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There are 4 Types of Websites. Which One Do You Need?

There are only four types of websites and you MUST know what kind you need, otherwise, you will end up wasting money on ineffective design and marketing.

The Four Types of Website

The Authority Website

Every website can be sorted into one of four types. By knowing what kind you want before making any design or marketing decisions, you can save yourself from a world of hurt and wasted money.

Do you know what kind of website you have or want to have? If you answered “No,” fear not. That’s where we come in! This article goes over each kind, looking at their defining factors and sales structure.

By figuring out what kind of website you need, you can effectively attract the audience you want. A well-defined marketing plan, coupled with strong design decisions, can lead to more money in your pocket.

The authority website.

The authority website serves as an online presence for your business. This is the place potential customers can go to see what work your company has done and how to get in contact with someone about your services.

Leads are generated offline. People visiting your site have already heard about your company and are looking for more information. Your website serves as an online placeholder, giving your business more legitimacy in the eyes of your customer.

An example of an authority website would be a construction company website. A construction company will be recommended to customers by other contractors and people in the field. The lead generation happens offline.

Sales happen offline as well. Construction companies use contracts to make their sales, which are done in-person versus online. The website aids the company in “getting over the hump” and convincing their leads to become money-generating customers.

See Related: Is Your Website Providing the Information Your Visitors Want?

The lead-generation website.

As its name suggests, this site is focused on generating leads through its online presence. SEO and targeted marketing strategies play a huge role in bringing in new customers. Sales, however, still occur offline.

These websites are found online by people who have “buyer’s intent.” This means the prospective customer is basically ready to spend their money. They just need to be convinced that your business is the perfect place to do this spending!

A divorce attorney located in Seattle would use their website as a lead-generation tool by incorporating SEO targeting those looking for such a service. Their customers are searching online, through search engines, like Google. Successful leads then move offline for the final sale.

Related reading: SEO Seattle

The sales website.

The Sales Website

This site is especially popular, as both leads and sales are all done completely online. These are the sites that sell products or services through e-commerce. If a site has a cart function, then it falls into the sales website category.

Easy enough to understand, right? Not quite. A company’s website can still fall into the sales category if that business utilizes online scheduling and payment, but provides the service in-person. The leads and sales are both still online, but the actual service itself is not.

The utility website.

The Utility Website

A utility website functions more like a tool than a standard website. These are the companies whose business and website are one and the same.

Airbnb and Facebook examples of utility websites. They don’t necessarily generate leads or sales online. They just exist in the online space and are accessible to anyone that chooses to use them.

Why is it important to know what kind of site I have?

First and foremost, marketing and advertising for each type of site should not be handled in the same way. Each site has different requirements that need to be met in order to excel in attracting new customers.

An authority website needs excellent photography and content that positions the company as an expert in whatever services they offer. A lead-generation site, however, needs tons of search engine optimization done in order to convert prospective customers into paying customers. As for sales websites, they need to ensure that their buying process is as streamlined as possible.

Bonus Reading: What is the #1 Goal of Your Website?

What kind of website do I have?

In order to figure out what kind of site you will need, ask yourself the following questions:

Final word.

If you can’t narrow it down to just one type, that’s okay! Websites can fall into more than one category. Just ensure you’re meeting the needs of each kind of site in order to achieve the greatest amount of success.

Thrive Design is a customer-centric web design agency from SeattleContact us today to find out how we can elevate your business online! Find us on Clutch, UpCityLinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.

Category: Web design seattle

The internet was not made for static websites. If you’re not adjusting your website (and tracking what works), you are just asking for your website to wither and die.

Data, data, data.

Website collect data

Your website is able to give you all kinds of information if you know where to look. This information can be used to tweak your website to better meet the needs of your website’s visitors.

Best ways to collect website data.

If you’re wondering where to start collecting website data, the place that most people go is Google Analytics. Google has designed its analytics platform to be one of the most robust analytics platforms available.

From your Google Analytics dashboard, you are able to see at a glance which of your pages have the most visitors, which pages have high bounce rates, which pages earn you the most money, and so much more. You are also able to track where your site visitors are coming from, which is especially helpful when you’re running any sort of marketing campaign.

Google Analytics is also designed to work especially well with Google Ads. (Remember step one?) The Google Analytics platform can give you even deeper insights into how users from your Google Ad campaign have interacted with your site.

As deep of a dive as Google Analytics can give you, sometimes you want something more visual, something that can give you an at-a-glance analysis of what people are clicking on when they visit your website.

We love HotJar for just that reason. We use HotJar to analyze our site on a regular basis. They give you access to three very useful tools for analyzing visitor behavior.

  1. Heat maps. Heat maps show you exactly which links are the most popular on any given page on your website. Similar to weather maps, popular, or “hot” links, are shown with a red cloud while unpopular, or “cold” links, are shown in blues and greens. HotJar’s heat maps can also show you how far down the page visitors are scrolling. If you’ve placed a valuable lead generation piece at the bottom of your site, it would be good to know if people aren’t making it that far.
  2. Recordings. While it may seem like something from the novel 1984, HotJar does allow you to view recordings of real-life visitor behavior. You can track an individual visitor as they browse your website, seeing what they click on and how they navigate around your website. As intrusive as it may seem, it can give you some very valuable insights into how visitors interact with your website.
  3. Conversion funnel analysis. If you have a conversion funnel on your website, wouldn’t it be helpful to know how many people make it to the end? And where most of them drop out? HotJar’s conversion funnel analysis can tell you just that.

Best way to test changes.

AB Testing

HotJar and Google Analytics are great ways to figure what’s working and what’s not on your website, but it’s pretty hard to test how well website changes are working if you can only see data after the fact.

When you want to test tweaks to copy, navigation, or other parts of your website, what you really want to do is conduct some A/B testing.

It sounds complicated, but it’s really not. What A/B testing does is allows you to present two different website versions: one to 50% of your visitors and one to the other 50%. SplitHero is our tool of choice for running A/B tests.

A/B testing doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be for something as simple as swapping out an image or trying a different header for the page. It could be moving up your signup form or lead generation offer to higher on your homepage.

