Confessions of a boutique website design agency: freelancers aren’t a bad option!

But are they for you?

When you are thinking about making your own company website, eschewing all the readymade options (good for you!), then the obvious question is, who is going to do it? You may have heard of success stories developed by freelancers, yet others designed by any boutique website design agency. No one is saying that freelancers can’t get the job done. In fact, in many cases freelancers are a great option.

  • Your business type: If your service or product range is limited and not subject to frequent changes, and your website serves to bring your customers to your establishment, freelancers are an efficient way of getting up your website quickly.
  • The size of your project: For short turnarounds, small graphic work, freelancers are the best option. A boutique website design agency may not be able to bring down their operational budget to accommodate these, whereas freelancers typically can accommodate lower pricing (they don’t have the overheads we do!).
  • Tight budgets: If your budget is really limited go ahead and get freelancers in. Although it may be time consuming. By the time you identify all the people you need to get your project started. Because it is rare indeed if a freelance web designer has a multiple array of services.
  • Scope of work: If the work is limited to a certain aspect of design, freelancers again may work for you. After all most of them want to work with a wide variety of clients for a niche product.
  • Tight schedules: Freelancers may be an option if you really have no flexibility for your project. Having no overheads, freelancers have more flexibility in terms of engaging with you at any time and their schedules can accommodate your quick turnaround requests.
  • Quality over quantity: This may be surprising, but it actually makes sense. Freelancers work with you until you are satisfied with the quality of the product. Since their portfolio is limited and their expertise is niche, quality is almost an automatic byproduct.

But there are times when freelancers won’t make the cut. Not because they can’t do it, but because of what all will be involved in your website.

Multi platform, multiple tasks

Very rarely will a freelancer have all the cross platform expertise required to complete your project. A boutique website design agency whether in India, USA, UK or Australia, will have resident teams of people who can work on your project simultaneously. There are experts in User Experience, others in programming, yet others in branding.

Keeping your budget on track

With freelancers you might actually go overboard on budget if the project is large and you have to get many people to work on it. It also means you end up managing all the separate people, ensuring that they communicate and execute well. You become project manager at the expense of your business. If you need to get someone to manage for you, your administrative overhead goes up.

Experience and expertise

Both are in abundance when it comes to a boutique web design agency. Experience brings familiarity to industry practices. Proficiency means that the overall quality is always accounted for. However, the one thing you need to understand is that you have to look through the agency’s portfolio carefully. A large portfolio does not necessarily have uniform quality.

Delivery schedules

Boutique website design companies can deliver faster because of their larger teams and dedicated project managers. Agencies manage delivery schedules better because are not impacted by causes like employee’s leave of absence due to sickness etc.

Ongoing service

Agencies also offer you longer term service. Apart from just delivering your website, they will stay with you for website maintenance and  Monthly SEO Maintenance. These activities help build your customer base. The added advantage is that the agency gets to know your company better, therefore future output becomes more aligned to your company’s sensitivities.

So is it all win-win with agencies?

Not necessarily, because cost is a major element of choosing agencies. There is a certain margin below which agencies cannot operate. For specific services, one-time services, agencies may be too steep. But for multiple services, there is more value for money when you choose an agency. Flexibility is also sometimes an issue in terms of travelling to client’s site, emergency meetings and sometimes schedule and cost flexibility as well. Plus, even agencies hire freelancers for specific expertise and short term work.

How to decide?

It depends on the size of your business, the type of business and the kind of dynamic you are looking for with the designer. Small, first time companies can take the freelancer route and go with agencies as they grow. Larger organizations are more likely benefited from the broad range and expertise of boutique website design agencies.

If you are looking for advice on how to choose or are looking for a website to be designed, ColorWhistle can help you with either or both. We are a leading boutique website design agency in India. A review of your requirements and we can tell you the best way to get your company and its services online.

Are custom WordPress designs your new BFF in online branding?

