Your website represents your business on the Internet. It only makes sense for your website to undergo a redesign that corresponds to changes in your market, business status, objectives and goals. Business should never remain passive. In order to be competitive, business should always remain dynamic; ever evolving to accommodate changes in demand, tastes and preferences. Therefore, your website should likewise remain dynamic and ever evolving.

So yes, your website should undergo a redesign. The question is when?

There is no clear cut rule on determining the need to change your website’s design and functionality. A web designer manipulates design elements to arrive at a look and feel that best captures your business purpose while presenting beautiful aesthetics and user-friendly functionality.

The initial design of your website was based on the information that was provided at the time. Over the course of your business, conditions may have changed.

Perhaps you adopted new strategies, presented additional products and services or experienced a shift in market demographics. Online analytics will help you determine how these changes have collectively asserted their influence on the flow of business.

Or you could subscribe to the and school of thought which applies an iterative approach to website redesign. These highly successful technology companies continue to follow a process of consistently getting feedback from customers on their experience using their respective sites.

A combination of online analytics, customer feedback and a frequent review of company financials, should give you an accurate evaluation of the decisions that you need to make regarding your business.

And that should include redesigning your website.

3 Questions You Need to Answer Before You Redesign Your Website

A website redesign could be a minor undertaking. You may only want changes in the color combination, the type of content or add another web page for your portfolio.

But it could also mean a major overhaul. The extent of the redesign will impact your budget for the project.

When clients ask us to redesign their website, we ask them a few questions so we can have a better idea of where they are coming from and what they hope to accomplish with their decision.

1. Why Do You Want to Redesign Your Website?

This seems like an obvious question but we always prefer to hear from the client first.

We view the client as the expert; no one knows the business and the market better than you. No doubt there are very real factors or reasons on why you believe it is time to redesign your website.

  • Does your website look outdated or behind-the-times?
  • Are your competitors redesigning their websites as well?
  • Are you planning to improve your search rankings?

As the web design company, we are here to listen to you. Our job is to offer solutions to your problems or concerns. We will translate your needs into design elements that will help you achieve your goals and objectives.

2. What Problems Are You Currently Experiencing With Your Website?

In the same way that no one likes poor service in a brick-and-mortar establishment, poor user experience is unacceptable in website design.

  • Is your website taking too long to load?
  • Is your bounce rate high?
  • Are the social sharing buttons functioning well?

Part of our web management service package includes a website audit for our clients to identify potential pain points. The audit can be an eye-opener; it gives them a clearer perspective on how the website affects their bottom-line. It becomes a valuable reference tool in managing their business.

3. Have You Changed Your Brand Image?

It is normal for businesses to change its brand or company image. This is done to accommodate changes in the market demographic. You want a brand that your target market can relate to.

Changes in brand image should be incorporated in web design. Your brand represents how you want your business to be perceived in the market. It must be consistent throughout your marketing channels.

In an online marketing campaign, your website is the destination point where all inbound avenues converge and drive generated leads. Its redesign should be in line with any change in your brand or company image.

Checklist: 8 Signs Your Website Needs a Redesign

The best way to determine if your website needs a redesign is to get a professional opinion. An experienced web designer can review analytics and run tests to give you solid bases on the extent of work that needs to be done.

Of course, you can always get a second or third opinion before deciding on the course of action to take. It is very important to be comfortable with the redesign recommendations and at the same time be confident with the ability of the web designer to get the job done.

At Mountaintop, after we meet with the client, we go through a standard checklist covering eight signs your website might need a redesign.

The checklist is a great way to confirm all of the information and details given by the client during the meeting. We will use online analytics plus a thorough site audit to validate their concerns and spot potential problems that may have been overlooked.

It is not necessary to have all the items checked in the list. Our job is to identify the pain points and offer solutions for you to consider.

1. Poor Mobile Loading Capability

You may have commissioned your web designer to create a mobile responsive website for your business. But when you tried to view it from a smartphone, the site’s text did not appear legible and the images seemed distorted.

At a time when 65% of online traffic comes from mobile devices, you can’t risk visitors having poor user experience on your site. This is especially true if you are running an ECommerce website.

Your website must be accessible to various mobile devices. Laptops, notebooks, tablets and smartphones come in different screen sizes. How your website sets up in these mobile devices will determine whether the user will further explore or abandon the search.

2. Slow Loading Website

Research conducted by Akamai and showed that Internet users expect websites to load in 2 seconds or less.

One second more will make 79% of visitors abandon the site and never return. Another 44% will relay the poor experience with a friend. You would not want your website to be representative of these statistics.

If from your own experience, your website is not loading fast enough on desktop and mobile devices, you definitely should have this looked into by a web designer.

 3. Social Media Shares Don’t Look Enticing

Social media is a powerful driver of traffic. But if your links and thumbnail don’t look good when you share on social media, people who come across it may not be enticed to click on your content.

Not only should your link and thumbnail grab attention, its title and description should give readers an immediate idea of what to expect from your content.

If your link doesn’t look enticing in social media, give it an update. Keep in mind that social media accounts for 31% of all referral traffic.

4. Content Does Not Display Properly

Don’t you get frustrated when you click on a URL and the website comes out like an unfinished template?

Images are not displayed properly and content is nowhere to be found. You refresh the page and the results are the same. Your next course of action would be to click out and look for a similar website.

You would probably never click on that link every time you see it.

The same thing could happen to your website if its content does not display properly.

It’s possible your website is using obsolete software. If it’s been around for some time, it may no longer be compatible with newer devices and browsers. This is a problem that is best handled by a professional web designer.

5. Unsatisfactory Business Results

As we discussed in our article “0 Benefits of a Website for a Small Business”, it is absolutely important to have a website in this day and age of the Internet and social media.

It will be difficult to capitalize on opportunities if you have no destination point for all the inbound traffic that you plan to generate with an online marketing campaign.

But having a website is never a guarantee for business success. Like all ventures, there will be hits and misses. You should never look at a website as a “magic potion” that will cure all business ills or the veritable “lightning in a bottle”.

The advantage of having a website is that the availability of online and offline analytics allows you to identify strengths and weaknesses:

  • Are you having problems generating leads?
  • Is there an increase in the rate of shopping cart abandonment?
  • Is your conversion rate decreasing?
  • Is the level of engagement declining?

Once the problem areas have been threshed out, the web designer can come up with a redesign that might provide remedy to your current situation.

6. Visitors Leave Your Site Right Away

In retail, the longer you keep visitors inside your store the higher the probability of making a sale. The rule also applies to websites.

If you have a blog page, you would love for people to hang around, read content while nursing a cup of coffee. The more they read, the more likely they would share your content with social media.

If you are managing an ECommerce site, you would want your visitors to take their time, browse your site, zoom in your product offerings and place merchandise on the shopping cart. In time, they might follow through with the purchase.

Visitors leaving your site early is never a good sign.

A web designer will use the following metrics to check the online behavior of your site visitors:

  • Bounce Rate – Measures the rate by which visitors leave your page. It is not a good sign if your bounce rate is high.
  • Pages/ Session – Measures the average number of pages a user views per session. A high number means the average user views more pages whenever he or she is in your site.
  • Behavior Flow – This is a Google generated report which gives you details on the most popular path site users take to visit your website. Knowing where your visitors come from will improve productivity and help fine tune your online marketing campaign.