A/B testing is the perfect way to try out some of the ideas you got from all the amazing insights you learned by tracking your website’s performance and visitor behavior.

Final word.

If you did it well, you used data about your market and target audience to build your website before you launched it. There is no good reason to stop using data to make the ongoing changes needed to keep your website fresh and relevant so you stay top of mind for your clients and potential customers. These tools, and our help, can take your website game to the next level.

Keep Reading: The Killer Offer: Step 6 of 9 for Dominating Online

Thrive Design is a customer-centric web design and development company from SeattleContact us today to find out how we can elevate your business online! Find us on Clutch, UpCityLinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.

Category: Web design seattle

Your website design is only as good as the leads it brings in. If it isn’t offering valuable content in exchange for a potential lead’s email, you’re leaving money on the table.

That’s the subject of my sixth step for online domination: finding your killer offer.

See Related: How Do You Announce a New Website Launch?

What’s my killer offer (aka the irresistible freebie)?

What lead magnet to use?

Your killer offer is a valuable piece of content you create that will entice potential leads to enter their email addresses in return for being able to access that content.

For example, I design and build amazing websites that get results for businesses. So my killer offer is a downloadable PDF that outlines the five things you need to know before embarking on a new website project or hiring a website designer.

(In fact, if you’re curious about what five things you need to know before starting a website project, check out the sign-up form in the sidebar of this page.  👉)

Your killer offer could be anything from a YouTube video to a short e-book to a case study or a checklist. Whatever it is, it should either be something that cannot be found by browsing your website or should contain expanded content from your website.

Basically, it should be something special that they can only get by giving you their email address.

Bonus: How to Add a New Website to Google Analytics

But for real. WHAT is my killer offer?

Lead magnet ideas

Deciding what to offer as your killer offer can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. There’s probably even content waiting to be repurposed into your killer offer on your website already.

Have you done a series of blogs on the same topic? Package them together in a short e-book.

Are you a fan of the listicle format and have a bunch of those? Pare them down and turn them into checklists with actions people can take to reach a goal.

Do you have a go-to list of resources in your industry? Create an email or document that explains why you love them and links out to them and publish it as a “Definitive Guide to My Industry.”

Take what it is that your clients come to you for and give a taste of it to your leads for free. THAT’S the best way to find your killer offer.

The key to creating a killer offer that converts is to avoid making it a hard sales piece. The best killer offers are those that position you as an expert in your field, that show your potential clients that you know what you’re talking about.

(If you still need help brainstorming ideas for the format of your killer offer, HubSpot offers some great ideas in this piece on lead generation ideas.)

Great! What should I do next?

Lead magnet creation steps

Now that you’ve created your killer offer, it’s time to create the follow-up on your killer offer. There’s no use in generating great new leads who are clearly interested in what you have to offer if you don’t have a plan to cultivate them.

In my case, signing up to receive my short e-book on creating a winning website triggers an email sequence that sends five emails over the course of two weeks. These emails further position Thrive as the right company to work with on their website project.

We’re not trying to sell them. We’re trying to educate them more about us so that, when the time is right, we’re the ones they think of when they’re looking for a web design firm.

That should be your goal too. You’re not selling in these follow-ups. You’re educating.

Here are some questions that your killer offer follow-up could answer:

Final word.

A killer offer doesn’t have to be elaborate. It doesn’t have to be 100% unique. It doesn’t even have to be that long.

What a killer offer needs to be is relevant, valuable, and useful for your potential clients. It needs to demonstrate your expertise in a way that will stick with them. And, most of all, it needs to be prominently displayed on your website.

Don’t keep leaving money on the table with a website without a killer offer. Now is the time to start cultivating those website visitors that want to get in touch but aren’t looking for the hard sell. They need your killer offer.

The Irresistible Offer is only one of the elements we've identified as necessary for dominating online. To read more about how to create killer websites, check out our Blueprint for Online Excellence.

Keep Reading: How Long Does it Take for a Website to Show Up on Google?

Thrive Design is a customer-centric web design and marketing agency from Seattle. Contact us today to find out how we can elevate your business online! Find us on Clutch, UpCityLinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.

Category: Web design seattle

Your website is a crucial tool for your business. You want to build the best-looking, easiest to navigate website possible in order to attract users and keep them engaged. WordPress websites are our favorite tool to build websites because it’s so easy to customize and update. 

Our clients who have never gone through a redesign process often have lots of questions about this process. The one we hear the most often is “How long will this take?”

So how long will my WordPress website build take?

The answer to this question really depends on you and what kind of website you want. The process can be as quick as a few days or as long as a few months. It depends on how much content you want to launch with, what kind of design you are going for, and any other extras that you plan to include in your site. 

Let’s go over the basic steps for building your WordPress site.

Pre-planning:

This stage generally takes a few weeks and many clients come to us with a good headstart on this part. You’ll want to do some research on websites that are in similar industries to yours. Brainstorm what you want to accomplish with your website and what kind and how much content you’d like to have on the website. (We like to work together with our clients on this but, if you want to hire a designer, it is also a good idea to do some of this thinking on your own.)

Sign up:

This is a quick and easy process but absolutely necessary if you want to attempt to build your site yourself. Simply go to WordPress.org, enter your information, create an account and boom, you are signed up.

Choose a URL and purchase the domain:

This is another step that should be relatively quick. Chances are, during the research process you will choose a URL for your website. Now it’s time to tie that name and the website itself to a domain. Keep in mind you don’t want your website name to be too long, hard to spell, or too similar to something else. You want to choose something your customers will remember and will be easy to find.

See Related: The 6 Best CSS Frameworks for 2020

Choose a theme:

WordPress allows you to choose from thousands of themes. We recommend choosing one that is easy to navigate and mirrors the aesthetic of your brand. It’s also important to choose a theme that is mobile-friendly and one that has great reviews from previous customers. If you choose to work with Thrive, we will build you a custom website that doesn’t look like any others. This is much harder to achieve with an out-of-the-box theme. 

Create your pages:

Develop the essential pages that you plan to launch the website with. At the very least, you’ll need an about section, a contact page, and a few pages of compelling content to keep users engaged. This step will likely take the most time because you want to create quality content and pages.

