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Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Benefits of Website

Some of the goals that can be achieved by launching a website include the following:

1. Far Cheaper and Much More Flexible Than Print Advertising
The Internet is extremely different from print advertising in that space is cheap, your advertisement is accessible for a longer period of time, the content can be changed without having to ask someone to do it for you (if you use a content management system) and you can potentially reach a wider audience.

This is not to say that you should not use other forms of advertising at all   You can use it to entice people to visit your website and find out about your company and potentially open two-way communication between the potential customer and a sales person.

2. Market Expansion
The Internet has allowed businesses to break through the geographical barriers and become accessible, virtually, from any country in the world by a potential customer that has Internet access.

3. Diversify Revenue Streams
A website is not just a medium for representation of your company, it is a form of media from which everybody can acquire information. You can use this media to sell advertising space to other businesses.

A recent trend has risen where businesses feature their very own directory of complimentary services, where the visitor can search for information on a business that will enhance the use of your service. The business sells complimentary businesses a listing in their directory.

A good example is a catering company featuring a directory with businesses such as event co-coordinators, electronic equipment rental companies, etc.

4. 24 7 365
No more turning customers away when its time to close shop, putting up a note saying  closed for public holiday , or leaving an irritating message on your answering service specifying your trading hours   tell them to visit your website for information they are looking for.

5. Offer Convenience
It is far more convenient for a person to research a product on the Internet than it is to get in a car, drive somewhere and look for or ask someone for information on a product. Also, a potential customer won t have to judge a call centre agent to determine whether he/she has their best interests in mind, or just wants to make a sale.

The potential customer can visit your website whenever they like in their own privacy and comfort, without the stresses and distractions that exist in the  real world .
Your website is a self-service medium   for example, instead of having to wait in a long cue to pay your TV License, you can now do it electronically through the TV License website.

6. Add Value and Satisfaction
By offering convenience, a point of reference and that touch of individualized customer service, you ultimately add value to your offering and your customers experience a higher level of satisfaction.

Your website can add value in other ways too, by featuring tips, advice and general interest content you can  entertain  your customers. This will also help them remember you better.

7. Standardize Sales Performance
By looking at which approached / pitches have worked in the past and those which have not, you can produce the ultimate pitch and use it with your website, so that you use it on every customer. No more training of sales people and waiting for them to get a feel for your line of trade.

8. Improve credibility
A website gives you the opportunity to tell potential customers what you are about and why you deserve their trust and confidence. In fact, many people use the internet for pre-purchase research so that they can determine for themselves whether a particular supplier or brand is worthy of their patronage, and won t take them for a ride.
The Internet also allows for Viral Marketing   where your website visitors spread positive word-of-mouth about your business - your customers do your marketing!

9. Promote your  Brick  n  Mortar  Presence
Getting lost trying to find a place can be frustrating for a potential customer. You can publish what they call a  dummy map  on your website, which shows directions and landmarks graphically, and the potential customer can print it out when looking for your  Brick  n  Mortar  premises.

You might advertise a promotion on your website encouraging the visitor to visit your  Brick  n  Mortar  premises (e.g..  At a branch near you! ).
Also, if you recently moved to a new location, you will have to wait for the next 'phone directory to come out before people figure out where you currently are. Because a website is flexible   you can change the content as you like   you can change you contact details instantly and lower the risk of losing customers when moving to a new location.

10. Growth Opportunity
A website serves as a great place to refer potential investors to, to show them what your company is about, what it has achieved and what it can achieve in future.

11. Two-Way Communicative Marketing
Customers can quickly and easily give feedback on your product and/or marketing approach.

12. Cheap Market Research
You can use features on your website such as visitor polls, online surveys and your website statistics to find out what your customers like more and how they feel about certain aspects of your business to determine how you can improve your product and the way you do business.

Website statistics show you how much traffic your website receives, how the visitor got to your website and where, geographically, the visitor is from.

Monday, 11 November 2013


A business owner asked 3 development companies to submit a proposal to design her company website. She supplied the developers with the same ‘requirements document’ that listed the website goals and functions.  A week later the three web developers came back to the client with their estimates.
The first one had priced the project at $2,800, the second had priced it at $5,500 and the final web developer estimated the project at $13,000.
If you’re waiting for the punch line… well, there isn’t one.  That’s because the joke is on the client who now needs to figure out which of these estimates is the most reasonable and why.
Believe it or not we often hear stories like this.  One business owner actually sent us four proposals she had received and asked us to explain the differences in pricing to her.  Unfortunately most business owners have no way of knowing which bids are unrealistically low, which are outrageously inflated and which are in the right ballpark.
Two years ago we published one of our highest viewed blog articles describing, how much a small business website costs to design to educate those stumped by the costs and process of building a small business website.
Now in 2013, were updating it again (here) with additional approaches to determine how much a small business website should really cost by factoring in advances in technology and the current costs associated with designing, developing and building a website. Please note, when we say “small business” we are talking about an informational website consisting of approximately 10 – 20 pages with some basic content management and social media widgets.
howmuch