7. Visitors Can’t Find What They Need

Navigability should always be an important consideration in website design because it is a big part of User Experience. If a site user can’t find what he or she is looking for within a few seconds, frustration could mount.

When you receive emails or comments from users narrating their difficulty navigating through your website, take it seriously and act upon it right away.

A professional web designer could help come up with a cleaner and more efficient navigation plan that will keep users happy.

8. Initial Design Does Not Capture Current Changes

It could be that the previous year represented a time of sweeping change for your business.

If you have an online consultancy business, perhaps some services are no longer available. Did you replace some products with new offerings? Were there changes in management?

All of these changes should be reflected in your website. In business, communication is very important. If you distribute marketing collateral its content must correspond to what is presented in your website.


If you have a website, accept the fact that a redesign is inevitable. Digital technology will always be in a progressive state. Programs are expected to run faster and process more data. Users will crave a better experience and if you want to compete, you will have to keep your website updated, current and compatible.

The programs and plugins running your website now could be rendered obsolete within a few months. Without a redesign, it may not be responsive to the needs and demands of your market.

Keep in mind that your website is an investment that will yield potentially high returns for your business. With the help of an experienced web designer, you will get more out of every resource that you put back into your website.

Did we get you to re-think the design of your current website? Give us a call or drop us an email to clear your mind. We can simplify the process for you and help you get your business back on track.

If you are on Facebook; and who isn’t nowadays, you may notice some ads popping up in your newsfeed promoting products and services. Some of your friends may be posting pictures of merchandise they are selling. Above it, you will find text that reads more like marketing copy. Most, if not all of the proprietors selling items on social media do not have a website.

They believe that Social Media Marketing (SMM) is all they need to sell their products and services. After all, when you post in social media:

  • You have an immediate audience for your content.
  • There is probability of your content being shared by someone who knows someone who is interested in your product or service.
  • Social media gives you the medium to directly engage with people who post comments on your thread.
  • It’s free! Other than perhaps having professionally-done product shots taken or having your ads sponsored, posting in social media will not cost you a cent.

Given these benefits, these entrepreneurs believe they don’t need a website to help them run their respective businesses.

But are they really better off without a website? Or are they undermining their ability to succeed?

Social Media Marketing – Is it Enough?

We decided to find out why many of these entrepreneurs chose not to have a website that would have professionally represented their business.

Here are the 3 most popular reasons we gathered. We also included our professional opinion on each reason to give you our perspective as a web design company:

1. Building a website is costly; not only do they have to pay for the domain, website design and programming but it has to be maintained regularly.

The cost of a website will depend on its purpose, function and features. You can see the different types of websites you can consider for your business in our article, “What Type of Website Does Your Business Need?

Personal websites, company websites and blogging websites are comparatively inexpensive. On the other hand, e-commerce sites, work collaboration websites, search engine directories and information websites will cost more because it will entail a greater degree of work and present the user with advanced features.

As far as maintenance is concerned, many web design companies such as Mountaintop Web Design offer site management services that are reasonably priced. We are also flexible and willing to customize options to meet a company’s needs if necessary.

Always keep in mind that the website is your online business address. Having it professionally managed is no different than paying for the regular upkeep and maintenance of your brick-and-mortar office.

2. SMM offers a more convenient way to market products and services. You don’t have to worry about hacking, updating plug-ins and having your account infected by viruses.

This observation is far from the truth. In 2013, more than 2 million passwords from popular social media sites including Facebook and Twitter were stolen and posted online.

Once your social media account has been hacked, you can have private information, content and images stolen or distributed for sale.

Some hackers have malicious intent. They will post unauthorized, inappropriate content that could ruin your good reputation and substantially damage the credibility of your company.

Social media sites are websites. They are susceptible to the same risks as a business website or an e-commerce website.

Facebook has been working overtime to fortify its security because it has been under attack from cyber criminals that want to use the platform for their phishing operations.

Because of their sheer volume of users, cyber criminals love to target social media. They can use it to upload malware, virus programs and other diabolical software that could compromise your privacy, your business and the safety of your computer.

3. People prefer to visit social media over websites.

As mentioned in the preceding section, social media sites are websites. So technically this point is not valid.

However, statistics show that of the 3.5 Billion people who scour the Internet daily, 2 Billion go to social media. This makes social media seem like the Pacific Ocean; the largest ocean in the world. You can cast a net anywhere and you are assured of a large haul.

Or are you?

The truth is, people go on social media for different reasons. Not everyone goes to social media to find products to buy or services to hire. Reasons why people use social media include:

  • Social interaction
  • Passing time
  • Entertainment
  • Share or express opinions
  • Relax
  • Connect with old family and friends
  • Build networks

The benefits of including an SMM strategy in your business development agenda cannot be overlooked. Statistics have validated the importance of SMM in a digital marketing campaign. We’ve also discussed the value of SMM in our articles “How to Drive Traffic to Your Website” and “The Basics of SEO”.

But if you believe SMM is all you need to build your business, you could be undermining its maximum potential to capitalize on the opportunities available on the Internet.

Instead of casting your net in the Pacific Ocean, you may find yourself climbing Mount Everest.

We were not surprised with the results of our research. We have clients who initially put all their eggs in the SMM basket.

Eventually they realized there were limitations to SMM. Even though their efforts generated results, these were not sustainable. Their stream of income became inconsistent and they could not grow their business.

 The Website – Harnessing the Power of Organic Search

According to the principle called “The Virality Coefficient”, your primary contact list will not help you gain traction. Momentum will be gained only from those who belong in your primary contact’s network.

So assuming you have 1,500 Facebook contacts and 20% of them like or share your post, you’re hoping their respective networks will likewise spread the word on your products and services.

But what if they don’t? What if upon initial posting only 5% share your post? As you can see there is a limit as to how far social media can take you.

While we cannot question the influence of social media on consumers, the fact of the matter is your exposure is limited only to your contacts. And not everyone will be interested in what your business has to offer.

Thus, SMM is better off as a component within a digital marketing campaign than the primary strategy in a business development agenda.

The fact is, despite the pull of social media, organic search remains the number one driver of traffic to business. In a study conducted by BrightEdge, organic search accounted for 51% of all traffic generated.

Social media? 5%.

And you need a place to drive all of that traffic. If you were selling physical products on Facebook, how will your buyer finalize the transaction? In an e-commerce website, you have a shopping cart where a buyer can complete a sales transaction via PayPal or credit card.

Also, how can a prospective buyer trust you when you are selling your goods in social media? Would you buy a smartphone from someone who operates his business from a laundromat? What is their assurance that you are a legitimate proprietor and not a scammer?

If you want to run your business online, you should have a business address. Your Facebook company page is not your business address because it carries Facebook’s domain name.

A website provides you a business address. It will give you a domain name just like ours is When followers see your post and they want to know more about your business, they will know where to go.

Once they click to your website address, they will find all the information they need to make a decision on whether to patronize your business or not:

  • Home Page – Your overall branded value proposition; what you are about.
  • About Us – Your purpose; who you are and why you decided to start this business.
  • Services – Your products and services; what you offer, your strengths and main differentiators in the industry.
  • Blog Page – Your expertise; what your opinions are on the industry, users’ needs and wants.
  • Portfolio – Your work; what you have done so far for your clients.
  • Contact Us – Your whereabouts; how people who are interested in your services can contact you.

A website is designed and programmed for one thing: to optimize growth opportunities for your business.

