Top 10 Website Design agencies in Indiana, USA : Part of our Round Up series

Everyone is searching for your business online. It’s true! If your competitors are making more money than you, it’s probably because they are very visible in the online world (since most of your customers are online). If you are a small business in Indiana, USA here is a list of top website design companies that can help you get started.

This blog is a companion piece to the post about top web design agencies in Ohio, USA. According to the Small Business Association, Indiana has over 490,000 small businesses. Small businesses account for half the employment in the state.

Yet small businesses continue to have less online presence. As I had shared in the previous post, nearly half of the small businesses in USA did not have websites. The primary barriers to entry are worries about cost and speculation about necessity of an online presence.

Consulting a web design agency can help in addressing both these concerns. But why do you need to opt for a web design agency to set up a website when you can use existing templates out there?

There is no need really until you realize that setting up a website is not even half the battle. You have to work on maintaining and redesigning your website as per latest changes in search engine requirements.

Why do you need to worry about search engines? The simple answer is almost everyone and their uncle is searching for things online – from best restaurant to best plumber.

Outsource website design

Outsourcing website design saves money. You not only get the website but also don’t need to look for separate people to do SEO or digital marketing or social media management for you. Most web design agencies will provide comprehensive services.

And here’s a secret – the prices and quality are truly competitive. How to go about working with a web design agency? Here is another article that will help you: Working with outsourcing agencies.

Benefits of working with a web design agency

  • Cost savings
  • Time savings
  • You can focus on business
  • Leave the technology to the experts
  • Enjoy the benefits of online presence without breaking a sweat

Let’s look at some web design agencies in the state of Indiana, USA who provide top-notch services and true value for money.

Top Web Design Agencies in Indiana

When researching for the top agencies in Indiana, USA, I, well I searched online. The rationale is simple. If they are astute enough to get their business up in the top ranks of search engine results, they will surely do that for your business.

This selection was made based on the company’s website, its portfolio, and the user reviews online. These are websites that are also top of the list in organic search results.

Please note that SERP (Search Engine Results Page) rankings are not absolute and will change a bit depending on the keywords.

1. Nextfly

Services offered :

  • Responsive website design, mobile design, content management systems,
  • Logo design, ecommerce, content writing,
  • Blog writing, SEO, Local SEO, web hosting

Expertise :

  • Drupal, WordPress, eCommerce, iPhone development, mobile app development, SEO

Google SERP position :

  • Page 1, position 1or 2 in organic results

Portfolio :

  • Their portfolio covers a wide range of businesses. For me, one of their standouts was the mobile-friendly website for a hair salon. It showcases the hair salon’s hip and trendy vibe to the website does what it should – holds your attention.

About the company website :

  • I loved the long page format of the nextfly website. Keep scrolling to find all the information you need which is really what mobile users need. And the information is arranged intuitively – shortcuts to everything followed by a glimpse into services, followed by an infographic on the design process, followed by testimonials and several other features before ending in the all important contact form. You can literally find all info you need on the home page!

Company review :

  • 5/5 stars on Google reviews

2. ColorWhistle

Custom-Web-Design-Company-ColorWhistle

Services offered :

  • The company has been around since 2011 and offer website design, responsive web design and e-commerce website design.

Expertise :

  • Responsive web sites, mobile app development
  • Social media policy, social media design
  • Social media marketing. SEO, local SEO

Google SERP position :

  • Page 1, position 4or 5 in organic results

Portfolio :

  • The portfolio is diverse.

About the website :

  • It is a very colorful website with eye-popping colors but the colors don’t detract from business at hand. My impression was that the designers would be good at creating really unique looks for any business website.

Company Review :

  • 4.7/5 stars on Google Reviews

3. Effect Web Agency

Services offered:

  • Design and build, Attract and Convert.

Expertise:

  • Responsive website design, SEO, graphic design, website maintenance and management services, customization, app development, mobile development.

Google SERP position :

  • Page 1, position 2 or 3 in organic results

Portfolio :

  • The portfolio has a diverse range of clients from various industries.

About the website :

  • A clean website with easily accessible information. The company is located both in Indianapolis and Granger, serves customers from all over the state and country.

Company Review :

  • 5/5 stars on Google reviews

4. tbhcreative

Services offered :

  • Web strategy, web design, site success manager

Expertise :

  • web planning, website design, mobile solutions, application development, online marketing, analytic reporting.

Google SERP position :

  • Page 1, position 3 or 4 in organic result

Portfolio :

  • The portfolio showcases the diversity of their service offerings from website redesign to site success manager to lead generation. The client list is equally diverse from education to healthcare to technology to nonprofits.

About the website :

  • It is a clean website with emphasis on detailing their services and portfolio. Nothing distracts from the purpose of the website. They also have team photos up there so it creates a nice bond with the site visitor.

Company review :

  • 4.9/5 stars on Google reviews, 4.4/5 on Facebook

5. Roundpeg

Services offered :

  • strategy, web design, graphic design, content development

Expertise :

  • website design strategy, online marketing, WordPress, logo design, content marketing strategy, content development.

Google SERP position :

  • Page 1, position 4 or 5 in organic results

Portfolio :

  • The portfolio includes a wide range of deliveries including web design, content marketing, and graphic design. Clients include daycare center for dogs, plumbers, sellers of beans. Eclectic at the very least.

About the website :

  • The portfolio section is superbly detailed. Each featured story tells you what the customer wanted and how roundpeg went about achieving it. There are no generalizations and they publish the results of the changes that they did. Makes it very easy for a visitor to decide next steps.

Company Review :

  • 4.6/5 stars on Facebook

6. Box Crush

Services offered :

  • Web services, digital marketing

Expertise :

  • Web design, website development, ecommerce web design, Siteinfinity managed hosting, HIPAA compliance, retainer services, search marketing, SEO, keyword research, SEO copywriting, analytics and reporting, digital marketing. Also specialize in local SEO and web development.

