Top 10 Template Websites

As an agency, having worked and built some hugely successful brands- it’s important that I mention the ‘to-do’s’ and those not too. Now, it’s pretty much a headache for small businesses to create a website. Agreed. You have to first buy a domain name. Check. Then, you need to find a host; and it’s not certain that you know how to select either. So now you have finally landed your domain name and you own ‘captaincrunch.com’ what on earth do you do, who’s phone list are you tapping and what website designer or design intern do you seek to actually build you an awesome site that functions. Well, it gets a bit deeper but stay with me here as this might help. Get the basics right! Pick a decent hosting provider as you need this.  Second, make sure you have a good re-direct and in layman’s terms; “developer jargon”  your email address ‘info@captaincrunch.com’ needs to be assigned to either a Gmail or Hotmail account. So on the surface, you now have a domain name, a host and your emails set up (by your hired freelance developer we hope) Square space do offer high style, clean looking sites. But the moment you try to code, or simply replace an image (good luck with that) it turns into a mind field. If you’re a startup on a budget, I’d recommend downloading a free trial version and testing this first. I’ve been in image making for many years and although I’ve developed many WordPress sites,

If you’re a startup on a budget, I’d recommend downloading a free trial version and testing this first. I’ve been in image making for many years and although I’ve developed many WordPress sites, now I’m more focused on design and strategy elements. I’m a Photoshop Master- so technically I’d thought I would get my head around using Squarespace and its features, but I was wrong. The self-editor I feel needs work. Although I feel as though if I devoted a few weeks or really press hard, perhaps I could have got what I need to a very simple 5-page website. – Max, Image Specilaist, Yu Digital 

“Your website is about creating an identity online. There is no simple answers to such a big problem. Unreliable agencies and do it yourself platforms, simply do not work. Less than 3% of self builder websites actually are being published. Shocking statistics.”- Phil Choi, Director, Yu Digital.”

Coding Websites & Freelance Web Developers

Big mistake, absolute no, no. A website designer is someone who actually codes, or creates websites through builder blocks. So it’s either a Divy, Themify or WordPress website. That does not mean you will have a slick looking site. If you do, it may be ok on a desktop after much work, but consider the smartphone visibility. Think about it, do they have a degree or specialise in graphic design. Using fonts from Dafont and other shoddy downloadable fonts is a no go. (Google fonts- limited, but I hope you get our opinion here) WordPress actually power 30% of all websites online. We think they will achieve their goal and eventually reach 50% of all website online; which is massive! So yes, a WordPress Developer is needed. Back to the point; your web coder, or ‘tech’ person is most likely a very analytical type thinker. Peoples skills help, but make sure your actually sure who is doing what. So a tech person or a Website developer can not or it’s incredibly rare; to have the one person who does the entire project. If you are on a budget to get your website live, then perhaps this is the best route. In our opinion, using platforms like Yell / Hibu, Wix or self-builder type and outsourced sites are a bad, bad idea. That in our opinion also goes for Templates of ThemeForest. If you get lucky, you work with a theme that looks good- but you have zero control, limited by customer support and opening pandora’s box might just be a bad purchase. (which is a delayed project, trying to find another developer or coding junkie to fix and mask the problem) Ideally, you need a backend and front end developer and please take my advice, start from scratch.

Design Talks & Website Development

How a conversation sounds for a client and what’s needed to deliver and drive results for your website. Here is how creative crazy talk and function actually sound like a more so, consider that you need a developer (coder), perhaps a coder that understands and is proficient with scripting in case you want your website to have animation or any sliding / fine aesthetics transitions with rollovers etc. Then you need a photography or nice stock images that work well with the site. Not least, a good graphic designer who is able to not just mimic, but create nice typesetting that looks and exceeds what your competitors are doing!

“Ok’ captain crunch’  “So, we use this section on the homepage inspired from H&M, then we typeset this so it functions like this; then we need to create call to actions here and here. Because the grid system on the homage is awarded by Google like so.. Of course, you need to do x,y,z in your own time but ensure your headings and tags are like so. This will enable you to build your website organically as you have a low budget for Adwords and you industry and locality / city is ripe for the taking. We’re not promising you page 1 Google, we’d rather tell you to book a holiday. It’s not easy and its certainly not impossible. But it will take time and we’d rather with a customer for a 12 months or more so we can visibly see the results and respond as we grow. Good luck captain crunch, lets do this.”

Hire a Freelancer vs Website Designer vs Brand expert

The next step is to ensure that they use a good system; ideally, WordPress to power your site so it sustains for the future. Now your retail space (ie- your website) needs an Interior designer. Now there are some that are great and some that are quite frankly not so great. So each has a level. Picture visiting a hairdresser. You work with the Junior and your in the chair for three times the length and you walk out looking odd. Perhaps you choose the Art Director and you walk out moonwalking like a boss. But what hair salon did you go to?

Good designers are in high demand, their work speaks for itself. I’m talking about agencies that inspire us. Namely the top tier Design Agencies in London. Believe me, they have zero time to talk and buy in fees are expensive. What I’m trying to suggest is that a graphic designer who understands print, to a complex and industry level is sometimes not enough.

I’m talking about the high street, the fortune 100 and elite who produce real artwork. Real copy that translates the message clearly and leaves an impact. Create successful brand campaigns and really think about the complexities of brand and innovation. Designing for online and web is almost an entirely different skill set. You need a graphic designer or a senior graphic authority; to actually be able to correctly typeset and space for online. Your websites need to be smartphone optimised right? Exactly why you need to dig deeper for your next hire and try and keep it with someone or an agency that you trust who can work professionally and proficiently.

Since I graduated in 2005, I’ve built and designed and created 3 businesses from scratch. Yu Digital being my 4th business. I’ve been through all potential web design pitfalls, problems and errors. Attracted great clients and really the wrong type of clients also. Sometimes the only thing holding you back is the client budget as we have resources to work with the cream of the Creative industries. Contacts that I’ve built over 13 years.- Amit, Director, Yu Digital