Why Ugandan Companies need professional website designers

Why Ugandan Companies need professional website designers

Why Ugandan Companies need professional website designers

When you start the journey of designing and developing a new web design for your business, there are thousands of decisions to be made related to meeting your goals and challenges for marketing your business. One of the main decisions Is whether to keep your new web design in house or have a professional web design agency create the website for you. Within that decision there are a lot of different factors that you have to weigh to make the best decision for the best fit for your company.

E-commerce
If your new business website is e-commerce enabled this might be one of the biggest drivers to engage a professional web design agency. you have a responsibility to your customers to safeguard their data while delivering an easy and consistent buying process.

An agency has the know-how to deliver secure, easy to use, and approachable e-commerce websites. Almost every e-commerce website today is required to meet and apply for some level of PCI compliance. your agency will be able to prepare the application with all of the required research for the government agency. An agency will also be able to deliver encrypted servers and data transmission to safeguard your website and information.

24/7 Access To Customers
As the one platform that is the basis for your 24 hour a day 7 days a week access to your potential and current customers, your web design should receive a large portion of your overall digital marketing budget. You have to think through every aspect of that design to make sure that it is approachable and draws attention from your market. Your agency can work with you to find the perfect demographics of each of your target audiences and can’t develop the website to most effectively attract and convert those prospects.

With the change over to a content driven marketing Focus for most search engines, an agency can deliver a website that is best optimized to draw in those clients and that is easy to update with new content over time.


Years of User Interface Design

A professional web design agency has years of experience in user interface design specifically to attract target audiences and make the site as easy as possible to navigate. They have the knowledge of design and usage conventions for desktop and mobile devices and are able to sculpt the experience to direct your visitors attention exactly where it will be most effective to convert those visitors.

Marketing Expertise
A company web design is no longer a standalone entity. It is a part of an overall omni-channel marketing effort.

The agency can bring knowledge and experience of dealing with websites, social media, search engine optimization, email marketing, and print branding to the table to make your website the best representative of your company possible.

If your company doesn’t have staff that can cover all of these avenues of knowledge, an agency might be the best choice.

Processes and Procedures
An agency has a lot of experience and have been creating websites for a long time.

Typically, they will have set processes and procedures from the start of the project all the way until launch, and then beyond into testing and maintenance. Would you miss a step?

How is your team’s expertise on web servers and hosting?
Do you often perform user testing on digital platforms?
Do you fully understand the domain name server system?
With complete immersion into a skillset, these agencies can deliver a more comprehensive platform for your marketing message. They can forecast issues with certain features or page sin a website and make changes before they become a problem. You can rely on their expertise to streamline the process and ultimately keep your overall costs down.

Conclusion
While it is possible to use a build it yourself tool or leverage the skills of your in house team, as the person responsible for the success or failure of your company you should weigh out the many benefits of using a web design agency for your next project.
Contact Us for a quotation

The peace of mind in delivering the best possible web design for your company will be the best reward as you form new and longer lasting relationships with your prospect, customers and evangelists.
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Drupal vs Joomla: In Search of the Best CMS

Drupal vs Joomla: In Search of the Best CMS

Drupal and Joomla web hosting in Uganda

While WordPress powers a whopping 24% of all websites on the Internet, it’s certainly not the only open source content management system (CMS) available. In fact, there are two highly effective software platforms, Joomla and Drupal, that warrant great attention when considering a CMS for your website. 

With Joomla raking in over nearly 50 million downloads and Drupal housing more than 1,000,000 elite websites, these powerhouses are worth investing the time to see which platform will best serve your business and site goals.

Although each CMS provides the basic functions of adding, deleting, publishing, and storing various types of content, each tool has different strong points and weaknesses which should be explored prior to making your final decision.  The purpose here is to provide a comprehensive overview of Drupal vs Joomla to give you clarity for your next (or current) business website.   

Joomla

Joomla is becoming an increasingly popular content management system.   Actually, after WordPress, it’s considered the world’s most accepted CMS, currently supporting over 3 million websites.  Joomla has the power of being extended to provide state of the art functionalities. It has been presented with the Packt Open Source Awards multiple years in a row, making it highly credible to be used as a CMS for your web application.