You can read up on the benefits of having a website in our article “0 Benefits of Having a Website for a Small Business”.  Our focus in this article is to show you why social media is more effective when used as a key process in a digital marketing campaign.

Let’s look at these 2 scenarios:

Scenario No. 1 – Restaurant Business Owner

You’ve worked hard posting images of your food and happy diners in Facebook, Instagram and Google Plus. People are actively engaging with you; majority of the comments are positive although there have been a few sparse complaints.

Those who have not tried your food are curious to know more about your restaurant. They decide to click on the URL that is posted in your business page.

They land in your Home Page and are treated to a 360 degree view of your restaurant! Your main menu items were photographed by a professional and are presented in vanishing slide format.

They click on your “Our Menu” page and they see an interactive menu where they can scroll for choices and prices. Below it are the testimonials from customers and the reviews your restaurant has so far received from reputable food critics.

They’re sold on the idea of trying your restaurant. So they visit your “Our Location” page and find an embedded Google Map. It will show them how far they are from the restaurant and the time it will take to get there based on the hour of day or night.

Scenario No. 2 – Interior Designer

You’ve been posting images of your designs on Facebook and Instagram. You also share tips on how to set up your one-bedroom apartment on a budget and why high ceiling homes are here to stay via Twitter.

People love your content and some have earmarked you as a prospective architect for their upcoming projects. They want to know more about you so they click on the URL posted on your business page.

When they land on your website, they are treated to a Home Page that is minimalist in design; simple yet elegant, black and white images with clear lines and open spaces. It is a reflection of your design sensibilities.

Your branded value proposition is stated in understated Helvetica font, “Beauty Lies in Simplicity, Form Lives in Functionality”.

In your “Who Am I?” page, visitors get to read a short bio. It comes with a professionally taken photo of you smiling in a white, long sleeved shirt that is folded ¼ up from the wrist.

Then they visit “My Portfolio”. In there, they can see all the homes and offices you have designed in slide format. Right below it are testimonials from all of your happy clients.

If they are interested in hiring your services, they can send you an email through the address indicated in your “Let’s Meet” web page. Or they can automatically send an inquiry by filling out the entries in the form provided.


Social media has been proven to be an effective tool for marketing and promoting your business. But on its own, it will be limited by its shortcomings. In a sense, by relying only on SMM, you are undermining the growth potential of your business by basically shutting it out from the rest of the World Wide Web.

A website allows you to consolidate all of your online marketing efforts so you can capitalize on every available opportunity. Most importantly, it will give your business a professional presence on the Internet.

We hope you enjoyed what you just read and were able to take away some valuable information.

If you want to learn more about how a website can help your business, please give us a call or drop us a quick e-mail. We will get back to you right away!

The widespread availability of broadband technology in 2004 changed the face of the website from an online brochure into a profit-generating machine. It allowed businesses to communicate directly with its market, run transactions, build networks, capture and store data. It wasn’t long before websites became targets of hacker and spam attacks that scheme to steal valuable data and monetize them to meet their selfish agenda.

The Dangers of Hacker and Spam Attacks

Over the last few years, we have been inundated by media reports of large companies falling prey to hacking and spamming attacks.

US Retail giant Target was a victim of a massive hack job in 2013 where the cyber-thieves stole 45.7 million credit card numbers. The breach affected Target’s sales the following year.

Last 2014, JPMorgan revealed that cybercriminals were able to steal valuable information from its more than 80 million account holders. In the same year, Home Depot disclosed that hackers stole 56 million payment cards and 53 million email accounts.

Media coverage might have made it seem that only large companies are the targets of hackers and spammers. But in reality, even small businesses are not spared by these ruthless cybercriminals.

According to a 2013 survey by the National Small Business Association (NSBA), an estimated 44% of small businesses have fallen victim to hacking and spamming operations. On average, the attacks cost these small businesses $8,700.

The costs of hacking to your website go far beyond just the monetary considerations. Your reputation and all the time invested in building your brand can be seriously jeopardized.

Although consumers can accept the fact that you were a victim of unscrupulous individuals, some may view you as being “irresponsible”, “complacent” or “lackadaisical” in ensuring the protection of your customers’ information.

When a customer decides to patronize you over a competitor, he or she is not just giving you business. The customer has also entrusted you with his or her private information. It is expected that as the proprietor, you would do everything in your power to ensure its protection.

But how does your website get hacked? In a home robbery, a thief will carry out his despicable deed when you are away or asleep.

In the case of a cybercriminal, he knows your website is operational 24/7. He will look for an entry point to your website where he can come in unnoticed. If a thief will try to break in through a window, the cybercriminal will find his way through your front door.

This is why sometimes a hack job may start out as an innocent-looking email.

How Your Website Gets Hacked or Spammed

Has this scenario happened to you or someone you know?

When checking your email one morning, you come across a message with the following subject matter “Urgent! Please Respond Immediately”. You note that the email came from someone in your contact list; a good friend as a matter of fact, one whom you regularly correspond with.

You decide to click open the email and there is no content except for a link. You slowly move your mouse over to the link all the while believing it must be authentic because it came from your friend. By blindly trusting the email, you inadvertently opened the gateway to Internet hell for your website.

Your website has just been hacked. Depending on the severity of the attack, the next few hours or days will be memorable for all the wrong reasons.

The link that you just clicked on could unleash a virus that may lead to a number of worst case scenarios:

  • Valuable customer information such as credit card and social security numbers are stolen.
  • Your passwords are stolen.
  • Your server will be “hijacked” and used as a launching stage for illegal activity.
  • Your website will be defaced and used to promote undesirable propaganda.
  • You become a victim of ransomware.
  • Your email address will be used as a relay channel for inappropriate activities.

Email that is unwanted is called spam. Hackers are aware that consumers have gotten wise over the years and do not open email from people who are not part of their contacts list.

But so great is their greed that eventually hackers found ways to get the names and email addresses of your network. They call this “Email Harvesting”.

Here are some of the methods they will use to harvest your email addresses:

  • They hacked into a legitimate website you gave your email address to.
  • You signed up for a mailing list that was hacked.
  • You sent an email to someone who forwarded it to a 3rd party who decided to harvest your address.
  • A recipient distributed an email where your address was indicated as cc instead of bcc making it visible to everyone on the thread.
  • You gave up your email address to a focus or discussion group. Anyone from the group could have harvested your email address.
  • Someone saw your email address on your business card and harvested it without you knowing.

Cybercriminals can be creative when it comes to getting you to open their emails. They will come up with interesting ways to grab your attention and entice you to open their emails without hesitation.

We’re sure you’ve come across some of the following lures summarized below:

  • Personal Fraud – Potential fraudulent activity warning on your credit card or bank account.
  • Account Hacking – An email advise that states your account has been disabled because it was hacked.
  • Package Delivery – Notification that you have a special package waiting to be delivered.
  • Order Confirmations – A request confirming your order for an item; usually a popular branded merchandise.
  • Social Networking – An invitation to connect with someone influential in the industry.
  • Job Offers – Still very popular after all these years; and remains an effective way of infiltrating your defenses.

Remember all they need is for you to click on the link. It may release malware that could steal all of your information including email addresses.

7 Tips to Protect Your Website from Hacker and Spam Attacks

Oftentimes it could be a challenge to decide on whether to click on the email or not especially if it appears to be someone you know. You may have to take a more proactive approach to defend your website from hacking and spamming activities.

