Mariposa Web Design supports the local economy.

Great news! The economy is improving and business is looking up. Yes! It really is! Ok, ok it’s slow going, but the point is it’s been a steady climb.

The bad news is I can’t do this all by myself. Not without chaining myself to my laptop that is. So I’m expanding my business!

I’ve recently contracted a designer and a coder, both based right here in the greater NYC area. With their help, I’ll be better able to give my clients the personal service they deserve! Not to mention being able to offer them more services that I wasn’t able to offer before!

This is great news for me and for my clients.

The first to benefit was Access Careers in Hempstead. The Access Careers website was recently launched on February 14th.  A happy Valentine’s Day indeed!  Access Careers features a custom WordPress theme, a vertical accordion drop down menu, and a dynamic School Update section.  The site designed to promote their many study programs such as their CNA Courses, Computer Courses and much more!

Like what you see?  Call me to see what we can do for you!

5 Web Design Rules You Can’t Ignore

Web design is more than a pretty package in which to write your words.  There are many small details that can make or break your website.  Here are five simple rules that will boost your website’s performance and have visitors coming back for more.

1) Splash pages are a great way to get people to click “back.”

When a person arrives at your website, they want to see information.  They don’t want to see a pretty image where they have to click again just to enter the site.  Splash pages might look pretty, but they serve no real purpose other than to annoy your visitors.

2) Flashy banner ads are a thing of the past

Even those who don’t use the net much have learned to ignore banner ads.  Occasionally, a strategically placed banner will draw someone in, but too many are more likely to scare them away.  Don’t waste this valuable space.  Use it instead to offer your visitors a reason to stay longer or buy from you!  Don’t try to push them with loud flashy banners.

3) Navigation should be clear and simple

Don’t make it too hard for your visitors to find what they are looking for.  Reduce the number of clicks needed to get what they want.  Don’t make them hunt for something by hiding it four levels down inside your website.  People want information now!  They don’t want to have to hunt for it.

4) Label each page clearly

Visitors will want to know where they are as they’re browsing your website.  You don’t want to confuse them with disorganization and no labels.  A confused visitor is one who is more likely to quit reading and go somewhere else for their information.

5) Say NO to audio on your website

If you want your visitors to stay at your site for a long time, you don’t want to annoy them with looping audio.  You want them to be reading your content, not clicking the back button.  If you really want to use audio, make sure your visitors can control it – muting or volume controls should be sufficient.  You don’t want anyone to blame YOU for getting them in trouble for browsing the internet at work!

How does the healthcare bill affect you?

I am hoping for the best, though I admit I’m scared to death of being forced to buy health insurance. Sure, I would love to have good health insurance and I do shell out some of my hard earned dough for the smallest bit of coverage I could get. But I always knew that if times got tough (tougher than they already are) I could drop that policy and have a little extra breathing room in my budget.

From what I know of the new healthcare bill, that breathing room is about to vanish.

I’m a small business owner. So small that I can be thankful that I don’t have employees that I will have to cover. Instead, I only need worry about myself. But as a small business owner, I know how tight budgets can be. That’s why I offer my own services at very affordable prices. If you have a small business and have been considering getting a website, you may have been shocked to see how expensive hiring a designer can be.

My job is to make that a little less painful. I do simple, attractive websites that are built to attract new visitors to your business. I highly recommend building your site using WordPress. WordPress allows you the ability to continuously add content to your site. The more quality content you have, the more people will find your site.

More visitors means more business. And in this economy of falling income and rising expenses, more business is good. If you want to talk to me more about how I can build you a site in wordpress and how wordpress can help you, use my contact form to send me an email!

Web Design Guide for Small Businesses

So you want to put your business or organization on the internet. Maybe you want to give your customers more information about your company. Perhaps you have valuable information that will help others, or maybe you want to expand and sell your product online.

These are all great reasons to put your business on the web. In this article, I will help you understand the web design process so that your website can be a successful part of your business.

A common mistake business owners make when deciding to put their business on the web is to rush into calling a web designer without first having a plan. The following steps should always be taken first, before ever picking up the phone:

  1. Define your project.
  2. Find a designer who fits your needs and your budget.
  3. Think about your target audience.
  4. Decide how you will keep your information fresh.

Define Your Project.

Defining your project is probably the single most important step in the process of creating your website. By asking yourself these important questions, you are increasing the chances that your website will do exactly what you want it to do… maybe even more!

  • What is the main purpose of your website? Is there anything else you want to accomplish with your site?
  • Who is your primary target audience?
  • What elements are a MUST HAVE for your website?
  • What do you NOT want to see on your site?
  • What content will you want on your site and how many pages will you need to accomplish that?
  • What will you put on each page?
  • What kind of feeling or mood do you want your site to show?
  • What will make your site different than other similar sites?
  • What do you expect your site to accomplish within a year?
  • How much are you willing to spend on the initial site as well as ongoing maintenance?

Knowing the answers to these questions to the best of your ability will put you ahead of the game when it comes time to contact a web designer. Knowing exactly what you want out of your site will help your designer better meet your expectations and help your site accomplish its goals.

Find a Designer Who Fits Your Needs and Your Budget.

Does the designer fit your tastes? Take a look at his or her portfolio. Don’t take the designer’s word for it that he can do what you ask. Make sure he can show you samples. If you like what you see, move forward. If not…. move on.

What about your budget? How much are you willing to spend? Even a simple site will require an initial investment and could cost hundreds or even thousands.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for within your budget, you may need to adjust your budget. Or perhaps adjust your site to better fit within your means.

Take the time to shop around. Designers will vary greatly in talent as well as price. That doesn’t mean cheaper designers are less talented or that the more expensive designers aren’t worth the money. It’s important to find the best person for what you are willing to pay.

There are many factors that could affect the price of a website:

  • The price scale of the designer.
  • The number of pages you want on your site.
  • The coding required to complete the project.
  • The types of elements you desire.
  • The time it takes to write or edit your content.

You can keep your costs down by finding a designer who fits your budget. Have your content complete and in its final form before submitting it to the designer. Eliminate unnecessary content/pages. Keep revisions to a minimum.

Think About Your Target Audience

What YOU want to see on your site is not necessarily what your USERS will want to see. Try to think about your project from their point of view.

  • What you take for granted about your business may be completely unknown to your user. For example, certain industry terminology may be like a foreign language to your readers. Avoid suc terminology where possible.
  • What are your users looking for when they visit your website? Can they find it easily? If they can’t find what they are looking for quickly, they’re more likely to look somewhere else.
  • Do you expect your users to find your site by looking for your company name or by the services you offer? Keep your keywords in mind when writing your content.

Never forget that the most successful sites were written with the USER in mind.

Keep the Information Fresh

A good website is constantly changing and adding new content. It’s important to keep updating your content because people tend to return to sites that always have something new to offer. Search engines also prefer sites that continually grow (as long as the content is relevant.)

Don’t be tempted to add boring filler content that does not add value to your site.

Some ideas for adding content:

  • FAQ Page
  • Newsletters
  • Blogs
  • New Articles
  • New links to helpful resources

Mariposa Web Design is committed to your success. I am constantly researching web design practices and tactics to learn what will get you the best return for your investment.