Faith Name and logo
Faith Name and logo

How to Use Transactional Emails to Promote Customer Loyalty, you ask? Did you know that most successful e-commerce businesses almost always engage with their customers after they make a purchase? They do this by sending an informative notification soon after a customer buys a product from them. This is why this is important: 

Customers who receive this communication will always feel valued and involved in the whole shopping process. This makes them more confident about what they order from you, and they are more likely to return for new purchases.

Shoppers who feel valued will most definitely speak about your business on their social platforms which goes a long way in marketing your business.

However, no one would want to spend all their time sending out emails to all their customers informing them of every process of their purchase. That is where transaction emails come in

What are transaction emails on WooCommerce?

Transaction emails are notifications that are sent to your customer automatically to inform them of the key events happening around their order. A good example is when a customer makes an order, they should receive a confirmation that is auto-generated listing all items in their order and their costs.

It sends out a few transactional emails by default such as when you receive a shoppers order. In some cases, you may want to add a few additional statuses that trigger transactional emails, you could then use the extension WooCommerce Order Status Manager

How to customize transactional Emails

As mentioned earlier, WooCommerce already sends out some default transactional emails to your customers. However, you might want to maintain a consistent user experience of your brand for your customers. This might include customizing the transactional emails using your company logo and company colors.

Here is why customizable emails are important:

  1. Easily Recognizable. Your recipients will know that the Email comes from your company and the information in it is important
  2. Professional. Emails that bear your company branding look professional especially to your customers
  3. Provide helpful information. Information in transactional emails tends to answer most customer questions which mean reduced calls to your support team

To change the transactional email’s colors, header or footers navigate to WooCommerce – Settings - Emails 

If you would wish to edit the email’s look using an intuitive drag and drop builder, Email template Customizer from MailPoet would meet your needs. It is also possible to add change text to be included in your transactional email, to do this click Manage next to that transaction email.

In the event where you would want to include additional information in these emails such as installation instructions or manual guides, add them as a link to files or custom notes for these items.

How to ensure Transactional Emails arrive safely

It could be very frustrating when emails to confirm Orders never reach your customers, this severely compromises the trust they might have in your business. Preventing such an occurrence starts by first confirming whether transactional emails have been enabled by going to WooCommerce- Settings- Emails

The second thing is to try and not use email services such as Yahoo and Google for your From email address as they trigger a lot of spam filters. Try and use your company email, if you have one, with the @yourdomain format.

In conclusion, transactional emails help retain your customer base especially those that contain your company branding, helping you stand out as a business and at the same time providing relevant information.

In this article, we will discuss 5 Mobile website design mistakes to avoid. Mobile optimized website design is crucial nowadays. This is because roughly more than 56.6% of web traffic comes from mobile devices. This number is expected to be bigger than 60% in the coming few years. The other reason you need to make sure that your website is mobile-optimized is that today's users like to access everything from anywhere on any device. They don't want to be forced to use only specific devices. As a result, if your website is not optimized for mobile devices (and it has not been made so yet), you may be losing some of your potential customers.

When you own a business, you will probably want to make sure you stay in the game—the game of business, that is. To do that, you will need to make sure that the way you market your sales and your services makes it easy for your clients to find you on the internet. This means that when they come to your site, it will be optimized for their device and easy to use. Let's talk a bit about the advantages of using a mobile-optimized website design.

5 Mobile website design mistakes to avoid

One design does not fit all - One design does not fit all in web design. How do we know this? Because if we look at the statistics, we can easily see plenty of sites that are doing it wrong. For example, according to Google, the most popular design practice in the past has been to have a desktop layout with desktop navigation that gets transformed into a mobile version that simply redirects to the mobile site. Though, on the one hand, this is a straightforward solution, it doesn't offer a good experience for a lot of users. A website should transition from desktop to mobile and not redirect traffic to a different website. 

Additionally, while a design and layout might look fantastic on a desktop screen, simply squishing it down to a mobile format doesn’t mean it will work. A website should be designed to be responsive and change according to the viewing device. A good mobile-optimized design will take essential visual elements from the desktop design while cutting back on unnecessary ones. 

Overcomplicated menus - A website’s navigation is crucial on a mobile device because it needs to be used with a literal touch of the finger. Many inexperienced web designers and developers create sites that are so full of unnecessary elements that the user is overwhelmed by them. This is also true for individuals, business owners with little experience in web design and development that create their websites with Do It Yourself builders like Godday, Wix, and Squarespace.

In the end, it is the website user who is responsible for finding the information he wants to see on the website and not the website creator. This is why many inexperienced web designers and developers overlook the importance of creating a simple and easy-to-use navigation system. At Faith Web Designers, we ensure that the design, including the menus, is designed in a simple manner and is not overcomplicated, easy to navigate, and use. 

Button size- There are few things more frustrating than a tiny link. Buttons that are too small can be challenging to access on a mobile phone. You can adjust the size of a button to make it more accessible to your users. The best way to create buttons more mobile-friendly is by using a larger font or increasing the size of the button on your site. You can also make your buttons more mobile-friendly by expanding the space between the buttons and the text. This space is referred to as padding. 