1. Regularly Update Software

Hackers use automated crawlers or bots to scour the Internet; constantly looking for websites with openings to which they can deliver malware-infested content. These openings are outdated software and programs that you hardly use.

Here are 3 things you should have on your software update checklist:

  • Make sure your web host service provider regularly updates the security features on its operating system.
  • If you subscribe to third-party software, sign up for their mailing list so you can be immediately advised of program updates.
  • Ask your website designer to conduct a frequent audit on your site. The purpose of the audit is to identify outdated, hardly used and corrupted software programs that put your website at risk.

2. Use Strong Passwords

If you find recalling passwords cumbersome, then so would your site users. But the fact is having a strong password is a necessity given the brazen nature and frequency of hacking and spamming activities.

The usual guidelines for a strong password are to have at least eight characters with at least one capitalized letter and one number.

Never use your birth date and even if you have poor short-term memory, don’t use passwords like 12345678 or worse, password.

3. Get SSL Certificates

SSL or Secure Sockets Layer certificates is a program that assures the recipient of the file or message is from a verified sender by encrypting communication between networks as data passes through the Internet.

You can read more about the benefits of having SSL certificates in our article, “SSL: What is It and Why Your Business Needs It”. Getting SSL certificates is very important especially if you have an online business that requires users to provide sensitive information such as credit card numbers.

You know if a website has SSL certificates when you read the URL and it leads off with “https” instead of “http”.

4. Manage File Uploads

If your website allows users to upload files, you should remain vigilant and view all content with suspicion. There is always the risk that the uploaded file may contain a script that will be activated once the server opens up your website.

The best solution would be to restrict access to your web server. There are 2 ways to do this:

  • Prevent users to have direct access to all uploaded files. Under this set up, all files will be uploaded to a folder located outside the webroot of your site. The web designer can create a script that will allow the files to be fetched from the folder for delivery to the browser.
  • Set up your database on a different server.

5. Install Human Verification Programs

You’ve probably had your fair share dealing with “Captcha” images. It may seem frustrating at times but that is exactly the point.

The purpose of these captcha images is to assure the site it is dealing with a human being and not a program that is devoid of emotion.

Captcha is an example of human verification program. Captchas are popularly presented as jumbled up characters.

But hackers have found ways to bypass this so you need to up your game and use versions that require greater human interaction. Some versions utilize puzzles and games.

6. Fortify Your Defenses Versus SQL Injections and XSS Attacks

SQL injections are a web form field used by a hacker to access and manipulate your database. Web designers can use parameterized queries which are standard feature for most languages to prevent SQL injections.

XSS attacks corrupt your web pages by using malicious JavaScript. This can have many devastating consequences to your website.

  • It can contaminate your users’ browsers.
  • It can alter your page content.
  • It can steal valuable data.

Web designers may use Content Security Policy (CSP) which creates restrictions on the type of JavaScript that can be used on your page.

7. Follow Standard Safety Guidelines

Last but certainly not the least is to make sure you have safety guidelines in place when it comes to managing your website activities. These measures are pretty much basic but often overlooked:

  • Exercise caution when giving out your email address whether to connections or to websites.
  • Create backup email addresses if you plan to transact with websites you are somewhat uncertain with.
  • If you are suspicious about the subject matter in an email sent from a contact’s address, give him a call or a message and confirm if the communication came from his side.
  • Make sure all anti-virus, malware and firewall programs are updated and running all the time.
  • In addition to using strong passwords, it is advisable to change it from time-to-time.
  • Do not click open websites that ask you to provide access to your social media account information.
  • Ask your web designer to test your defense systems frequently.
  • Frequently conduct moderation procedures on your website. You can check your admin page for messages or content that your automated spam filter program may have missed.


The Internet is a beautiful thing. It gives us access to information anywhere in the world with just a click of a mouse or a tap of the keyboard. But just like in the real world, there is the constant battle of good versus evil.

Protect your website as you would your own home. Do not let suspicious characters in and make sure all entry points are tightly secured.

The bad guys are always trying to stay one step ahead of the good guys. As a business owner, your time is best spent focusing on tasks that will help you stay ahead of the competition not worry about what these cyber criminals are plotting to do.

As long as you follow our guidelines, you should be able to sleep soundly every night knowing your website is secure from hacker and spam attacks.

Would you like to know more about fortifying your website defense systems? Please don’t hesitate to give us a call or drop us an email. Your website’s safety is also our concern!

Putting up a website isn’t as simple as setting up a coffee shop, opening the doors and expecting customers to file right in. Almost everyone in the world drinks coffee but just because you’ve set up shop, doesn’t mean you will be guaranteed business. It definitely is a step in the right direction, but you have to put in time, work and resources to gain business. It’s the same with driving traffic to your website. The good news is generating traffic to your website is not as difficult or costly as you might think.

If your business was located inside a mall, you can scope out your competition and approximate foot traffic by assigning staff at the entrances to conduct a click count. From there, you can come up with marketing strategies, design collaterals and draw up promos to attract interest from the mall’s daily visitors.

But things are different in the World Wide Web. If a mall has 200 tenants, the Internet has over 1 Billion websites. If a mall attracts 10,000 visitors daily, the Internet draws over 3.6 Billion users every single day. Once your website is launched, your challenge is to get Internet users to click on your URL as often as possible.

When flyers are distributed randomly inside a mall, many end up in trash bins. You cannot apply the same tactics in a place as vast as the Internet. The marketing approach must be more strategic, well thought-out and focused.

It’s not a matter of casting a larger net into an ocean filled with fish. What ends up in your net might be inedible or unusable. Instead you should figure out the right kind of bait that draws fish to your line. But different bait attracts different fish. Before you know it, you have a multitude of lines with a variety of bait that consistently fills up your boat with tons of fish!

If you want to drive traffic to your website, you must utilize strategies that will attract or compel potential end users to view your products and services. This approach is popularly referred to as Inbound Marketing; the process of using online marketing techniques, tools and tactics for the purpose of generating inbound traffic to a website.

7 Effective Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website

1. Optimize Your Website

SEO or Search Engine Optimization helps to get your content found online. It gives your website a fighting chance to stand out and get noticed even if there are billions of websites proliferating on the Internet. Remember this key stat: 91% of all Internet users prefer to use organic search to find information.

Keyword research is a big component of an effective SEO strategy. All of your inbound marketing efforts should be focused on landing the top 3 positions of the search rankings for your keywords. The SEO expert should provide you a keywords report which categorizes keywords according to volume and level of competition.

The keywords report will be used to optimize your web pages, particularly the title, meta and descriptive tags. It will also be used to optimize text, image and video content.

2. Consistently Create Great Content

Content is the cornerstone of a successful inbound marketing campaign. People go online to find usable and relevant information. You should give your audience content that addresses their interests or concerns.

If you are able to produce consistently great content, you will enhance your reputation as a valuable resource and attract more followers to your website.

Here are a few tips on how to come up with great content:

  • Write in a conversational manner; don’t attempt to impress your readers by using technical terms.
  • Make sure your data is accurate and sourced from reputable sources.
  • Write with the audience in mind; they should find your content usable, relevant and informative.
  • Always come up with original content; do not plagiarize someone else’s work.
  • Do not abuse keywords; it is important to have the main keyword in the title, the opening paragraph, throughout the body and in the concluding section. But use keywords judiciously. It should never affect the quality of the content.