Google SERP position :

  • Page 1, position 4 or 5 in organic results

Portfolio :

  • The portfolio showcases work done for clients ranging from big companies to small businesses like flower nurseries, from regional hospitals to family health centers.

About the website :

  • Yet another long form home page, team members photos and a nice touch with the way the recent projects are highlighted on the home page. They even have a client guide that they will mail you.

Company Review :

  • 5/5 stars on Facebook

7. Nitara Marketing

Location :

  • Kokomo, Indiana

Services offered :

  • Web design, virtual admin assistance, web development, graphic design, powerpoint design, content writing, SEO, social media management, market research

Expertise :

  • Responsive web sites, online marketing, analytics, WordPress, PHP, social media marketing, Keyword research, location targeting, content development, content marketing, graphic design

Google SERP position :

  • Page 1, position 7 or 8in organic results

Portfolio :

  • The client list is diverse, ranging from small businesses, to healthcare providers to financial and legal consultants.

About the website :

  • The company provides comprehensive web design and marketing services.

Company Review :

  • 5/5 stars on Google Reviews and 5/5 on yp.com

8. The Web Guys

Location :

  • Carmel, IN

Services offered :

  • Web design, software development, digital marketing

Expertise :

  • Research, custom design, development, WordPress, internet marketing, SEM, adwords/PPC, email marketing, client consulting, demand marketing, content strategy, brand management, conversion rates, analytics, social media, UX, database development.

Google SERP position :

  • Page 1, position 2 or 3 in organic results

Portfolio :

  • The client list includes real estate firms, small businesses and healthcare.

About the website :

  • A clean, elegant website that gives you all the information you need quickly and without much searching.

Company Review :

  • 5/5 stars on Google Reviews, 5/5 on Facebook, 5/5 on Customer Lobby (of 86 reviews)

9. Cada& Associates

Location :

  • Carmel, IN

Services offered :

  • Online marketing, print marketing, mobile marketing

Expertise :

  • Responsive web design, WordPress website development, ecommerce websites, database managements, SEO, email marketing, website copywriting, website hosting, server management, website analytics, corporate branding, brochures, mailers, advertising, business cards, presentations, mobile app development

Google SERP position :

  • Page 1, position 7 or 8 in organic results

Portfolio :

  • The portfolio is diverse and includes work like user interface design, trade show display design, mobile app, responsive websites and online applications.

About the website :

  • I found the website leaning a bit towards the traditional style by which I mean neat separation of the pages and the content and not using the long form. But from the portfolio it is clear that they can be quite out of the box as well.

10. 804 Studios

Location :

  • Bloomington, IN

Services offered :

  • Small business website design, custom website programming

Expertise :

  • Website design, SEO, content management, analytics, hosting, third party integration, site planning/architecture, UI and User Experience design, Database management

Google SERP position :

  • Page 1, position 7 or 8 in organic results

Portfolio :

  • The portfolio is small but diverse.

About the website :

  • This is probably the most straight forward of the websites I went through. The home page tells you what they do and how to get in touch with them. There are no superfluous tabs, just About, Portfolio and Contact. The reason I added this company to this list is that its major focus is small business website maintenance and design and the fact that this small company is on the first page of Google SERP which is a great showcase of SEO capabilities as well.

Working with a web development company

When working with a web development agency make sure you have a long list and a detailed list of all your requirements. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and ensure that the agency is on the same page.

If you choose to outsource overseas, ask for the initial consultation. It is generally free and will give you a good idea of the company’s capabilities. Again ensure that the agency understands your business fully.

Keep a shortlist of the website development companies and visit their websites to see whether the portfolio is to your liking. If unsure, get in touch with the agencies for a free consult and move forward when fully satisfied.

Web design agency partnerships

Website design agencies like ColorWhistle in India,have formed partnerships or are looking to create partnerships with companies in Indiana and USA. Nitara Marketing (number 7 on this list) is one such partner.

Partnerships are critical in adding to the portfolio of both companies. Capabilities can be shared at no extra cost while expanding client base significantly.

Partners based in different time zones can benefit from time differences to provide quicker turn around to their business clients.

Developing a strong online presence has become critical to the small business today. A website design company can help you evaluate your requirements and get you started on your online journey.

Even if you are already online, a little bit of help in changing the way you operate online can go a long way in positively impacting your bottomline.

Top Website design companies in Columbus, Ohio, USA

Ohio is home to some of the country’s best known website design companies. For this post I am looking at the cities of Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati. The selection was made based on the company’s website, its portfolio, and the user reviews online. These are websites that are also top of the list in organic search results.

Please note that SERP rankings are not absolute and will change a bit depending on the keywords.

Website design companies in Columbus, Ohio

1. Splitreff

Services offered:

  • Responsive website design, Digital marketing
  • Custom application development
  • Brand and Identity development
  • logo design, print.

Expertise:

  • Drupal, WordPress, eCommerce,
  • iPhone development, mobile app development, SEO

About the company website:

The website is easy to navigate. The portfolio is easy to get at and the photographs are really good. The company also shows “Before” and “After” images for websites that have been redesigned. All the required information is easily accessible. Overall a good website.

Google SERP position:

  • Page 1, position 2 or 3 in organic results

Company review:

  • 4.7/5 stars on Google reviews, 3.7/5 on Facebook, and 4.2/5 on Clutch

2. BlueLaserDesign

Services offered:

  • Strategy, branding, design, development
  • Social media management, SEO, maintenance

Expertise:

Responsive website design, graphic design, print work, banner design, photography, mobile app development, 3D modeling, video production, website maintenance, website hosting, social media design and marketing, eCommerce solutions, logo design reputation management, content strategy.

Google SERP position:

  • Page 1, position 3 or 4 in organic results

Portfolio:

  • The portfolio has a diverse range of clients from various industries including law, finance, real estate and healthcare.