How much padding should you use around tappable buttons? Apple's Human Interface Guidelines suggest at least 44 pixels of space around a button for most devices and at least 20 pixels for the iPhone 4's smaller screen. Forty-eight pixels is a good compromise: it provides plenty of breathing room while minimizing the need for horizontal scrolling to reach tap targets. 

Think of fingers instead of mouse clicks when it comes to all things mobile optimization. One mistake individuals make is not adjusting button sizes to accommodate a finger tap. Considering how a button is designed is one of the most critical elements on your website, it’s vital that you make sure the user is not left trying to tap a tiny, barely responsive button.

Elements too close together- Designing websites for mobile devices is no easy task. It requires a different approach to the layout when compared to regular websites and can take a while before hitting the sweet spot. Many inexperienced individuals are guilty of putting elements too close together in web design, leaving the user no room to navigate. At Faith Web Designers, we love white space between elements; this gives the users the ability to navigate the website without issues.

The biggest challenge for mobile websites is screen size. Some things are just hard to fit into a small screen. Some elements on web pages are so close that it becomes difficult to read the content. To reduce this problem, designers need to make sure that there is enough space between elements on a page not to crowd each other. Space is crucial between touch targets so that the wrong element isn’t tapped when a user tries to interact with them.

Using oversized images- The web is visual. How your website looks is extremely important. If your website is ugly, people may never visit again. They will simply hit the back button and forget about you. Although beauty is in the eye of the beholder, there is no denying that most people are more attracted to sites that look good. As the trend of responsive web design has taken over, and websites are being expected to operate on various screen sizes, it is no longer acceptable to use large images on your website. Not only do images that are sized large slow down the load time of a website, but they also eat up valuable bandwidth and increase your hosting costs.

As a designer, it’s important to optimize images and avoid large file sizes, resulting in a slow load time. Also, with the ever-growing amount of mobile traffic, you must provide an excellent experience for your users, wherever they’re accessing your content from. Take a look at some of our images that have been optimized for the best results.

No testing - Testing is vital to ensuring a mobile-optimized website is running smoothly. It’s often a step that is completed too hastily. When testing a new website design, there are some things you should be looking out for. While it might sound obvious, you should be looking for sites that load quickly, have all the content you need, and include the right amount of content. Many different elements should be considered when testing a website, including the layout, language, usability, navigation, responsiveness, and appearance. There are many tools available to help in the testing process from Lambda test, which tests responsiveness, to GT metrix that tests many components of your website, including website speed.

Keep in mind the above elements when creating your website or asking a web designer or developer to create a website for your business. Understanding mobile responsiveness and the features that make a website function properly will assist you in determining who to hire to build your website. Keep in mind that creating a website is one of the most important investments in your business. If you need assistance with your next website project don’t hesitate to contact us at Faith Web Designers or schedule a free consultation to discuss your requirements further.

Your business website is easily as important as your organization's physical location in today’s digital age. That’s without mentioning that the journey to build the website of your dreams may have been a long one, with constant tweaks to make sure it’s exactly how you want it. We will discuss 5 Reasons You Need a Website Management Plan and how it will assist your business.

Furthermore, websites are valuable assets. For businesses, they are often the most prominent sales tool. And in the case of e-commerce stores, without a website, there is no business. If you built a home, you wouldn’t let it fall into a state of disrepair, so why would you take the same attitude to one of your business’s greatest assets?

The answer is, of course, that you shouldn’t. And yet, so many business owners still need convincing that their websites are not worthy of continued maintenance.

With that in mind, I’ve put together five of the most common questions my clients ask me when enquiring about a website management plan. By the end of the article, you’ll understand what management plans involve, why they are so vital, and how you get set up with one from Faith Web Designers. 

1. Why Are Website Management Plans So Important? 

Perhaps the most important thing to note is that websites are no longer “set and forget” and haven’t been for quite some time. Domains need renewing at least annually, websites require hosting to remain “live,” and most sites need constant updates and optimizations to ensure they perform as they should.

Those are just the highlights. There are dozens of items that need to be taken care of daily. For example, website backups are crucial in defending your site from a damaging outage or a hacking attack. 

What happens if you poured years into a website, filed it with thousands of words of content, and found yourself having to rebuild it because your hosting provider only took annual backups of your site? (At Faith Web Designers, we provide monthly backups with our management plans, if you require additional backups, please contact us.) You need someone in charge of making sure you have all of your bases covered 24/7. The consequences of not doing so are just too significant.

2. My Website Isn’t that Big or Complicated? Do I Still Need a Management Plan?  

This is a perfectly reasonable question. Your website may not be the most extensive or most complicated in your industry, but that doesn’t make it any less critical to your business or organization. 

You still have to protect it from security threats, you still need it to be running when your customers need to find it, and you still need to perform updates to ensure that your website functions as it should. While you might think that the size or complexity of your site matters when it comes to management, the truth is that it doesn’t.

3. Can’t I Just Run the Updates Myself?

Nothing is stopping you from carrying out the updates yourself. However, this isn’t ideal for several reasons. Firstly, that is a time commitment that you could probably do without on top of trying to run your own business. 