Customize your website:

Now it’s time to create your homepage, add a navigation menu, add compelling text, and add the ability for users to leave comments. Comments are a great way to engage with users and monitor customer sentiment but they are not appropriate for every kind of website. So, it’s up to you whether to turn comments on or off.

Install plug-ins:

This is another step that will be pretty time-consuming. There are a lot of plug-ins available via WordPress, so choose wisely. Plug-ins range from adding an FAQ section, visitor trackers, contact forms, pop-up blockers, and anti-spam features. At Thrive, we can take care of all of this for you based on our initial conversation about your dream website. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the choices. That makes it doubly important to stick to your initial plan.

Bonus: How to Add a New Website to Google Analytics

There are also plug-ins available that will help you monetize your website. They can help you create an e-shop, add in a membership feature, among other features that will help you make money through your website.

Test the website:

Now that the majority of the legwork is done, it’s time to test the website out. First, test the website from a user’s perspective. Then have a second and third set of eyes check the website out.

Make adjustments:

After testing the website out, make the appropriate changes. Fix typos, pages that don’t load, pages that load slowly, and broken links.

Keep tweaking:

Once your website is up and running, your work is not done. You will need to constantly tweak and update your site to keep it secure and running smoothly. Our Thrive care plans take care of all of this for you, so you just have to keep your content updated to keep your users happy.

Final word.

A WordPress website may take a while to set up, but the benefits are worth the work. WordPress allows you to create and scale a website that meets your needs and the needs of your visitors. There’s a reason most of the websites on the internet are built with WordPress. If you need a partner in creating your new WordPress site, give us a call. We’re your Seattle-area WordPress experts.

Keep Reading: How to Add a New Website to Google Analytics

Thrive Design is a customer-centric web design and development company from Seattle. Contact us today to find out how we can elevate your business online! Find us on Clutch, UpCityLinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.

Category: Web design seattle

As helpful as Google Analytics is, it can be one of the least user-friendly tools in your arsenal. It’s even tricky for some experts to figure out all the ins and outs at first. 

Thrive's web design agency has your back. Our step-to-step guide to adding a new website to your Google Analytics will help you ensure that all of your web properties are in one easy-to-access dashboard.

Step-by-step how-to...with pictures.

person walking up stairs ready to add their google analytics

We love a good step-by-step how-to especially if there are pictures involved. 

Step 1: Log in to your Google Analytics account.

This step is pretty straightforward. Hopefully, you can even skip this step if you visit frequently enough to have your login information stored and ready to go. 

homepage screenshot of google analytics

Step 2: Navigate to the Admin menu.

In the newest version of the Google Analytics dashboard, the Admin button is somewhat hard to find. It’s slightly buried at the bottom of the left-hand side of your dashboard.

screenshot showing the admin button on google analytics

 

Step 3: Add a new account or select the account you want to use.

If you need to create a new account, there are a few steps you’ll need to go through to make sure it’s all set up. You’ll need to make some choices about what you want to measure and what data you want to share with Google. 

admin panel of google analytics

Step 4: Create a new property.

Again, you’ll need to choose what you want to measure: your website, an app, or both. Once you make those choices and add in your web address, you’ll get your analytics tracking code, along with all you’ll need to add the analytics into your website’s code.

screen showing new property settings on google analytics

See Related: How Long Does it Take for a Website to Show Up on Google

Why add a page or property to Google Analytics?

Data is king. And Google Analytics is the king of data.

When you need information about how websites are performing, Google Analytics is where you should turn for the most accurate, most up-to-date, most robust (and FREE) trove of data. By keeping your GA account updated with all of your webpages, you ensure that you are getting all of the best information you need to keep your website performing at its best.

With Google Analytics you can:

 

 

 

Bonus: The 6 Best CSS Frameworks for 2020

 

 

Final Word.

Don’t let the sometimes confusing interface deter you from taking full advantage of all that Google Analytics has to offer. Drop a note in the comments and let us know if you have any more questions or want other Google Analytics step-by-steps. 

Keep Reading: How Do You Announce a New Website Launch?

Thrive Design is a customer-centric web design and development company from Seattle. Contact us today to find out how we can elevate your business online! Find us on Clutch, UpCityLinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.

Category: Web design seattle

Every website is different. An e-commerce site is not a landing page is not an authority building page. 

But. (And this is a big but.)

There are certain essentials that all websites need to have in order to be successful and achieve your business goals. 

The website essentials you should be focusing on.

As you peruse this list, you may notice that none of the items listed could be considered “groundbreaking.’” But that’s the thing about essentials. 

They aren’t trendy. They never go out of style. And they’re sometimes easy to overlook in favor of the new, hot trend. We’ve noticed, however, that the websites that have a solid base of essentials perform way better than their trendier counterparts.

So how many of these essentials does your website boast?

Speed.

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that I have a thing for speed. My favorite statistic about websites is that if it doesn’t load in 3 seconds or less, your visitor is moving on to your competitor. Speed is essential for your first impression and it can say a lot about your business. Visitors tend to view slow websites as unprofessional, annoying, and not as secure as quicker sites. 

So take the time to compress your images, evaluate your plugin use, and ensure there’s no loose code anywhere that’s slowing down loading speeds. (You can also check out our article on why your WordPress site may be running slow for more tips and tricks.)

 

Security.

More than 33,000 websites are hacked every day. Not all of these websites are big-name companies with loads of data for hackers to steal. Most of them are small- to medium-sized businesses like yours. There are bots that work day and night to search out and infiltrate vulnerable sites. 

They target these sites in order to steal customer information, send out spam, or use your website to distribute malware to your visitors’ computers. Just because you’re small, doesn’t mean you’re not a target. We’ve got lots of things you can do today to ensure that your site doesn’t become the next target. 

Sleek design.

75% of visitors to your website are making their initial judgment of your business based on the look of your website alone. Fortunately for you, website design is not the same as fashion design. While people can disagree about aesthetics all they like, there is a surprising about of consensus about the fundamentals of good design. Easy navigation. Easy to find contact information. Good usability. (Professional photography and content don’t hurt either.)

 

Stellar content.