For any business, creating and establishing a brand can be quite challenging in terms of time and money. The internet solves both these conditions by allowing you to reach a larger audience for a marginal cost. The World Wide Web is a great tool for positioning your product or service in the market. Online branding can be done through:

  • Website creation and optimization
  • Blogs
  • Social media
  • Video marketing

The essential device to any method is a website. You can choose existing ones like blogs and social media or you can set up your very own website. When positioning your brand for the first time or introducing a new brand in your portfolio, a customized website is the ideal option. The advantage is that you control the code and the optimization; you also drive the relationship with the customer on your terms.

Having a customized website for your brand helps you create your signature presence faster than using generic templates. Of course there are plenty of DIY options for building a website. You go to a website that offers themes for different types businesses, choose the one relevant to you, buy it, put in your information and you have a website.

Then, however, you realize the website isn’t translating to business. So what’s up? The web and its protocols have become so intricate that you may have to spend quite some time figuring out the nuts and bolts. This is, of course, time away from your business. So how do you tackle this?

Choose a trusted platform

WordPress is fast becoming the preferred platform for small businesses trying to get online. There are plenty of themes with built in functionality and which are also connected to social media. WordPress has enough default plug-ins for anyone to enjoy functionalities of the web.

WordPress is a platform that gives also you a valuable resource – familiarity. Online customers want uniqueness in your website but they also enjoy the familiarity of certain features.  For example, if I am shopping for clothes online, there is a certain type of display that I am always looking for. If I am buying a wristwatch there are certain pieces of information I want. With WP you get themes that cater to your buyer’s needs.

Choosing a platform that gives you several good theme options and some added functionality is a great way to start a website. But what happens when there is too much familiarity? You guessed it, online customers can no longer tell the difference between you and others like you.

Custom WordPress Template Development

Your business needs to be memorable. A brand, by definition, is unique. Your website should be trustworthy and stand apart from everyone else while still having certain familiar elements. Customization is the key to online brand differentiation. WordPress designers can help you create a unique look and feel for your website using the custom WordPress template development option.

Custom WordPress templates are a great way to embark on your online branding quest. They give you a lot of control on elements like:

  • The display of images
  • Layout of the home page
  • Layout from page to page
  • Font sizes and colors
  • Sidebar custom coding
  • Blog page layout
  • Blog page excerpts
  • Footer displays
  • Slider control – things like dimension, images used, linking from images, speed contol
  • Contact form options

Choosing the design partner

Teaming up with custom WordPress design expert removes a lot of headache for you. You don’t need to worry about the details of how to develop the features you want. You don’t need to figure how to update your site regularly. You don’t need to work on the intricacies of SEO. So how to choose a design partner?

Get online and look for custom WordPress designers. Look at their portfolio and their costs and match it up with your budget. The best partner of course is one who understands your requirements completely and delivers within budget. If they offer package deals (development and support), then all the better for you. Custom WordPress development company like ColorWhistle in fact give you comprehensive services including logo design, website design, support and maintenance.

Is the cost consideration bothering you?

Regardless of the type of branding exercise, cost will always be a factor. The internet gives you more cost effective options than say newspapers, television and radio. And like everything else in life, you get what you pay for.

A WordPress designer may give you a pause about cost but think about what all you get:

  • Uniqueness, which is synonymous with the brand
  • Robust and timely development
  • Ongoing support for all technical requirements
  • On-time and error free updates
  • Mobile compatibility
  • Continuous optimization
  • Website security

Plus, you don’t need to track protocol or theme updates, your designer will do that for you as part of the website maintenance services. You get to focus on business essentials and watch your enterprise grow. The cost of the website will eventually become a fraction of your operational costs, so much so that it may not even make a dent on your profits!

So make an informed decision about your custom responsive website, and choose the right partner for the job. At ColorWhistle we would be most happy to understand your business and give you the best online presence suited for you.

Essential ingredients for the best restaurant website design

Whether you own a small bistro or a café or a starred-restaurant, you are striving to build your brand name. A restaurant’s website design is as much a calling card as its brand. Today a potential patron is more likely to go and look at the restaurant’s online presence to decide whether to pay a visit or not. The critical component to the online presence is the restaurant’s website. Most designers of restaurant websites agree on several points.

