Is Your Website a Crappy White Van?

How do you know when its time to build a new website?

Lets start by reviewing a few details to determine if you are in Crappy White Van Land.

  • Does your website represent your business as a reputable enterprise and showcase your products or services professionally or does it more or less function as a piece of paper with your name on it and some outdated content?
  • When a customer, with no knowledge of your company, sees your website for the first time is the impression likely positive?
  • Did a friend or family member with an “eye for design” build your site years ago and almost finish the project?
  • If you were looking for your services and came across your site, would you call you?  Be honest.

time for a new website“But I love my crappy white van – it works just fine.”  No…no it doesn’t

Lots of business owners think their crappy white van website is fine…its all they need and they don’t want to rebuild.  Plus, a new van costs money and money doesn’t grow on trees.  Well, lets talk about money:

When you drive a crappy van around town, you are advertising to everyone you see with a message that screams “sketchy and unknown”, and the same is true for an outdated website.  The big difference being: with a website, your potential audience is everyone.  The crappy white van website fails to convey a positive first impression… and you know what they say about first impressions.

So, what’s the value of a customer?  If your white van website is preventing prospects from contacting you it is costing you very real dollars in the form of missed opportunities.  If your outdated site doesn’t brand you as on par with or ahead of your immediate competitors, you are losing business.  How many potential sales or clients are you going to let slip before you commit to trading in the van for a website that reflects your best qualities?

How do I get started with a new website (and say goodbye to my van)?

When you are ready to upgrade you need to work with a skilled web design company that will take the time to understand your unique business objectives. Then work as a team to develop a design that speaks to your business philosophy, promotes your products and services professionally, and is structured with SEO baked into the design to ensure that your new site is visible to your target audience.  So get started today, ditch your crappy van and upgrade to a web site that works for you 24/7 and helps bring in new clients!

 

Typography That Works With Your Website

When designing a website, there are many components that have to work together to create something that is aesthetically pleasing. High-quality graphics and nice layouts get most of the attention and praise, but there are other factors at work that are equally as important, and shouldn’t be over looked. Typography is one of the elements that is overlooked by most casual internet users until they see something blatantly bad. Typography, in simple terms, is the art of making text appealing to the eye. Although easily overlooked, it actually takes a significant amount of time to get right. Most of the work consists of finding fonts that “look right”. That can be difficult, even if you have artistic talent, but here are some guidelines and tips to help make it easier.

Know When to Use Which Fonts


Unfortunately, we can’t just pick our favorite font and use it for any site. For an attorney’s or law firm’s website, you want to use a font that expresses a sense of formality, professionalism, cleanliness, etc. If someone is looking for a lawyer, they are in a serious mood and want someone who means business; your website has to deliver that sense of security. When it doesn’t, your website turns into a giant sign that says “run away“.

Typography example for Carl's Law Firm

Would you trust Carl with your life? Me neither. Back to Google!

Another example would be the website you have to make for the knitting business your aunt just started. She hand-knits everything herself, so you should use a font with a little decoration, or possibly a “script” font that looks hand-written, for her website. The reason being is — if your products are hand-made, personal, and unique, then your website should reflect some of those elements. The last thing you want to do for this kind of website is use a font that looks industrial, technical, or even too uniform. If the website doesn’t appeal to them, there is a good chance that a new visitor to the website will leave before reading anything you are trying to tell them, even if you stress that everything is hand-knitted in every sentence.  Gap’s website works for Gap because it is a large company that has a large target audience, but it wouldn’t work for your aunt’s knitting website.

Finding one font that works for your website usually isn’t enough, though. Headings and titles should always stand out from the body content, so the reader knows what they are reading. Unfortunately, increasing the weight and size of the header text usually doesn’t make it stand out enough, nor does it look impressive. Instead, in most cases, you should use a different font for the headings, titles, and other important information. Fonts that work well for headings and logos are usually too difficult to read when set as the body text. Generally, a stylish font is good for headings, while a crisp and easy-to-read font is good for body content.

Typography example for a small knitting business.

Pink and blue is normally a bad color combination for fonts, but it could work for a website that is selling knitted clothing. Both are common colors for baby clothing, and they are “fun”– which could relate to the type of consumer you are trying to reach. Otherwise, black or a dark gray is the best choice for font color for light backgrounds. For dark backgrounds, white is a good choice.

Of course, you can’t just pick any two fonts and use them together. They have to compliment each other; modern fonts with modern fonts, traditional fonts with traditional fonts, etc. There are exceptions, where the two fonts have some elements that bring the two together, or have unique qualities that just happen to look good. Be sure to take some time when designing a website, image, presentation, or anything else that has text to find fonts that work well with the other elements of your design– your sharp-eyed readers and viewers will be grateful.