People like to be entertained as they are informed these days, even when they’re shopping for goods or services. Your website content should give them just that. It should be easy to read and understand, well-organized, and, ideally, keyword-optimized so Google knows it’s there (see Essential #7 for more on this). If you have a knack for copywriting, that’s great! If you don’t, you may want to consider investing in a professional copywriter to revamp or rewrite your site. 

Social media tie-ins.

This one is tricky. A few years back, having your social media feeds directly on your website was all the rage. Please don’t think we’re advocating for this. Those feeds slow down your website significantly and make your design look clunky and outdated. However, you should have links to all of your social media properties on every page of your website, especially if you update them frequently, and vice versa. 

 

Strong domain name.

In the early days of the internet, finding a great domain name was easy. Pets.com. Care.com. Think.com. You were able to easily choose a domain that encapsulated your brand and product offering. It’s a little trickier these days with literally billions of websites, and more created each day. 

However, it’s important that your customers are able to easily remember, and easily access, your website. That means no including numbers for letters or any other clever spelling tricks that get you the name you want but sacrifices your customers’ ability to get there. You may have to think outside the box. 

Take our domain, for instance. There is, obviously, already a Thrive.com and we didn’t want to limit ourselves geographically by putting our city in the domain. So we went outside the .com genre and claimed thrive.design. Clear, clever, and impactful. The perfect domain name.

Search engine optimized.

None of the changes you’ve made to speed, design, copy, or security will matter one bit if your customers and potential customers can’t find you. That’s where Google comes in. (Because, let’s be honest, who uses Bing?) If you’re not showing up on the first page of Google search results for key words or phrases that impact your business, customers are not finding your website. 

Good SEO is more than stuffing your website full of keywords and hoping that it ranks higher. (Google actually docks you points for that SEO tactic these days.) Regularly updated, relevant content is actually the best way to improve your SEO rankings. You also need to ensure that your metadata and tags also include the keywords you are trying to rank for, a much-preferred method to keyword stuffing.

Also, don’t forget about Local SEO.

Related reading: SEO Seattle

 

Clear calls-to-action.

(Ok so we ran out of Ss here. It was a good run though.) Your website’s visitors need to know what you want them to do. Do you want them to sign up for an email? Do you want them to schedule a consultation? Do you want them to find the perfect product for their needs? 

A website that doesn’t lead its visitors to action is a website that isn’t performing as well as it could be. Using clear calls to action and a defined sales funnel is a great way to convert more visitors to customers. 

Responsive design.

Your customers aren’t just browsing your website on their laptops or desktops. They’re browsing your website on their phones and tablets too. Your website should be just as beautiful, just as easy to navigate, and just as fast no matter what device your customers are using. This is called responsive design.

Customers looking to buy locally are going to be turned off immediately by a poor browsing experience on their phone. Clunky navigation and slow speeds are a fast way to lose mobile customers. A quick way to check if your website is responsive is to log on from your own tablet or mobile device. If you’re unhappy with the browsing experience, your customers are too. 

 

Branding.

Your website is an extension of your brand, and that should be reflected throughout the site. Your logo should be prominent. Your brand colors should be used strategically. The tone, look, and feel of your website should match the tone, look, and feel of your other marketing elements. Your customers should be familiar with your brand. If they don’t get the same brand experience, they won’t trust that your website is...your website. If you don’t have a brand yet, you can check out our branding, website, and marketing primer.

Final word.

The great thing about essentials is that they don’t go out of style. If you focus on dialing in these ten things, you are guaranteeing your website visitors a great website experience for years to come.

Thrive Design is a customer-centric web design agency from SeattleContact us today to find out how we can elevate your business online! Find us on Clutch, UpCityLinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.

Category: Web design seattle

Moving your website to a new host is like moving your family into a new house. Make sure you understand your options before you start your move to make the process as stress-free and efficient as possible (or leave it to the experts at Thrive Design).

The moving process.

website migration

Decide on Your Movers.

Sometimes you might have to move because the house isn’t big enough for your family anymore, or maybe there are too many problems that you can’t fix yourself. You might be encountering similar issues with your website. Perhaps your host doesn’t have enough server resources for your growing business, or it doesn’t offer the features that you need from your hosting provider.

Whatever the reason for your move might be, you know it’s time to choose a new home. Moving your website to a new host is similar to moving to a new home. When you decide you’re going to move, you get to choose if you want to pay movers or if you want to do it yourself.

See Related: How Much Does A Website Redesign Cost?

Knowing which choice is right for you will help you decide what company you want your new host to be, because some hosting providers will migrate your website for you, but others won’t. Some hosting providers will also offer after-move support. When you choose your new hosting provider, make sure to find out if they will help you move your files, uploads, themes, plugins, database, and more to your new server.

Decide if you want to DIY with WordPress.

Winning Website

Choosing a hosting provider who will move everything for you is like paying movers to pack and transport everything to your new house. On the other hand, if you decide you want to move yourself/your website to a new host on your own, there’s a fairly simple way to do it if you’re using WordPress.

This method is the digital equivalent to renting a U-Haul and packing it yourself. The solution? Use a plugin like All-in-One WP Migration.

Install the plugin on your existing site and wait for it to export all your files (including your database) to a portable package. Congrats! You’ve packed your U-Haul yourself. Now it’s time to unload at the new place.

On your new server, install a clean, new version of WordPress. Then, add the All-in-One WP Migration plugin to that installation. Find the plugin’s configuration page and click “Import Site.”

You’re almost finished unloading your (digital) furniture! All you have to do now to finish the move to your new host is drag the site package that you previously exported into the plugin. This will restore your old site over the new installation.

Decide if you want to DIY on your own.

migrate website host

If you’ve followed the previous process, then all the furniture has been loaded into your new home! But let’s say that you don’t want to rent a big U-Haul. What if you want to move over (your files) in a vehicle by yourself?

This takes a little more work on your part, but it’s possible. You can transfer the WordPress engine and all the other files that make up your website via a File Transfer Protocol application (FTP) like FileZilla. Your old and new hosting providers will give you instructions for accessing your site via a FTP.

