Web­site Design Ser­vices for Oxford­shire and Beyond

Web­site design ser­vices in Bices­ter, Oxford­shire. Our team of web­site design­ers cre­ate bespoke, hand­craft­ed web­sites, built with your busi­ness goals and cus­tomers’ needs as their num­ber one priority.

We under­stand that your web­site is the cor­ner­stone of your dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy, and our web­site design team have decades of expe­ri­ence and know-how of what works and what doesn’t, and can pro­vide expert guid­ance on where new oppor­tu­ni­ties can be found.

Under­stand­ing how Google works, and being able to inter­pret data reports from mul­ti­ple sources is an essen­tial part of mak­ing your web­site work for you busi­ness. Our in-house team includes dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing pro­fes­sion­als with Google Cer­ti­fied exper­tise in both Google Ana­lyt­ics, and Mobile Site Devel­op­ment. Util­is­ing their expert knowl­edge can help you nav­i­gate the com­plex­i­ties of Google Ana­lyt­ics, gain new insights about your site’s per­for­mance, and learn what users are doing and look­ing for on your website.

Cre­at­ing an effec­tive mobile UX for your web­site is a pri­or­i­ty for us and our expert team of web design­ers are guid­ed by Google’s best prac­tis­es for cre­at­ing, man­ag­ing and opti­mis­ing your mobile web­site, help­ing you to achieve the best mobile expe­ri­ence for visitors.

Brands are expect­ed to com­mu­ni­cate with and engage with their cus­tomers in more ways than ever before. Every screen, from a smart­phone to a smart TV, is a poten­tial stage for inter­act­ing with your customers. 

Main­tain­ing a con­sis­ten­cy in qual­i­ty and style across these plat­forms is vital. Done well, it instills trust in your brand and helps cre­ate a recog­nis­able iden­ti­ty. Our dig­i­tal design­ers help you utilise every rel­e­vant touch point you have with your cus­tomers, whilst deliv­er­ing a con­sis­tent brand experience.

For most busi­ness­es the core of a good dig­i­tal strat­e­gy is a well designed and well built web­site. A web­site can be an extreme­ly valu­able busi­ness tool, find­ing you new cus­tomers and help­ing keep your exist­ing ones hap­py. Our dig­i­tal design­ers and devel­op­ers work side-by-side to cre­ate a web­site that is tai­lored to your busi­ness. Our dig­i­tal design team are also Google Cer­ti­fied, ensur­ing com­pli­ance with Google best prac­tices and skilled in recog­nis­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for improv­ing your website.

We can also assist you with your dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing efforts. Using indus­try lead­ing soft­ware, we design build and send email cam­paigns, pro­mot­ing your busi­ness and prod­ucts to new and exist­ing cus­tomers. Emails are designed to be on-brand and con­sis­tent will all your mar­ket­ing materials. 

Plan­ning your web­site (sec­tions and functionality)

First con­sid­er the sec­tions you will need in your site, e.g. about, prod­ucts, ser­vices etc. Then con­sid­er the func­tion­al­i­ty you will require, e.g. e‑commerce, intel­li­gent forms, data­base lookups, etc. Sketch­ing out the sec­tions and func­tion­al­i­ty required will help us rec­om­mend the cor­rect plat­form for your web­site. Cre­at­ing a clear brief that focus­es on estab­lish­ing what is required from the web­site is key to a suc­cess­ful outcome.

Plan­ning your web­site (choos­ing a platform)

There are three main types of web­site platform.

  1. SaaS (soft­ware as a ser­vice) websites
  2. Off the shelf host­ed applications
  3. Ful­ly bespoke host­ed applications

SaaS WEB­SITES

SaaS (soft­ware as a ser­vice) web­sites. Exam­ples include Square­space, WIX, GoDad­dy and many more. This mod­el is based around a sub­scrip­tion to a ser­vice. You pay a month­ly or annu­al fee in exchange for a host­ed website.

The advan­tage of this ser­vice is the low cost of entry and the poten­tial speed of build and launch. Dis­ad­van­tages (depend­ing on your point of view) include the fact that you nev­er own your site, func­tion­al­i­ty can be lim­it­ed (out of the box), and there is a lim­i­ta­tion on the num­ber of avail­able templates.

Of the SaaS solu­tions avail­able, we would rec­om­mend Square­space which offers a good range tem­plates, an easy to use CMS (con­tent man­age­ment sys­tem) and good sup­port. Micro­Graphix offers a Square­space devel­op­ment service.

Whilst these plat­forms promise ease of use and their demo sites may look great (nor­mal­ly due to lack of con­tent and use of great high-qual­i­ty pho­tog­ra­phy) they still require care­ful plan­ning and good qual­i­ty con­tent (text and imagery) to be successful.

Off the shelf host­ed applications

Off the shelf host­ed appli­ca­tions. Appli­ca­tions include Craft CMS, Word­press, Dru­pal and many more.

Sites using this mod­el are self-con­tained, the off the shelf host­ed soft­ware appli­ca­tion is installed on a host­ed or cloud serv­er. The appli­ca­tion pro­vides a built-in data­base that can be pop­u­lat­ed via an admin sec­tion to deliv­er pages via tem­plates to a website.

Advan­tages of the host­ed appli­ca­tion, com­pared to a SaaS solu­tion, include greater flex­i­bil­i­ty as you can choose the host­ing provider and the appli­ca­tion, and to a far greater extent the design and the func­tion­al­i­ty of the site. They offer cus­tomis­able tem­plates which can be eas­i­ly updat­ed via the sys­tems’ CMS. Because much of the func­tion­al­i­ty is work­ing out-of-the-box’ host­ed appli­ca­tion web­sites can offer a cost-effec­tive way to pro­duce an eas­i­ly updat­a­ble semi-bespoke website.