Basic Website Components and Costs

On average, the following figures can be applied to estimating the cost of a small business web site (if you’d like a custom estimate for your website call us at 310-754-3807):
  • Domain Name – $10/year
  • Hosting – $10 to $100 a year (depending on traffic & hosting services)
  • Web planning, design and development time – 60 hours and up
  • Continued website Maintenance – $500 a year and up (depending on number/type of updates required)
  • Marketing your website online – $750 a month and up

Important Factors that Contribute to Website Cost

When trying to budget web design costs there are a number of factors to consider:
  • Is this a brand new site or a redesign?
  • How prepared are you – do you have a detailed requirements document?
  • Do you need a blog or content management functionality (CMS)?
  • Do you have graphics already created for the site?
  • Do you want the site to automatically resize for mobile and tablets?
  • Do you need multimedia (Flash, video, etc.) on the site?
  • How much content do you have and how much do you need created?
  • Do you need other special features like social media channels, SEO, ecommerce, or something else?
  • Who is going to maintain the site after it has been launched?
Below we go into greater detail regarding these items and an estimate of how much you should budget for them. The prices listed are based on 16 years of experience. Prices will most probably be higher or lower depending on your specific requirements. Be sure to contact us for an estimate. 

New Sites Often Cost More Than Redesigns

When you’re starting from scratch, so is the web designer. They have nothing to work from, they can’t look at your existing site and get an idea of your online brand or features and functionality requirements.  All new sites really should require a “discovery and documentation” process.  This process will help define the online brand, website structure and functionality. We think this process is critical because it helps set expectations on all sides and reduce potential frustrations. Simple business websites, where the client has a solid idea of what they want, can get by on a minimal amount of discovery and documentation, perhaps one day’s worth of effort.  BUT… more complex websites may require weeks of meetings and the creation of many detailed documents to fully define the project.

Interface Design

Interface design is also referred to as the look-and-feel or visual design. The interface design will incorporate your branding, all your photos and images, even your page layouts. Don’t assume that if you’ve already got a pre-made template you won’t need any images or layouts re-done. Interface design is usually an iterative process, this means that the designer will show you several options and then modify those based on your feedback to arrive at an approved design.  For a small business website, budget $1,200 – $3,500 to get you from concept through to the final design that will be handed off to the developers for programming. Don’t skimp on the interface design or visitors won’t give your website a second glance.

Images and Graphics

Website graphics are tricky because they can range from $10 each for cheap stock images to $100′s of dollars each for custom or high-end stock images. Compelling and appropriate graphics can make a huge huge difference in the effectiveness of your website. On the low-end, budget at least $100 for stock images.  If you have a good designer they can make a cheap image look like a custom one.
But that’s not all. You will probably also need stock icons and buttons to compliment your design.  Budget $50 for them as well.

Mobile and Responsive Design Cost

Mobile devices are swiftly becoming critical to online success and your design should at least be mobile-friendly. The best designs are “responsive“, designed to automatically adjust their layout to look good on multiple devices: smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers. Creating a responsive design can cost 20% – 30%more than a site for a desktop web browser (the price of progress). This cost is because the interface designer needs to design how the site will look on the various devices, the programmer will need to program the designs and finally more testing is required before the site is ready to launch. Almost all our projects these days include responsive programming.

Costs for Content Creation and Insertion

The least expensive way to go is to create all the content yourself and insert it into the site yourself.  Most designers have no problem delivering a blank design template that you populate with text and images. But if you want the design firm to add your content and adjust the layout of the text, you should budget $100 – $150 per page.

