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Website Design and Web Development Small Business Review

January 6, 2009 - Website Design In Review

This week's Web Design Review is of a company created in 1996 to provide job placement for individuals in the Phoenix area.

Website Design Review by LCR MultiMediaWhen I first visited my initial impression of the website design was that it was unfinished. The web design lacks life and uses poor choices in color and space. The best website designs are designed and laid out around a theme that will tie the companyís branding into their online presence. In addition to using styling cues from the companyís marketing materials and brand, the web design theme should also create a user friendly and purpose driven experience for the visitor. Unfortunately, we do not see this in's current web design.

In addition to the poor layout there is also a web programming issue that is generating an error code in Internet Explorer. A common mistake of novice web designers is the lack of developing for cross browser compatibility. We can see that is probably the case in AccuratePlacementís web design.

When developing a website design you must develop it considering your target audience but at the very least it should be compatible with the major Internet browser platforms. Though precise usage is unknown, it is believed that for any given website 50 to 80% of the users will be using some version of Microsoft Internet Explorer. The second most popular browser is Mozilla FireFox with anywhere from 20 to 45% of users visiting your site will be viewing it with this browser. This tells us that if your visitors are not using Internet Explorer they are probably using FireFox so if you are not optimizing your website design for these two browsers you could be alienating a significant percentage of potential customers and clients.

The major problem AccuratePlacement has between the two browsers is alignment. There is an iFrame that is scrollable in FireFox when it should not be. On the contact page the web programmer improperly used a comment tag that is not being handled by FireFox as it should which has resulted in positioning problems for the iFrames on the page.

Another problem I see is that the website design was not made with respect to the most common screen resolutions in use. When you view you will see a horizontal scroll bar at 1024x768 requiring visitors to scroll to the right to see all of the information on some of the web pages. As of 2008, 86% of Internet users have a screen resolution of 1024x768 or higher. Another 8% use a screen resolution of 800x600 and the remaining 6% could not be determined according to the W3Schools browser statics. If you are not going to use a Liquid (Flexible) web design, you should design your website so that it is best viewed at 1024x768. That said professional web designers can make your website optimized for any screen resolution.

Making your website difficult to use is a guaranteed way of giving away your potential clients and customers to your competition. In this age of computers and the Internet, your companyís online image is VITAL to the continued success of your business. Many of your potential clients and customers may never see a company representative. They may never see your office building, stationary, business cards or even phone book listing. In fact more and more potential customers (around 90 million per day for Google alone) are turning to online directories and search engines. For this reason, your website design should reflect the professional image you want your clients and customers to see.

How would we improve
In my opinion the only aspect of this web design that is worth saving is the logo and even the logo could use some adjustments namely aligning the square boxes which could then become a theme throughout the new website redesign. I would infuse some life into the web design giving it some color and web 2.0 style graphics and icons. For the contact page I would recommend a standard contact form with map images directly on the website so that clients can see directions without being directed to a third party. Letís take a look at the original design alongside some fresh new web designs.

AccuratePlacement Now:
What AccuratePlacement could be:
Website Design Before and After - LCR MultiMedia

Now letís consider Search Engine Optimization because part of any good web design is good search engine optimization (SEO). To fix the issues with AccuratePlacement, we would create a title using targeted keywords rather than just the domain name of the website. The web designer that created this website also forgot to implement the use of ALT tags as a way to increase keyword usage and to assist visually impaired visitors. We would remedy that by writing keyword dense picture descriptions. We would reduce the length of the description tag to SEO standards while writing good copy that draws potential clients to the website. We would also reduce the number of keywords as the number that is currently listed could be considered spam by search engines. We would also like to increase the website copy so that the keyword density is closer to optimal levels. As it is right now, the majority of keywords used in the meta tags are not used on the pages at all. Keep in mind that keyword tags are not necessary, but if you are going to use them, you must use them effectively. Overall I would recommend just as much attention to the SEO on this web site as the website design itself.

Since I started creating web designs in 1998, I have seen literally thousands of small business owners make the same mistake of trying to be all things for their business from the accountant to the web designer. If you decide to do this too, it will take your focus off what your companyís purpose is resulting in lost profits, missed opportunities and sluggish growth. One of the best attributes of a true leader is being able to delegate responsibility to people that can best do the job. By hiring a professional web design company, for example, you can be confident your products and services will be professionally showcased to the world resulting in faster growth and increased revenue. is a small website with only 12 basic html pages with several that are identical other than the embedded iFrame that is used for a third party job database application. Due to the simplicity of the site, a complete website redesign could be completed in about 3 days giving them the fresh professional look they deserve for a company that has been in business since 1996.

QuickStart Website Design:  $299 Template base / $599 Unique Custom Design
Contact Form w/Return & Email:    $100
Total Price for a professional website design: $399 Template / $699 Custom
*Basic SEO Included.
*Industry best Lifetime Guarantee on work.
*Monthly payments accepted. Inquire about details.

LCR MultiMedia, the web design & web development specialists, can help your business stand out over your competition by giving you the most professional image in your industry! Get Started Now with your FREE no obligation web development quote!

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