Secondly, it’s something you have to remember to do in the first place. If you don’t log in to your WordPress dashboard very often, are you going to remember that you need to update some of your essential plugins? If you don’t, you could leave your site open to a back-door entry to a malicious attacker. 

Finally, it's easy to click a few buttons to update a few plugins. But testing to see how they affect the functionality of your website (and then subsequently fixing any issues) requires specialized website skills even the most tech-savvy of business owners might not possess. 

For example, WordPress plugin updates go wrong all the time, so you need someone on hand who knows what they are doing to restore your website to how it was before and work through the issues related to the plugin. 

4. It Doesn’t Seem That Complicated, So What’s Included in a Management Plan?

As mentioned, our website management plans take the stress out of keeping your website live and functioning as it should. They’re super flexible, too, allowing you to decide which plan meets your needs.

The bulk of our website management activities are focused on performing updates and testing new versions of plugins before they go live on your website. 

We use a staging area (a clone of your website) to test out updates and plugins before installing to make sure that they aren’t going to impact your site negatively. We then fix any issues we have spotted and performed the updates as and when they are necessary. 

You can then choose to add as much time as you need to dedicate to performance optimization, website design tweaks, and security updates. We have a wide range of packages that suit businesses and organizations at all stages of their development cycle. 

5. Doesn’t My Hosting Company Do That? 

Yes, website hosting companies indeed offer website management plans. But while they may have the same name, they are not the same service. Most of the time, they are sold as an add-on that should be included as standard in a hosting package, such as taking backups and carrying out automatic system updates.  

However, having a dedicated website designer who physically takes the time to go over your site, look for weaknesses, test plugins, protect against threats, and make aesthetic changes as and when you need them is far more beneficial for you and your business. 

You need someone you can trust to watch over your site and keep its best interests at heart, rather than paying a large-scale hosting provider to execute automated actions. 

Choose Faith Web Designers for All of Your Website Development Needs 

Here at Faith Web Designers, we have a broad spectrum of website management plans for you to choose from. No matter the size of your organization or website, if your website is vital to you, you need to have experts to look after it. 

Our team ensures that your website is always up to date. We thoroughly test any critical updates before implementing them to ensure they aren’t going to derail the functionality of your site.

So if you want to free up more time to work on your business and spend less time maintaining your site, don’t hesitate to contact me (Carlos) today to discuss your website needs. 

When you first click on your website you have 5 seconds to catch a visitor's attention. You can quickly lose a potential customer if your website is too messy, too confusing, too formal. This article will provide you with 4 Key features of an engaging website to allow you to grow your clients. You want the first impression for your visitor to be positive. Here are examples of homepages that have made their first impressions acceptable. 

4 Key features of an engaging website

  1. Navigation -The rule of 3 clicks, the customer should get to your product or service in 3 clicks or less. The objective of a UX designer is to simplify users' tasks. In certain places, the fewer clicks a client has, the less likely they will leave the website. This also helps keep your clients focused on their goal of purchasing your product or service.
  1. CTA - A Call To Action (CTA) is an invitation on a website that allows the user to perform specific actions. For example, a command or a phrase, 'Sign Up' or 'Buy Now,' is usually a call to action and usually comes in the form of a button or hyperlink. In the marketing industry, the text can take the form of a button (a CTA button) or a web link. When sending email campaigns, CTAs can also connect to a web page to take additional actions. The call to action is a vital part of a web site that acts as a symbol for the user. Without a clear CTA, the user may not be aware of the next steps to take to purchase a product or sign up for a newsletter and is likely to leave the site without carrying out their tasks. Opoptimizely provides a great article that thoroughly explains the CTA and its importance.
  1. Design- Website design is an essential part of how your clients will view your business. The below elements should be placed into consideration when designing your website.
  2. White space- It is loved by designers. The owners of the website want to fill it. What is this? White space! Whitespace is one of the most neglected and unused components in a great web design project. Too often, the area is viewed as empty space and, as a result, as a waste of screen space. However, whitespace is one of the most valuable components of your design. For good reasons, white space is an essential design feature. If used properly, the design will alter and provide the website with several advantages. Web designers must create and produce eye-friendly layouts that make people want to continue reading. If you would like to read more about white space, seguetech has a detailed article on the subject.
  1. Layout- Layout design is a crucial web design area that deals with text and visual arrangement. Great layouts look attractive, but an efficient layout lets the audience understand the message conveyed by the design. In other words, the understanding of the structure of web design is essential in the development of user-friendly and engaging designs. What is the style of the layout? Let's make sure that we are aware of what the layout is. Briefly, the layout design refers to designing visual elements in a grid to deliver a specific message. The strategy is ineffective, no matter how stylish it looks, if a design does not read well to the audience.
  1. Responsive design- Responsive Web design is the technique that implies that design and development should respond based on screen size, platform, and orientation to the user's actions and environment. Many web designers have implemented responsive design into their projects. Your website must look impressive both on big screens and mobile devices. For an example of responsive design, visit Faith Web Designers and look around to notice the responsiveness of the website. We have also published an in-depth article on a mobile-first design that shows the importance of responsive design. 
  1. Content - Well written content on your website will keep your users engaged and staying longer. The opposite can be said for poorly written content. Written content can also affect SEO. Website content is a simple way to maximize the usability of your website. A user-friendly website can allow prospecting clients to stay longer on your website. They won't go back as quickly to the search results. Google will report your action with a higher rating and award you.
  1. Loading Speed - When creating websites, many designers use the 5-second attention span rule for website loading. You have five tiny seconds to make an immense impact and have your prospective clients take action on your website; otherwise, they will bounce somewhere else. You must explain your value, your organization, and what you do for your clients during these five seconds. Suppose your website has a slower loading time. In that case, if the client's attention span is necessary, your clients will look elsewhere to find the information they need. Please take a look at the loading time for this website we have built to compare to others. The approximate load time for this site is 1.1 seconds, which fits well below the five-second rule. 

