing starts at $9 per month.

  1. EngineYard

Another amazing hosting service for Node.js applications, EngineYard offers round-the-clock support which sets it apart from other platforms. It offers simple deployment and is a highly powerful and functional platform for hosting Node.js apps.

The service provides great documentation with tutorials walkthroughs and FAQs and gives access to highly responsive email support. You also get access to a dedicated support team upon choosing the managed tier.

EngineYard has somewhat limited options for databases and hence doesn’t offer custom instant role definitions and lacks some flexibility.

  1. Xervo

One of the most cost-effective and secure PaaS hosting platforms, Xervo is preferred by many around the world. It offers unlimited storage for Node.js projects and is highly flexible with full support for automatic load balancing and auto scaling. Developers like Xervo more for its powerful tracking abilities resulting in actionable, detailed sets of analytics.

Xervo offers amazing support options with Twitter, email and phone and quick response times. It also comes with multi-region support.

The Web Designer Group offer industry leading UK hosting on dedicated servers with all bespoke website designs.

Is business really business without a formidable online presence?

In 2018, is business really business without a formidable online presence? Today in tech, there’s over-saturation of seemingly similar Website Design Services all over the globe, and via providers who all claim to have ‘the right solution’. However, if an everyday business owner (who simply wants their daily to-do list done), is to successfully distinguish between what’s a rip-off or a really good deal, how do they proceed?

The truth is that regarding online and website services – we’re in age of an overabundance. Not convinced? Simply type ‘website services’ into a Google search engine page. You will find a furious flurry of international, virtual and on-site website service options.

So, with too many mind-boggling choices to choose from (and as just one item on a business owners to-do list), what’s the smartest move to make? How can a brand compete with (and beat) the competition? To get an idea, I asked Mr. Zak Ali, CEO of The Web Designer Group on what a company should prioritise, and he said: “…its website needs to look good, function well and be expertly coded to ensure it always ranks highly in search results.”

A quick internet trawl revealed the relevant terminology too – it’s all about ‘SEO’. So essentially, a business website needs:

  • Great Functionality
  • SEO (aka expert coding)
  • Target Audience Tracking
  • Aesthetically pleasing Design

The-Web-Designer-Group-ManagementOne option is The Web Designer Group, conveniently headquartered in the UK, with both domestic and global sites (London, Manchester, Glasgow & San Francisco to name a few). In fact, founders Zak Ali & Sara Coomansingh are quite the website pioneers, having garnered a coveted 5/5 rating via Trust Pilot (the reliable real-time reviews log), and has been featured numerous times on Heart FM, SKY TV & BMmagazine too.

So, when I asked them Mr. Ali about the ultimate goal of web design for businesses today, he answered succinctly: “(It’s) always to take a future-centric stance…so these sites can expand and change in response to a business’ evolution.”

 

The Web Designer GroupWhat’s clear from reviewing freelancer sites, agencies and web service offers worldwide, is that ultimately, it’s still premium client care and real results that win the day. But, let’s not forget that cost matters too. In The Web Designer Group there’s a cost commitment (which is comforting). They promise “No hidden charges – you pay one set price.” Contrast this to a backdrop of alternative providers and staggering fees, and Mr. Ali’s offer could actually be a bit of a lifesaver for start-ups and small to medium businesses!

No doubt, timing factors too. Horror stories of never-ending website developments that span months (and even years) haunt the business community, and are ‘a tale as old as modern-technology-time’. However in The Web Designer Group there’s hope – they promise a 3 working day delivery (plus full after care and website training). One thing’s for sure – today, business can’t compete without a credible and convincing online presence.

Feature Details
Site:                www.TheWebDesignerGroup.com
Phone:            0333 305 2155

Author: Abby Kempe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Website Designers Turn Efforts Towards Future-Proofing Systems in a Constantly Evolving Industry

Leading agencies like the UK’s Web Designer Group focus on helping struggling businesses keep up-to-date with responsive design for mobile Internet use, security protocols and more.

London, England, UK – April, 2018 – Internet Technology studies have revealed just how quickly the Internet and web systems evolve, as well as the way most business owners struggle to keep up-to-date with the changes in systems, security protocols and responsive web design to make websites “mobile-friendly.”

Into this foray have come leading website design firms, such as the UK’s Web Designer Group, that are focusing their efforts on future-proofing sites for their clients in what equates to a constantly-shifting industry.