Clean and Responsive Design

A best restaurant website must have a clean layout and easily accessible information. According to Jay Schwartz of IdeaWork Studios, the best restaurant website designs feature the following on the home page:

  • Contact numbers
  • Location details
  • Operating hours
  • Reservation options
  • Up-to-date menus and prices

This is the information a visitor to the site is most likely to be looking for. Preferably, the menu should be web-based rather than a link to a PDF file.

High Quality Images

Keeping text to a minimum is not necessarily a bad thing for restaurant websites. Food is a visual element; therefore the restaurant website must not scrimp on food photography. It is an art unto itself; expert photographs go a long way in engaging the visitor to the website. If you want to showcase your restaurant or café, it is best to avoid the easy route of using templates and aim for uniqueness.

Tech Friendly

The best restaurant website designs are mobile optimized. Restaurant owners who spend a little bit extra for SEO services are more likely to see more patronage as their website makes the top 10 of search results of various search engines. Getting professional help for ensuring that the website is multi-browser and multi-platform friendly saves a lot of time and money in the long run.

Integrating Social Media

Integrating social media has now become second nature to most businesses. Restaurants are no exception. Adding Facebook like box to the sidebar, incorporating some of the best testimonials from Yelp, and social sharing buttons go a long way in keeping the customer engaged. By integrating reservation services like OpenTable to the restaurant website theme, it is easier to get in touch with the smartphone and app driven customer base.

Custom WordPress themes and Outsourcing – mix well

While it may seem a feasible option to go for any one of the templates that many domain hosting companies offer, they may be less than helpful if you want to stand out from among the pack. Engaging the services of a web design company ensures that the custom restaurant website design that you get suits your needs best. You also have better control over the design and can give it your own personal touch. The added advantage is that SEO and digital marketing also gets taken care of. Integration of various components like social media are all offered as part of the service.

Custom WordPress themes are a great option to go with.  Companies like ColorWhistle, who are restaurant website design experts, help owners of restaurants and cafes to add their unique offerings to these themes. Some of the popular market place themes include LaCuisine, Luigi, Milano and Rosa for restaurants. For cafes, bistros and bars, themes like Resca, Ristorante, The Flavors, Downtown are popular. You can purchase any of these themes for as less as $49 and then a company like ColorWhistle can help you make it the best restaurant website design there can be.

Best Restaurant Website Design - Resca

Best Restaurant Website Design - Ristorante

Best Restaurant Website Design - LaCuisine

Also, outsourcing the customization helps get the design ready in a timely manner especially if web design companies are operational during non-business hours. Changes can be tested and ideas can be implemented without impacting the traffic to the website during business hours.

Restaurant website theme ideas

A quick search on the web will give anyone adequate inspiration for their own website themes. The website Cow & Co Café in Liverpool, UK is a great example of the home page featuring all the essentials. The menu items are easily accessible. The contact, location and operating hours are all prominently visible.

The website of Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen in London uses a simple design that gives all essential information at the fingertips. Benito’s Hat uses a theme that is easy to follow and highlights their main menu items on the home page. There is a one-click option to order online and all the social media options are also present.

Whitman’s NYC uses a single-page clean design that focuses the attention of the site visitor on the type of food served through the choice of appropriate photo in the background. Contact and order options are on the top of the home page. The menu is web based and easily readable. Each item is accompanied by description and price. This link from Quora discussion has many references to New Delhi based food ordering restaurant websites. The website of Indian Accent is an exemplary showcase of the contemporary Indian cuisine.

Attracting the attention of the online patron for your restaurant is a subtle art. A restaurant website design expert like ColorWhistle can help secure online traffic that translates to physical traffic as well.

Yoga Website Design Ideas and Inspirations

Are you a yoga teacher looking to build your student base? The one tool through which you can really attract students is through a yoga website design.

