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Why a Website Design Speaks Volumes about Your Company?

very messy officeVery Messy OfficeWhether a business has just got off the ground or has been established for years, start-up and long running companies are looking to the internet to expand their sales, as well as service to customers. Many new websites are going up and with so many people opting to go with the cheapest route, or the quickest design process, sometimes the quality of a website gets left behind. Lets face it, you wouldn't want a possible client coming into your office, looking around at a mess, so why would you send them to your virtual office looking like one?

People very often go to a company's website to get more information, it is a lot easier and more convenient then calling them or writing them a letter. The first thing they see when they go to their site(that is, the first thing that pops into their heads) is either "wow, these guys are professional, I want to deal with them" or "their site is awful, how can they act professional if they do not look professional"(well that may not be everyone’s exact words, but you see what I am getting at). We all think this when we visit a website, haven't you ever felt a little bit easier or more relaxed when purchasing something off a site with a professional look? I bet you that if a site doesn't look professional then you won't even consider purchasing an item or using their service!

Script ErrorScript ErrorAnother important aspect of a website is how long it takes to download. A lot of people say if it takes longer then 30 seconds to download then people will leave. This is true. I know that even on a DSL connection, if a site is taking too long to download I will jump to another site. If your site doesn't download in at least 30-60 seconds for all users(dial up taking a little longer), then you need to re-design your site.

Your site must not only look good and download quick, it must work good. There is nothing worse then visiting a website with pages that haven't been created yet, script errors popping up and only half of the information seems to be there. This will definitely annoy anyone who is visiting your website, they probably won't come back for a while, if at all.

contact usContact UsAnother important aspect of a good website is allowing visitors to contact you in one way or another. A simple email address or contact form on a contact us page will do wonders. People like to know they can get in touch with you with just a simple click of the mouse. Make sure that there is a link to your contact us page on every page, including in your main navigation. This will give users a feeling of being close to you, as they can contact you at any time.

Use these tips as well as your own common sense and you will be well on your way to having a great Looking, Working & Downloading Website!

Please feel free to contact us today for a free quotation or to discuss your website requirements

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Why You Absolutely Must Have A Website?

a website is your business cardA Website is Your Business CardIn today’s culture, a website represents your business card – even if you don’t have a business! Your child may have a website, your neighbour may have a website, and even your local place of worship has a website.

A website allows you to communicate – keep in touch with as many people as possible, while at the same time minimising the cost of doing so. Can you imagine the cost of consistently printing and mailing to 2000 loyal customers every month?

A website cuts down on your total cost of postage, and your everyday word processing software cuts down on physically writing out every greeting, or piece of correspondence.

However, a website does the one thing that you’re always looking for: a website helps to free your time.

Your time is the most precious commodity that you’ll never be able to get back. You’ll never be able to play that magnificent round of golf, go vacationing with the family or watching your child perform in their school play, if you’re constantly trying to free yourself of responsibilities.

deteriorating websiteDeteriorating WebsiteA website is a lot of work to start. That’s the truth. The best way to look at your website is to view it as your own body. When you put the right fuel (food) in your system, your body runs efficiently. You aren’t constipated, you have lots of energy, and you feel great. Combine this with a little exercise, and you’ll live a fairly long life. When you start feeding yourself bad food, you start to feel tired and irritable. You may gain weight and start outgrowing your favourite clothing.

That’s the same thing that could happen to your website, if it gets neglected. Just like your body, a website starts to deteriorate. The pride that you showed at having a website disappears, and your website suffers.

If you still have doubts about having a website, think of it as your on-line sales centre. Imagine having a system that can take your orders when you are asleep. Or a system that will allow you to take a holiday, and monitor your sales if you want to, without asking a sales manager? Maybe you don’t want to hire and train a new employee to take your orders, and to know your sales process. A website helps you be better at what you do, not what you shouldn’t.

For a free quotation or more information, please contact us today.