“Amidst an ever-changing online landscape, we work hard to future-proof our clients’ sites, keeping on top of all changes on their behalf so they can focus on running their business instead of worrying about their online presence,” explains Zak Ali, CEO of The Web Designer Group.

“In this day and age, modern businesses must understand that it’s all about responsive design – that is, making sure a website works on mobile phones, tablets, PCs and laptops – so that’s what we stress to prospective/existing clients, colleagues in the industry and attendees of IT-oriented tradeshows.

“The goal is always to take a future-centric stance with web design so these sites can expand and change in response to a business’ evolution.”

Today’s trends in the web development arena tend to change with the snap of a proverbial finger, with web developers having found 2017 quite the challenge because of significant technological leaps – especially with regard to web application development.

What’s more, progressive web applications, or PWAs, have become all the rage, representing an advancement of the web wherein users can experience mobile apps.

Put succinctly, these are regular websites that appear as traditional or native web apps to users, offering fast, reliable and very engaging and seamless experiences because the user saves the shortcut and the app loads quickly from the cache.

Other trending evolution’s in web development include push notification for websites, also known as “the server push,” which delivers an alert or information without the user making a request for the same, plus online customer support through the use of chat-bots, single-page websites and motion UI (user interface).

Still, the largest area of growth in the web arena seems to be the explosion of mobile device use for Internet activities, thus keeping websites mobile-friendly and SEO-oriented for the ever-changing search engine algorithms.

“In order for a company to succeed in today’s highly competitive marketplace, its website needs to look good, function well and be expertly coded to ensure it always ranks highly in search results,” concludes The Web Designer Group’s Ali.

The Web Designer Group is headquartered in London at Barbican, 88 Wood Street, 10th – 11th Floor and can be reached by calling 0333 305 2155. For more information visit www.TheWebDesignerGroup.com.

–END–

Further Information for Editors:

For interviews or questions relating to website design or the Internet of Things, please contact our Press Team @ The Web Design Group via 0333 305 2155 or email press@thewebdesignergroup.co.uk

How to Create an Engaging Digital Experience

In order for a website to be effective, it has to be multi-functional in terms of design. The website should be built just like a house, where it will be protected against outside elements while providing a comfortable space that has ample storage. This is exactly what you can expect from companies offering the best web design offers. These companies will design your website in a way that improves user experience, encourages engagement, and retains your customers.

Below are a few steps on how to create a well-engaging digital experience.

  1. Create Simple Experiences

It’s important that your customers immediately feel engaged the moment they visit your website. Therefore, keep your interface simple and clean. Try to embrace white space as this can help encourage your customers to explore your website on their own instead of feeling forced into looking for the things they need among the cluttered design that comes with so many options that seem like they are vying for your customer’s attention.

  1. Don’t Trust Your Feelings

Don’t assume that your user experience has already reached perfection just because you personally believe that it looks really great and it does well in your own perspective. How you or your team see the experience might be totally different from your customer’s point of view. So it’s always a good idea to test your website’s experience with outsiders. There are some companies that offer services to test the user experience with actual customers.

  1. Focus on User Types Not the Buyer Persona

Buyer personas are mainly designed to align ad copy and marketing messages. In order to come up with an ideal user experience, web design offers usually focus on user types instead of buyer personas. This means knowing exactly what a specific customer likes. But when it comes to this, it’s important that you know the type of users you are targeting and how they shop and browse, the type of devices they use etc.

  1. Integrate Social Media

You should give your audiences a chance to promote your products, contribute content to your website and interact with other users within your funnel. For instance, Amazon offers Q&A segments and comment sections on each of the products they sell. Social proof certainly goes a long way into improving conversions and engagement among your prospective customers.

  1. Personalise the Experience

Make your customers feel valuable by asking them directly for feedback while they are browsing through your site. Instead of slapping your audiences with opt-in when they are about to leave, you may want to create an exit intent survey instead. This survey will ask customers to answer short questions regarding their experience. Use their feedback to further improve your website’s user experience.

  1. Mix and Match Your Content

People want to engage in a number of ways. Some are able to respond better to a particular type of content while others have different preferences. With the best web design offers, you’ll be able to find the right balance between a deeply engaging video, images, animations, or written content through your blogs and product pages.