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We now accept Card Payments, offer Hosting for your website and have a new Client Portal for a perfect website!

When we design and build your site, we do it with care and experience. We take great pride and have always believed that our attention to detail, knowledge of the web and user experience, results in a site not many other companies can match… In the last year this has been reaffirmed on many occasions.

In the last 12 months we have redesigned and rebuilt several websites just months after they were launched by another web design company. Clients had hired them thinking they were getting a good deal, or the company they hired promised lots of services in one, but ended up being a ‘jack of all, master of none’ service.

What’s worse is that there are many businesses and individuals out here that have paid good money for their site and don’t realise how poor and underperforming it is. So, below I’ve listed four problems we find every day across the web for you to learn about and, more importantly, judge your own website by!


This is what’s wrong with your website (probably) –


Problem one:
It uses an off-the-shelf theme or page builder plugin/service

(hint: this will likely cause every other problem in this article)

This is our number one issue with a lot of “Web Design” companies out there and the websites they “build”. You can buy cheap WordPress hosting, pay for a $59 theme then spend just two hours clicking buttons and typing to produce a website – it’s true, there I said it. This is great for people who want to take full control and have no web experience, that’s why these things exist, for people with no website skills. Shockingly there are lots of “web & graphic designers” and “web design companies” out there that literally do just this. They haven’t spent more than a day simply clicking buttons and charge you hundreds or thousands of pounds for the privilege. Below is an excerpt from the marketing of a popular ‘drag and drop’ theme builder called DIVI –

Divi comes with over 20 pre-made layouts right out of the box. These beautiful layouts can be used to jump-start your new projects, allowing you to build new pages in just a matter of minutes. Load them up, swap out the content and you are good to go!

Sounds easy to use right? Right. Not something a reputable web design and development company should ever use. Would a top chef buy a ready meal and serve it up as their own? And would you pay for it if you knew?!

How do I know if my website was built bespoke for me, or some cheap $59 theme?

Easy. Go to WP Theme Detector, paste in your website address and see the results. If your results have a ‘Not Downloadable’ greyed out button on the right like ours does below, your site is likely bespoke. If it has a green ‘more detail’ button then give it a click, take a look at what that theme costs and how the default layout probably looks a lot like your website. Not sure what you are seeing? Get in touch and we can explain.

Wordpress Theme Detector

Why Eldo Web Design do it better

Our sites are built from the ground up, with clean code and knowledge of the web. This gives you a fully bespoke site that fits your content perfectly, is easy to edit based on your needs, fast, with great SEO. The design represents you and your brand and remains consistent. Because we build bespoke everything is easier, lighter and just works.

 


Problem Two:
Inconsistent (and poor) design across screen sizes and devices

This is a classic issue of any site that is not built bespoke or is built by a developer who does not understand user experience. Poor spacing around text, inconsistent elements and sections. Changing of uppercase/lowercase text, random fonts, inconsistent font sizes and colours changing across the site. Poor spacing around links making touch devices hard to use (which google will punish you for). Hard to see buttons, elements not lined up… I could list dozens of issues we see every day across the web that highlight the lack of care, testing and attention that goes into some websites.

Then there the issue of how it looks at EVERY screen size, from a 27″ 4K display to a small android phone can you be sure that the site always looks it best and gives a good experience?

How do I Know?

Just look. When we are assessing an existing site we haven’t built, we don’t look for good design, we look for bad design. Anything that looks ‘not right’. It may seem trivial but as a user browses your site, just a few annoyances and sloppy layouts may have a big impact on their perception of you as a company and your attention to detail. Resize your browser width too, by dragging the right hand edge in and out. See if layouts break and start to overlap or become squashed. Just because you have a nice big screen doesn’t mean your clients aren’t using smaller ones, or have their browser at half width of their screen etc.

Why Eldo Web Design do it better

Because we plan and build your site from scratch, everything is consistent. Sections/elements that are repeated use the same code and styles, everything has a familiar feel and you can’t go wrong when editing. Our bespoke admin section allows you to fill in your content and not have to worry about design and layout at all. Below is an example of the ‘Meet the Team’ section on a recently launched website for FlexiSail. The left side shows the easy to use boxes for information and drag and drop images, no styles or worry needed. Just hit update and our custom code does the rest to make it look like the right hand side of the image below.

Bespoke Web Design in Hampshire

 


Problem Three:
Page sizes are too big = Slow loading = Bad experience and poor rankings

Not everyone has fast internet. Yes, your site is loading in a reasonable time for you, but 56mb Sky broadband and 200mb Virgin broadband are far from the norm. The average UK speed is just 16mbps with a large proportion of users on basic 2mb broadband speeds. We recently rebuilt a site whose home page was a disastrous 9mb for a few images and some text. This would take nearly 5 secs to load for users in basic broadband areas, and even slower on a weak 3G phone signal.

How do I test my site?

Easy. Head to Pingdom Tools and pop in your web address and run the test. There is no ‘right and wrong’ as such but there are some red flags to look for. Some sites will naturally have more requests, sites with videos will be larger in size for example… but the load time needs to be low. If you are running at 3 secs more that’s not a good sign. If your page size is over 4mb and you don’t have any videos auto-loading, that’s not good sign. Lastly, if your site is making more than 100 requests, that’s probably not a good sign. If you’d like us to take a look at your sites scores and explain what it all means, not a problem. Get in touch.

Website Performance

Why Eldo Web Design do it better

We understand that how a website looks is just half the story. Because we build from the ground up we make sure there is no bloat in your site at all. No extra scripts and resources being loaded, no images and assets that are not optimised for the screen size being used. The performance of the site is what we are always most proud of because it proves we know how to actually build a website and not just make it look good.

 


Problem Four:
Poor SEO

SEO has changed a lot over the last few years and it will continue to change. As web designers and developers, we have one huge responsibility to make sure your websites design and build does not harm your SEO and actually helps it. If your site lacks the correct structure and fundamental SEO task are not completed, it will struggle to naturally rank in search engines.

SEO specialists will claim they can help your website rank, which is fine. However, they do not touch the actual build of your site. They can create PPC (pay per click) campaigns and advise of best keywords that should feature in your editable content but if you are doing that to a poorly structured site you are simply wasting your time and money.

How do I know if my websites build is good for SEO?

Easy. Head over to SEO Site Checkup and pop in your url to run the test. Getting a score of 100 is very unlikely due to the nature of the tests. If you are below 90 though, there are probably at least a few fundamental changes that can be made to improve that.

Website SEO

Why Eldo Web Design do it better

We make sure the sites we design and build get to a score of around 90 as a rule (92 seems to be standard). Getting higher than that normally means sacrificing other aspects of the site that are not worth sacrificing. This way we know that we as developers have done all we can to start your websites SEO journey off on the right foot. After that it’s all down to content and marketing…

 


Ok so my website isn’t as good I thought. Why did no one tell me?

Money, greed, incompetence, lack of standards… many reasons I’m sure. The killer point here is that you can find out for yourself how good your website or the websites of your prospective web design company are. There are tests above you can do for free, today or you can get in touch and we’ll happily make an assessment of your site, maybe we will learn something too!

Trusting your web design company is crucial, but you can’t trust them just because their sites look nice or they have lots of great testimonials. You need to performance test their worth too.

Scott Eldo

Written by Scott Eldo

Director, Web Designer and Full Stack Developer. I started Eldo Web Design as a freelancer from a desk in my house. Now a small team building from our shiny office, would I change anything? Yes, I wish the team had better taste in music!

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