According to statista,

  • There were nearly 37 million yoga participants in the country in 2015. This figure is forecast to rise to 55 million by 2020
  • Revenue of the yoga industry in the country is forecast to jump from about seven billion U.S. dollars in 2012 to about 11.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2020
  • Classes are the main source of revenue for the industry. Over 50 percent of the revenue was generated from yoga classes in 2015

As with any enterprise today, especially for a small business, if you’re not having an online presence you will miss out on a large segment of potential customers. You just have to look at the trends among the population to understand how critical an online presence is.

They show the below characteristics,

  • Upwardly mobile
  • Settling into well-paying jobs
  • Smartphone consumer
  • Social media consumer
  • Almost continuous internet connectivity
  • Health conscious
  • Open to all types of fitness options

Also anywhere in the world today, this is a segment that forms a significant proportion of the buyer demographic. Therefore, as a yoga teacher, the opportunities are plenty for you to develop a customer base. You just need to identify the best method for capturing the audience, which is beautiful yoga websites.

How to engage customer?

By being a master in Yoga you have just won half of the battle. Roping in customers is the next thing. Getting a yoga website puts you online, but you still have to compete with others in your line of business. How to differentiate yourself?

The appeal points of a Yoga website design

It takes a swipe at a Smartphone screen to know where a yoga studio is located or how to contact a yoga trainer. A simple Google search will likely throw up dozens of Yoga websites. So what will set you apart and appeal to the user?

Information

Why?

Only by providing the right information, users will be able to make an informed decision. Some of the critical information every yoga website must have are,

Location:

Mostly people search by location. So make sure you have a full address and a Google map entry.

Contact:

Details like telephone number and email id for users to contact you easily.

Courses offered:

List out all the types of yoga you teach. If you have separate classes for women, men, working professionals or children mention it too.

Testimonials:

It will give users an idea on how others benefited from your programme.

Yoga website design:

Of course, that’s natural. Eye-catching, yet pleasing designs are going to be critical.

Layout, look and feel:

It should have your signature element and information should be easily accessible.

Photos:

A picture will easily convey the type of yoga studio you have, what kind of classes you run, what kind of results people can expect. Unless you have no other option, use stock photography. Otherwise avoid it.

Integrate payment options:

Make sure that payment and registration options are all online (remember the audience is almost always online)

Keep information up to date:

Regularly update offers, schedules, and fees on your website.

Get social:

Make sure that social media is readily accessible from your website because that is the new word-of-mouth

WordPress for creating beautiful yoga websites

When creating a yoga website, you’d obviously want these attributes,

  • Low-cost solution
  • Mobile responsiveness
  • SEO benefits
  • Ease of use
  • Choice of functionality

For yoga studios, WordPress has opened a world of possibilities. Cost-effective and with dynamic packages, WordPress are ideally suited for yoga websites. It takes care of the critical information without burdening your budget or the search engines.

Yoga website design inspiration

Following are few yoga website design inspiration that are well-organized, focus on current design trends and are just beautifully done.

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Yoga Website Templates

As the importance of yoga websites are becoming more important, you cannot present standard set of pages. Luckily, networks like WordPress offer theme that will perk up your website. Keep in mind that these are standard themes and if you don’t like certain features, you cannot remove them.

If you want a theme according to your needs, then custom theme development is the best option. A customized WordPress theme will give you all these and offers a lot of flexibility to yoga studios. It is also becoming the go-to solution for trainers who want to create yoga websites.

Jevelin

yoga website templates 4

Divi

yoga website templates 3

Aqua

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Hermosa

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Your very own yoga website design

Once you have decided to go online, you have to choose who is going to get you there. You can do it yourself, but given the number of things you need to do to get your website competitive on the web, a third party is always a good option.

The best option for you is to go with a professional website designer. The advantages are plenty. From timely delivery to a package deal on SEO and social media management to mobile device compatibility, professional designers are your best bet.

Our team at ColorWhistle specializes in Yoga website design work with you to get the website most suited for you and also take care of it to ensure that you get the maximum benefit from it. You may also want to check out tips on the critical pages for your website.