About the website:

  • A clean website with readily accessible information. The portfolio pictures are linked to their back-stories.

Company Review:

  • 5/5 stars on Google reviews, 4.4/5 on Facebook, 5/5 on yp.com

3. Marcy Design

Services offered:

  • Web, marketing, advertising
  • Social media, customer acquisition

Expertise:

  • Branding, design, production, programming, application development, hosting, SEO, mobile development, eCommerce, email marketing.

Google SERP position:

  • Page 1, position 4 or 5 in organic results

Portfolio:

  • The portfolio has a diverse range of clients from various industries including law, finance, real estate and healthcare.

About the website:

  • The home page has a full window video running which showcases snippets from the day to day routine of the company’s office, which is a great example of their design and production capabilities. A clean website with easily accessible information.

Company review:

  • 5/5 stars on Google reviews, 5/5 on Facebook

4. Sevell & Sevell

Services offered:

  • Advertising, Website design, logo design and branding,
  • Print services, SEO and SEM, Social media management

Industries served:

  • Home builders, medical, surgeons, non-profits, restaurants. Apart from these they do design work for small businesses from all industries.

Google SERP position:

  • Page 1, position 4 or 5 in organic results

Portfolio:

  • The portfolio includes a wide range of deliveries including websites, newsletters, brochures, advertisements, and logos.

About the website:

  • I’ll be honest that I did not quite take to the purple background. But, the website has a lot of information and interesting reading topics. They headline all entries with catchy titles which ensures that people stay on the website for longer. They also have published results of their SEO and branding exercises which adds to the confidence of the reader.

Company Review:

  • 5/5 stars on Google reviews

Website design companies in Cincinnati, Ohio

1. Primax Studio

Services offered:

  • Website design and development, branding
  • SEO, Google AdWords, PPC

Expertise:

  • WordPress, PHP, mobile and responsive websites, custom App development, e-commerce, web hosting, marketing and optimization, strategic design including websites, presentations, brochures.

Google SERP position:

  • Page 1, position 1 or 2 in organic results

Portfolio:

  • The portfolio includes a wide range of deliveries including websites, newsletters, brochures, advertisements, and logos.

About the website:

  • Clean website, has adequate information, and showcases their design capabilities.

Company Review:

  • 4.2/5 stars on Facebook

2. Web Strategy Plus

Services offered:

  • Website design, App development
  • Social media, graphic design, logo design
  • Digital marketing, SEO, PPC

Expertise:

  • Responsive web sites, mobile app development, social media policy, social media design, social media marketing, content marketing, local search optimization, video production, conversion optimization, email marketing, franchise marketing.

Google SERP position:

  • Page 1, position 2 or 3 in organic results

Portfolio:

  • The company serves as internet marketing vendor for clients from fields as diverse as education to real estate to finance.

About the website:

  • The website is straightforward, all the information is readily readable. The company seems to amply apply its own internet strategies when designing this website.

Company Review:

  • 5/5 stars on Google Reviews

3. Ideas & Pixels

Services offered:

  • Website design, SEO, Digital marketing, SEM
  • PPC, Google AdWords, Google Analytics

Expertise:

  • Responsive web sites, online marketing, analytics and tag integration, WordPress, PHP, social media marketing, Keyword research, location targeting.

Google SERP position:

  • Page 1, position 2 or 3 in organic results

Portfolio:

  • The client list is diverse, ranging from small businesses, to healthcare providers to financial and legal consultants.

About the website:

  • The company is a full service web design firm and the website presents adequate information about the services offered.

Company Review:

  • 5/5 stars on Google Reviews and 5/5 on yp.com

4. Cincinnati Web Tec

Services offered:

  • Web design and development, SEO, Digital marketing
  • Social media marketing, graphic design, hosting

Expertise:

  • Responsive web sites, social media marketing, photography, video production, email marketing, PPC marketing, copywriting, web consulting, e-commerce, web hosting, business email hosting, domain management.

Google SERP position:

  • Page 1, position 2 or 3 in organic results

Portfolio:

  • The client list includes real estate firms, small businesses and healthcare.

About the website:

  • A clean, elegant website that gives you all the information you need quickly and without much searching.

Company Review:

  • 5/5 stars on Google Reviews and 5/5 on Facebook

Website design companies in Cleveland, Ohio

1. OuterBox Design

Services offered:

  • Website design and development, e-commerce web design,
  • Search marketing, logo design, branding, boutique website design

Expertise:

  • Responsive website design, corporate website design, ecommerce website design, B2C ecommerce solutions, B2B ecommerce solutions, SEO, paid search, AdWords management, infographics, .

Google SERP position:

  • Page 1, position 2 or 3 in organic results

Portfolio:

  • The client list is diverse and has multinational companies as well.

About the website:

  • The website presents all requisite information on the home page. The navigation is simple and there is enough material to keep a visitor interested.

Company Review:

  • 4.6/5 stars on Google Reviews and 5/5 on Clutch

2. Go media

Services offered:

  • Logo design, graphic design, website design

Expertise:

  • WordPress, responsive website development, SEO, Cloud hosting, Google Analytics, YouTube/Vimeo development, Google Map embed, brand building, 

Google SERP position:

  • Page 1, position 3 or 4 in organic results

Portfolio:

  • The client list is diverse and has multinational companies as well.

About the website:

  • I liked this website because it was clean and let me get to the basics really fast. The website also provides detailed information about their services packages including starting prices which means that a site visitor can make quick decisions about hiring them. It also provides free vectors, mock up templates and textures.

Company Review:

  • 4.9/5 stars on Google Reviews and 4.4/5 on Facebook

3. Insivia

Services offered:

  • Digital business, strategic consulting, marketing

Expertise:

  • Website design and development, mobile app development, interactive solutions and portals, video production and animation, business consulting, training, marketing campaigns, conversion optimization, email marketing, social media, paid advertising, remarketing.