When it comes to complexity, Joomla places somewhere between simple WordPress and comprehensive and advanced Drupal.  Using Joomla means that there may be a slight learning curve particularly for beginners, yet webmasters are usually very happy with the features it incorporates. 

There are many advantages including better architecture as compared to other content management systems.

The Advantages:

  • Simple to install
  • Knowledge of CSS, PHP, or HTML is not required
  • Manage users with various permission levels without switching tabs
  • E-commerce made easy
  • Several thousands of free extensions available for increased functionality and interaction for your site
  • Amazing support with programmer tools and tutorials for users
  • Advanced administration panel offers many functions for complete optimization
  • URLs generated are SEO friendly thus better positioning in search
  • Update installs are easily done through web browser
  • Application framework makes it effortless for developers to create sophisticated add-ons
  • Highly strong and active community support

The Disadvantages:

  • Although simple to use, beginners may initially be intimidated by the multitude of functions and possibilities…there is some learning involved
  • Some of the plugins and modules are paid
  • Limited adjustment options particularly for advanced users
  • May experience compatibility issues with some of the plugins, requiring some PHP knowledge to get the functions to work properly
  • Limited access control list (ACL) support

The Challenge:

The structure may seem complicated and you may have to go through a learning curve before you master the layout system.

Brands that Use Joomla:

  • IKEA
  • Greek Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs
  • IHOP
  • Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
  • University of Notre Dame – Alliance for Catholic Education

If you have some experience with CMS systems and you’re looking for something more than WordPress, but you’re still intimidated by Drupal, Joomla might be a solid option.

Drupal

Currently over 1 million websites run on Drupal, widely known to service entities like governments, higher education institutions, NGO’s, and global enterprises.  This CMS proudly services The White House and prides itself on its top-notch security element.  Its incredibly powerful and comprehensive framework is suitable to house virtually any type of website.

The beauty about Drupal is that it was designed especially for search engine optimization.  Placing high value in security, reliability, and flexibility, this CMS is indeed the cream of the crop.  Its large robust community is also highly responsive to inquiries and concerns.

This CMS is definitely for the advanced with developer expertise…it is not for all users like Joomla.  Installing Drupal for your next project will require an experienced web developer on staff (or a contracted one).  Using Drupal is indeed a great choice with the ability to create amazing looking sites.

Here are the advantages, the disadvantages as well as the challenges users may experience with Drupal:

The Advantages:

  • Top notch enterprise-level security
  • Great ability to handle large amounts of content and data
  • Lots of functionalities including advanced menu management, polls management, graphics modification tool, and users management
  • Built for high performance
  • Advanced control over URL structure
  • Pages load faster because of its defaulting caching features
  • Features countless modules, themes, and extensions
  • Ideal for community platform sites that require complex data organization with multiple users
  • Supports multiple site stakeholders (admin, editors, logged in users requiring customized content, private groups, etc.)
  • Very clean, professional look
  • Flexible with lots of versatility
  • Stable and scalable
  • Downright powerful platform!

The Disadvantages:

  • Upgrades need to be completed with developer knowledge
  • Not user friendly
  • High learning curve
  • Requires technical expertise
  • Hiring a web developer to install is more expensive than a Joomla installation
  • Premium themes and plugins (modules) cost a lot more than WordPress

The Challenge:

It is very difficult to install…you will likely need an expert.

Brands that Use Drupal:

  • The White House
  • University of Oxford
  • The Weather Channel
  • Bruno Mars
  • Verizon
  • The Economist
  • Fox
  • Forbes
  • New England Patriots
  • NBC
  • Rutgers University
  • Twitter
  • Australian Government

Drupal is an advanced CMS system offering plenty of functions that make it possible to create simple or advanced websites, blogs, discussion boards, social networking pages, etc. However, it does require experienced knowledge of PHP and HTML languages as well as CSS.  For those with at least basic knowledge of these languages, there’s a very good technical support to guide them through the process.

