Web design Copenhagen

All my content on web design from my design blog.


Posts

worth-making-your-own-website

Is it worth making your own website?

Is it worth making your own website?

worth-making-your-own-website

The three variables are time, interest, and budget. Can you make a website, that is professional for your business needs? Perhaps. Do you have the time, and patience to learn through trial and error? What if that time turns out to be wasted. Can you afford to waste that time? Do you have the budget for a professional? It may be far cheaper in the long run, to bring in a professional, who will also come with advice for best practices, and you concentrate on your core skills for your business? Certainly something to consider.

Very much like plumbing, electrical work, car maintenance, and a fair few other skills, a professional is the correct and cheapest option for the reasons mentioned above.

There is another scenario. You might discover you love it. It maybe you want to throw away your business idea, and become a web designer. It is very rewarding, and if it suits you, fantastic. Welcome to the world of HTML, CSS, CMS, and FTP.

Here is an incredibly good link to get you started. www.w3schools.com/html/html_links.asp and here is how to get to the top of the stack www.w3schools.com/cssref/pr_pos_z-index.asp

_______________

Iain Cameron is a Copenhagen based web designer and graphic designer. My about page.

My web design page.

website cost

How much does a website cost?

website cost

How much does a website cost? A very important question for anyone starting a business, or looking to update a website. How much a website costs, is also subject to your requirements and needs. One website is not very much like another website. They can change very significantly, and going with the cheapest price available may well turn out to be the most expensive choice.

What do you need from a web designer?

Your needs are specific to you and your business. If you don’t know what you need, and many don’t (why would you, your field of expertise is somewhere else) you need someone who will explain the different options, and give their recommendations, and explain that in simple English after carefully listening to, and researching your needs.

Your website is your shop window to the world. That shop window needs to work for you.

A web design vocabulary guide

Some basic phrases to give you a better understanding of your own requirements.

Webhost. This is the name for where your website ‘lives’ on the internet. On a server, or big computer, at a large company. I use one.com (That is a referral link. I make a small amount of money if you use it)

Domain name or URL. The name, or address of your website. This needs to be purchased, and can typically be bought together with web hosting as a package from the aforementioned large company.

CMS. Content management system. There are many of these. This is the name for the ‘engine’ of your website. WordPress is a CMS. And the most used.

Themes and plugins. If WordPress is the engine, the theme is the body, and plugins are the extra features, in this car analogy. Subject to the scale of the web design job, these are tweaked and re-worked by web designers to create a unique solution.

SEO. Search engine optimisation. Being found on Google. Whereby your content is written and presented with a view to your website appearing as high as possible on Google for your preferred search terms.

Responsive. The word used to describe a modern website. In a world of smart phones and tablets, to make sure your website functions as well on a small screen as it does on a large one.

Wireframes. An early stage part of the web design process for testing out navigation and functionality. A prototype version of a site, pre branding.

Maintenance. The general care for a website. Maintain updates and ensure there are no conflicts. In my case this can also extend to all duties on the website. Adding and editing content, to allow my clients to get on with their areas of expertise.

So how much does a website cost?

If you want to know how much a website would cost from myself, without any obligation to use my services, get in touch. studio@iaincameron.dk. And here is my website portfolio.

 

one-dot-com-offices

Choosing a web host for small or large businesses

one-dot-com-offices
As a web designer the issue of web hosting is a regular concern. When I began ten years ago I started with a quite small Danish company call B-One. I chose them as, they advertised to me, they were cheap and I had nothing to measure them against, so I took a punt. A few years later they changed their name to One.com and now have their headquarters in Dubai, and have very large Danish offices at Kalvebod Brygge (See picture above) where WordPress Copenhagen held their conference a couple of years ago. I think it’s safe to say they have come along way in the last ten years.

As clients often have a different hosting company, I have come to learn how good a decision using One.com as a web host has been. The number of web hosts who insist that the Ftp client is FileZilla, and FileZilla only. My ftp preference is Dreamweaver from the Adobe Suite. I can use FileZilla, but for my work flow I want to use my preferred client. Then there is 24 hour chat support, with pretty much never more than a two minute wait on One.com. I have used a client’s very expensive WordPress specific hosting company where I have had to wait for San Francisco to wake up before I could get answers to a problem, and with a forty minute wait for an answer every time. And a whole number of other web hosting companies whereby the quality of support has been at best erratic, and often woeful.