If you are not sure what to write about, review your website analytics. Find out which blogs or articles generated the highest levels of engagement and had the lowest bounce rates. You could also do surveys or engage your followers in social media to find out what topics interest them.

3. Utilize Social Media

Social media is great for sharing content which could help drive traffic to your website. But there are other ways you can use social media to create inbound avenues to your website.

  • – This is one of the lesser known features of Twitter but it is an effective tool for engaging your market. For example, we could type in “mobile responsive design” and see how people in the community are interacting with this topic. We could then engage them by providing a link to an article we published some time ago, “Why Your Business Needs Responsive Design”.
  • Set up Company Pages – Identify 3 social media networks that are appropriate for your business then set up company pages in each of them. Try to stay active by posting regularly and engaging with your followers whenever possible.
  • Remarketing – Facebook and Twitter can provide you with tracking pixels which you can use to continue marketing to Internet users who have visited your site. Facebook will grant you a tracking pixel once you have achieved 100 visitors. Twitter’s minimum requirement is much higher at 500 visitors.
  • Twitter Cards – This is another special feature of Twitter which allows you to send out tweets that are large enough to include an image and a functional button to support a call- to- action. Twitter Cards have been shown to generate 18% more clicks than plain text tweets.
  • Community and Focus Groups – You can also join community and focus groups that are involved in the same industry as you are. Members in these communities often engage one another in discussion threads. Join some of these threads and openly share your expertise and experience. Write blogs and distribute them to your various communities.

These are just the tip of the mountaintop when it comes to all the possibilities with social media. A digital marketing company can help you conceptualize a social media strategy that is customized for your business.

4. Build Links

Link building is such an effective technique for driving traffic to your website that it is often abused by unethical marketers. Google penalizes websites that implement overly aggressive link building strategies. These practices include using irrelevant links for the sake of increasing site exposure.

Done properly, link building is a great way of finding a new audience for your website. Get in touch with the webmaster of a reputable website in your industry and ask if they could include a link to your website. Offer reciprocity so that everyone benefits from the arrangement.

Another way of building links is to engage in industry and business forums. These sites give you the platform to showcase your expertise, knowledge and build up your reputation as a credible resource. Wait for the right moment to provide the link to your website. It should be relevant to the discussion and the content must have information that has value to the community.  

5. Contribute to Other Websites

A big part of driving traffic to your website involves enhancing your online presence as an expert in the industry. The more platforms you have to share your knowledge, the better your reach in finding a new audience for your content. One of the best ways to achieve this is to become a contributor to other websites such as content aggregators.

Content aggregators are websites that gather content from various online sources for reuse or resale. Anyone who visits your page from an aggregator and likes what they read will send a link to your site from their feed. Among the most popular content aggregators are the following:

Becoming a contributor isn’t as simple as sending content and having it published right away. These content aggregators have standards and guidelines for writing. If you are not confident about your writing skills, do not hesitate to hire a professional content writer.

6. Host a Podcast

A podcast is a great way to deliver content because it creates a more personalized, informal and intimate connection with your market. It is also a convenient medium for your audience to digest your content. All they have to do is subscribe and they can listen to your podcast anytime. A podcast puts you in a forum where you can actively engage with other experts in your field.

During the period of 2015 to 2016, the audience for podcasts in the United States grew by 23%. To put this in context, in the same period, Spotify and Twitter grew by 13% and 21% respectively. Hosting podcasts has also been shown to increase website traffic significantly.

7. Use Web Analytics

Web Analytics allows you to have data- driven basis to assess the performance of your website and your inbound marketing strategies. One of the most effective tools you can use is Google Analytics, but it is easy to get lost in the sheer volume of data available for your review.

We have simplified the 4 key reports you should look into when using Google Analytics:

  • Acquisition Keywords- Find out which keywords are driving more visitors to your website.
  • Acquisition Referring Sites – By discovering which websites are delivering more traffic to your website, you can focus more resources to them and less toward those that are underperforming.
  • Visitors Overview – Determine the proportion of new visitors to old visitors so you can customize your content to a specific audience.
  • Content Overview Top Pages – Find out which published content is responsible for driving the most traffic to your website and focus more time and resources on the topic.  


Inbound marketing will not generate significant traffic overnight. It is a process; and as such needs time to produce quantifiable results. Because the Internet and social media have made information accessible, market forces can shift or change without warning.

Thus if you want to drive more traffic to your website, the first step is to hire a professional digital marketing services company. You have to regularly track the progress of your campaign and implement the necessary revisions to strategy. As a business owner, your time is best dedicated to running your enterprise.

You should also apply these inbound marketing techniques with strategy, thought and purpose. A digital marketing company has the experience and knowledge to design a campaign strategy customized for your business and implement it according to schedule.

What you need to keep in mind is that an inbound marketing campaign is not an expense. It is an investment because you expect a return within a period of time. The great thing about investing in an inbound marketing campaign is that the strategies are more focused, sustainable and reusable.

You’re not distributing flyers to random people inside a mall. With inbound marketing, you identify your target market and focus your strategies to influence his or her preference toward your products and services instead of your competitor.

You are not pushing content to your audience. You are creating content that will pull your audience or compel them to follow you.  

The content you create will not end up in the trash bin. You can re-cycle it; edit its content and ideas to fit changes in your market’s behavioral profile. You can also reuse it by publishing it in other websites so you can attract a new audience.

When it comes to driving traffic to your website, the keyword is patience. It will take time to develop the avenues that will consistently bring users to your website.

Building a website is one thing. Committing to develop it is another. But as long as you put in the time, effort and resources, your investment should eventually yield dividends.

If you’re interested in learning more about inbound marketing and how to put together a campaign to drive more traffic to your website, drop us an e-mail or give us a call.

The Internet opens up an ocean of opportunities for business. Every day more than 3.5 Billion people are online; searching for information, looking for best value products and services or building their network. A website becomes a 24/7 store window to a global community of consumers. Unfortunately, the vast expanse of the Internet has also opened up opportunities for unsavory characters. The ones who unscrupulously break into your store window and steal your data. You can never have enough security in the Internet and that is why you need SSL.

What is SSL?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. This is a method of encrypting communication between computer networks as data travels through the Internet. SSL will assure the recipient that the data came from a verified sender.

When you want to buy products from an e-commerce site, you will be asked to provide information to the retailer. The information you send to the retailer may go through a number of servers and networks before finally reaching its destination.

It is during this process of transfer that your information is at risk of being intercepted by the bad guys unless it is encrypted.

E-commerce sites such as Amazon and a payment processor like PayPal have SSL certification. When you interact with companies that have SSL certificates, you are guaranteed of dealing with legitimate businesses.

How Does SSL Protect Your Site’s Users?

The year 2016 was a banner year for data hackers. In that year alone, more than 2 Billion records were stolen. Blogging site Tumblr reported that 65 Million accounts were hacked. MySpace became relevant for the wrong reason as it reported 427 Million accounts were stolen. Search engine Yahoo confirmed that more than 500 million accounts were compromised.

The threat of hacking has made people more wary of patronizing Internet- based businesses. Personal information such as Social Security Number (SSN), bank account and credit card numbers once illegally obtained can place the consumer at serious risk. Credit card fraud is estimated to hit $14 Billion in 2020.  

