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Designing Websites for Conversion

Your website design isn’t just something to print out and admire, it’s an important step in the process of developing a powerful marketing tool.

Our guide on designing websites for conversion gives you the key things to consider when creating a new website design.

Plan your design

Wanted: Junior Web Developer

We’re looking for a new developer to join the Bigfork team.

We need someone to help us build new websites, maintain existing websites and assist with anything else website related.

In return we’ll offer you money in your bank account, paid holidays and the opportunity to learn new skills on the job.

Ideally you’ll have gotten your hands dirty with PHP and possibly had some dealings with MySQL, Javascript, HTML and CSS. However this is a junior position so enthusiasm and an interest in code are far more important than experience.

This is a full-time position based in our Norwich office.

To apply

Please send your CV, covering letter and details to anything relevant that you’ve worked on to work@bigfork.co.uk.

No agencies please.

Is Your Website Ready for Mobile?

The growth in mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones over the last 18 months is phenomenal, have you a mobile plan for your business website? According to Monetates survey for Q1 2013 which tracks the growth of mobile users, the statistics are as follows:

DeviceQ1 2013Q1 2012
Desktop 78.9% 88.6%
Tablet 10.6% 5.9%
Smartphone 10.4% 5.4%

Their data also shows that conversions on tablets in 2013 exceeded those of desktop users but on smartphones are 70% lower than desktops. This suggests that many people are using phones more for browsing than buying but we expect this to change rapidly. It is currently predicted that by 2014, 50% of all website visitors will be from tablets and smartphones. These figures demonstrate that a mobile strategy is definitely something you should be considering for your business.

Getting started with mobile strategy

The first thing you need to do is examine your current website visitor statistics, if you have Google Analytics then this is very easy.

Analytics showing visits by device type

The key data you need to examine is:

New visits from mobiles and tablets

If these are above 15% then you need to seriously consider mobile website options for your business as this shows that a significant and growing segment of potential customers are using mobile to look at your site.

Pages visited, durations and bounces

Compare these figures to your desktop visitors to get an idea of how people are using your website. For example if your mobile page visits and visit duration are significantly lower or your bounce rates significantly higher, this may indicate that the smartphone visitor experience on your website is not a good one. When considering mobile you also need to look at what industry you are in and who your customers are. Restaurants, hotels, retailers, leisure etc are all obvious businesses that can benefit from mobile optimised websites as they are likely to be viewed by people out and about.

Do not assume that people only use their mobile device for internet browsing on the move though, many people use a tablet or smartphone because they always have it to hand. It’s definitely worth taking some time to research your core customers to see if and how they use mobile devices to source and buy your products.

Next steps

If you have decided that your business does need to go mobile then what are your options? Most websites can be viewed on tablets and smartphones without any extra considerations but can be tricky to use. This is especially so with standard websites on smartphones where users have to zoom in and out all the time to read the text and navigation the website. See the difference with these screen from Domino’s Pizza as an example.

Comparions of Domino's desktop and mobile home pages

When creating a mobile optimised experience there are two options:

Separate mobile version

The first option is to design a mobile version of your existing website. A mobile website automatically detects users on phones (and sometimes tablets) and automatically redirects them to a version of the website specifically designed for ease of use on their device. These are typically based around a single column design with big buttons that are easy to press.

Mobile websites often show different content to the main website but this is bad practise in most cases, you should not second guess your visitors intentions and remove content you don’t think they’ll be looking for. If for any reason content cannot be included then always include the option of viewing the desktop website.

Mobile versions of websites

This option can be the easiest route into mobile, especially if you already have an existing website. The downside to this approach is that the line between desktop and mobile is becoming increasingly blurred, for example is an iPad mini closer to a phone or a desktop? Also, if you are not using a content management system that can manage multiple versions of the same website, you can end up maintaining two websites with this approach.

Responsive website design

The second option and one that we’d usually recommend on a new website build is responsive website design. “Responsive” websites are built to automatically size to the screen they are being viewed on so that your website looks great on any device. This future proofs your website as it doesn’t matter what size or shape screen someone has, the website automatically adjusts to fit.

This approach does require more planning and design work than a standard website as decisions have to be made on how the website will look at any given size. It is however worth doing the extra work as it means your website visitors will have a positive experience of your website whatever device they use. A responsive website also means you will only have content for one website to manage.

The only possible drawback is people who access your site on more than one device may not like the difference in appearance. This can be solved by allowing them to view the website at a specific size e.g. a "view desktop version", though as mobile optimised websites become more common we expect that people will become used to this.

Responsive Website Views

The best thing to do is to ask your website designer for their advice and costs for both options to see if your existing site can be feasibly adapted or if you will need a new solution. 

If you would like to know more about optimising your site for mobile please email us on dine@bigfork.co.uk, call 01603 513080 or use our enquiry form.

Tell me more about mobile

Bigfork Guide to Good Website Content

Bigfork Good Website Content Guide

Download the guide as a PDF

Electrifying new website for Phase 3

Norwich based electrical contractors Phase 3 Electrical Contractors Ltd appointed Bigfork to design a new website for them.

Phase 3 Electrical Contractors Ltd

Phase 3 work largely in the public sector and needed a website to support their tenders and generate leads. We worked with Phase 3 to build the right content plan and write effective copy, an appealing design was created with a branded look and strong imagery, always essential in website design.

The layout focuses on guiding the visitor to key electrical services and benefits provided by Phase 3 to maximise lead generation, a client page and testimonials add further credibility to Phase 3's new website. The website is built with the SilverStripe Content Management System, a powerful and easy to use CMS, with full training and support provided by the Bigfork team.

Visit the Phase 3 website