In conclusion, at Faith Web Designers, we provide our clients with quality websites and focus on concepts that will allow them to grow. Our website's performance is far beyond what you would expect. We pride ourselves on providing value and respect to our clients. If you would like to schedule a free consultation or request additional information, please contact us today!

We have come across many clients that ask this question "What's the Difference Between a Landing Page and a Website?" In this article we provide you with information that will help you understand the difference. First, landing pages and websites perform very different roles in an organization's online presence, but they often get confused. One performs a very specific function, whereas the other has a much broader range of roles and responsibilities.

In some cases, a landing page is an ideal solution for your business. But in most other scenarios, a website is much more appropriate. So before we dip into the landing page vs. website debate, let's start by defining the difference between a landing page and a website.

What is a Landing Page? 

A landing page is a webpage that is built to serve a particular purpose. Maybe you are promoting a specific event, offering a specific product or service, or encouraging people to sign up for your email newsletter.

Regardless of the overall goal, the purpose of a landing page is to persuade the visitor to take a very specific action. A landing page's effectiveness is almost always measured on how many people land on it and take that specified action. Each successful action is known as a "conversion."

A landing page is often connected to a website or hosted on the same domain name, but it won't have many (if any) navigation buttons or links to other pages. That's why they are most often used as pages to drive sales or capture leads, as everything on the page is focused on getting the visitor to take a specific action (such as giving their email address for a discount coupon).

What is a Website? 

Websites are a series of interconnected pages containing details about your business or organization, along with informative content surrounding the products and services you sell. Websites are more informational, and they encourage visitors to explore with navigational menus to different sections.

They are usually anchored by a home page and include pages dedicated to explaining to visitors what you do and why you are a respectable purveyor of those goods or services. For businesses selling goods directly on their website (these are called e-commerce websites), it's possible to have hundreds or even thousands of website pages dedicated to products.

You will have pages such as About Us, Services, Contact Us, and perhaps a Case Studies or Testimonials page for a typical business website. Local businesses may also add pages about their locations. Many have a blog section that provides useful content to interested customers and helps the website appear high up in popular search engine results pages (this practice is known as Search Engine Optimization).

Landing Page vs. Website: Which One Do You Need?

The short answer is it depends. As highlighted above, they both perform very different roles. If you are looking to push web visitors into taking a specific action, then a landing page is the best fit for you. For example, if you are trying to capture email addresses for an early-access Black Friday sale event, then a landing page is the best solution.

If you need a better idea of how landing pages are utilized, take a look at these examples created for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events.

By contrast, if you run a local plumbing business, a landing page wouldn't make sense at all. You aren't aiming to drive people to a specific action. Instead, you'll want to inform visitors of the plumbing services you offer, where you are located, which geographical areas you serve, and why they should choose you.

For examples of businesses and organizations where websites were the best solution, feel free to take a look at our case studies page.

Difference Between a Landing Page and a Website

Landing Pages and Websites Are Very Different: Speak to Expert Designers to See Which Is Best for You

Here at Faith Web Designers, we are a leading Raleigh, NC-based web design agency that can design beautiful websites for your business or organization. We can also design and host your landing pages too, should you need them. However, we find that unless you are focused on achieving one specific goal, a well-designed website is always the best place to start.

If you need help or advice concerning the best choice for your business or organizational goals, why not speak to me (Carlos) about your web design and hosting requirements? You can book your free consultation appointment here. I look forward to hearing from you soon.  

How does the psychology of color in branding affect your business? You might not realize it, but color plays a vital role in our everyday purchasing decisions. Companies and organizations harness the power of color every day to reap dramatic increases in sales and drive positive brand associations. In many cases, customers fail to recognize that they've been persuaded by a product's color as much as anything else.

Many of you may be unaware of the specific influence of each color when thinking about your branding. Thus, this article will give you a run-down, color-by-color, so you can make an informed decision when it comes to designing your website.

But before covering each color, it's worth explaining why the psychology of color in branding is so important when it comes to your business website.  

Why is the Psychology of Color in Branding So Important for Websites?

The psychology of color is a vital tool that successful businesses use all over the globe. From internal presentations to printed marketing materials such as brochures, the chosen colors have a tangible impact on the customers they are prepared for.

However, when talking about creating an excellent website design, the psychology of color in your branding takes on a heightened role. This is mainly because so much business is conducted online these days. Get your color choices correct, and you benefit from increased conversions and better sales. However, if you make incorrect choices, you could find yourself scratching your head, wondering what has gone wrong.