How to Choose the BEST CMS for Your Business

Being clear on your business goals, objectives, and intentions is the first step towards selecting a CMS that is optimal for your business.  This clarity will guide you as to what type of website is congruent to your needs while better serving your unique target audience. 

Joomla is also a good option for small to mid-tier e-commerce stores or for building a community or a network with a membership features, newsroom, forums, articles, input from external authors. If you want something more powerful for large projects in which stability, scalability, and power are essential, or for more enterprise use, then consider Drupal.

Choosing the right CMS for your project will save you a great deal of headaches later.  A reliable web host also saves you from headaches. Fortunately, with Hostaculous you can get both reliable hosting and the CMS of your choice, be it Joomla, Drupal, WordPress, or Magento.

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Five Goals to Strive for with Every Site You Design

Five Goals to Strive for with Every Site You Design

Goals are important to have in life. They are especially important for website design, because without any goals, you have nothing to shoot for in the end and nothing to measure your success by. Goals help designers focus on the important things and not lose sight of what you want in the end; goals are what help designers deliver outstanding sites every time.

The results at the end of the site design process are usually pretty much the same with every project; I end up with a site design and I hand it off to the client. In the beginning, I have an idea of what I want to do and what the client needs, and I know I want to strive for an awesome deliverable in the end. The steps in between follow roughly the same path, however each site design is vastly different in style and character needing some different steps to achieve the proposed outcome. Sometimes I feel the need to sketch and other times I jump right on my computer. Even though the process may be different each time, it’s important to have goals with every site, whether you write them down or keep them in the back of your mind while you design. I’ve compiled a list of 5 goals that are important to think about each time you start a site design.

1. Strive for a design that’s user-friendly and beautiful.
A great user-interface is often sacrificed for a wonderful design, but both are equally important and should go hand in hand. A well-designed site helps users travel through your site with ease. Items are where users expect them to be. If they’re in unusual places, they need to make sense and the site design needs to direct users where to go. The navigation is best near the top of the page not because that’s where it looks best, but because users don’t often know to scroll down to find it. If you expect users to scroll to find the navigation, give them a reason to scroll like some movement in the design that directs their eye downward and they’ll find it more easily.

2. Create a site that targets the appropriate audience.
I’ve seen many gorgeous sites that just don’t fit the target audience. A retro site with funky colors may look great for a design studio or a music producer, and your client may love the look, but it doesn’t fit a law office with a professional, corporate clientele. Your client can give you good insight on their particular audience, who they target and what customers they reach the most. Do your research and see what other similar companies are doing. You don’t have to do the same thing, but the feel your site gives to its users should be similar.

3. Design a user-interface that flows freely, allowing users to navigate easily and find what they need quickly and efficiently.
A good navigation is key for a top notch site. A sitemap done beforehand helps determine where pages should go and what items should be placed together. Many sites often have too large of a navigation because they didn’t plan where information would fit best. You need to minimize the amount of space and maximize the amount of pertinent information. Not everything belongs on a company’s website because not everyone is going to have the patience to read it. Streamline the navigation, determine what’s important and throw away the rest.

4. Give the client what they want plus what they need.
As many designers know, the client usually thinks they know best. They do know their company better than you (in most cases!) so do take their advice on their industry, listen to what they say about their audience and the products they are selling. However, they may not know how to organize the information in the most practical manner, and they may not realize the characteristics of web users. Educate your clients on items that are important for them to know and help them understand why they don’t need certain things that may seem cool, like a 5 minute flashy intro to their site.

5. Increase the site functionality with additional code.
A simple website can be made into a great website with the addition of some fancy features with the use of javascript or php. Users will enjoy the extra added feature and it gives designers a chance to try out a new tutorial. There are so many skills out there to learn and add to your repertoire, why not aim to stretch your design legs and try something new with each site? Try a new jquery tutorial or add a fun php script. There are tons of new things to learn every time you sit down to design a site. If you could learn just one new thing with every site, think of where you could be in one years time.

Goals are definitely an important part of being a designer and moving forward with your design and coding skills. You can’t hope to increase your skills and dazzle your clients if you don’t aim for something. Think of what you want to accomplish when you start a new site and aim not for perfection but for a great site design, each and every time.