Programming Special Features Often Cost Extra

There are a ton of extra features that web developers can integrate that will improve your business but can also up the price. Sometimes these features are “included” in your website framework – but beware, just because they are “included” doesn’t mean that they look or work the way you want. The estimates below reflect the general requirements we have seen, however there are many factors that can push these costs higher. If you don’t see your add-on here just give us a call and we can provide an estimate.
  • Custom Content Management Systems- for clients who want to manage their own content we integrate and customize content management systems (CMS). We work with PHP-based open-source CMS solutions like Drupal and WordPress. Costs for integrating and customizing a CMS can range from $2,000 to $20,000.
  • Training and documentation – You will probably need some instructions and documentation on how to maintain and edit site content. Depending on how extensive this is, expect to pay from $400 – $1,500
  • Blog- Many clients want a WordPress or similar blog within their website, customized to their website branding and design. This ranges from $1,000 –$2,500.
  • E-commerce shopping carts, catalogs, payment processing $1,500–$5000 or more depending on requirements.
  • Email Marketing Campaigns- Clients that want to gather emails and send out branded email blasts for announcements or newsletters require an Email management tool. We integrate 3rd-party tools (graphicmail, mailchimp, constant contact, etc.) and create an email blast template design, we can even manage your email blasts. $720 and up.
  • Branding/Identity Development- Logo design is something we are often asked to do. On the low-end, we start with an 8-hour process that generates about 6 rough logo concepts. If one of these is chosen we go through several rounds of edits to arrive at a final version. $900 – $3,500
  • Style Guides- An online style guide is important because it establishes brand consistency and provides a guide for all your print collateral and online marketing. Basic styleguide $1,440.
  • Targeted Landing Pages- Landing pages are pages that promote a specific product or service. They are usually part of an email, social media, or banner ad campaign. We can design and create these pages starting at $450.
  • News feeds of both your content (outgoing) and adding content to the site (incoming) $400
  • Contact forms and surveys $300 and up
  • Newsletters $400 – $900
  • Advertising integration (Google AdWords) $200
  • Photo gallery $250 – $500
  • Metrics: Google analytics, custom reports, etc. $200–$2000
  • SEO: on-page optimization, off-page optimization submission to search engines, etc. $500–$4000
  • Social media: Create and manage social media network profile such as Twitter, FaceBook, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn etc. $500–$2000

So How Much Does a Small Business Website Cost?

The majority small business websites we design, develop and launch range from$6,000 – $20,000. Using the a la carte estimates above you can see how they can add up quickly. Another way to break the budget down is to assume:
  • 15% Planning
  • 25% Interface design
  • 40% Programming
  • 20% Project Management

And Don’t Forget the Maintenance Cost

Websites don’t just maintain themselves, and the best are changing all the time. Maintenance is something that most businesses forget to budget or think that they can do it themselves. But the first time you delete your entire home page by mistake and lose 8 hours of sales trying to get it back up and running, you’ll wish you’d spent the extra money on a maintenance contract. Make sure your web developer offers post-launch maintenance, many don’t because they can’t be bothered by clients calling with small requests.
Maintenance contracts vary greatly depending upon what you expect from the firm. You should budget a minimum of $250 per month to have a designer/developer on call if you have a problem that you can’t fix. And if you expect them to do additional work such as creating new images, adding new content, maintaining social media or newsletters, etc. expect the price will go up.  Executionists offers customized, full-service maintenance plans.

Final Note

A final note: If this website will be a significant part of your business PLEASE DON’T SKIMP on the design and development. If you’d expect to pay $100,000 for a brick and mortar retail shop (inventory, interior design, furniture, rent, utilities, staff, equipment, insurance, etc) – then don’t balk at paying reasonable rates for the creation of your online business.  So, for a small business website you can spend as little as $6,000 or as much as $20,000 or more.  Your budget should be based on what your business needs.
Free-website-consultation
Feel free to send us your requirements or call 310-754-3807, and we’ll get back to you quickly with a customized recommendation and estimate based on our 16 years developing websites for small, medium and Fortune 500 businesses.



Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Intex Aqua i7 a 13 Megapixel Mobile Launch and Starts at Rs. 21,900

The phone will be available in markets across the country from September 9.
 Farhan Akhtar with Intex Senior General Manager Sajay Kumar Kalirona and Director, Marketing Keshav Bansal. 

A Computer and IT Technology company Intex launched new mobile as "Aqua i7" with 5 inch HD display and 13 megapixel camera for Rs 21,900/-.

The launch event was held in Mumbai and the phone was unveiled by Farhan Akhtar, the brand ambassador for Intex mobile division.

The phone comes with a Full HD Corning Gorilla Glass for better display. It runs on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and has a 1.5 GHz quad core processor. The phone has a 5 megapixel front camera for video calling. The phone is loaded with a 2 GB RAM and a mammoth 32 GB worth of internal memory. It also has an additional storage space of 5 GB -on Intex cloud. There is no slot for external memory on this dual-sim phone.

Director of Marketing for Intex Technologies, Keshav Bhansal thinks that the Aqua i7 has everything to please the consumers. "No other competitors in this bracket are offering the same features at such a cheap price," he said.

