How often do I need to update my Website?

“Cartwheel Communications web design and SEO services are second to none.” — Gus Rosemark CPA in San Antonio.

Web Design in San Antonio

The title is a question that we get from time-to-time and the answer is simple.  There are the 3 indicators of when you should update your website:  1.  When your website quits driving traffic to your business.  2. When people quit commenting on you website.  3. Every 1-2 years.

Cartwheel main logo

Just ask yourself:  Have I ever been to a website and, after years, it looks old and boring?  Getting tired of Facebook yet?  Still go to the Netscape or AOL homepage?

Well, your customers are bored with your website and as a web design company in San Antonio we know it because they tell us all the time.  We get people telling us that we need to contact local businesses and organizations because their website is old or the pictures on that website are from 5 years ago or it’s impossible to navigate or because they don’t have a map on the homepage or because they don’t have their phone number on the homepage or because it’s boring and not updated.

The message that an outdated website sends is that it appears that the owners don’t really care about their online presence, their image or their business in general.  We know you do care…it is the reason that you update your inventory, your marketing and advertising strategy, your merchandise and look of your physical storefront all the time. Having an old, out-of-date website is like hanging a vinyl  banner on your shop and not taking it down for 3, 4, 5 or even after 10 years.

We live in a time with a different generation of customers and the online expectations increase every day. They are web savvy and expect to be able to find your site on their phone and expect your business to have a Google Map on the homepage along with the phone number for easy access when someone gets lost  trying to find your location. Use your phone right now and see how easy it is to contact you.  If you have to search around your site then you are more than likely losing customers.  A fresh website is a sign of strength to this technology savvy generation and is as important as is having a WIFI hotspot.

There are ways you can update the content portion with very little effort.  First, demand that your website be built on a content management system (CMS) so that you control the text updates.  Then keep the content fresh.  Update it from time-to-time.  Pictures – add new ones at least once per year if not every month.  And please keep your social media up-to-date.

The design may be a little more complicated.  Recently, Apple announced “flat” images for their latest operating system.  The images will still feel the same, but will look different.  The result: the appearance of more space on the display.  Do the same, change up your logo a bit.  Add a little shadow or change the colors just a tad.  Look at the difference between the logo at the top and the one below.  Or, look at our latest website:  Web design in San Antonio

Cart big banner II

Having a website is not enough…the searcher needs to be able to find it…

Did you know there are over 34,000 Google searches per second?  Next week we will explore the best practices and the importance of optimizing for search results. SEO


5 Musts of an effective Web Design

Web design in San AntonioSan Antonio Web Design

I have written in the past about the 3 must ask website questions, but what are the 5 most important features of an effective web design? What must be considered before a website project begins and how do you implement those features into your website?

1. The Header: Here is an example of an effective header:

We designed this header for Hill Country Jellystone and as you can see it clearly “tells the story” about what you can expect at the campground. The header reflects family, fun, water, weather, the outdoors and, besides the park ranger (which was placed to show safety), everything in the picture as it is shown is exactly what you can expect from the campground. The well designed Header also shows the phone number and address for quick reference. For more examples of our Web Designs, click here: Web Design in San Antonio

2. The Navigation: This is probably the best example of the best use of navigation: You will notice that when you mouse over her navigation it asks a question. This gives the feel that the client wants. That said, just because the feel is right doesn’t make it perfect. It, also, has to work and by that, I mean navigate. If a person had difficulty finding what they are looking for or if it isn’t easy, they will simply leave the website.

Here is a good example of a navigation we incorporated into the Web design with the header included:

Texas Press Clipping

Notice how the Navigation just “fits” into place. I love this website. You can check out the Texas Press Clipping Bureau here: Texas Press Clipping

3. The Layout (Architecture): We get this from potential clients, “I have this wonderful website idea. I want to incorporate a social media website into a coupon site and then merge it with the local nightlife scene.” After a brief budget discussion, the form of the website starts to evolve into what web developers call “The Project”. This is when the developer is putting the website together in his/her head to come up with the scope of the project, the plan and the estimate of how much time it will take to complete the project.

A client of ours needed over 80 websites to be built (or a system in place) and needed to have the websites built as needed and preferably (down the road) by non-web developers. We scheduled a meeting and determined that what this entity needed was a system for organizing people into teams and allowing those teams to communicate. Out of that we developed: Volunteer, Communication, Organization, Training (VCOTS). The point is that initially one can never be sure how they would like the flow of the website to be incorporated, but usually after a discussion or two, it will become clear and then the process can begin.

I prefer a web design layout that is easy to read with clear information. Most websites today use the “dashboard” look. I like it because it works and if you want more information you and always read more on the next page. Of course…it’s always up to what is best for “The Project.”

4. The Photographs: Use photographs that convey what you want to say and use them instead of or as a way complement your message. Here are some images from a photo rotator from a website we built for an Accounting Firm: Armstrong, Vaughan & Associates: Notice how the two photographs really tell you something about the firm. Photographs placed as the Header above the Navigation Bar really tell a story.

5. The Content. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Make it easy for people to find your information. Make it easy for them to contact you. Make it easy!

Web Design company In San Antonio

Web Design In San Anotnio

In today’s business world one of the most important commodities you have is time and at Cartwheel Communications we recognize that and have put together an entire line of business solutions that allow you to focus on what you do best – running your company!

The days of having to contact multiple vendors for your website design, website based management tool, graphic design, credit card processing, merchant services, e-commerce, online marketing, SEO, and advertising are over.

With one phone call to your Cartwheel Communications Specialist you can take care of all those issues and more…freeing up your time to give your company the daily attention that it needs.

From start to finish we have you covered.

Our web design experts are the best in the business. Weather you want a custom built website, or one coded in Joomla!, or maybe your need is a basic website, or maybe a high powered e-commerce website, whatever your need is regarding web design our expert web designers can do it all.

Our Merchant Services experts offer the best service at rate possible period. This ensures you won’t be ripped off by complicated pricing structures and gimmicks. Our Credit Card Processing Experts know the industry and always act in a professional manner. Also, by combining our knowledge regarding Merchant Services and our Knowledge with Web based applications, design and e-commerce we are able to offer you the one stop no hassle shop you deserve.

Our Printing service is very affordable. Combine it with Credit Card Processing and a nicely designed website and this will give you the 1, 2, 3 knockout you are looking for. After all, we already have your artwork…let us offer you a discount on our printing services. We are home of the $99 business card special. 1,0000 business cards for $100! Give us a try!

Your local web design in San Antonio!

We are here… where you live! Isn’t it time to in-source?

Being a Web Design company in San Antonio gives us the advantage of being able to have the one-on-one time on location with our clients. This allows the opportunity to discuss all of your needs – from Graphic design to Web design and SEO we have you covered in San Antonio!

We do that…

From e-commerce in Schertz, to large scale websites in New Braunfels, to individual website design in San Antonio, to graphic design in Schertz, to credit card processing in San Antonio, to Merchant Services in Live Oak: we offer full service turn key solutions for your business. We make it easy so you can worry about your day-to-day operations while we help to get your message out to the public while you sit back and relax. Web Design is our business!