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Why a CSS Website Layout Will Make You Money

web devlopmentWeb DevelopmentAlthough CSS layouts have been around for years, they haven't become so commonplace until recently. This was basically due to limited browser support (especially from Netscape 4) - nowadays though, CSS 2.0 (which introduced positioning) is compatible with over 99% of browsers out there (check out the browser stats over at http://www.thecounter.com/stats/2004/August/browser.php).

So, why should you convert your website from its current table-based layout to a CSS layout? It'll make you money. Simple really. And here's four reasons to explain why:

Reduced bandwidth costs

Web pages using CSS for layout tend to have much smaller file sizes than those using tabular layouts. It's not unusual to see reductions of 50% or more in file size when switching from tables to CSS. Smaller file sizes obviously mean reduced bandwidth costs, which for high traffic sites can mean enormous savings.

The main reason for this dramatic decrease in file size is that presentation information is placed in the external CSS document, called up once when the homepage loads up and then cached (stored) on to the user's computer. Table layouts on the other hand, place all presentation information inside each HTML, which is then called up and downloaded for every page on the site.

Additionally, CSS can be used to replace JavaScript image rollovers, again allowing a large reduction in overall page size. See the article, CSS navigation menu for more on this (http://www.webcredible.co.uk/user-friendly-resources/css/css-navigation-menu.shtml).

search engine optimization rankingSearch Engine OptimizationA higher search engine ranking

A CSS-based website will appear higher in the search engine rankings for three reasons:

  • The code is cleaner and therefore more accessible to search engines
  • Important content can be placed at the top of the HTML document
  • There is a greater density of content compared to coding

A higher search engine ranking means more site visitors, which, provided your website is usable, should lead to an increase in enquiries or sales.

Faster download speed

A faster download speed will make you money? Well, yes. Slow download speed is often cited as one of the biggest usability complaints for websites. A faster download speed therefore leads to increased usability, and a web usability redesign can increase the sales/conversion rate by 100% (source: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20030107.html).

CSS and HTML codeCSS and HTML CodeCSS downloads faster than tables because:

  • Browsers read through tables twice before displaying their contents, once to work out their structure and once to determine their content
  • Tables appear on the screen all in one go - no part of the table will appear until the entire table is downloaded and rendered
  • Tables encourage the use of spacer images to aid with positioning
  • CSS generally requires less code than cumbersome tables
  • All code to do with the layout can be placed in an external CSS document, which will be called up just once and then cached (stored) on the user's computer; table layout, stored in each HTML document, must be loaded up each time a new page downloads
  • With CSS you can control the order items download on to the screen - make the content appear before slow-loading images and your site users will definitely appreciate it

Increase in reach

lead generationLead Generation The more people you can reach, the more visitors you'll get to your site and the more enquiries or sales you should get. A CSS-based website is compatible with PDAs, mobile phones, in-car browsers and WebTV. Don't underestimate the importance of this: In 2008 alone an estimated 58 million PDAs will be sold (source: http://www.etforecasts.com/pr/pr0603.htm) and one third of the world's population will own a wireless device (source: http://www.clickz.com/stats/markets/wireless/article.php/10094_950001).

You can make an additional CSS document specifically for handheld devices, which will be called up in place of the regular CSS document, thereby ensuring your website is accessible to this lucrative market. This isn't possible with a tabular layout.

Conclusion: Switch to CSS!

Switching your website from a table layout to a CSS layout can be a long, arduous process, especially for large websites. Given the money making possibilities though, it could very well prove to be well worth it.

Contact us today for a free quotation, or to discuss your website requirements

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Storm Biz - Website Management, Responsive Mobile, Tablet and Desktop Design

Can you really afford to lose almost 60% of users browsing your website?

Business Website Design, Mobile Website Design, Speciality Website Design, Joomla Website Management, Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing.

Storm Biz Responsive Design

small business

From the 1st October 2013, all websites that are designed by Storm Biz will now be Responsive Websites, fully view-able on mobile devices, tablets, desktops and laptops. What is Responsive Websites, why have we moved into this direction, and how does your website, traffic and users benefit from this, and finally what is the cost involved?

What is Responsive Websites Design?