Farhan Akhtar, the brand ambassador for Intex mobiles said, "Im really happy to be associated with Intex. This is still work in progress for the company. It has many more steps to come many more areas to explore and many more technologies to develop and share with the people. I look forward to my relationship with this growing brand," he said.

The phone also has the 'look away' feature that pauses the video when you move your vision away from the screen. It has 15 free reloaded apps like Hungama, Matrabhasa, Online Software Update and more.

The phone will be available in markets across the country from September 9.

Key features:
* 12.7 cm(5 inch), Full HD, Corning Gorilla Glass touchscreen
* 32 GB internal memory + 2 GB RAM
* 1.5 GHz quad core processor
* Dual Sim
* Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
* 13 megapixel camera and 5 megapixel front camera
* 2000 mAh battery with talk-time of 7 hours and standby time of 220 hrs.
* Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, Wi-Fi hotspot, 3G / EDGE / WAP
* Auto call record
* Look away feature

The Aqua i7 will be available in white and black , and will come with free accessories including a flip cover and screen guard.

There will be a limited edition of this phone, which will come with Farhan Akhtar’s autographed pen and keychain with it


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Saturday, 15 June 2013

Facebook Will Launch A News Reader At June 20th Press Event


Facebook 3DThe upcoming death of Google Reader  and the addition of hash tags signal Facebook will likely launch a new way to discover and read news at the June 20th press event it’s just sent out mysterious invites to. It could be a sort of “trending articles on Facebook” feature, or a more full-blown RSS reader-style product.
Facebook Paper

Either could take advantage of Facebook’s massive treasure trove of aggregate data on what people share to surface popular and personally recommended news articles.

The event invite, first spotted by Joanna Stern of ABC News, says “A small team has been working on a big idea. Join us for coffee and learn about a new product.” The conspicuously analog invite was sent out via paper snail mail instead of by email like Facebook usually does. There’s also a coffee stain on the invite. You know where else you find coffee stains? On the newspaper, while you’re reading it, over coffee.


Nobody knows what Facebook knows. Since most users share semi-privately, it can’t be scraped for trending topics. But Facebook’s algorithms see all. Similar to how it offers ad targeting data in anonymous aggregate, Facebook could surface what articles are being shared most frequently across its user base without violating privacy.

The product could potentially ket people follow outside sources of news through a format like RSS, but we can’t confirm that. The product is likely to take advantage of hashtags that Facebook users can now add to posts to help its algorithms understand what topics different news articles are about.

When I asked Facebook about what more it could do with its data on what people share, it initially offered to put me on the phone with someone, but ended up just referring me to the hashtag announcement from earlier this week. That blog post notes ”Hashtags are just the first step to help people more easily discover what others are saying about a specific topic and participate in public conversations. We’ll continue to roll out more features in the coming weeks and months.”

A better way to surface news could be that next step. In fact, I’m pretty much positive it is, though I couldn’t get anyone at Facebook to confirm on the record.


Whether the new product includes formal RSS reading capabilities that take advantage of the long-running content syndication standard remains to be seen. Asking users to choose different sources and subscribe to feeds of them could be a lot of work and seem somewhat redundant for the average Facebook user. Still, that kind of functionality could find an audience amongst hardcore Internet users.

As our Ingrid Lunden wrote yesterday, “Lines of code referring to “rssfeeds” have recently started to appear in Facebook’s Graph API code (as spotted by developer and Facebook sleuth Tom Waddington). Linking the RSS feed to a user’s Facebook ID, the code schema also covers such aspects as title, URL and update time. Each RSS feed subsequently has entries and subscribers.” This code could be part of the new product, but it also may be unrelated, having to do with a user’s own posts being an RSS feed, rather than a user reading feeds produced by others.

A Facebook news reader with RSS would come at a perfect time, just two weeks before Google shuts down Google Reader for good. The June 20th launch date might give Facebook just enough time to help people migrate onto its version.
Facebook RSS
Alternatively, Facebook’s new product could more resemble Reddit or a list trending articles based on what’s being shared the most on the social network. That would make it instantly and easily valuable to people.

Whatever it’s exact design, I hope it won’t just be a clone, but something that combines the unique social signals Facebook has access to with tried-and-true news consumption mediums.

A reader of any form would certainly qualify as a “big idea”, as Facebook is all about connecting you to people, things, and information you care about, and news is by definition what people care about. A successful launch could drastically increase time spent on Facebook, fill it with useful data about what topics people are interested in, offer new advertising opportunities around current events, and most importantly, make us all better informed citizens of Earth.