August 9, 2011 | Comments Off
Those of you who have liked my Facebook page or follow my Twitter account, have probably already seen the mobile web design I did for Windsor Squash and Fitness. The reason it took me so long for me to write a blog post about it, is because I wanted to get a bit of data on how it was performing.
As you can see, it’s a very clean design, which matches the color and link scheme of the main website. You can view the full version of the site online by visiting http://mobile.windsorsquash.ca or going to windsorsquash.ca on your iPhone, Android, Blackberry or basically any mobile device.
I added a PHP code to the top of the main Windsor Squash site, which reads which type of browser the visitor is using. If it reads a mobile web browser of any sort, it redirects the user to the mobile version of the site. The web design itself was created using an HTML DIV based design as well as plenty of clean coded CSS.
So far, the site is proving to be very worthwhile for the great people at Windsor Squash and Fitness. Since the mobile version was launched, they’ve seen an increase in mobile traffic as well as a decrease in the bounce rate on the mobile version. For those of you unfamiliar with bounce rate, “it represents the percentage of initial visitors to a site who “bounce” away to a different site, rather than continue on to other pages within the same site.” Basically, it means more people are staying on the mobile version of the site now that it is optimized for mobile viewing.
I encourage all my clients to create a mobile version of their site. Many of the websites online are not optimized for mobile devices and this could easily mean loss of traffic and more importantly, loss of sales. Mobile users want quick and easy access to a website without having to “pinch”, “pull” or “zoom” in and out. If you’re interested in having a mobile version of your site designed, please get in touch.
Again, I’d like to thank Brian and everyone at Windsor Squash and Fitness for giving me the opportunity to work with them on their mobile web design. I look forward to continuing work with them on their online marketing in the future!
June 28, 2011 | Comments Off
Those of you who are a fan of my Facebook page or have visited my portfolio, know that I recently created a web design for the tropical fish shop Captain Cichlids here in Windsor. As is the case with most of my clients, Moe was looking for an affordable web design to help promote his small business online. He didn’t want anything too fancy, just something that he could update on a regular basis with his inventory of tropical fish.
Moe already had a logo designed for his business card, so I just created the website around those colors and fonts. I used a deep sea bluish-black gradient for the background, which worked very well with the brown burnt scroll color of his logo. As with all my web designs, I used a DIV based layout with minimal code and a CSS stylesheet. Since Moe wanted to keep costs down, I decided that rather than use PHP and a mySQL database on the backend, I would show him how to update the fish list himself. Moe is a fairly tech-savvy guy so, it didn’t take to long to teach him how to update the site.
In order to keep track of the traffic Captain Cichlids was getting to its website, I created a Google account and added Google Analytics to each page. I also submitted his business to the local search service Google offers called Google Places.
In our initial meeting, Moe seemed a bit skeptical about what a clean and useful web design could do for his small business. As we moved forward with the process, he seemed to become more reassured that this was the right decision. By the end of the process, he was updating his site on his own and generating traffic of roughly 15 new visit per day! It just goes to show that even if you’re hesitant to create a website, whether it be because of costs, updates or other, at the end of the day it definitely helps your business grow!
May 17, 2011 | Comments Off
About a month ago, I put the finishing touches on one of the web designs I really think turned out great! The all new Windsor Squash & Fitness website is up and fully functional. I designed and developed the entire site myself. I also handled the email marketing, social network development and search engine optimization for the site.
When I first approached Brian about a custom web design for his business, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I noticed his site hadn’t been updated in a few years and it looked like it could use a new design. He explained to me that he really wanted a modern looking site that had the ability to collect email addresses, offer free trials and be updated by him on a regular basis. Since he wanted an affordable web design, I told him we should setup a WordPress blog for the updates. I find WordPress to be one of the most user friendly content management systems out there and since you can install it for free on your website, it was a no brainer.
The result was a site that we were both very happy with. He loved the fact that he could easily update his site with a click of a few buttons as well as collect new leads with his free trial membership option at the top of the page. Here are a few kind words from Brian after project completion;
“We recently began working with Sebastian on a redesign of our website. In our initial visit, he listened and developed a true understanding of our business needs. He then worked quickly, made the entire process easy and he showed a great deal of passion, dedication and creativity.”
I’d like to thank Brian for the opportunity to work on the website design and I look forward to working with him on updates for the site in the near future!
In the last few years more and more of my web design clients have been asking me to add “that little logo in the address bar” on their websites. That “little logo” is called a favicon and is used more widely now than ever before on recent web browsers such as; Firefox, Internet Explorer and Google Chrome.
Favicon’s are actually very easy to add to a site, the difficult part is having to create your logo in such a small little 16px by 16px box. The best logos to use are obviously ones that are close to being square. As long as you are able to highlight the main part of your logo in a 64px by 64px square, you should be good to go. Most web designers are familiar with creating favicon’s for their clients, so if you’re unsure whether or not they’ll make you one just ask.
If you have to do it yourself, here are the quick and easy steps to getting it done;
1) Open Photoshop or whichever photo editing tool you use.
2) Take your logo (or a certain aspect of your logo) and put it into an image sized 64px by 64px.
3) Save that image as a .jpg in the highest resolution possible.
4) Go to a site like Favicon Generator and upload your saved image.
5) Save the image they create in the images folder in your websites directory.
6) Open all of the pages on your site and add the code to the header on each page.
<link rel="shortcut icon" href="images/favicon.ico">
7) Open your site in a web browser and you should be able to see the favicon you created!
If you’re having trouble selecting what to use as your favicon, here are a couple I’ve created for clients;
If you’re still stuck, feel free to contact me and I’ll gladly help you out with your add a favicon to your website.
March 22, 2011 | Comments Off
Last year in March I was contacted by the Montessori Early Years in LaSalle to design, develop and administrate their website. It was the first time they’d ever had a website designed and they weren’t sure exactly what they wanted or what’s more, what their customers wanted. I designed a simple site for them that listed their general info, admission fees and contact info. They were very happy with the result.
Early this year, I decided to have a meeting with them to discuss the renewal of their hosting as well as a few things I thought we should add to the site. After a few hours of conversation we decided to scrap the first design and go with something fresh and new. Something that was more playful and lighthearted. What I came up with can be see by clicking this link; Montessori Early Years or viewing the image below.
Suffice to say the new design went over very well at MEY. The principal couldn’t be happier with the result and said their parents loved the new photo album viewer (which I did with a simply Lightbox).
If you’re interested in having a website designed and/or developed by me, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I offer some of the best affordable custom web designs in the Windsor area.