Experience and Passion
For over 24 Years, Luckey Design has helped companies like yours build successful websites that are easy to navigate, find online, and simply work on all devices (Computers, Tablets, and Smart Phones). We are passionate about our craft, and put our all into each and every project. The result is an elegant work of art that stands the test of time.
If you own a business, you need a website!
If your company is not online, you are missing the boat! Your customers will google your name and find you! It’s not rocket science! I will help you understand each step so you can make an informed decision.
Start Small, Build Over Time!
You can start small and add on to your site over time. It is better to have a simple website than nothing at all.
Web Design Timeline
In our first meeting, we will define the project goal. We want to know YOUR needs and your “wants” for the new website. We will discuss the project scope, timeline, responsibilities of both parties, and the dreaded “B” word…budget. During this discovery phase, you will provide examples of your favorite sites, various competitor sites, and other personal “likes and dislikes” about the web.
Developing a sitemap is a critical element in designing your website. This is where we’ll list the pages you’d like to have on the website (Home, About, Services, Contact) in a way that will help visitors navigate easily and quickly in their search for information. Here we focus on information hierarchy and overall web navigation.
A wireframe is a simple black & white line drawing that depicts the web page screen area. It takes into consideration how customers view the internet on devices that have various screen sizes. Wireframes show us what the screen will look like.
We create visual sketches, or comps, using Photoshop in order to produce what looks like an actual web page. Hidden from the public, these comps will be posted to a behind-the-scenes page so that you, the client, can review and make suggested changes in regard to layout, color, and other visual design elements that align with your brand. Remember, this is YOUR site. We value your input.
Once you approve the visual design, the files are saved as gif, jpg, or png files and built into template pages. These pages end up being the foundation of the final website. Integration is time consuming. Hours upon hours are spent testing the site to ensure that it works on a number of different browsers and platforms. It is also during the Integration stage that you will send your content, both imagery and text, that will reside on the various pages.
After Integration, we will stage the site so that you and your team can review all of the content and navigation. You’ll look for typo/grammar errors, check embedded links, and assure the website loads properly on all devices and browsers.
Once you give your approval, we simply move the files to a live directory and introduce your website to the world!
You rent your domain name from a registrar such as godaddy.com. You can pay annually or for a few years at a time, which will save a little money. The most important thing to remember is, YOU should have it in your name as opposed to your webmaster, designer, etc. It is equally important that you renew your domain on-time. Failure to renew can result in losing your domain name. There are actually people that scarf up expired domains in hopes to resell them. We can help you find the perfect name. Once you get your domain, your domain is pointed at a web server using DNS (Domain Name Server) which looks like this:
Web Hosting companies are all over the world and can range from free to hundreds of dollars per month. The term, “You get what you pay for” certainly applies here. There are a few things to consider when selecting your hosting company. If you have a website, it is crucial that you have a back-up plan and security software just as you would on your home or office system. If something were to happen, it’s imperative that you have the ability to restore your website and email quickly. Reliability and up-time guarantee are pivotal to your online success. We can host and manage your website for you!
Usually with web hosting, you also get email hosting. Your company email address should include your website domain name (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com).
Keep your email professional and avoid using generic webmail services such as Hotmail and Gmail for your business email. You want to brand your business in every way possible and your email accounts should be at the top of the priority list.
Your logo is the visual keystone of your company’s identity. It sets the tone for the customer’s brand perception. It needs to be unique, memorable, and versatile. We live in a digital world, logos need to transcend paper. They must reduce well and should be easy to read. You want to design something that will still be relevant years from now. If your logo looks cheesy, so will your business.
Look & Feel
You have a mere few seconds to keep your visitor on your site. Therefore, it must be engaging, intuitive, and easy to navigate. The “look” of your website should mimic your business personality and should be an extension of your logo design. Aesthetics and usability play key roles; they are equal partners in the success of your online presence. Another significant consideration is whether or not your website is responsive which simply means how well it plays on various devices. Mobile phone usage for online access has been a game changer in web design. If your site isn’t responsive, you’ll lose business.
Words matter. They matter a lot. They are equally important, if not more so, as to how your website looks. It’s the words on your pages that attract search engines (like Google & Bing). Images don’t get scanned by the web crawlers so quality copy is critical! Your text needs to be original, contain keywords, and be formatted in a way that can be quickly scanned by the reader. Furthermore, search engines love, love, love when you add new content. That’s why blogging on a consistent basis is so important in search engine optimization (SEO). The more pages you add with useful content, the more the search engine gods consider you a serious player. Make content writing a priority in your online life.
Visuals are vital to online success. All content, whether on your website, in your blog, email campaigns, or articles demand images. Did you know that photos, info-graphics, gifs, and videos garner 94% more views than text content alone? Visual content increases comprehension, affects our emotions, and enhances your brand. Custom illustrations trump stock images or the dreaded clip art. Consumers who watch a product/service video are 85% more likely to purchase that product. Neglect visual content at your own peril.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave the past few years, the power of a solid social media strategy should be obvious. It will connect you with your audience in ways that are unimaginable. More importantly, social media is the great equalizer amongst companies of all sizes – large and small. Everyone has the same opportunity to advertise for very little money, create meaningful relationships with potential customers, generate leads, and help establish your company as an industry expert. It’s our recommendation that you select one or two platforms where your target audience hangs out and master the nuances before moving onto to yet another platform. Be consistent in your strategy and, remember, you’re there to help them solve their problems not overly promote your own brand.
You have a dazzling website, you’re eagerly awaiting throngs of people to discover how wonderful you are, and dreaming of the piles of cash coming in from sales. WAKE UP! Just because you build it doesn’t mean they will come. There’s work to be done. You need to take steps to increase search engine optimization, link building, blogging tactics, content promotion etc. all in the hope of driving more targeted traffic to the central hub – your website. Everyone wants to be in the top rankings but it does take effort. Pursuing a marketing strategy can be demanding but the good news is its doable.
They may be small but they are powerful and have a huge impact in fostering personal relationships. Business cards may be considered ‘old school’ in this digital age but they open the door to engaging in actual conversation with potential clients. Furthermore, your contacts expect you to have a one. Business cards are personal and often times the first impression of your brand. Cheap is not the way to go as they help legitimize your business and can kill the deal if they’re tacky. Keep your pocket full of them. Always, always have one handy.
Tracking important metrics allows you to see what is and, more importantly, what isn’t working well on your website. In journalism, there are 5 questions that are germane to every story: who, what, where, when, and how. These same inquiries can be applied to understanding the inner workings of your site. Who is coming to your site? What keywords do they use to find you? Where are they coming from? When they explore your site, which pages interest them? And finally, how did they find your site in the first place? These are but a few areas you should be interested in understanding in order to improve the usability of your site for your visitors and for the search engine masters. Installing an analytics plug-in on your website will help you interpret this all important data.
Quite simply, don’t ignore the importance of security when researching your web hosting company. Security risks loom large with any online operation and your website host server is no different. When security is compromised, it can be devastating to your business in terms of loss of income and disruption. You should discuss ways to mitigate risks with your web designer from the start. It shouldn’t be an afterthought. Things to consider include updates, file permissions, secure root passwords for admin users, and sensible user access to name just a few. Make sure to read the hosting reviews of every host server you contemplate using and validate it has the features you need.
An integral part of your security plan is backing up your site. Stuff happens and with any catastrophic event, all can be lost. To ensure the restoration of your site, the host server must have sound backup procedures. Having an automated backup schedule will safeguard the process and enable your webmaster to restore your latest website version in case the server goes down. In the end, this will save you both time and money. Asking about backup procedures should be part of your security research.