Google SERP position:

  • Page 1, position 1 or 2 in organic results

Portfolio:

  • The services provided are as diverse as the clients as evidenced by the portfolio. Clients have ranged from small local firms to large firms like Microsoft and Cushman & Wakefield.

About the website:

  • Another website I really liked for its design; plus they had full length case studies of their clients. This means that I can read up about a company that has had the same services that I think I need and then decide whether or not I will hire these guys to do it.

Company Review:

  • 5/5 on Facebook

4. Stream9

Services offered:

  • Website design and development, Graphic Design, Online Marketing, Hosting

Expertise:

  • Responsive website design, ecommerce, mobile application development, web application development, custom APIs, custom CMS, SEO, digital marketing, social media marketing, email marketing.

Google SERP position:

  • Page 1, position 3 or 4 in organic results

Portfolio:

  • Their portfolio covers a wide range of clients and services. Clients include Case Western Reserve University, PROI Worldwide, and The Westin hotel in Cleveland.

About the website:

  • This was probably the cleanest of the layouts among all the websites I had visited. No superfluous information was there. Pages loaded fast and the information was intuitively grouped making for a great user experience.

Company Review:

  • 5/5 on Facebook

Hire A Website Development Agency Near You

This is by no means an exhaustive list or even a definitive one, but it could be used as a pointer when you are on the lookout for a new website or redesigning your website or even just thinking of changing your online marketing strategy.

Hiring a website development agency can be a tough decision but as long as you are prepared and the company is fully professional, the process is quite enjoyable.

Whether you choose to hire an agency near your city or even outsource overseas, make sure that you are thoroughly satisfied with the initial consultation and the company’s portfolio. Ensure that the agency focuses on your business as much as it does on technology and strategy.

Don’t let your concerns slow down your online growth. Get in touch with the agency of your choice for a free consult and move forward when fully satisfied.

Web Design Agency Partnership Opportunities

What’s more is that worldwide there are website design agencies in India like ColorWhistle, of equal capability or more who are willing to partner with agencies in Ohio and the USA. This helps companies like Cynexis or Marcy to expand their client base significantly and to take in more business.

Project-sharing and client base expansion are some of the mutual benefits for both the companies. If the partner is based in a different time zone, website design agencies in the USA can even start providing quicker turn-around.

For any business owner, a strong online presence has become the need of the hour to reach a wider customer base. Website design and development agencies, whether they are working alone or with an outsourcing partner, can help businesses grow strategically by providing all-round services.

Web Design Blogs Every Designer Must Follow

If you are looking for design inspirations, ideas and technical tips and tricks, these 10 web design blogs are great places to go looking!

Any creative process needs that little something to get started.

An insect could inspire an artist, a babbling brook is fodder for a poet, falling leaves can get the creative juices flowing for a fashion designer – but it all starts with something.

For website and graphic designers the creative process is driven as much by their own creative inclination as it is by the business’ need.

So how does one get inspired on a daily basis?

Is it even possible?

This is where website design and website development blogs come into play.

They can provide both design inspiration and technical help; essential when you are in a field as competitive as website development.

Best Web Design Blogs

With that in mind, I have put together a list of web design blogs that you could follow in 2018 just for that extra bit of inspiration. Also, this post makes a great companion piece for my previous blog SEO Trends in 2017.

1. Webdesigner Depot

Webdesigner Depot gives you daily news, views, resources and techniques related to website design and website development. These daily posts are delivered to your inbox every morning.

There are detailed articles on web design like how to create hero images, polls for things ranging from when you will start to use CSS grid layout to Is VR the new Flash, and resources like updates on Spark Video or interviews with the who’s who in the business (like Jon von Tzetchner of Vivaldi). There are even cartoons to relax your mind.

You can follow them on Twitter, see updates on Facebook, or just simply enjoy the daily updates that are bound to help you out.

2. CSS Tricks

CSS Tricks, which was started in 2007 by Chris Coyier, is the resource to turn to when you need CSS tips and tricks. Although the blog has evolved to include other aspects of website design and website development, it remains the best resource for all your CSS needs.

An example is one of Chris’ latest entries on the subject of CSS Color Level 4. The blog also shares other resources like design trends featuring non-rectangular headers. The design with the jagged edges is certainly something to think about. As the subtitle on the blog says “Dashes of flair to kick up your designs a notch”.

As a designer you can feel those creative wheels turn in your head, no? The best feature on the blog is the detailed trials on different aspects of CSS. Like the latest on PostCSS where Chris writes about his experiences of working with PostCSS. There are detailed code snippets, rationale and explanations that make it worthwhile to subscribe to this blog.

3. Smashing Magazine

This one, like Webdesign Depot, seems to be a favorite with several designers. Smashing Magazine is a great site with beautifully and clearly demarcated categories for different aspects of web design. You get section for Coding, for design, for mobile, for graphics, for UX design and for WordPress. The subsections are also clearly marked making navigation simple.

Of course, the blog has been around since 2006 and hence all the material! For any web designer who wants to go in really deep into their craft, this is the resource to head to. There are books and e-books that you can buy, newsletter you can subscribe to and workshops and seminars for which you can book tickets as well.

Clearly, this is the best website for web development resources (if you have a bit of OCD, then this is gold – it is so wonderfully organized!). One of their latest posts is for Out of the Box design inspiration and the graphics they curate surely inspire.

4. ColorWhistle

Here’s one you should be familiar with, ColorWhistle is a web design and SEO company in Coimbatore and has been provided the web with stunning designs for several years now. We update blogs regularly with content that will genuinely help you to keep improving your web design and SEO efforts – whether or not you decide to hire our services. We hope you’ve bookmarked this page!

5. Design Bombs

If I liked Smashing Magazine for its organization, I love Design Bombs for its clean layout. This website gives you not just informative blogs but also some great themes and equally great deals on various other resources (for example 20% off on TemplateMonster).