It can be difficult to find everything you need during a move. If you can’t find the information for how to access your site via FTP or how to configure an FTP program, first look in your host’s tech support documentation and welcome letters. If you still can’t find it, open an online chat, or call your provider.

Bonus: How Is JavaScript Used In Web Design?

After you’ve got it set up, download your entire site from your old host (this means everything that’s in the directory or that contains the wp-admin folder), including all files and subfolders, to your computer. This might take a long time, but you always need to be patient during a move! Once the download is finished, disconnect from your old server, connect to your new server, upload your files, and be patient during the upload.

Unfortunately, you can’t migrate your database (all the actual content of your blog or website) through FTP. The best way to do this is to follow directions from the official WordPress Codex to export your database from MySQL. Then, download it to your computer, follow the document directions to update the paths between the servers, and update the WordPress configuration and variables for the new server’s environment.

Let everyone know you’ve moved.

host migration move

So you’ve finished moving the last stick of furniture into your new house, meaning that your new host is now completely running your website. You need to update your domain name servers to point to the new host’s servers, which is like giving your friends and family your new house address.

Go to your domain name registrar and update your domain’s nameservers using the information given to you in the welcome letter email you received when you signed up for a new hosting account. If you didn’t receive the new nameservers you should use, either use the online chat or call your hosting provider’s tech support department to figure out what your new nameservers are.

This process of updating the nameservers is different for every registrar, so you need to make sure you’re following the specific process outlined by yours. Within 12 to 72 hours, all requests for your domain name will begin forwarding to your new hosting provider.

Since it can take up to three days for the migration to be complete, make sure that your old servers are running for the first three days that your website is on the new servers. That way, all the visitors to your website can actually see it, even if they’ve been directed to the site on your old servers!

Final word.

Moving is stressful and usually, we only choose to do it when it’s absolutely necessary. Now that you’ve done the hard work, let yourself relax and enjoy it – you made the right decision, followed through, and you’re going to enjoy the results!

Keep Reading: How To Keep Your Website Safe

Thrive Design is a customer-centric web design agency from Seattle. Contact us today to find out how we can elevate your business online! Find us on Clutch, UpCityLinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.

Category: Web design seattle

When you look at your website, do you feel that it’s flat or outdated? Are you thinking it could benefit from a redesign?

There are many factors that go into redesigning a website, so it’s important to think about your needs and vision before you make any decisions. A web designer at Thrive can help you through the decision-making process.

Factors that will affect the cost of redesigning your website.

 Redesigning On Your Own

One important question that you need to ask yourself before starting down the redesign path is: just how much redesign does my site need? If the answer is “a lot,” it might be simpler and more cost-effective to start over from square one. If the answer is “some,” then stick with the redesign route.

If you’ve decided you’re going to invest in a redesign, you need to choose whether you are going to do the work on your own, hire a freelancer, or hire a web design agency.

Redesigning on your own.

If you decide to do the work on your own, you are investing more of your time but less of your money. You need to ask yourself if you have an existing skill set that would enable you to redesign your site independently. If you don’t already have that skill set, you need to think seriously about if you want to invest the time and energy into learning about the tools and the skills you’ll need for the redesign.

On average, redesigning a website on your own can cost between $0 and $300.

Redesigning with a freelancer.

Redesigning with a Freelancer

If you decide that you’d rather invest in a freelancer, then you free up more of your time at a cost. There are some drawbacks to working with freelancers: you can’t be certain that they are reliable, they might not specialize in your industry, and redesigning an entire website might be too much work for one freelancer to accomplish in a timely manner.

On the other hand, freelancers are a fantastic option for several reasons: they offer a wide range of prices, might have industry knowledge, and are typically very communicative. Many prioritize meeting your needs and realizing your vision.

When you hire a freelancer to redesign your website, you could be investing anywhere from $500 to $5,000. This depends on the freelancer’s hourly rate (or if they charge a rate for each webpage) and how much work your website needs.

Redesigning with a web design agency.

redesigning with a web design agency

The third option is to work with a web design agency. Web design agencies offer many of the same benefits as freelancers. They are experts who can advise you on a number of different choices you’ll need to make.

When you hire a web design agency, you can be certain that multiple professionals are working on your website. They can analyze your competition, take over the programming, content, and optimization.

Web design agencies can point you in the right direction when it comes to choosing the best website hosting option. Then, they can monitor the service you receive from your hosting provider and offer suggestions.

Working with a web design agency can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $100,000.

Interactive multimedia.

Both freelancers and web design agencies will prioritize redesigning your website so that it fulfills the expectations of your target audience. This ranges from information about the details and display of your products to interactive media, which can be anything from a game to a visual to a choose-your-story scenario.

Creating interactive multimedia is a time- and resource-intensive process, but it might be worthwhile to invest in if it generates more leads for your business. If your website needs interactive media development work, you might choose to hire a web design agency over a freelancer, since freelancers often charge by the hour.


See Related: Best Web Design Interview Questions 2020


What kind of website you need.

To recap: redesigning a site on your own can cost anywhere from $0-300. Working with a freelancer can cost anywhere from $500-$5,000. Hiring a web design agency will run you in the range of $3,000 to $100,000.

It’s good to also know how much upfront web design costs are for different types of websites. For instance:

· Informational or small business website (8-16 webpages) = $2,000-$9,000
· Corporate website (25-75 webpages) = $10,000-$35,000
· Ecommerce website (100-1,000 products) = $5,000-$55,000
· Database driven website or website application (20-20,000 web pages) = $6,000-$75,000

Your website might have cost anywhere in these ranges to build. If you’re looking for a major redesign, you might be seeing similar numbers. If you’re only looking to tweak a few smaller components, you can expect to see lower costs.

Different component costs.

Now it’s time to dive into what different types of redesign components will cost. The different components that make up your website might need some rework.

In terms of upfront costs, you can expect the following:

· Style or theme: $2,000 to $15,000
· Responsive design: $3,000 to $25,000
· Interactive multimedia: $250 to $10,000
· Content management system: $2,000 to $25,000
· Ecommerce functionality: $2,000 to $25,000
· Database integration: $2,000 to $25,000
· Webpages (1-250): $1,000 to $10,000

We discussed the cost of adding in interactive media to your website already. As we mentioned, this time- and resource-intensive process can cost you quite a bit, but it can also bring great benefits in terms of the number of visitors who keep clicking, interacting with, and potentially purchasing from your site.