I am no expert in hosting, or the issue of backend development, but from my experience if you are starting out with a website, or looking to move to a better one (or just to try another one) I strongly recommend One.com. A good quality, consistent service at a good price. Their support and website is available in Danish or English, and just having had a quick look at their site, quite a few other languages too.

Here is my affiliate link. You are of course under no obligation to use it, but if you click it I get a small amount of money, and you get a small amount of money reduction (the same amount) from your first purchase.

My One.com affiliate link

If this is all new to you, and you are just getting started, on clicking the link, put the name of the website you wish to purchase (domain name) into the search engine, keep trying until you find one available you like/can live with, then choose the cheapest option for hosting to get started. You can always upgrade later once your website is more popular. One.com will tell you when you have to upgrade it due to a large amount of traffic.

You may also like:

My web design portfolio page

 

Adding plugins in WordPress

character-bash-plug

Plug from The Beano, who is copyright D.C. Thomsen, and just holding this space until I get an illustration drawn…

Adding plugins

There are some great plugins that can improve your site. Here is how to add one to your WordPress site.

In the back end > plugins > add new, put the plugin you are looking for into the search box, install and activate it. Easy. Some work immediately on activation, some need certain aspects set up on their set up page. Somewhere in the backend left hand sidebar, will be the set up page for the plugin. Look under ‘Settings’ if you can’t see it.

A word of warning on plugins. They can cause problems on your site. Don’t bring in too many (I’d ay about 5 max, less is better). Check to see if a plugin is popular by downloads, or has lots of complaints in their forum before bringing it in.

Dealing with plugin issues

If something goes wrong with your site in WordPress it is almost always a plugin that is responsible. Not necessarily a bad plugin, it can be two plugins are conflicting with each other, or with your theme. If something goes wrong with your site, start by de-activating your plugins one by one, and checking if the problem is resolved. If that doesn’t solve it, deactivate them all together. If that doesn’t solve it, change your theme to one of the default WordPress themes you got with the install. Between those steps, almost all issues will be solves. You should be able to isolate, what will almost always be a problem plugin, and then delete it.

Update your plugin

Whenever the red symbol appears that a plugin needs updating, update it. This also goes for WordPress, keep it updated, and your theme.

Recommended WordPress plugin

I recommend you  should have WordPress SEO by Yoast. Adds a box below each article in the back end of your site for you to fill out for SEO. It teaches you how to SEO each article or page through choosing a key phrase for that page or article, then adding it to the Title, description and in the content. It effectively teaches you to write better SEO content.

I also recommend Disqus plugin for comments. At the bottom of this article you can see my comments section is with Disqus. It allows visitors to log in with social media, or Disqus itself, and can interact with other blogs. You occasionally meet it on large scale sites such as The Daily Telegraph.

You may also like:

My WordPress portfolio page.

Why your business website should have a blog

So what is a blog?

The word blog has different meanings for different people. All it now means, is a serious of articles featured on a page, in reverse chronological order, the latest article at the top.

Why is a blog important?

Firstly it is very good for search engine optimisation (Getting your site a higher placing on Google). Google and the other search engines, love new content. This shows to search engines your website is ‘active’ and therefore relevant. In addition each individual article, or post as WordPress refers to them, can be optimised for different key phrases your potential visitors may Google.

Secondly a blog is a great way to give more information on yourself or your company. A chance to further brand yourself, and allow those interested, a chance to know more about your services. The more people know, the more they will trust you, and trust in your services.

Thirdly, a blog is a great way to integrate your website with social media. By posting a link of one of your articles to your Facebook business page, you can draw in visitors to your site. Once in your site, where your brand rules, not Facebook’s, your visitors will take a closer look at your services.

What do I write about?

There are many possibilities, depending on your business. It can be an Events page, with what’s coming up, and telling of recent events. It can be a diary of how your business is going, it can give additional information on certain of your products, or you can use it to write as an expert in your field.

How do I get started?

