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~Katy’s Top 5 Local Web Design Companys~

Here are my NEW TOP 5 Web Design Companies for 2014!

My Top 5

 

#1. Purple Rock Scissors [http://purplerockscissors.com ]

#2. Chatter Buzz Media  [http://www.chatterbuzzmedia.com/]

#3. DesignZillas  [http://www.designzillas.com/]

#4. Get the Clicks Media    [http://www.gettheclicks.com/]

#5. Core Media Concepts [http://www.coremediaconcepts.com/]

 

I am in the process of researching these Awesome Web Design Companies. Here is a preview:

 

#1. Purple Rock Scissors {http://purplerockscissors.com}

A design firm located off South Orange Avenue in Downtown Orlando. They have a Very cool website! It’s changed since the last time I saw it 2 years ago & is very modern yet simple to use. Lots of moving parts, graphics & cool stuff to play with! They have at least 21 employees and had their pictures with a cute motion graphic at the bottom of their About page.

 

So, I wanted to do a follow up article & research Local Web Design companies in Orlando. I haven’t done this since Sept 2012. So, we’ll see if anything has changed over the past 2 years.

My previous Top 5 Were:

1. Caxiam Group~ this company is actually on our Advisory Committee. Eric Sharp is the Chief Creative Officer of the company email eric@caxiamgroup.com. Web Design company started in 2001. Located in Altamonte Springs, FL. They have lots of useful design education on their website. Their portfolio is very creative & professional. Check it out: http://www.caxiamgroup.com/

2. Designzilla~this company caught my eye with their dinosaur theme & cool logo. They are a design company out of Winter Park, FL & have a unique work culture. Their staff is young & they have fresh ideas. Their portfolio is eye catching & unique. http://www.designzillas.com

3. Embryo Design Inc~ started in 1997. They have a lot of experience in Web Design. The name caught my attention & I found it to be very unique. They are located in Clermont, FL. They have a very clean design. http://www.embryodesign.com/

4. Purple Rock Scissors~ this company seems more like a online Marketing company. Their website was very organized & easy to comprehend. They are located in Downtown Orlando off Pine Street. They have a 6 step design process. Their portfolio is very professional & they have worked with big companies. Check out their work. http://purplerockscissors.com

5. Toad Websites ~ a local web design company with a massive portfolio. The company is run by two former Winter Park Tech web design students! They focus on all different types of marketing especially what we learned in our class. Check out their work you will be pleasantly surprised. http://www.toadwebsites.com

Lets see if these companies are still around & if there has been any new up & coming Design Companies since Sept 2012. This should be fun! 🙂

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How to Make It to the Top

The difference between the first and second positions of a Search Engine Result Page do really mean a lot to businesses. According to a Compete and a recent study, 85% of all listings are organic and the remaining 15% appear as paid search listings. Another interesting finding, about 55% of all all Search Engine Results Pages or SERPs for short have ads on the page.

Another big change is that google released a list of 65 new items to it’s search engine algorithim which will have direct implications on how websites and their pages move up in SERPs. The following bullet points are the six most important updates.

  • The Role of Authority: this focuses on more high quality content from sources that search engines trust. You can increase the trust factor by giving and receiving links from trusted and autoritative sites. Also by creating a sitemap, lowering your bounce rate and not over optimizing your content.
  • Matters of Location: this focuses on where the user is located. It localizes search results for each user and ranks them. Registering with a search engine’s local business registry is key. Also getting links from local directories or developing location specific landing pages or adding geographic keywords to landing page content, using header one <h1> and subheader <h2> tags as well as metadata.
  • The Return of Keyword Density: inserting keywords into page titles, headlines, Alternative text like under photos, adding page urls, and adding footers full of valuable data.
  • Importance of Fresh Content: google seeks out the newest content for a webpage. Make sure you are continually adding fresh content to your site. If you are not able to do this, don’t be afraid to ask for guest contributors or even do press releases for the public.
  • Title Tags in Focus: In order for Google to generate preview snippets, it needs a title as well as descriptions in the metadata or a webpage.
  • Universtal Intent: Google can give better search results when it knows what the page is strong in, either images, local interest, or video clips. What is the pages intent, make it so easy a 3rd grader could understand!

Here are the 65 new Google additions to SEO: http://insidesearch.blogspot.com/2012/10/search-quality-highlights-65-changes.html

To read more about this article from Website Magazine just click here.

Another article on Paid Search Advertisting:

Finally…The Beginners Guide to SEO: http://www.seomoz.org/beginners-guide-to-seo

Happy Reading. Good luck on becoming the next SEO Mogul! 😉

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How to make more $$ in Web Design

This article from Web Design Dev~an online journal for Web Enthusiasts talks about how

to be most effective in creating Web Sites for Clients. Do you want to make more money

with your Web Design business? Then follow these 5 steps to be more effective.

http://www.webdesigndev.com/make-money-online/how-to-make-a-lot-more-money-online-doing-web-design

I hope these tips help you as much as they did for me.

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Was wondering how much to charge clients for designing their web sites & other marketing campaigns. Here is an article to consider:

http://justcreativedesign.com/2009/02/26/how-much-to-charge-for-design-work

Also found a forum discussion on the topic! Looks like 20-30 is the standard rate for design work.

http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?4238-How-much-to-charge-for-web-design…

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What is a wire-frame?

I heard this word yesterday mentioned in class. It sounded so cool & design-friendly, I just had to know what it meant. So I of course googled it & found its meaning. A wire-frame is where you plan out the details of a site before going into the visual design of it. You figure out a sites architecture, functionality and content. There are many methods you can use, but my favorite is paper wire-framing or “pwireframing”, isn’t that cute? Wish I would of thought of it.

Fisher Price wire-frame tool

if only it was this easy

This should be where a Web Designer spends at least 30% or more of his/her time before starting the project. A teacher must have a lesson plan before going into a classroom to teach, or should, so why shouldn’t we as designers have a plan before going into making a web page or pages? So first things first, get the goal of your web page. Next find out what topics are going to be covered on this site. Then think of what perspective you are going to take with the site. Finally, figure out who your target audience is going to be and tailor it to them. 

As I was searching for information on Wire Framing I came across three popular websites for designing websites. The first was Axure.com, the second was muiomuio.com and the last one was called Omni Graffle (only for macs). All these tools cost money and I was surprised I could not find a free tool to wire-frame. I guess I’ll have to come up with my own process.

I’d like to share a few sites I found fascination in my quest.

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/09/01/35-excellent-wireframing-resources/

http://www.axure.com

If anybody can think of a good way to wireframe for free please let me know, and if you know of any free tools, please drop me a line.