Remember this about website redesign.

Redesigning any number of these components of your website can improve functionality, making it easier for your customers to find the information they need and drive your sales. Redesigning these factors can also make your site appeal more to the type of customer you’re trying to attract.

On the other hand, you also don’t want to waste time and money hiring freelancers or an agency to redesign components that won’t make any difference to your business. If your customers are spending all their time on your product pages, there’s no need to invest money in general interactive multimedia about your company or vision.

You also don’t want to add too many flashy features or videos, as they might distract your customer and lead them to look for the product on another website where it’s easier to find.

Make sure that you schedule your redesign ahead of time. If you have a big sale coming up, you want to make sure the redesign is completely finished before the sale starts. If you don’t, you might have to pay top dollar prices to rush the work through.

If you’re going to be investing in a major redesign, you might need to move your site to a hosting provider that can handle all the traffic and features. This is an additional cost that needs to be factored into the redesign budget. Hosting costs can range from $24 (shared hosts) to $24,000 (a dedicated server just for your business) a year.


Bonus: What Is A Wireframe In Web Design?


It’s all about style.

One of the most important components of website design is the style or theme. Companies can expect to pay anywhere from $2,000 to $15,000 for this component. So why does the style or theme cost so much?

The simple answer is: because it matters so much. Research reveals that 94% of users’ first impressions of a website relates to its web design. First impressions make a huge difference!

If a user’s first impression of your website is negative, you could lose a customer. A style or theme that doesn’t work on all screen sizes, for example, is going to leave a majorly negative impression. If your site’s design is old-fashioned or the navigation is too difficult, users will begin to see your brand in a bad light.

Search engines care about site functionality and will not display your site at the top of the search results if it is slow or unusable. If there are broken links or if your design is flawed, you need to invest in a redesign to fix it.

Considering the fact that more than 65% of users are more likely to purchase from a company with a mobile-friendly site, you need to prioritize making sure that your redesign works on all formats in what’s called responsive design. Responsive design adapts your website to a user’s device and costs around $3,000. A separate mobile site costs anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000.

Final word.

Redesigning your website is an important consideration for today’s business owner. If your website isn’t functioning well or looks outdated, you could be losing business. Investing in a redesign is an important option to consider, and the choice of how much and what to redesign can be up to you, or you can work with a web design agency.

It can be difficult to nail down the exact cost of a redesign, but the numbers provided here are a starting point. Many cost factors change, and you don’t want to compare the cost of a simple blog to a company website.

Thrive Design is a customer-centric web design agency from Seattle. Contact us today to find out how we can elevate your business online! Find us on Clutch, UpCityLinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.

Category: Web design seattle

We’re not going to surprise you with this insight: Lead. Generation. That’s how you get web design clients.

But there are good ways and bad ways to conduct lead generation. And here’s where we blow your mind.

There is no one best method for lead generation for web designers.

Here is how to get the best web design clients.

lead generation for web design clients

It may be against all rules of “how to” blogs to not give you a list of lead gen methods to try but I’m going to do you one better. I’m going to show you how to find the best lead generation methods for you and your business.

I’ll be the first to admit it. I’m a nerd for lead generation. I currently have about seventeen lead generation methods going right now.

Yup. Seventeen.

So here’s my special technique, my secret sauce for finding out where I need to be focusing my lead generation efforts. I track everything in a spreadsheet.

Here are the five most important things I track and why.

1. Specific lead generation methods I'm using.
lead generation techniques

YouTube ads. Facebook ads. Cold calls. Follow-up calls with former clients. Website sponsorships or paid listings. Client referrals. Cold emails. Social listening engagement. These are just a handful of my current lead generation efforts. The very first thing I list in my spreadsheet is what I’m doing to generate leads. It’s the first step to finding which method works best for me.


See Related: Best Web Design Interview Questions 2020


2. How much I like doing it and whether I’m any good at it.

I love responding to and engaging with people on social media. Networking meetings, not so much. Whether I enjoy an activity is a great predictor of whether I will stick with it for the long term and perform it regularly enough for it to be as effective as it could be. And, let’s be honest. While being an entrepreneur has its share of things I wish I could avoid, I started my own business to do what I love and the same should be true of my lead generation efforts.

3. How much of my time it takes and how much it costs.

lead generation how long does it take

When figuring out the best methods for lead generation for your company, it’s important to know how much they cost to execute and how much of your time they take up, because the time you spend prospecting for leads is not time you spend on your core business. If a method is GREAT at sending leads my way, but takes a ton of my time and is crazy expensive, it may not be the best method for me because I would much rather spend my time building websites that wow my clients.

4. How many leads the method has brought in and how many of those have converted to clients.

This is starting to get into the meat of what people traditionally consider when they try to find an “effective” lead generation strategy. Alongside these columns, I also have a conversion percentage column so I can easily compare the methods. If one method has brought in 20 leads and 4 of them converted (20% conversion) and one method has brought in 8 leads with 4 converting to clients (50% conversion), it’s clear in the percentage column which one is actually more effective.


Bonus: What does responsive web design mean?


5. Revenue the method has brought in.
Lead generation revenue

Here it is. What you all wanted to know when you clicked on this article. What lead generation method brings in the most revenue. And, once again, I will probably disappoint you by not sharing the specific method because what works for me, may not work for you. But you need to track how much revenue any method you try brings in to know whether it’s worth your time. You also should break that down by conversion as well because more data is always helpful.

Final word.

Here’s the crux of the matter: what you like doing and are good at, what brings in good, solid leads, and what doesn’t cost a whole lot to implement (as compared to what it brings in) is going to be YOUR best method for lead generation. But if you’re not tracking these things, you’ll never know where to put your efforts.

(Be sure to stick with any effort you want to pursue for a good 6-12 months before making a final decision. That way you have plenty of data to work with.)


Keep Reading: Why Is Web Design Important?


Thrive Design is a customer-centric web design and marketing agency from Seattle. Contact us today to find out how we can elevate your business online! Find us on Clutch, UpCityLinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.