There are numerous examples whereby merely changing the color of a button can dramatically impact a company. For instance, one sizable European e-commerce site selling porcelain ran two identical marketing campaigns to equal numbers of visitors. The second time they ran it, they made one minuscule difference, they changed the color of the call-to-action (CTA) button. The result of the change was an astonishing 35.81% increase in conversions.

This is just one of the hundreds of examples demonstrating the power of the psychology of color in branding. The switch from a blue to green button instilled a much higher level of confidence and trust (associated with the color green) and better highlighted where customers were supposed to click to checkout against a white background.

As you can see, when it comes to designing a website for your Raleigh, NC-based business, you're going to have to think carefully about the color scheme you want to use. So without further ado, let's give you a color-by-color run of the psychology associated with each major color.

The Psychology of the Color Red

Perhaps the most powerful color of them all when it comes to branding, red creates urgency and focuses minds. That's why it's popular with fast-food chains and when retail store sales always use red for these discount tags. It's the color of love, passion, and romance. It's also proven that sports teams wearing red uniforms win more often. An excellent choice for forcing people to take action. 

The Psychology of the Color Yellow

This may surprise you, but yellow is one of the least frequently used colors in branding. That's because, despite being considered a cheerful color, too much exposure causes feelings of anxiety, stress, and fear. This is why warning labels are often yellow. However, the advantage of these psychological traits is that yellow can grab attention better than many other colors.

The Psychology of the Color Green

Unsurprisingly, green is associated with nature, health, growth, and harmony. It's also an incredibly restful and relaxing color that promotes a feeling of safety. This is a perfect color choice for your website if your products or services relate to healthcare, the environment, or general wellness.

The Psychology of the Color Blue

The epitome of a masculine color, blue resonates particularly well with men, which is why many shaving and grooming products have blue packaging. Other psychological associations include security, stability, reliability, and trust. That's why it's the color of choice for many banks, security companies, and investment firms too.

The Psychology of the Color Purple

Sitting at the cross-section of red and blue, purple can be viewed as both masculine and feminine, depending on the specific shade. In many instances, this color conveys wealth, wisdom, and luxury. It's commonly used in beauty and anti-aging products as well as more spiritual and other-worldly products and services.

The Psychology of the Color White 

The psychology of the color white is best-defined by feelings of purity, cleanliness, and safety. An essential color in web design, white space on a website helps increase the ease at which content can be read. It also highlights brightly-colored CTAs, and it keeps shapes, logos, and other crucial design features easily-distinguishable and well-defined.

The Psychology of the Color Black

At the opposite end of the color spectrum, black invokes a sense of power, sophistication, authority, strength, and stability. Of course, it can also convey grief and mourning, given its association with death. Villains also frequently wear black. In most cases, it's best to pair black with white to offer balance against these possible negative psychological overtones.

Final Thoughts

As a business owner, you should never ignore the psychology of color in branding. Remember, in many ways your whole online brand identity will be defined by the colors you use for your website's design. Your chosen colors can also dramatically impact other aspects such as conversions and how long a visitor spends on your site (known as dwell time). That’s why it makes sense to consult the help of experts such as Faith Web Designers when making your choices.
So, if you're new to the world of web design in Raleigh, NC, then don't hesitate to reach out to me (Carlos) to receive detailed advice concerning the implications of the branding color choices you're thinking of making for your website.

WordPress Vs. Wix Vs. Squarespace you ask? Small business owners have several choices when it comes to the platform upon which they create their website. The problem, however, is which one should you choose? Which of the leading providers is the best option?

In this article, we'll be performing a WordPress vs. Wix vs. Squarespace comparison so that you can make an informed decision. This review of the most popular website builders will take a look at essential evaluation criteria such as scalability, ease of use, search engine optimization (SEO), and web design, among other factors. We'll then give you our take on which we think is the clear winner and the best choice for your business.

We are going to start with perhaps the popular choice for complete website novices, Wix.

Wix Review

Wix is so popular because a) it's a very affordable website builder, and b) it uses a drag-and-drop page builder that does most of the heavy lifting for you. You can have a website designed within a matter of minutes using Wix. However, the site you create will have that distinct Wix template feel to it, and they often lack personality.

If you want to include something as necessary as a blog, you have to layer it on top of the site, hampering your site's performance. E-commerce is particularly tricky with Wix, ruling it out for many online business owners. Again, any additional features such as email opt-in pop-ups all suffer the same fate.

Another reason for Wix being so popular is because it's an all-in-one package. They handle hosting, site security, and they can also help you with a domain. However, having them take care of the website's technical side makes taking it with you impossible if you want to switch platforms.

Lastly, excellent SEO performance is not something Wix is known for. In fact, Wix is known for its poor SEO performance. While they have been improving this aspect of their offering, they still only allow for light optimization, making ranking your website tricky.

Even though Wix lacks in many departments, it provides an affordable all-in-one package for website hobbyists and those looking for a simple website while relying on other forms of marketing to grow their business.

Squarespace Review

Squarespace is another website builder than is pretty intuitive, and the templates provided on the platform look stunning. The problem is that the selection of templates isn't exactly vast, meaning you could end up with a website looking very similar to hundreds of others.