We use the term responsive website design for websites that have a "different" display on tablets and mobile devices, compared to normal desktops and tablets. This is not the same as the old "Wap" websites, as the mobile and tablet version still contains graphics, and even image galleries and forms, or any components still found on a normal desktop version, the only difference is that the layout "responds" to the device that you are using, and there is no need to use the "Zoom" function on your phone to make the website readable and images view-able. Users do not want to keep scrolling up, down, left and right to view your content, they want it readable as it displays on the screen, anyone who has used an e-book device will know exactly how easy it is to read content that only scrolls down, and this is essentially what a responsive template creates.

joomla-management-450Why have we moved to Responsive Websites?

We were approached by one of our Graphic Design clients to redo his clients website into a responsive website, as the website was getting 70% searches on mobile devices. Although we have played with the idea of turning to responsive websites, we were never really sure the extra costs to our clients would justify the demand to change to responsive websites. So we did the research, discussed the issues, pros and cons, and what costs and time would be involved in turning normal websites to fully responsive websites. It turns out that 60% of searches on Google are done on mobile devices. This statistics has almost doubled since last year, and this is now the trend, as more and more people use their mobile devices to browse the internet. The statistics also show that 95% of people will leave your website if it does not display a mobile version of your website. Can you really afford to lose almost 60% of users browsing your website?

How does a responsive website affect your traffic, website look and feel, and user experience?

Our main objective is still to provide websites which are search engine friendly, displays beautifully on desktops and laptops, and now with the added advantage of displaying correctly on mobile devices and tablets. We have already stated that the need for mobile websites have increased dramatically over the past few years, with more searches being done on mobile devices, than any other devices. Since your website is responsive, your users will not skip your site and move on to one of your competitors whose site is already mobile friendly. This means that your traffic is increased, page hits are increased, and your users are now enjoying their experience on the mobile version of your website. Many people still assume that a mobile website is dull, boring, and contains no graphics, this assumption is incorrect, a mobile version simply compresses your website graphics, text and components into an easy to view style that is fully view-able on your phone, and enhances your users experience. Your users will know that you have taken the time and effort to provide them with a user friendly, mobile version of your website, without losing the quality of your desktop version.

What costs and time are involved in changing your current website to a responsive website?

At Storm Biz we don't believe in gradually learning how to do things... We jump in to the most difficult website we can do, as this teaches us everything we need to make future designs easier. Well this turned out to be true, as our first fully responsive website turned out to have 9 different colored themes, 12 different contact pages, 22+ different galleries, and over 30 Content pages. This complex website took us almost 3 weeks to complete. We have since changed our own website and accounting system to a responsive design, this only took us 4 days for both systems. The websites that we now design that are responsive, take an additional 1 - 3 days to design, implement and test (dependent on website and component complexity). Considering the increase of traffic that your website will now receive, the initial investment is minimal.

Since our main concern is that your website succeeds, we have re-looked at our pricing and adjusted it accordingly to include fully responsive websites. The time spent on a website design has now doubled, and time spent testing has almost tripled.

Please click below to view our packages and pricing:
Business Website Design Packages

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Congratulations

congratulationsWe would like to take this opportunity to congratulate those who responded to our warning about PHP needing to be updated.

Well Done!!!!!

So glad we were able to assist you in getting your website PHP up to date and keep it in excellent working order. You sure saved yourself some huge headaches and expenses.

We were totally overwhelmed by the response we received and are very happy that we were able to help so many people.

If you did not respond and are having problems with your website due to your PHP not being up to date, all is not lost yet. We can assist you and restore the website to working order, if you act quickly before your website is so damaged that it needs to be completely redesigned.

You need to take care of your business and we will take care of your website for you.

StormBiz can keep your website and all its components up to date and functioning to its full potential. Avoid losing your website or having it breaking by investing a miniscule amount in a management package from StormBiz.  We can also take care of your marketing and advertising.

Your website must always be compliant and all apps up to date.

We also install software and website monitoring software to ensure your website is always live.

Contact us today for a free quotation or free evaluation of your website.

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