Category: Web design seattle

Fun fact: the pop-up windows you encounter on websites have an actual name. They’re called modal windows, and all reputable web designers know there is a right way and a wrong way to use them.

Everything you need to know about modal windows.

What are Modal Windows

What are modal windows?

The term “modal window” refers to any box that pops up and interrupts an action you are attempting to complete.

When you’re browsing your favorite news or entertainment site, the window that pops up to invite you to subscribe to the newsletter is a modal window. When you go to leave an e-commerce site with items still in your cart, the window that lets you know you’re leaving without checking out is a modal window. When you go to exit a service website, the window that pops up to remind you to call or email the business is a modal window.

Modal windows are also the windows that pop out of browsers when you click on a video or image to help you see it better. They are the windows that pop up when you try to exit programs without saving your work. They are the windows that pop up in your tax filing program asking you if any information has changed or if they can populate your address and demographic info from last year’s tax submission.

Modal windows can be used in many different situations and in many different ways to enhance user experience.

The wrong way to use modal windows.

the wrong way to use modal windows

As useful as modal windows can be to business owners and website designers, it’s important to remember a few things about them.

1. They can frustrate users.

Too many modal windows, or modal windows that are placed non-intuitively, can frustrate your website visitors. Many people are preprogrammed to hit cancel or close the window without reading the information, especially if they have encountered them on your website before and think they know what they say.

2. They can cause users to forget what they were doing before the window appeared.

This is another reason you should use modal windows sparingly. Research shows that the disruption caused by the pop-up can overload users’ cognitive load, meaning they forget why they were on that page in the first place.

3. They can confuse users.

If your modal window isn’t in line with your website’s branding and it looks like it doesn’t belong with the rest of your page, users may be inclined to think it’s spam or a virus, prompting them to close the modal window and your website, while losing trust in your business.


Related: What Is A Lightbox?


The right way to use modal windows.

the right way to use modal windows

Modal windows can also be incredibly useful to you AND your website visitors if they are used in ways designed to enhance the user experience. For instance:

1. Getting your user’s attention.

Bringing attention to the fact that the user has requested to do an action that doesn’t make sense is a great way to use modal windows. Who hasn’t accidentally closed a browser with a sale item we REALLY wanted or closed a program that had hours' worth of unsaved work in it? Modal windows can be used to draw attention to actions that seem illogical based on the user’s actions.


Bonus: How JavaScript is used in web design


2. Getting input from your users.

Modal windows to collect user information are great, as are modal windows used to collect login information. They can save valuable webpage space and are more convenient for users.

However, this isn’t true for mobile websites where a separate login page is probably the way to go as modal windows can be difficult to navigate on a mobile device.

3. Making the user’s experience easier.

Modal windows can help you collect information from your users that can help them shortcut what could be a long process. For example, you could use a modal window to present a short survey that will direct your users to exactly the product or service offering they need. Or you could use a modal window to ask if they want to use the information they have saved in your system previously when filling out a form.


Keep Reading: What Is Padding In Web Design?


Final word.

Like everything in web design, modal windows can be useful tools that enhance your user’s experience if used well. If used poorly, they can frustrate your users and drive them to your competition. Make sure you are following best practices when incorporating modal windows into your design and you won’t be sorry.

Thrive Design is a customer-centric web design and marketing agency from Seattle. Contact us today to find out how we can elevate your business online! Find us on Clutch, UpCityLinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.

Category: Web design seattle

Padding is something that makes your life more comfortable.

A well-padded chair is much nicer to sit on than one that does not have padding. A well-padded bank account puts your mind more at ease than one that is lean. A well-padded website, like the ones we create at thrive.design, is easier to read and nicer to look at.

Wait. What?

Let us explain.

Why your website should be padded.

What is padding

What is padding?

Simply put, padding is the “white space” in web elements.

When you look at an element on a page, whether it’s a button or a text box, your eye is more comfortable if it knows where to look. The blank space is what helps the eye focus on what is important.

Youdon’tthinkabouthowimportantblankspaceisuntilit’sgone.

This spacing is needed to keep all the page elements separate from one another on the page. It also allows visitors to easily identify the elements they need to interact with to accomplish their mission.


See Related: What Is A Lightbox In Web Design?


In practical terms, good padding looks something like this.

Padding example #1

There is plenty of space surrounding the content in each element on the page so our website visitors know exactly where to click for what they want.


Bonus: What Is A Wireframe?


Why is padding important?

So why is padding so important? Let’s take a look at this next example.

Padding example #2

While the two circled elements aren’t exactly the kind of elements we showcased in example number one, they are cramped text boxes that need more padding in order to make them easier for visitors to read.

It’s great that they are clearly hyperlinks, with the traditional underlining to signify it. But! (And this is a big but.)

You can’t easily read the addresses!

Imagine if those address elements were treated like the “The Process” and “The Price” buttons on our homepage.

How much easier would it be for the eye to take in the information website visitors need to navigate to French Creek Reservation?


Bonus: Web development vs Web design - What's the difference?


Final word.

To recap: Padding is the internal space in web elements between your content and the border of the element. That’s it. It’s that simple.

As simple as it is, it is also one of the most important things to think about when designing elements. Without it, your visitors are likely to get confused or frustrated. Your page will look disorganized and unprofessional.

You will lose business.

So take some time today to review the elements on your website. Do they have adequate padding?

Thrive Design is a customer-centric web design agency from SeattleContact us today to find out how we can elevate your business online! Find us on Clutch, UpCityLinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.

Category: Web design seattle

Welcome to our 100 ft. view into our process from the moment we first talk with a prospect to the launch of their website. Our process is painstakingly outlined in a flowchart (see video above) that outlines every step including any client actions, client meetings, email communications, and client approvals.

Our process.

As a person who loves a good process, there’s something really comforting about knowing that there will be a predictable outcome if I follow a set number of steps.

I’ve refined this process over the 18 years that I’ve been in business. This is the process that works for me and is built on a solid foundation of training and education. I want to be transparent about my process so my clients know what to expect as we work together.