Suppose you want to create a bit more than a simple but elegant website. In that case, you'll have to upgrade to a pricier premium plan to secure some of the more advanced marketing features, such as their Facebook Pixel integration.

However, beyond that, Squarespace doesn't have a directory of plugins for you to add on the backend, leaving you with the task of adding snippets of code to make further changes. Unless you're comfortable coding websites, this is less than ideal.

On the SEO front, you can't do much more than write search metadata for the home page, which is even worse than Wix and leaves you fighting an uphill battle to have your business found online.

If you're looking for a website that is more beautiful than it is functional (think professional photographer), then you're in luck. Squarespace might provide what you're looking for if you're on a budget. But don't expect to gain any leads from your website, with poor SEO infrastructure and coding knowledge required for website high-level marketing integration.

WordPress Review

WordPress is a powerful content management system that's best for the serious business owner who wants their website to grow with their business.

It's fair to say that WordPress is the least beginner-friendly of the platforms being compared here today, some may say it’s for the technically savvy individual. But that is a result of the sheer volume of themes, tools, and plugins available inside this website builder. That's why most small businesses outsource the website design of their WordPress to professional web developers who know how to get the best out of the platform.

As mentioned, on the design side of the platform, there are literally thousands of website themes to choose from, including website builders such as Oxygen, known to most designers and developers as one of the best builders due to is vast technical capabilities. Another good builder is  Divi, it utilizes a drag-and-drop page builder that's very similar to Wix.

In terms of features, WordPress once again wins hands down. Not only does it contain the best blog functionality as standard (which is so vital for SEO), but there are thousands (if not millions) of plugins that you can add to perform specific functions on your website. From email opt-ins to high-powered SEO tools, if you can think of it, there's a plugin for it.

But the best feature of WordPress is that you're in control. There are no limits to a site built on this platform. You manage everything from  website hosting, domain name, and well, everything else involved in creating a successful website. The result? Your site is infinitely scalable. 

Regarding SEO, Matt Cutts, Google's Head of Spam, has stated on the record that a standard WordPress website handles 80-90% of SEO optimization for you. All you have to do is take care of the remaining 10%. There's no contest concerning WordPress and the other platforms reviewed here when talking about SEO, WordPress is the clear winner.

The Verdict

As you'll probably have realized by now, in the WordPress vs. Wix vs. Squarespace debate, there is only one winner for small business owners looking to find customers online, continuously scale, and customize design and functionality to your heart's content. WordPress is the best choice if you're serious about building a business that allows you to make a real difference.

That's not to say that there aren't scenarios where Wix and Squarespace make sense. Still, in today's online world, most businesses will rely at least somewhat on digital marketing techniques such as SEO to secure new customers and clients.

Here at Faith Web Designers, we are WordPress web design experts. We have years of experience working within this platform, and we can create any website style to suit your specific business needs. By choosing Faith Web Designers, you can guarantee that we'll supply you with a beautiful, engaging, and high-performance website that meets your requirements.

So if you're a small business owner in the Raleigh, NC area, and you need a new website, don't hesitate to speak to me (Carlos) to discuss your business goals and website requirements.

Regardless of whether you have a physical location or an online-only business, 97% of consumers research online before purchasing. What that means for you as a business owner is that your website has never played such a significant role. Clunky, cluttered, and unresponsive web design can leave customers with no option but to go elsewhere.  

With that in mind, let's run through five ways that poor website design hurts your business.

1. A Poorly-Designed Website Shakes Visitor Confidence and Ruins Credibility

When assessing how poor website design hurts your business, one of the most obvious aspects it affects is the first impression of your business. In fact, your website has the luxury of 0.2 seconds, according to researchers, to make that crucial first impression. 

If you've got a terribly-designed website full of pop-ups, errors, or counter-intuitive navigational menus, then customers aren't going to have a great first impression. Worse, if a customer doesn't like what they see on your website, they'll lose confidence in your business. 

According to the Stanford Web Credibility Research Lab, 75% of users judge a company's credibility based on their website's design. If you sell either products or services on your website, if customers don't find you credible, then it could have disastrous results on your sales.

2. A Bad Website Can Severely Impact Your Bottom Line

Speaking of sales, poor website design can ultimately cost you customers, and therefore profits. Whenever a customer navigates away in frustration – because of broken links, display issues, or erroneous layouts – it is unlikely you will see them again. They'll bounce to a competitor with intuitive website design that converts.

While quality content may have helped land a visitor on your website, it's your website design that gets them over the line into a converting client. If a visitor can't work out how to navigate to their desired location (such as the contact us page or checkout) within a few seconds, you'll lose them forever. There's no point in working hard to achieve 100,000 website visitors a month if your conversion rate is 0.01% due to poor web design.

3. Poorly-Targeted Web Design Can Leave You with Low Conversion Rates

Good web design focuses on tailoring your website to your target audience. If your web designer fails in this regard, then you won't effectively connect with customers, and you'll find your business suffering from low conversion rates.

good web design company will optimize your website for conversions, including making tweaks to a site to cater to a specific audience. For example, you may simplify your website layout if you run an e-commerce store selling mobility products for seniors. By contrast, if you're a professional photographer, it makes sense for your website to be as beautiful as possible instead of functional. 