SSL facilitates communication between the user’s browser and the website it is trying to access. When a website has an SSL Certificate from a trusted source, the browser will recognize it. If the user has to send sensitive information, the SSL will encrypt it before it is sent. SSL will also be used to decrypt the information once it has been received.

If your online business requires site users to provide valuable or confidential information, it is highly advised that you get SSL certification.

SSL certificates protect your site users in the following ways:

  1. Enables encryption of sensitive data when an online transaction is performed. Thus, the information remains protected during the transfer.
  2. An SSL certificate is a unique credential; it authenticates and verifies the sender of information.
  3. Your site users would feel more secure because the identity of the certificate holder is verified before the certificate is released.

Think of an SSL certificate as having a seal of trust on your website. Getting an SSL certificate will give you a definite edge over a competitor that does not have it.

What Types of Information Must Be Protected?

Generally you should protect all types of information that could result in monetary loss or legal entanglements for your site users once there is a serious breach in data security.

Here is a short list of types of information that you must absolutely protect:

  1. User Authentication; this includes usernames and passwords to access an account. According to reports, hackers attempt to break into Facebook accounts 600,000 times every day.
  2. Financial Information; among the most sought after figures are credit card numbers, bank accounts and online order numbers.
  3. Sensitive Personal Information; some websites, especially those engaged in consumer services such as telecommunications require users to provide SSN, passport and driver’s license numbers and birth dates. These bits of information once stolen will open the user to risk of identity theft.
  4. Medical Information and Reports on Health Condition; these types of information should be tightly guarded as the consequences on the patient can be severe.
  5. Proprietary Information; highly important if you work with clients or people that require security and protection for legal documents, technology transfers, classified software and customer databases.

If you want extended coverage, you may also wish to include Customer Account areas and signup forms that require site users to provide personal information.

How Will a User Know Your Website Has SSL Certificates?

A user will know that your website has SSL Certificate in 4 ways:

  • A padlock appears on the website’s browser screen.
  • The website’s address in their browser reads https://. Please take note of the extra “s” that appears after http.
  • The address bar’s background will have a green color which indicates the level of security it has in place.
  • You might find an SSL image at the bottom of the web page.

A website that has SSL certificates assures the user of the protection and integrity of any confidential information that has to be submitted.

5 Benefits of SSL

The online business is fast becoming the preferred model of budding entrepreneurs and startups. It’s set up costs are lower than traditional brick- and- mortar establishments, comparatively easier to manage and it presents more benefits to the consumer.

The trend toward patronizing Internet- based businesses can be seen with the number of retail stores shutting down the previous years. As competition increases in the online business industry, you have to constantly find ways to win customers over to your website.

SSL Certificates can give your website the following benefits:

  1. Professionalize Your Business –  Part of the process of getting SSL Certificates is having your website checked by the issuing authority. Having SSL Certificates tells users your website has passed quality assurance and safety tests.
  2. Enhance Customer Loyalty – If users know it is safe to use your site, they will come back and continue to patronize your services. They could even generate referrals for your business.
  3. Bring in More Shoppers – With concerns on identity theft increasing, consumers will choose websites that offer more protection and security. If asked to pick between 2 e-commerce stores; “A” which has SSL and “B” which does not, consumers will almost always choose “A”.
  4. Generate More Paying Customers – Many e-commerce websites are confounded by site users abandoning the purchase at the checkout counter. The reason is consumers get “cold feet” when they are asked to provide their credit card number. SSL Certificates can help push the shopper to complete the sale. A reputable checkout system will offer SSL to your user but having your own SSL will further encourage the user to become a customer.
  5. Protect Information – With SSL, protection goes both ways. It will also protect the information you send out to customers and site visitors. For example, as part of your marketing campaign, you might decide to send out discount coupons or promo vouchers to your customers. With SSL Certificates in place, these marketing materials will be protected with encryption when you send them out to the recipients.


The reality is there is no such thing as a 100% completely infallible security system. If you send confidential information to a website that does not require a password, having SSL Certificates will not be enough to prevent unauthorized viewing.

You should also know that the process of encrypting and decrypting data takes time, uses up computer resources and works the server harder. It will slow down the loading time of your website. If your application does not require the transfer of sensitive information, then SSL certification may not be necessary.

However for those who run e-commerce websites and online businesses that ask users to provide confidential data, there is no doubt you should get SSL Certificates. It will assure users their transaction will be safe and enhance the reputation of your website as a business they can trust.

If you want to get SSL for your website, this can be done for you by your website developer or web host service provider.

You will need to purchase an SSL certificate from an authorized vendor. Your web designer or web host should be able to make recommendations. The vendor will verify your identity before issuing the certificates. Be aware that an annual fee may be charged by the vendor.

Once you have the certificate, it has to be installed on your server so you can activate the “https://” connection.

The web developer will then move to configure your website to make sure all the security connections are properly in place and functioning. If you have an e-commerce business, the web developer has to ensure the certificates can do its job when a user logs in or is about to complete a transaction in the shopping cart.

If our article has encouraged you to pursue an online business that needs SSL certificates, please feel free to give us a call or an e-mail. We have successfully installed SSL certificates on a good number of websites that we have created.

Let us know if you’re interested to learn more about SSL Certificates. We’ll be more than happy to answer questions you may have on whether your online business needs it or not.

As a professional web design company, one of the things we ask clients is if they already have a web host service provider in mind. Finding the right web host is important because your site’s speed, stability and security will depend on your choice of service provider. If your web host turns out to be unreliable, you could end up losing key opportunities for your business. On the flip side a reliable web host will make life and work so much easier.

We’ve seen it all before. Clients come to us complaining how their web host has led to headaches and prolonged periods of stress. The reality is, changing web host service providers isn’t easy. Migrating a website to another host has its own set of challenges.

Choosing your web host can seem like a daunting task because there are thousands of web host providers out there. You can get caught up with all the advertising and marketing and realize later on there is another one better.

The purpose of this article is to simplify the process for you. We break down everything you need to know to make an educated choice. Hopefully you will come away with enough information to confidently choose the right web host for your business.

What is Web Hosting?

A web host company maintains specially configured computers called servers which run on a variety of operating systems such as Windows or Linux. The purpose of these servers is to connect websites to the Internet. You are able to view the content of a website by connecting with its server and accessing it with your browser.

To make an analogy, a web host is like an apartment manager. You rent a space on his server (the apartment complex) and in exchange, he will host your website from there. Once you place all your files on the server, the web host will open it up to allow Internet users to access your content.

If the web host is your apartment, the domain name is your address. When you sign up for web hosting services, you will be given an IP address which is presented as a series of numbers such as 123.456.78.987. Your IP address is where people will look to find you.

But numbers can be difficult to remember which is why you need a domain name. Thus instead of typing 123.456.78.987, people can just type a domain name like and they will be redirected to your IP address.

Determine the Needs of Your Website and Host

The search for your web host starts with knowing what your website needs. Even if you find a service provider with the best references and highest number of recommendations, it will underperform if it cannot meet your site requirements.