At Thrive, we’re not cowboy coders or designers flying by the seat of our pants. We have a plan and we’re going to stick to it. And this plan will enable us to deliver fantastic, reliable results every time.

Step 1: Initial contact.

A potential client finds a way to get in touch. It could be an email. It could be a referral. It could be through a contact form on our website. It could be by carrier pigeon. Whatever method they choose, they find a way to let us know they have a web development project they need to tackle.

The very first thing we do is schedule an intake call. This call allows us to discover some very important details about this project:

  1. Who are they?
  2. Who is their target audience?
  3. What kind of project is this? Is it a website project or something else?
  4. Are there any additional services needed such as branding, marketing, copywriting, and photography?
  5. What does success look like for them?

In this call, I'm also trying to figure out if the potential client and I would work well together and if this project is a good fit. Other important considerations are whether their budget matches their expectations and will they respect the process I’ve honed through the years.

This initial interview will not only help us figure out the project parameters but also what product will best serve their needs: the full Thrive treatment or a fixed monthly website solution. The second option is for clients that are more budget-conscious or they need a website that will position them well online and nothing more. No marketing run, no branding.

For clients that need a more custom solution, something larger and more bespoke, Thrive can make that happen. Maybe it’s an e-commerce site. Maybe it’s a membership-only site. Maybe they have a lot of components that need to fit together. Maybe they need a lot of marketing around their site. Thrive is for the company that needs a big web solution.

If this is the case, we schedule more conversations. Some really deep conversations to understand more about what needs to be done. I’ve seen a lot of projects fail because they don't go through a robust strategy session and I don’t want that fate to befall my clients.

Step 2: Create a plan.

I give my clients homework.

No, really. I’m a big fan of avoiding meetings that could have been an email. It saves time and money for everyone involved. So before we schedule our two, deep-dive meetings and before establishing a development, marketing, creation plan, I ask that the client fill out an intake form to better give me an idea of what their needs, expectations, and requirements are. This way we can spend our two deep-dive meetings really digging into the meat of the project, and not establishing parameters. It also lets me know if our marketing and branding teams need to be involved.

At the end of this step, we know what this project is going to cost, how long it's going to take, and the scope of the project. We send the final proposal to the client and, if they agree and send the deposit, we move to step 3.

Step 3: Architecture & logo development.

Welcome to Thrive! It’s in this step that you become an official client of Thrive. We even send you a fancy welcome packet with all the information you need to ensure this is a smooth process, including educational pieces on how to get content to us and graphics. On our end, we set up all the administrative framework we need to keep everything organized on trackable, including time tracking, password storage, and all that good stuff.

As part of this organizational process, we begin to figure out what pages your website is going to need and develop a sitemap. If there is a marketing piece to this project and an SEO plan needs to be made, then we call Cliff. Cliff is our SEO guru. Cliff knows how to get websites found. He’ll join us for a sitemap meeting to ensure that everything is optimized to perfection.

We'll summarize all of these decisions in an email, create that sitemap, and email our client to get their feedback and approval.

This step is also where we will mock up any logo that’s required and start the marketing and branding plan creation if the client needs it. But sometimes the client is working with another third party on branding and sometimes the branding is already set.


Related reading: SEO Seattle


Step 4: Design & development.

Let’s start the design! Now that we have an approved sitemap, we can dig into the meat of the design and development phase beginning with the homepage design. In the beginning, we only use Lorem Ipsum (or placeholder) text so the client can really focus on the design elements.

After meeting with the client to review the design, we give them access to one of our favorite tools: Project Huddle. This software actually shows the clients what their revisions would look like. They can see their feedback visually, giving them a better idea of what they are asking for. We’ll make those changes and submit it to the client for review. Normally, our projects only go through one or two rounds of feedback before the client signs off.

Once the homepage is completed, we then move on to the sub-page design. The process is very much the same as for the homepage. We use placeholder text and the client signs off on all design decisions before we finalize our design.

And now you have a website with a logo, a sitemap, AND incredible design. And it’s only step 4!

(As for the payment schedule, once we complete step 4, a payment of 40% is required before we continue.)

Step 5: Copywriting.

Now we tackle the content and another decision needs to be made. Who is writing and inputting the copy on the website?

If they're writing and inputting the content themselves, we train them on how to edit the content of their website, which is actually very easy to do. We conduct this training over video and provide our clients with a copy so they can train other staff members on how to update their website’s content.

If they’re writing the content themselves but don’t want to input it, we're happy to do it, provided they get us all the copy at once. We still provide training on how to edit their website content because they will be responsible for any future updates.

If they have a copywriter or they're using our copywriter, the copywriter and client work together to develop all the copy needed to fill out the website. This could be done through interviews or reviewing existing content.

Once the content is finalized and inputted, it’s time to take the site live.


Related reading: Copywriting seattle


Step 6: Website launch.

Well…It’s almost time to take the site live. We have a whole pre-launch checklist to run through before making the site publically available. It’s like the fifteen minutes before a shuttle launch where Mission Control makes sure everything is prepped and ready but for your website.

We test to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. We make sure your website loads quickly. We double-check that all the information is correct.

And then, BAM!, your website is released into the world.

Once we go live, we do a final training session with the client over a video screen share. That training is recorded and sent to them so they can train additional staff. This is when the final 10% payment of the project is due and our 30 day, no questions asked warranty starts.

Our last two client meetings happen 30- and 90-days post-launch. These meetings are to make sure everything is going smoothly; that the client isn’t having any trouble updating the site; and to see how the new site has impacted their business. We love to hear the success stories of our clients after their launch day!

Final word.

So that’s my process and, I’ve got to say, I love it. I love how this process has helped countless businesses improve their web presence. I love how this process enables me to really outline what clients can expect when they work with us. I love how this process ensures a great result every time. If you have any questions about my process, please let me know in the comments. If you’re a client and want to share about your experience, I’d love to hear from you!

Thrive Design is a customer-centric web design agency from SeattleContact us today to find out how we can elevate your business online! Find us on Clutch, UpCityLinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.

Category: Web design seattle

Thrive is a Seattle web design company focused on helping you grow. If you believe in what you do, have a proven offer, and would like to increase your online presence and authority, let’s chat.
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