WordPress vs Static HTML – What’s Best for Your Business Website?

WordPress vs Static HTML – What’s Best for Your Business Website?

WordPress vs Static HTML is one battle that can only be fought on a technical front. Do you want to launch a business website but not sure how to get started? Recently while attending an event, one of the users asked us what’s the advantage of using WordPress over a static HTML site. If you had a developer tell you that you need a HTML site or was wondering because you had heard this elsewhere, then you’re in the right place. In this article, we will compare WordPress vs HTML and what’s best for your business website.

HTML vs WordPress for business websites web hosting and domain registration services in uganda

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS). Content Management Systems allow YOU to manage your website from a user friendly interface.

You can make all the changes on your website from an admin area which is quite easy to understand, even for absolute beginners.

While there are many CMS out there, WordPress is the most popular one because it powers nearly 26% of all websites on the internet.

It is important not to confuse WordPress.org with WordPress.com. WordPress, the open source CMS is available on WordPress.org. On the other hand, WordPress.com is a blog hosting service. Please see our guide on the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com.

Having said that, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using WordPress.

Advantages of Using WordPress

Easy to Update – You can simply login to your WordPress site and add new pages without paying your developer. WordPress is easy to use and has an intuitive user interface, which makes it easy for you to create or update pages on your site.

WordPress user interface web hosting and domain registration services in uganda

Professional Templates – There are thousands of ready-made templates that you can use on your site. These themes are developed by professionals from all over the world.

Incredibly Powerful – WordPress websites can be easily extended with plugins. By installing plugins, you can add any functionality to your existing website such as adding a contact form, adding a reservation system, adding a photo gallery, and more.

Full control and Ownership – You get full control of your website, its domain name, and all its contents. You can make any changes you want, and there is no limit on how much your site can grow in popularity, traffic, sales, and users.

Disadvantages of Using WordPress

Learning Curve – While WordPress is easy to use but it takes a while for most beginners to get familiar with the software. There is plenty of help available to get over this learning curve quickly, but it will take a little effort.

Maintenance – You will be responsible for keeping WordPress, installed plugins, and themes up to date. You can also use managed WordPress hosting who can do this for you.

What is a Static HTML Website

HTML is the markup language used to display web pages. Most websites on the internet use HTML with a variety of markup and scripting languages to create web pages.

Typically you will need to hire a web developer to create an HTML website for your business. They will use HTML, CSS, JavaScript and some other technologies to build your website.

HTML code behind a static HTML site web hosting and domain registration services in uganda

CMS software like WordPress use database to store and retrieve content. On the other hand, HTML websites have all your content in static files.

Having said that, Let’s take a look at advantages and disadvantages of a HTML website for your business.

Advantages of a HTML Website

Little to No Maintenance – Once your website is live, you do not need to install any updates or regularly backup. If nothing is changed, you can just backup your website once and forget about it.

Low Requirements – HTML websites don’t need servers with PHP or MySQLinstalled on them. They can run on cheaper server with low resources. Although most good web hosting companies offer PHP and MySQL support.

Disadvantages of a HTML Website

No Updates – Unless you know HTML/CSS, static HTML websites can be very difficult to update for beginners. You will need to hire a developer even for smaller tasks like adding new pages, updating old content, or uploading videos or images.

No Additional Features – If your business grows and you want to add a feature to your website like a store, a survey or poll, a gallery, etc. All of this would require you to hire a developer and in most cases they would recommend you to move to WordPress.

Costs – Considering that you will have to hire people even for smallest tasks, the cost of a HTML website could get much higher than a WordPress website.

What is Better? WordPress or HTML?

Now that we know the pros and cons of both WordPress and HTML websites. Let’s talk about which one is better for your business website.

If you are certain that you will never want to update, change, or add anything new to your website, then by all means go for a HTML website. It will be faster and will serve your purpose.

If you want to have the freedom and control of your website and not waste money on monthly retainers paying developers to add images, then WordPress is obviously the better choice.

For those who want grow their business website to make you more money, then WordPress is the way to go forward.

