Websites often require many skill sets and services across many various fields of graphic design, ecommerce website design, marketing, and more with a concentration needed on creating compelling, memorable, best practice websites an organization’s users will find easy-to-use, informative, impactful, and will want to return to. To accomplish these website goals, ATAK Interactive, a Los Angeles web design company, offers a full website service list one should see if their website developers have before hiring them to do your required website or web based project.
Website Design and Development Services Should/Often Include:
- Research current business needs, top competitor websites, user needs, and make suggestions.
- Custom homepage design and corresponding internal website page layout that coordinates with your organization’s brand and colors.
- Multiuser content management system development so a website owner can update his or her own pictures and text (basic content) with need for minimal website developer training and maintenance.
- Website Blog setup.
- Website Photo Gallery of projects, products, case studies, or testimonials.
- Video pages.
- Website Search.
- Image (all pictures, photos, graphics) optimization for the web and training.
- Search Engine Optimization best practices.
- Multi-browser website compatibility (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Google Chrome).
- Flash, HTML5, Java Animation (be careful about flash to those who like ipads and iphones).
- Additional options available include illustration, photography, video, content creation, ecommerce integration, html newsletter templates, mobile phone website versions, wiki plug ins, social media plug ins, and more.
Extending Your Brand; Branding Services
In addition to a website presence, ATAK Interactive offers additional services one may need when starting a business. A website alone or a redesigned website alone does not mean anyone knows that the website or business exists and what it’s message is. One must take steps to create and market the brand. Website design and Brand Marketing includes:
- Print Materials like catalogs, business cards, letterheads, invoices, stationary.
- Use of Social Media like Facebook or Twitter.
- Search Engine Optimization.
- Newsletter/HTML e-mail.
- Website and print ads.
- Animated logo or turn your logo into 3D.
Here are some additional 2010 popular website resources for a variety of projects:
- Gliffy.com (online website wireframing)
- Box.net (file storage and sharing)
- WordPress.com/Wordpress.org (best in class blogging and cms platform)
- GoDaddy.com (find your domain name)
- Digishop.sumeffect.com (complete ecommerce system)
- iContact.com (great HTML mail system)
- Vimeo.com (free HD video hosting)
- VistaPrint.com (low-priced business cards)
- Zazzle.com (printing for personalized products)
- SEOMoz.com (SEO explained)
- Blurb.com (on-demand book publishing)
The eCommerce software industry has graduated to level where two main models control the market. Today, most eCommerce websites are created using (1) a hosted, off site, solution or (2) a custom, open source, eCommerce website solution. Both hosted and custom eCommerce solutions are very different from one another. This hubpage explores the differences between the two eCommerce models while asking you, the reader, to keep in mind YOUR website goals in respects to market share, web site traffic expectations, sales expectations, and length of time you wish to have the same website before you make a new one.
Hosted eCommerce Software Solutions
For those who want easy, a Hosted eCommerce solution is usually the quickest and fastest way to go. If you purchase a hosted eCommerce solution, these sites are premade by a software company and the site should work within hours or a couple days from when you purchase the package. The hosted eCommerce solution provider will do all configurations for you included in your package.
Hosted eCommerce solutions are usually less expensive to open (usually no to low startup costs and minimal monthly fee to keep your website up and running). Going further into costs, website owners using a hosted eCommerce solution do not have to worry about website maintenance because, generally, hosted eCommerce solutions will cover server maintenance inclusive in the fee to keep your web site up and running. Hosted eCommerce solutions are again premade, and they are often stable and do not require a ton of error and debugging attention.
There are disadvantages of hosted eCommerce solutions to consider. Hosted eCommerce solutions are not owned by you, the business owner. If you stop paying the monthly fee, you will lose your website and need to find a new solution. Generally, hosted eCommerce solutions are locked in that code cannot be greatly modified making eCommerce cart design and feature customization nearly impossible. With hosted eCommerce solutions, you get the features the system comes with AS IS, without any ability to add/edit/remove features. If you have a basic eCommerce store this is usually not a problem. If you want the ability to modify features and grow the website into a more feature rich solution, you may need to move to a custom eCommerce solution. Those who anticipate high end second generation features may want to consider a custom eCommerce solution that will allow this growth when ready to implement such new features and elements. If one does this, the website can grow without the need to redo the website design completely.
Search Engine Optimization for hosted eCommerce solutions can be more difficult than more robust, custom eCommerce website software solutions. Most of the time, a search engine optimization company is limited in what can be changed to a hosted eCommerce website’s structure. Ecommerce SEO requires the tweaking of code due to hosted eCommerce software limitations. Design variance testing also becomes more difficult with hosted solutions because we cannot create multiple versions of landing pages, product pages, and checkout. Sometimes Ecommerce SEO strategy involves creating a few different versions of the home page to see how users react. Another part of this strategy is testing if 1 page checkout or multiple step checkout gets more sales. Hosted eCommerce solutions can make variance testing very difficult to impossible.
Open Source eCommerce Website Solutions (Open Source eCommerce)
Often the term “Open Source,” comes across when making an eCommerce software decision. Open Source means that you or your developer has complete access to your eCommerce software code and can make any changes to the website. Given your eCommerce website developer knows design, programming, and search engine optimization very well, the obvious advantages are that your website can work and function as you wish. Custom eCommerce websites can look any way you want, sell products anyway you want, and display products anyway you want.
Custom eCommerce websites cost more, generally, because custom eCommerce require additional programming hours and design hours. These extra hours are used to make a completely custom ecommerce website design with setup the way you need it to be for you and your users. Costs may be more at outset, but if you consider the monthly fees of hosted eCommerce solutions (anywhere from $50 per month to $2,000 per month), return on your investment generally pays off by end of year 1 or 2.
Custom eCommerce websites create a professional, serious, high-end user experience that in the end will provide your users and administrators with the most up to date functions you need without clutter you do not. Custom eCommerce websites allow you to update your website when you need without waiting on your system update itself to standards. If you want to havea new image zoom feature, your coder can get on it right away. If you want to make your checkout a one page checkout, your coder can start right away.
There are good advantages and interesting disadvantages for both hosted and custom eCommerce websites. If you have any questions about which is a correct eCommerce solution for you, please contact ATAK Interactive, a eCommerce Website Development company located in Los Angeles, California.read more