This blog covers a whole range of web design topics from WordPress to roundup of website designs and more. The site even has an entire page dedicated to design inspiration.

6. Hongkiat

If you aren’t using this resource yet, then you probably should. Hongkiat features several contributors who provide multiple viewpoints on the same subject. There are also distinct categories like technology where contributors share their know-how on specific subjects; for example, how to create custom slash commands in Slack.

There are some great tips for WordPress themes, resources for wordpress web developers and so much more. The best part of this website is that it allows you to reap the benefits of multiple contributions on the same subject, all neatly linked to each other.

7. Design Shack

This is a beautiful clean layout which makes you want to click on the topic and read. Visually Design Shack features the latest blog on the top of the page and other blogs follow. There are over 3,000 blogs featured under more than 11 categories. There is a design gallery to choose from where you can get inspiration for subjects ranging from magazines to apps.

You can subscribe to their newsletter and their community is has over 15,000 members which means that you get to choose from a wide variety of inputs. You can buy icons, submit your creations, get inspired.

In short, your website design journey is sure to become easier. I particularly liked their post on trying something other than white for backgrounds of websites. More inspiration our way (the asymmetrical background is a great idea to build on for an art gallery client or even a restaurant client).

8. Design Taxi

This isn’t an exclusive website development or website design blog. But this is the blog to go to for ideas on everything. No, really. The Design Taxi blog covers a wide range of topics that can activate your creativity cells.

Even just browsing through some of the Infographics they curate is enough to get the ideas started. This is especially helpful if you are looking to add more content to your website in the form of articles or videos or even just pictures.

The posts on Design Taxi are fun and unconventional but isn’t that what the creative process is all about?

9. LogoDesignLove

This is one of the top blogs for logo design stories and inspirations. Branding is a critical exercise for any business, even one that is primarily online. Hence along with the website design, you will be involved in creating the brand for the website as well.

A logo is pretty much the brand. The Nike swoosh or the three point star of Mercedes Benz are universally recognized. Thus for web designers who are also involved in graphic design and logo design, LogoDesignLove has some great stories that can inspire you as well.

10. Logobird

This blog has excellent resources for logo designers and graphic designers with guides on choosing designers, inspirational designs and artist stories, and they also compiled a handy list of the best logo design blogs available.

11. Vandelay Designs

According to their website, Vandelay Designs aims to equip small businesses and entrepreneurs with the tools that they need to make their venture a success. Their blog is designed to be educational, providing ideas and technical details of various aspects of website design and web content development.

They also provide a vast array of tools – design graphics, UI kits, PSDs, brushes, vectors, mockup templates, responsive web templates and much more. In addition, there is a lot of reading material in the form of e-books and marketing material.

Their blog covers a wide range of topics including tips and tricks for creating design styles, information on promotions on websites like iStock, free items like Photoshop gradients. This particular blog caught my eye and not just because it is recent and featured on the top of the page – How to borrow design ideas from a website without downright copying it.

For putting this list together I went through quite a few blogs that are out there. This list is reflective of what I as a website designer feel provides some of the best resources we need in our job – inspiration, ideas and the actual tools.

12. WordPress News

A good place to start is with WordPress’ own blog. WordPress is of course the tool that a lot of webmasters and web design companies will work with and being up-to-date with the latest news, rules and tips can help you to stay one step ahead of the competition.

13. Shawn Barry Creative

Shawn Barry is a web designer who runs his own blog where he offers tips, advice and tutorials. There are many blogs like this on the web but Shawn’s is especially interesting and useful and his YouTube channel will introduce you to some of the more advanced concepts within web design. Well worth checking out!

14. Chase Jarvis

Chase Jarvis is mainly a photographer who has become very well-known online after interviewing the likes of Tim Ferriss. His blog is filled with all kinds of design-related content though (including web design) as well as photography advice. Photography advice is something that more advanced web designers should definitely look into as it can offer an endless resource of custom, professional images.

15. UX Booth

As the name suggests, UX Booth is all about the user experience. This is an important aspect of web design to consider and a very modern view point. There’s a thriving community here and a lot of great advice that can help to make your user experience more seamless and intuitive.

16. Smart Passive Income

To learn all there is to know about web design, you shouldn’t just be reading about web design. Why? Because web design is predicated on other factors – such as SEO and marketing. Smart Passive Income is one of the best online introductions to digital marketing, all written in a friendly and accessible manner. There’s a lot of content here on web design too and a lot of content that is indirectly relevant to your web design.

17. SpeckyBoy Design Magazine

Like Shawn Barry Creative, SpeckyBoy began life as the personal blog of a web designer. Since then it has somewhat ‘exploded’ and now generates a huge amount of traffic. It’s a great place for getting quick tips and useful advice you likely didn’t know – for instance ways to save time using PhotoShop. Add this to your pull list and you’ll constantly be learning new skills and tricks.

18. Design You Trust

If it’s a constant stream of content you’re looking for, then the hourly updated collective design blog and community Design You Trust won’t see you wrong! This is a fantastic place to dip into from time to time if you want ideas and inspiration for design that extends well beyond just web design. Here you can also find information on publishing, video design and more – much of which can serve a number of purposes for web designers and business owners as well!

19. Collective Ray

You can never stop learning when you’re involved in web design. Collective Ray have chosen the best web design blogs you must follow in 2016. Their RSS feeds to make helps us to keep updates on these many web design blogs.

Web design Blogs – Wrapping Up

Other than these blogs, other essential blogs for wordpress web developers would be SEO blogs like moz.com and backlinko.com, the latter is very much a source of phenomenal and tested SEO strategies. I didn’t add them to the list, just to keep the list purely design oriented. But as providers of turnaround web solutions, blogs on SEO, SEM, digital marketing and everything else should also probably make it on the list.