That’s a common problem. The only way is to just write, and see how it develops. It will only take shape, and find it’s direction, after quite a few articles. So don’t be precious. You can always delete or edit articles later, and you are not going to get a bad grade from a nasty teacher. The more you write, the easier it becomes.

Choosing a web designer

A guide to choosing a web designer

Choosing a web designer

Choosing a web designer is very difficult for a business

As I’ve recently opened for business as a freelance web designer, I now have a far better idea of how difficult it is for a business in choosing a web designer for their business.

Firstly business owners are experts in their field, and probably a number of others. But very few have much knowledge as to the often very confusing technical world of web design. So I will use this post to explain a little about what we do.

CMS and other indiscriminate uses of capital letters

CMS stands for ‘content management system’. Back in the old days of the web, about six years ago – I know! – a business would contact a web designer and they would build a website with your content in, and then it was finished. If you wanted a change to your content, you’d contact the web designer and he or she would update it.

So CMSs were created to allow a business to change their own content. A CMS will have a log in, which allows you, the business owner, the ability to go into what is called the ‘back end’ of the website, and edit and add new content. The ‘back ends’ are now very user friendly, and with a little training this is relatively simple to do.

There are a number of different CMS systems. Drupla, Joomla, DotNetNuke, WordPress. You have no reason to know, or care, what this means. I use one called WordPress. It is the world’s most used, and the one largely regarded as being the most user friendly for the ‘back end’. It currently powers 18% of the web. The additional benefit to a web designer is, these systems come with a number of the website’s core functions already built in. Allowing the web designer to concentrate on the visual side of the website.

SEO, yet another abbreviation

SEO stands for ‘search engine optimisation’. This is the ability for the website to rank highly in search engines. To rank highly on Google when a potential visitor to your website Googles either the name of your business, or the services you provide.

Recently this area has become much more simple as Google has changed the way it rates sites to a much fairer system, whereby good quality content, and regular new content, are the best ways to aid your site’s google rating. There are other areas that are important. The title, description and keyword phrases being added to each page. Plus using the keyword phrases (the phrases you think potential customers will Google to find you) through your pages’ content.

It’s a tricky balance between making your content readable, and being search engine friendly

By way of example. Take this article, or ‘post’ as WordPress prefers to call it. The URL (The page’s address) https://iaincameron.dk/a-guide-to-choosing-a-web-designer/, the page title is ‘A guide to choosing a web designer‘, and dropped through the content is ‘choosing a web designer‘. Good phrases for anyone googling ‘choosing a web designer‘. ‘Choosing a web designer‘ is also in the page’s external title (the top of your browser). Why on earth do I keep repeating the phrase, ‘choosing a web designer‘!

The importance of a blog

A blog within a business website is something I recommend to all my clients. A blog is simply a collection of articles on one page in reverse chronological order. The latest article is always on the top. This is very good for your site’s Google rating (see above) and allows your potential customers to learn more about you and your business. A blog can be a diary, an events page, a place for your opinions on your business area, a way to extend your brand, a place to give more information on your product(s), a way to provide support for your customers, and gain feedback through comments. There are any number of other potential uses. You are currently reading an article on my blog!

How much should a website cost?

There are free websites out there, you can set up your own relatively simple. You can learn through www.lynda.com or WordPress.org or just Googling what you need to know. There are companies who will charge thousands, and others who will charge a little, every month, forever.

However if you come to me, I charge for the website, and we are done. A contract is agreed in advance, there are no extra charges. This will include 12 months support, where I will happily advise you, or help you with any issues. I will listen to your business needs, and your thoughts on how your website should be. I will ensure your website looks fantastic. I will ensure you rank highly on Google.

I am a one person business. I am not aiming to get the Coca-Cola account. I understand, and have my own small business. With a number of years experience working in Web Design Bureaus, the same expertise, without the overheads.

I see every piece of design I create as an extension of my business, and of myself. It is in my interests to ensure you are a satisfied customer, as you are my best source for my next customers, and through sheer personal pride/vanity!

You can read more on web design from my web design service page, in particular why a responsive website is now essential. My web design portfolio is at the foot of the page. Internal and external links are also excellent for SEO!

Portfolio Items