Whatever the nature of your business, excellent website design always reflects customer preferences and tastes to maximize conversions.

4. Slow Website Loading Speeds Can Drive Customers Away and Ruin Your Reputation

As mentioned in previous blog posts, outstanding web design is characterized by fast loading speeds. If your website takes longer than a few seconds to load, you can expect visitors to head back to search results, frequently never to return. Worse, 79% of shoppers report that they will not return to purchase from a slow website again, and approximately 44% of them will share the unfortunate experience with their friends.

To top it off, if your website is designed in a way that creates slow and cumbersome loading speeds, then Google will actively rank faster websites ahead of you. The leading search engine recently extended this ranking factor to your website's mobile version, which often performs even worse when paired with unresponsive web design.

5. Unresponsive Web Design Could Forever Bury Your Website in Search

There's no getting around it. Your website has to perform well on mobile devices to be discovered within search results. Mobile searches surpassed desktop searches back in 2015, and they continue to take an increasing slice of search traffic. If users cannot use your website correctly on a phone or tablet, then your business could be doomed without the help of an agency well-versed in responsive web design.  

Due to the ever-increasing volumes of website visits conducted on mobile devices, mobile-friendliness has become a much bigger Google ranking signal. Mobile devices come in varying shapes and sizes. Therefore, you must optimize your website to adapt to various interfaces if you want to keep your spots in search engine results pages. 

Remember, almost every customer, no matter the industry, performs online research before doing business with a company. So you can't be found online, you won't make any sales.

Don't Let a Poorly-Designed Website Hurt your Business

Here at Faith Web Designers, we know what it takes to deliver beautiful web design that provides industry-beating conversion rates and superior SEO performance. As one of the best web designers in the Raleigh, NC area, we understand that the best web design is developed from understanding who you are as a business. That's precisely why we spend time getting to know your organization and future objectives.

We use the latest design methods, and our mobile-first methodology ensures that you don't get left behind by your competitors. Whether you need a state-of-the-art informational site for your B2B business or a high-performance B2C e-commerce store, you can count on us to deliver the web design you need.

So if you would like to have an initial conversation with me (Carlos) to avoid poor website design that actively hurts your business, don't hesitate to get in contact with me to discuss your requirements.

"Don't judge a book by its cover" is one of the oldest adages out there, but unfortunately, that advice simply doesn't apply to e-commerce website design. In fact, the opposite is true. When trying to convince online shoppers to use your site, you've only got an average of 50 milliseconds to make an impression.
That's all it takes for a user to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they'll stay or leave. That's why it's so crucial that you've got all of the right web design elements in place so that they'll stay, and crucially, buy products from your e-commerce website.
Given that this is the case, what are the must-have design features of an e-commerce website?

1. Easy Navigation

You won't make many inroads with your e-commerce site if shoppers can't understand how to use it. It's always best to invoke the principle of Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) to leave visitors to your website in no doubt of how to navigate to where they want to be.

According to a recent survey undertaken by HubSpot, 76% of consumers said the most critical factor in an e-commerce website's design is "the website makes it easy for me to find what I want." So you should never ignore your website's navigation, and it's actually one of the most significant difference makers.

2. Friction-less Checkout

The aim of an e-commerce website is, of course, to sell products. Therefore high on the must-have design features of an e-commerce site list is a hassle-free checkout process. Regarding checkout design, you should always offer the option of checking out without creating an account since it's the second-highest reason why people abandon their cart.

You also need to have a payment gateway set up that accepts a range of payment methods, as everyone has different preferences. If they arrive at the payments page and discover you don't support their preferred payment option (e.g., Apple Pay), they'll become one of the 70% of shoppers who bail at the final hurdle.

3. Fast Load Speeds

E-commerce sites are data-heavy entities. They are stocked full of product photos and videos, which is why you need to work with a web design agency with expertise in optimizing website loading speeds to avoid bad user experiences.

Time and attention are today's most valuable commodities, and if you fail to deliver what shoppers are looking for quickly, they will abandon for your site for another. The stats back this assertion up, with online retailers, losing at least $2.6 billion in sales each year to slow loading speeds alone, and half of all shoppers expecting a website to load in less than two seconds.

4. Mobile-First Design

Your e-commerce site is dead in the water if it doesn't perform well on mobile devices. This year, mobile devices have accounted for 70% of all internet traffic. Furthermore, mobile e-commerce revenue already accounts for over 50% of total US e-commerce revenues.

These figures are only going to rise as smartphone use continues to increase across the United States. Not to mention that Google openly admitted back in 2016 that it was beginning to rank the best performing mobile sites first. By 2020, those changes will affect all websites. Therefore, creating an e-commerce website that considers the needs of mobile users first (known as mobile-first design) will not only benefit your sales, but it will boost your search rankings too.

5. Gorgeous Product Photography

Pictures can really paint a thousand words. It's crucial to remember that your images and videos sell the product, not the text. The more photos, the better, as consumers want to see every possible angle. 

A video of your products in action is even better. 97% of video marketers reported that video increased user understanding of a product, and 76% said video helped them increase sales. So don't hold back on imagery when constructing your e-commerce website. Just remember to work with a team experienced in compressing these files to ensure that you retain those all-important fast loading speeds!