Which is a great idea to work on – a comprehensive list of must-subscribe blogs for web development companies. Perhaps even a list on responsive web design blogs. This is the beauty of blogging. It becomes a platform to share ideas, provide inspiration, get inspired, teach and learn.

Some other web design blogs that caught my eye and are useful to us:

If there are any particular web design and development blogs out there that can get on this list, let me know in the comments section.

3 Factors that drives you to SEO trends in 2017

The SEO trends in 2017 are being driven by factors like Responsive website development, mobile-first development, and the way search algorithms are evolving

It feels like only yesterday we were looking at how the SEO landscape would change in the year 2016. Suddenly we are in the New Year and looking for new strategies to implement in the arena.

How we determine strategy and budget will depend largely on how much we understand the SEO trends in 2017.

Driving forces

Search

Intent

One of the major events in search engines has been the adoption of what is known as semantic searches. It simply means that search engines are now aligning to what the customer wants from the content rather than what the content gives to the customer.

The search intent has become critical to the search results. Simply having keywords won’t help unless your content can align itself to the intent of the search.

Responsive, mobile-first websites

seo trends

The other driving force is the need for responsive websites. As more and more people access the internet through hand held devices, the content needs to fit into any size of screen automatically.

Google’s Mobilegeddon algorithm favors your website if it is easy mobile friendly and responsive. The definition of mobile-friendly includes things like fast load times, elegant viewing in any device and catchy content condensation for any topic on

your website.

Technology changes

Artificial intelligence, personal assistants, AMP, these are all changing the way search engines look at your website. They add more layers to the interaction between page and search engine but make the interaction between your customer and your webpage easier.

All this means that your content is longer not just about having all the right keywords, but also about being valuable to your customer. It also means that your SEO strategy will need to evolve to embrace all these changes – go from being technically focused to becoming more organic or (dare I say this) holistic in approach.

Top SEO trends in 2017

User Intent Optimization

seo trends

User these days are more likely to put in longer search phrases and queries in order to get the kind of results they want (and they know exactly what they want). A user will type a search phrase, quickly browse through the page titles and descriptions and click on the one that says that it will meet the intent of her search.

For example, if a user needs to order a birthday cake with a superhero decoration because her child loves superheroes, your bakery’s web content should be equipped to handle this.

User query: superhero birthday cake

Your web content: You should have enough relevant content that makes it possible for the search engine to relate the SpiderMan icing that you specialize in to the user’s search query for a superhero cake.

The search engine doesn’t just look at the word “superhero” it looks at the whole sentence and infers the meaning of the search. Then it looks for pages that match the meaning and not just the keyword.

Meanings for the query could include cakes that are cut and shaped like superheroes, regular circle or rectangle cakes that have superhero icing on them, cakes molded like superhero figures. Therefore search engine will select those pages which have all these inferences in them.

This is the result of the semantic search algorithm called Hummingbird that Google launched in 2013. What Hummingbird does is it doesn’t just establish what is being searched, it also establishes the context in which the search is occurring. The context is set using various factors like the user’s search history, user location, relationships between previously stored data and so forth.

Search Engine Journal has a wonderfully informative article on semantic search and why it has become critical to SEO strategy. But getting the user to your web content is one thing, what they experience with it will determine how the SEO strategy affects your business.

User Experience Optimization

Another trend that you can expect in 2017 is the focus on user experience. Speed with which the page loads is one part of this, especially for mobile device users. Even in fair network speeds if pages load fast, those are the pages people will go to often.

User experience also includes the way the elements on your page interact with the user. If a user clicks on a button or link and the next event takes several seconds or it leads to a broken link or a “Page not Found”, already it is recorded as a bad experience for the user.

Rich and useful content is another way for ensuring that people come to your website often. When users gain information from your site, they tend to remember your site, bookmark it and recommend it through sharing on social media or email or even word of mouth.

The SEO strategy must be to make your website not just number in ranking but to provide such a unique experience to the user that it gains popularity. As more and more users arrive, then the website automatically gains popularity.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

seo trends in 2017

In an earlier post I had written about how AMP is going to drive Search Engine results in mobile devices and what you can do to transition to AMP for your website. Basically AMP is a lighter version of HTML and AMP-compliant pages load much faster on mobile devices.

In its current application, AMP contributes significantly in keeping load times below 3 seconds which is the acceptable limit for mobile web page loading. This, in turn, is significant in adding greater value to user experience.

Although for now AMP is typically used in news pages, SEO consultants believe that it can be extended comfortably to other websites as well to improve their engagement with the users. As mobile users grow, AMP may just end up becoming a standard for mobile web pages.

Machine and automatic algorithm

Another trend that will be visible is what Rob Woods, an SEO Consultant calls “the rise of the machines”. A simplistic inference is that machines can learn to use predictive algorithms and provide better search results. Google’s algorithm has seen major changes – the introduction of RankBrain is one of the biggest.

RankBrain is a machine-learning artificial intelligence system that helps Google to process queries of a certain type, namely, the rare one-of-a-kind ones. While the system is focused on refining queries, it is also the third most important ranking factor for pages.

Machine learning becomes significant because it helps search engines understand the intent of the query better. This is because machine learning strives to understand the language. Better understanding of intent = better page matches.

Thus, your SEO strategy needs to look at optimizing your website for user intent. Why are Google and others so invested in machine learning?

A simple answer to that is: There is a direct correlation between search results and revenue from ads. As quality of search results go up, it has positive impact on revenues from ads. I found this article on moz.com that tells you the essentials of machine learning.

Machine learning also becomes significant when you look at the ways in which an online search is conducted. You are no longer just looking at people typing in queries; you now have people speaking to machines.

Voice Search – the influence of the Personal Digital Assistant

seo trends in 2017

A personal digital assistant like Siri from Apple or Cortana from Microsoft, an AI program like Google Now makes your mobile life easy by accessing apps and running a search using your voice. Voice search alters the search query dynamic by a lot.