The dis­ad­van­tage of host­ed appli­ca­tions is that they still have lim­i­ta­tions as far as cus­tomis­abil­i­ty and func­tion­al­i­ty are con­cerned. If the pro­posed web­site has a very com­pli­cat­ed struc­ture or requires unique func­tion­al­i­ty, it can be like try­ing to fit a square peg in a round hole.

Micro­Graphix use and rec­om­mend Craft CMS as we feel it pro­vides excel­lent cus­tomi­sa­tion options, secu­ri­ty and an easy to use CMS. It is also very effi­cient, its pages load very quick­ly, and it does not need any spe­cial hosting.

Ful­ly bespoke host­ed applications

As dis­cussed above, if a web­site needs a very com­pli­cat­ed struc­ture, or requires unique func­tion­al­i­ty, often the only way to achieve this is to engage a pro­gram­mer and devel­op­er to build the site from scratch. Pro­gram­mers and devel­op­ers can use a pro­gram­ming lan­guage, com­mon­ly PHP or .NET to cre­ate dynam­ic pages and applications.

The prime advan­tage, of course, is that the site will work in the way you want it to. Addi­tion­al­ly, because the data­base design does not have any unnec­es­sary code in it, it will be faster in oper­a­tion com­pared to an off the shelf sys­tem that has bloat­ed code to allow for a vari­ety of data­base design needs.

The dis­ad­van­tage can be the time tak­en, and there­fore mon­ey spent, to cre­ate the web­site or web appli­ca­tion from scratch.

Web­site content

When plan­ning your web­site, con­sid­er both the struc­ture and the con­tent that will be required to engage effec­tive­ly with users. What prod­ucts or ser­vices do you wish to pro­mote, and how will peo­ple find your website?

It is gen­er­al­ly acknowl­edged that many con­sumers are now turned off by tra­di­tion­al push mar­ket­ing tech­niques. They are much more like­ly to be drawn to prod­ucts or ser­vices by qual­i­ty and valu­able to them’ con­tent that might be found due to shar­ing, or search engine results. The mar­ket­ing tech­nique that takes advan­tage of this con­sumer behav­iour is known as inbound mar­ket­ing’ — draw­ing cus­tomers in rather than just push­ing the brand.

The com­mon­ly used phrase Con­tent is King’ is very apt when it comes to web­sites! High qual­i­ty, unique con­tent can help in mul­ti­ple ways. It can attract vis­i­tors via search results, and encour­age shar­ing of con­tent that could deliv­er more poten­tial cus­tomers to your web­site. Addi­tion­al­ly, it can give your cus­tomers the con­fi­dence they need to buy from your busi­ness and help build brand engagement/​loyalty. Web­sites that are reg­u­lar­ly updat­ed with qual­i­ty con­tent also per­form stronger on search engine rank­ings (par­tic­u­lar­ly if oth­er sites link to that con­tent). Con­tent should be con­sid­ered before any design work is done, to ensure your site is struc­tured and focussed to attract vis­i­tors from your tar­get markets.

Web­site design

Your web­site design and nav­i­ga­tion should reflect the pur­pose of the site and its tar­get audi­ence. We feel it’s impor­tant not to overde­sign’ a web­site as this may lead to poor nav­i­ga­tion, inef­fec­tu­al pre­sen­ta­tion of con­tent, and slow per­for­mance on mobile devices, which can all poten­tial­ly neg­a­tive­ly affect search engine vis­i­bil­i­ty. Our view is that the con­tent should do the talk­ing. This does not mean the site needs to be dull, but it means the con­tent pro­vides eye can­dy’ as well as com­mu­ni­cat­ing your infor­ma­tion and build­ing a desire for your prod­uct or service.

One of the major con­sid­er­a­tions that should be in mind when think­ing about the design of your web­site is how well it will work on a mobile device (smart­phone or tablet). Respon­sive web design (RWD) is an approach to web design which makes web pages ren­der well on a vari­ety of devices and win­dow or screen sizes. Recent work also con­sid­ers the view­er prox­im­i­ty as part of the view­ing con­text as an exten­sion for RWD. Good con­tent, design and per­for­mance are nec­es­sary across all devices to ensure usabil­i­ty and user satisfaction.

Web­site hosting

Web­site host­ing is often over­looked when com­mis­sion­ing a web­site build. How­ev­er, its impor­tance to the suc­cess of your web­site should not be under­es­ti­mat­ed. Unre­li­able or slow web­site host­ing can result in lost cus­tomers (if they can­not reach your site), reduced cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion (if pages load slow­ly), and poor search engine vis­i­bil­i­ty (if your site can­not be crawled by the search engines effi­cient­ly your rank­ing may suffer).

Fol­low­ing a peri­od of learn­ing the hard way’, and much research, we now have our own high spec­i­fi­ca­tion web serv­er (exclu­sive to Micro­Graphix clients) host­ed by Rack­space, one of the world’s lead­ing web host­ing providers. In addi­tion to excep­tion­al reli­a­bil­i­ty and per­for­mance, we can be con­fi­dent that the serv­er is expert­ly main­tained to ensure the smooth run­ning of our clients’ websites.

Talk to us about your next dig­i­tal design project by call­ing 01869 250806.

Examples of our wide variety of Web Design projects:

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01869 250 806 enquiries@micrographix.co.uk

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