6. User Reviews

User-generated reviews are also a vital piece of the e-commerce jigsaw puzzle. First of all, reviews influence $400 billion of total e-commerce sales revenue. As if that wasn't convincing enough, 97% of consumers report that the customer reviews they read influence their purchasing decisions.

Therefore, user reviews are another one of the must-have design features of an e-commerce website. By adding these to your product listings, you can build social proof and really skyrocket those conversion rates.

7. Security and Trust Features

Trust is another critical aspect of successful e-commerce sites. You've got to earn customers' trust to make sales. That's why you need to have security features that give them peace of mind conspicuously displayed within your website's design. Of course, you should start by making sure you use secure hosting with an SSL certificate (the padlock symbol in the browser), ensuring that your site can be trusted to handle sensitive personal information.

Next, you have to build trust at the most crucial moment, the checkout. While some shoppers may see the padlock on their browser, others may need more encouragement. That's why it's a good idea to design your checkout pages in a way that prominently displays the security badges throughout the payments process, emphasizing that you should be trusted as an online retailer.

Secure All of the Must-Have Design Features of an E-commerce Website with Faith Designers

When trying to locate a top design web design agency in the Raleigh, NC area, you need to ensure that they include all of the must-have design features of an e-commerce website listed above as part of their service. Skip any of these, and you could find yourself struggling to make those vital online conversions.  

Here at Faith Web Designers, we've designed many e-commerce websites for our clients. We ensure that the focus is always placed on crucial web design elements and user-experience (UX) processes such as friction-less checkouts, easy-to-understand navigation, and high-converting product listings that both look great and load fast. 

So if you would like to have an initial conversation with me (Carlos) about designing a high-performance e-commerce website, don't hesitate to get in contact to discuss your project in more detail.

What to Expect from a Top Web Design Agency in the Raleigh, NC Area?

Whether you own a brick-and-mortar store or an online business, if you’re operating in the Raleigh region of North Carolina, you’re likely going to need a website to increase brand awareness, generate leads, and ultimately, increase sales.

But while you might be fully aware of your need to have an excellent website for your company, you may not be well-versed in what to expect from a top web design agency in the Raleigh, NC area.

This post will run down through a list of features you should expect from your web designer to make sure you’re making the correct decision when it comes to creating your new website.

Mobile First During the Design Process

In today’s online marketing world, everything has to be designed with the mobile device in mind. Mobile search overtook the desktop equivalent way back in 2015. Furthermore, from September 2020, websites that perform well on mobile devices will be permanently ranked ahead of those that don’t display correctly.

Thus you should be looking for a web design agency that puts mobile design first. It’s no longer ok to approach a website project with desktop in mind before trying to use responsiveness to reverse-engineer functionality to a mobile device. Instead, the design should be focused on the mobile experience first.

Responsiveness Across All Devices

Mobile-first design is not to say that you should do away with responsiveness. Instead, it changes the angle of attack from starting with a desktop and moving downwards in screen size, to starting with mobile and moving up.

By starting with a design focused at a mobile screen, a reputable Raleigh-based web design agency will use responsiveness to scale up the user experience to each subsequently larger screen, such as tablet and desktop.

Fast-Loading Websites

Speed is everything in today’s attention-starved world. If your website doesn’t load quickly, you’ll lose visitors, leads, and sales. Did you know that slow-loading websites cost online retailers at least $3.4 billion in sales each year? Thus, if you’ve got an e-commerce site, you can’t afford to make any mistakes when it comes to page-load speeds.

Even if your website is informational and your goal is to guide potential clients into contacting you about your business services, 74% of people will abandon a web page that takes longer than five seconds to load on a mobile device. Remember, mobile is now by far the most popular method for searching.

Thus, you need a web design agency in Raleigh that you can depend upon to secure lightning-fast page-load speed using smart coding and image compression techniques. Preferably you should choose one with website hosting plans since your host has a significant influence over how fast a website loads.

SEO-Optimized Websites

There’s no point in having an amazing and beautiful website if no one can find it in Google search results. Of course, the page-load speeds mentioned above is a significant factor in a website’s SEO performance. But there are many more influences on SEO performance that your Raleigh-based website design agency needs to consider.

For instance, intuitive navigation and user experience are “must-haves” for avoiding high bounce rates and high dwell times. SEO-optimized web design helps create a positive user experience and dramatically increases your chances of your business being found online.

Choose a Raleigh Web Design Agency That Takes a Client-Centric Approach

When trying to locate a top design web design agency in the Raleigh, NC area, all of the above factors are critical when comparing and contrasting providers. But it’s crucial not to forget that you, as a client, should come first.

Too often, web design agencies try to force clients into pre-made template designs that aren’t quite the perfect match for your requirements. Here at Faith Web Designers, we take the opposite approach.

Rather than starting with a website design template and tweaking it to your needs, we begin by getting to know your business. We take the necessary time to understand your specific needs and then use that information to build a beautiful, engaging, and high-performance website that meets all requirements provided by you, the client.

So if you would like to have an initial conversation with me (Carlos) about your business goals for your website, don’t hesitate to get in contact to discuss your vision.

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