For one thing when we speak we are likely to use more grammar and semantic than when we type in a query. Personal assistants are taking the concept of voice searches to a different level. It is now almost mandatory for assistants to accept a conversational query.

What does it mean for searches?

  • They’ve become more semantic
  • Intent is as important as keyword
  • Looks for conversational content
  • The goal is to find answers quickly
  • May not be looking all over the web

What does it mean for SEO?

  • Make the content more conversational
  • Topical content must be devised
  • Conduct research on intent
  • Build user-intent models
  • Match your content to the appropriate stage of user intent

An example for the last item: Supposing you are a bag designer. You will get customers who are just looking (query: jute bags) and customers who are looking to buy (query: jute bag for grocery shopping price range $10-$20).

Hence make yourself visible by devising content that showcases your best products and answers to the window-shopping intent, say well-produced videos. Entice the customer. The rest of your content must be detailed for each product and answers to the buying intent – price, color, purpose, material, material details and so forth.

This also means that your marketing efforts should now be multi-pronged and cater to the varying intents of your target customers. This is where another SEO strategy comes in – personal branding.

Personal branding

Branding is a marketing exercise that allows businesses to establish identity standards for themselves or it can be taken care by your Digital marketing agency. This is why, although Ferrari and Jaguar are immediately identifiable as car brands, you don’t associate the same things with the cars that the brands represent.

One is about speed and luxury and the other is about power and luxury, derived literally almost from the prancing horse icon of Ferrari and the leaping jaguar icon of the eponymous brand, respectively. Your online presence can also make use of branding as a great SEO strategy.

Of course, we are not talking about corporate branding here. Rather the strategy to apply is personal branding.

This is because the bigger the company, the less the personal touch for the customer unless the customer is buying high value products. But most customers wouldn’t fall in this category and hence the disillusionment with the faceless corporations.

Building a personal brand online involves developing a branding strategy around an individual rather than the corporate. One example is to develop the personal brand of the company’s CEO or if you are a small business, then develop the brand of the business owner.

This can be done by:

  • Developing content authored by the individual
  • Syndicating the content from the individual author on social media
  • Guest posting this content to build links
  • Identifying and developing the niche customers through engagement with the content they want
  • Offline engagement with customer community
  • Rewarding the followers either through monetary means or non-monetary means like sharing their content or giving free tips and tricks

Personal branding requires you to create a unique identity set for the individual as well. This can be done through developing specific content types like videos or podcasts or writing about topics from the individual’s area of expertise.

I find that an SEO strategy like personal branding is valuable to a business because it takes SEO to a level where you can actually see the whole business and its stakeholders and not just tinker with the online technical aspect.

And to share a secret or 7 of them, here’s an article by Jayson DeMers writing in Forbes on the secrets of successful personal brands.

However, regardless of what strategy you many want to apply, content remains key to SEO success. Relevance, freshness and usefulness of the content are becoming the key factors that decide how your SEO strategy will play out.

The Skyscraper Technique of content development

No, all content is not king. This is because, if you think about it, all content is not useful. In the trends we have seen till now, the constant refrain has been that your SEO strategy must be based on what people want to see online.

Content that is useful to the user is the one that is most likely to attract them. If they find it really useful, they will comment about it, share it and even give you backlinks. Unless you are designing and implementing content strategies around this philosophy, your content will have little value.

Content strategy is just that – it is a strategy. Therefore it has to involve all aspects of marketing from content creation to content publication to content distribution. What content you develop is as important as how it will reach the end user.

From the SEO perspective, content must generate readers, gain the attention of influencers and bring backlinks to your website.

To that end, Brian Dean of BackLinko has come up with (what feels like) an absurdly simple technique of content development called the Skyscraper Technique. In fact, I found myself smiling at the ingenuity of its simplicity.

Skyscraper is fundamentally a 3-step process:

  1. Find link-worthy content that is relevant to your business
  2. Develop something even better
  3. Distribute it to the right audience

Wow, I mean, it truly can’t get simpler than that. If you are an SEO consultant or offering SEO services, the first step would be to identify a problem area that your client’s business can address.

For example, if your client is a baker and there are enough queries out there regarding certain ingredients or techniques, you have a problem that you can address.

Next find out what is the linkable asset that you can find about this problem. A linkable asset will have a large number of backlinks, and a proportionate number of shares, likes and comments on social media.

Once you have the asset, then build on that. If the linkable asset spoke about a hard-to-source ingredient, go the extra mile and find out best ways to source it or the best readily available substitutes and build your content around that.

Make sure you don’t just have more content, you have more valuable content.

The final step, find out whom to contact for getting backlinks. The list of backlinks on the linkable asset will give you the domains and you can sort through the relevant domains and share your new asset with those domain owners.

Of course, you will share on social media platforms because nothing generates business like word-of-mouth, even if the mouths are virtual. But from the SEO perspective the Skyscraper technique will work because:

  • It improves on existing content
  • Adds value for the user
  • Has more likelihood of naturally attracting site visitors
  • Improves the likelihood of backlinks
  • Is organic which means Google’s algorithm will like it

All in all, 2017 promises more growth in the directions that SEO strategies were taking to keep pace with the changes in technology and search engine algorithms.

A few weeks ago Search Engine Journal published the feedback they received from industry experts like Barry Adams, Dave Davies, Casie Gillette and many others (44 to be exact) on what they felt would be the SEO trends in 2017.

Most of the responses included the points I have mentioned in this post. While some of the respondents advised that AMP would be a trend that may not go beyond 2017, trends like optimizing for user intent, voice search, machine learning featured prominently.