Here’s a checklist of questions we go through with clients so we can pinpoint the type of web hosting service they need:

  1. How will the website be built? – There are different ways to approach web design. We could use WordPress or static HTML and these will have their own technical specifications which the web host should be able to accommodate.
  2. Does your website require more security features? – An e-commerce website which processes credit card payments and houses personal information will need more security features than a blog site. If you’re planning to put up an e-commerce website, the web host should have the ability to support high level security features.
  3. How would you want e-mail hosting managed? – Having your own domain name gives you the distinction of a personalized e-mail address. In business, a branded e-mail address is perceived as more professional than using a or address. It tells clients how invested you are in your own business and it helps with your branding strategy. But you do have a choice of having another provider manage your webmail. Check with the web host company to see if its current e-mail accommodation plan suits your needs.
  4. How much data would your website be storing and serving? – Data that is predominantly text-based will require less storage capacity than one which is image heavy. The size of your data will determine not just the amount of storage space but also bandwidth.
  5. How much traffic do you anticipate? – At the start, you can safely assume low volume of site traffic. But you should have plans in place when your business begins to gain traction and traffic volume becomes heavier.
  6. What is your budget for hosting? – If your budget is limited, you will have to do away with some extra perks. Review your monthly budget carefully and assess if stretching it out a bit will significantly affect your cash flow.

Once we have ironed out the details of the website, you can now shift your focus to finding the right web host for your business. It will be easier and clearer for you to review the different website hosting plans presented by each service provider.

Types of Website Hosting Plans

Here are a few website hosting plans you might come across during your search for the right web host:

  1. Individual Plans – These are highly affordable plans best suited for websites that don’t require specialized features or a high volume of traffic. Individual plans are limited in terms of the number of domains to be supported, Internet bandwidth and data storage capacity. Individual plan subscribers share server space with other webmasters.
  2. Dedicated Servers – In this hosting plan, the web host company will provide your business with its own server. Obviously, this plan will cost significantly more than an Individual subscription but it lays down the contingencies should your business grow faster than expected. Before signing up, make sure the web host allows a transition from Individual to Dedicated subscription.
  3. Reseller Accounts – If you plan to set up several other small websites, the Reseller Account could be the subscription for you. This gives you the option to establish multiple individual plans in a single account.

When choosing the type of web hosting plan, always think of your business as a dynamic, ever-evolving entity that will be a constant work in progress. With the Internet and social media, the challenge for a business is to keep track of changes in tastes, trends and demand preferences of consumers. Your website has to be ready to accommodate these changes without missing a beat.

How to Qualify Your Web Host Service Provider

Hopefully at this point, you have a clearer picture of what you are looking for in a web host service provider. You know what web hosting does, what your website needs and an idea of the subscription packages most service providers carry. It’s time to sift through the list of web hosting services and find the one that will support the requirements of your website.

Here are the key points to consider when qualifying your web host service provider:

  • Cost – Entrepreneurs and small business owners especially those in the process of launching startups have good reason to prioritize cost. What we like to advise our clients is to view the cost of web hosting not as an expense but an investment. The performance of your web host will have a direct effect on the performance of your website. Don’t hesitate to shell out a few more bucks per month for a web host with features that can ably service and support your online business.
  • Customer Reviews – These are valuable references for qualifying service providers. There are customers who will gladly take the opportunity to heap praise upon a vendor for excellent service or vent their ire on one that came up short of expectations. Take your time to read as many reviews as possible. Keep an open mind and don’t be swayed by biases toward a particular vendor. Note down the pros and cons shared by the reviewers and bring these issues up with the vendor during discussions. 
  • Customer Support – It does not matter whether you are a beginner or an experienced online business proprietor. You will always need good, reliable customer support from your web host service provider. Customer support should be accessible from multiple points of contact. The web host company should have chat support, e-mail support and inbound calling services available 24/7.
  • Script Support – You may also want to look for a web host service that offers support for a variety of popular scripts. It should make it easy for you to install your choice of platform. For example, if you want to use WordPress, there are web host services that limit the number of MySQL databases you need to create in order to support this platform.
  • Security – All websites should install their own security measures. But it would be great if the web host company can provide additional security features as well. Find out if they offer firewalls, malware detection services or if their servers can monitor for suspicious activity. On the Internet, you can never have too many security measures in place.
  • Backup Support – The thing with hackers is that they will always try to be one step ahead of security. Despite the best laid-out plans, hackers will find ways to shut you down. You should never get complacent when it comes to protecting the integrity of your online business. An important consideration when choosing your web host provider is the availability of backup support. There are companies that factor in frequent backups to make sure if something happens, they can help you restore your website.
  • E-mail Availability – Most web host companies offer e-mail support. Just the same, ask how many e-mail accounts are provided so you will know for sure if it will be enough to accommodate your needs.

The effectiveness of your website is contingent on the ability of the web host company to give consistently reliable service. There are many outstanding web host service providers in the market. If you find one that best fits your website needs, it will make your business run smoothly, efficiently and trouble-free.

Our years of experience working with different web host providers and designing websites have given us valuable insights on what clients need. Thus at Mountaintop we do more than just design quality websites. We also offer web hosting services that fit your budget and the needs of your business.  If you want to learn more about our web hosting package, give us a call or drop us an e-mail. We would be happy to discuss how these services will benefit your business.

Entrepreneurs are amazing people. They are creative and at the same time, analytical. It only takes a moment’s inspiration to trigger an idea. Entrepreneurs know they have to capture the idea and transpose it from a visual on a sketchpad into a website design that best represents the concept through the medium of the Internet. From there, the visual should have the capability to seamlessly manifest in mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. But as creative as entrepreneurs are, they need the help of a professional web designer to turn that visual into a fully functional, aesthetic website.

It’s easy to find web designers. A simple search on the Internet will yield links to several agencies and freelancers offering website design services. You can sign up with various online job platforms and send invites to select freelance web designers or post details on your project. You can connect with web designers in social media networks such as LinkedIn or ask referrals from your contacts in Facebook.

The real challenge is to find a professional web designer who can do the right job for you.  

If you came up with a shortlist of 5 web designers, all of them may have similar experiences, technical and fundamental competencies but not everyone may build your website according to what you want. They may not even capture your vision. There are intangibles you need to look out for when qualifying your right- fit web designer.

Here the top 10 qualities you should look for in a professional web designer:

1. Empathy

When you start collaborating with a web designer, the objective is to create a website that will attract your target market. It may seem superficial but studies have shown that the initial perception of your website will be based on how it looks.

  • Designs with the user in mind – A professional web designer will not design for himself but with a specific audience in mind. Customized design will require extensive research work.

In addition to the information you provide, a professional web designer will undertake further studies to learn the online behavioral traits of specific demographics.

His objective is to develop a keen understanding of your audience. He wants to get to know them better, so he will know the best approach in designing your website.

  • Navigability – In his book “Don’t Make Me Think” Steve Krug revealed that the greater the effort a user extends in navigating the site, the less memorable the experience. A good web designer understands the importance of User Experience or UX in web design. Poor UX will result in lower search rankings.
  • Functionality – Nothing is more frustrating for a user than a website that does not load fast or have malfunctioning buttons. These inconveniences can have disastrous consequences for the website.

A professional web designer will view the design of your website from the perspective of the end user. It must conform to his or her needs, wants and expectations. When users enter your website they know they are in the right place. They will want to explore further and not click out.

2. Analytical

Like the entrepreneur, a good website designer balances empathy with precision through the use of data. If empathy focuses on the image, analytics will build the substance of your website.

  • Designs with SEO in mind – Search Engine Optimization or SEO functions to have your website found on the Internet.