Using WordPress you can add content to your website without hiring anyone. You can create as many pages as you need at any time.

You can add a blog section to keep your customers updated, or even build your own email list and keep bringing more customers to your business.

You will be part of a global community of businesses using WordPress to manage their online presence. You will find plenty of free help, resources, tools and pluginsto grow your business every day.

Instead of paying developers loads of money for smallest things, you will be able to spend that money on growing your business with WordPress.

How to Get Started With WordPress for Your Business Website?

First, you will need to sign up for a WordPress hosting service provider. These are specialized companies that will host your website on their servers.

We recommend Hostaculous as they are the official WordPress hosting providers.

What is: Content Management System (CMS)

What is: Content Management System (CMS)

A content management system or CMS is a software that facilitates creating, editing, organizing, and publishing content. WordPress is a Content Management System, that allows you to create and publish your content on the web. Although it is mostly used for web publishing, it can be used to manage content on an intranet, or in a single computer.

WordPress allows users to have full control over the files, documents, as well as the design and display of the content. You don’t have to know a single line of code to publish content using WordPress. The beauty of a good content management system is to allow any user to create and manage their content without any technical know-how.

In the earlier days, an average user or a small company had to rely on static HTML sites because they could not afford a content management system which would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. That problem is now solved. WordPress is open source and free for anyone to use.

WordPress is being used in all sort of creative ways. We have seen WordPress being used to power small business websites, blogs, large university websites, portfolios, real estate property listing site, internal communication system for companies, web directories, movie databases, application infrastructure base, arcade sites, and basically anything else you can think of.

Why you need a website

Why you need a website

A website will expose you to a larger number of potential customers and increase the size of your target audience.
The people who visit your website are already interested in what you have to offer because they have reached it through searching the internet by content and location. Therefore, your business promotion is more effectively targeted.

Internet Purchases Increasing in Popularity
Researching and purchasing products and services on the internet is becoming increasingly popular. Customers can browse businesses at any time of day and night in the comfort of their own home. They don’t have to run all over town and there are no pushy salesmen, no parking hassles and they don’t have to worry about the kids. A website puts the customer in control of the purchasing process and as a result, shopping on the web is becoming evermore convenient and popular.

Get Customers Early
For many people, a purchasing decision starts with research on the web. They often make their choice long before ever entering a store or making the first phone call. Having a website will mean that you are part of their selection process from their very first step.

Promote Yourself Continuously
For the small initial cost and effort of establishing a website, customers have access 24/7. They can read about you and your work when and where it is convenient for them – often, long after you have finished for the day. With an informative website, you can effectively communicate with potential customers all day and all night.

Win Customer Confidence
By providing appropriate content on your website, you can answer visitor queries and provide valuable information that goes beyond mere marketing. Potential customers value this service and can see that your business is knowledgeable and professional.

Inexpensive
As a form of advertising and marketing, a website is cost-effective and great value. Compare the cost with other forms of advertising, such as printed media, Yellow Pages, or radio and television.

More Information
A website does not limit the volume of content you can present. Other promotional media like print, radio and television, charge you by the word or second. A website allows you to fully explain and display who you are and what you do. You can tell potential customers about your work, qualifications, existing clients, completed projects – in fact just about anything that will benefit your purpose.

Dynamic
A website is a dynamic, easily updateable resource through which you present information to your visitors. Unlike other forms of marketing that are either static, or difficult and expensive to change, a website is easily updated.

Increase Customer Interaction
Visitors can contact you via e-mail directly from your site. You can also have online forms that allow visitors to request more information, provide feedback or place an order.

Increase Your Profile
Customers will perceive you as more professional, dynamic, modern and better able to meet their needs. Can you imagine companies like QANTAS, ColesMyer, BHP or ANZ not having a website? How will potential customers perceive you if your competitors have websites and you don’t?

Measurable Success
You can analyse the comprehensive statistics reports provided by your website to see how many people are visiting, what pages they are viewing and how long they are spending on your site.
REMEMBER – YOUR BUSINESS NEVER CLOSES ON THE INTERNET