To summarize, the major SEO trends for 2017 would be:

  • Optimization for user intent
  • User experience optimization
  • Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
  • Machine and automatic algorithm
  • Personal branding
  • Skyscrapper Content Technique
  • Personal Digital Assistance (Voice Search)

The major drivers for these trends are:

  • Search intent based semantic algorithms
  • Mobile-first approach
  • Responsive website development
  • Technology changes

Other prominent trends expected to influence SEO strategy:

  • Schema/Structured data markup
  • Video Content
  • Snippets
  • Cross-Channel marketing

For a small business looking to capitalize on the changing SEO trends by leveraging the best options on the Internet, a bit of help from SEO experts can go a long way.

WordPress Responsive Theme Development With Bootstrap

When to opt for Bootstrap framework for your WordPress responsive theme development

Responsive websites have become essential for any business that wants to reach an increasingly mobile-device driven customer base. Bootstrap is a website design framework that allows for wordpress responsive theme development.

WordPress has become a sort of the go-to solution for website design.

Bootstrap certainly has its benefits when it comes to web design, but does it always work in conjunction with WordPress theme development?

WordPress Responsive Theme Development
WordPress Responsive Theme Development

What is Bootstrap?

From the Bootstrap website you learn that Bootstrap is “the most popular HTML, CSS, and JS framework for developing responsive mobile-first projects on the web.”

It was originally named Twitter Blueprint and was developed at Twitter as a means of bringing consistency across internal tools.

One of its developers, Mark Otto, describes it as a way to document and share common designs and assets within the company.

As the project grew it was renamed to Bootstrap and released as an open source project in 2011.

The second version of Bootstrap introduced the twelve-column layout along with responsive design elements.

With Bootstrap 3, the framework became mobile first.

Flat design also was the other significant component of this version.

All versions up to 3 supported LESS whereas in the 2015 alpha release of Bootstrap 4, SASS and Flexbox support were introduced.

The significant thing about Bootstrap which you can see in its definition is that it doesn’t include PHP.

Bootstrap is essentially an application framework and not necessarily a theme framework.

What it does for WordPress theme development is that it gives you a framework of styles and scripts that make it easy for you to build a responsive site.

The pros of WordPress responsive theme development with Bootstrap

WordPress Responsive Theme Development

Bootstrap is Responsive and Mobile First

This is a framework that essentially saves you a ton of time when it comes to mobile device styling for your website.

It has:

  • Its own media queries
  • The object oriented CSS provides lot of flexibility for styling theme elements and
  • Since it is mobile-first, the CSS is more efficient that desktop style sheets

Clean, modern, attractive theme designs

I find that some of the styling themes are really nice, especially the table styling which (to me) seems better than what WordPress has.

The layout and typography offered by Bootstrap allows you to create themes that are modern, interactive and clear.

It won’t get you a web design award but for the end user it can be a clean experience.

Access to HTML5 and scripts

Bootstrap has its own classes for styling but what is remarkable is that it includes the full range of HTML5 elements.

This is really useful for website development because trying to style all these elements from scratch can be time consuming. It also makes semantic markup easier.

Another way in which Bootstrap speeds up theme development for WordPress is by providing access to plenty of scripts for animations and interactions.

This is especially useful if your site is going to use a combination of transitions, tool tips, buttons, popovers and more.

It ensures that your scripts interact well.

SEO friendly and productive

Bootstrap, like other WordPress theme development frameworks, provides a lot of value vis-à-vis SEO.

Clean code and readability is one way in which Bootstrap helps with SEO, compatibility of the themes with essential plug-ins and add-ons also goes a long way in improving SEO.

I agree that the fundamental principles of SEO are not dependent on the CMS but if something saves time for the process, why not go for it?

However Bootstrap does have certain downsides as well.

wordpress designers for hire

Challenges of WordPress Responsive theme development with Bootstrap

Many, many classes

And I mean many.

The huge numbers of classes are great if you want to add complexity to your website layout.

If you want something with only a few styles however, then wading through all the classes to find the appropriate ones for you will take some time.

There are classes for buttons, for icons, for just about everything. Depending on what you are looking for in the layout, this exercise can become tedious.

A bit tough on unique look and feel

Bootstrap helps you get you theme and site up fast.

It makes it easy to build mobile-friendly sites. This speed and ease comes with a bit of a compromise.

Therefore there may be a case when your website and mine may end up with a familiar look and feel.

Bootstrap doesn’t ask what business the website caters to; it provides the same platform for everyone.

Of course this is nothing that a WordPress theme development expert cannot solve for you.

Bootstrap adds bulk

While its name may be analogous with shoestring, the framework adds a bit of bulk to your website.

This mostly happens if your theme doesn’t use all the functionality and styling.

It means that there is a lot of unused code.

This is challenging because your primary target end user is on a mobile device.

A heavy website is a drain on the battery, a problem that compounds with poor internet connection.

Then again, this is something a designer of responsive web sites can easily clean up for you because the designer can choose the components you need and discard the others.

responsive web design

When to go with Bootstrap for WordPress themes

WordPress is a fantastic backend CMS and Bootstrap is an easy-to-implement front-end responsive design framework.

While some may argue it is not an automatic marriage made in heaven, Bootstrap is great for developing a Responsive WordPress theme Development. It offers:

  • Clean and responsive layout
  • Range of JavaScript effects
  • Media queries
  • Time saving

So go with Bootstrap for your WordPress theme development if you are:

  • Able to spend time to learn how to use it
  • Designing a website that uses several of the scripts and the grid system
  • Looking to create a wordpress responsive website but are not sure how

If you are wondering why I mentioned that you need to learn to use Bootstrap, it is because it is a common misconception that you don’t need to understand the framework before you start working with it.

This article by Tomislave Balcinger is quite informative and I found myself agreeing with most of the top 10 misconceptions related to Bootstrap.

Bootstrap offers a lot of default functionality but you need to know how to extend it according to your needs.

Also #3 on the misconceptions list (changing the bootstrap.css file) is a good reason to learn Bootstrap.

What you can achieve by making time to learn as you work will help you develop better themes and bring more uniqueness to your websites.

You can, of course, always work in conjunction with a theme developer to achieve the best results for a website.