It does this by optimizing your web pages with the precise ratio of keywords so that the search engine robots won’t have a hard time finding your content and getting it indexed. Keywords may be used in descriptive, title and meta tags to fast track the search process.

  • Purposeful Content – Keywords can only go as far as drawing attention to content. The harder challenge is maintaining the user’s interest which is largely dependent on your content’s relevance, usability and uniqueness.

For example, what the user sees and reads during the first 10 seconds on the Home Page will determine whether he or she will further explore your website. Composition of web copy; its images and text, is very important to capture interest of the user.

  • Strategic Use of Design Elements – The loading time of your web page can be affected by design elements such as color, use of animation, the use of forms and status messages. A slow loading website can have serious implications on its ability to generate patronage and revenues. A website designer will frequently run tests to make sure speed and functionality will not be compromised by the elements of design.

3. Trustworthiness

Trust is a value that you earn over time. But when working with people, oftentimes you can depend on intuition to tell you if someone is trustworthy or not.

When you are collaborating with a web designer, you are entrusting your vision and ultimately your business with that person. If you don’t feel comfortable working with the web designer, chances are the arrangement will not turn out well.

What are the warning signs?

  • If there’s a lot of resistance on your ideas.
  • The web designer is habitually absent or late for meetings.
  • The web designer is behind the development schedule.
  • He or she can be rude and sometimes makes crass comments.
  • He or she is more worried about not getting paid on time than getting the project done on time.

These types of incidents are potential red flags. Disagreements are part of collaboration. But if you are frequently clashing heads, not only will you fall behind the launch date but you may not end up with the website you want.

4. Passion

You can tell if a person has passion for what he does. There’s an unmistakable energy and enthusiasm in how he approaches work because he loves his job. For him, web design is not just a means of livelihood. It’s an opportunity to help clients meet their business objectives.

During meetings, he is candid and open about his opinions and observations. His intent is to give you the best website for your hard- earned money. He cares about your project and actively offers solutions.

On the other hand, a web designer who only does it for the money is hardly expressive or involved. All he wants to do is carry out your instructions lock, stock and barrel without giving much of an opinion. In his mind, the sooner he gets the job done, the earlier he gets paid.

5. Good Listener

A professional web designer will always acknowledge the client as the expert in what he or she does. He understands that his role is to turn the client’s vision into a collection of web pages and multimedia content by using his knowledge on website design.

If he wants to have a better idea on how to interpret the client’s vision, he should be a good listener. Allow the client to express his or her ideas as openly and candidly as possible. This is the best way to develop an understanding of the client’s vision and branding strategy.

6. Effective Communicator

Communication is often described as a two- way street. When collaborating with your web designer, you must constantly bounce ideas off one another. Creating a feedback loop between you and web designer opens up the chain of communication and reduces the probability of making mistakes.

A web designer who is also an effective communicator knows how to relay opposing viewpoints without discouraging or embarrassing the client. He prefers to have regular scheduled meetings in order to have the proper forum to discuss concerns, updates and other issues.

7. Understands the Value of White Spaces

White Spaces are also called “negative space”. A professional web designer knows how to utilize white spaces and turn something empty into sophisticated elegance that remains simple yet understated.

There are many benefits to using white spaces:

  • Attracts attention to a certain visual
  • Improves readability
  • Highlights orientation of the page
  • Clears out distractions on the page
  • Gives the page a cleaner look

For the best web designers, white isn’t an empty color. They know how to use it to breathe more life into the web page.

8. Solutions- Based

Several things can go wrong when building a website. The page may not load fast enough, it may not set up properly in a smartphone or design issues may leave you and the designer stumped.

A good website designer does not merely settle for alternatives. He looks for solutions and exhausts all possibilities even before considering other options.

9. Meticulous

The saying “the devil is in the details” rings loud and true in website design.

There are many key areas of responsibility to oversee when building websites. A website designer who is not meticulous in his work process might overlook details that may lead to costly mistakes.

A website designer should be able to look into the details against the overall backdrop of the concept. The question he must constantly ask himself is, “How does this element or feature fit in?” Tests are frequently run to make sure the website is not only aesthetically pleasing but highly functional and usable.

10. Proactive

They might have the experience, skills and necessary proficiencies, but the best website designers know their limitations. They could be stuck with a programming or design issue but instead of wasting time trying to figure it out by themselves, they will reach out to people who can help them.

Of course, the web designer will inform you of the situation and how he plans to resolve it. This way you can keep track of the development schedule and know everything that is happening with your website.

How Do You Know You Have the Right Web Designer?

If you have not worked with a professional web designer before, you might place too much emphasis on technical qualifications and work experience. This is perfectly fine but do not overlook personality, attitude and other key behavioral traits.

Take the time to get to know your website designer better. Invite the candidate to an interview and ask the following questions:

  • Why did he or she decide to become a web designer?
  • What are the web designer’s goals, objectives and motivators?
  • What was the web designer’s biggest challenge and how did he or she overcome it?
  • How does the web designer feel about closely collaborating with the client?
  • How does he or she define “professionalism”?
  • What does he or she consider important qualities of a professional web designer?

The reality is, you will only know if you’ve found the right web designer once you start working together. Like all relationships, it is normal to hit rough patches every now and then but these differences should be resolved right away.

If it’s not working out and all efforts to move forward have fallen on the wayside, do not hesitate to terminate the arrangement and find another web designer.

Did you like what you just read? Please share your thoughts and opinions. I would love to hear from you. And if you’re interested in having your own website, feel free to give me a call or send an e-mail.

We might just be the professional web designer group you are looking for!

When someone tells me, “Josiah, I need a website” my next question would be, “What kind of website do you need?”

One of the most rewarding things as a professional web designer is to share my passion for building websites. My eyes light up whenever I have an opportunity to educate my clients on all things related to website design and the Internet. It’s a moment that allows me to inform people how websites can benefit their business, improve their way of life and at the same time dispel popular misconceptions.

Most people think a website is just their address on the World Wide Web. All you have to do is click on the URL or paste it on the address bar and you’ll land on the website. Although oversimplified, the definition is fairly accurate.

But if you need a website, the more important considerations are as follows:

  • What would make people want to click on my URL?
  • What would they do once they are in my website?
  • How would the website help me achieve my goals or meet my objectives?

A website is more than just an address on the World Wide Web. With proper planning, strategy and purposeful design, a website can do more than just give you presence in the Internet.

What is a Website?

Rather than proceed with a technical, textbook definition of what a website is, I will instead do an analogy.

Let’s assume you decided to get into the restaurant business. Planning a restaurant would entail the following activities:

  • Market research
  • Developing a concept
  • Planning and testing of menu items
  • Functional design of the kitchen
  • Ordering, payment and checkout system
  • Reporting system and collating sales data
  • Interior design and aesthetics of the restaurant
  • Marketing and promotional campaign
  • Recruitment, selection and training of personnel
  • Testing of kitchen equipment, POS and food ordering systems
  • Design of menus or menu boards

All of these activities are further broken down into smaller tasks. For example, designing the layout, interiors and aesthetics of the restaurant would require you to do studies on your target demographics. You hope to find out the best combination of design elements that will attract your target market to your restaurant.

What colors best represent the type of food that I plan to serve? What kind of music do my customers want to listen to? What type of look should my interiors go for in order to create the perfect dining experience for my customers? What would be the average group size of my patrons?

The point of the analogy is that when you decide to open a brick and mortar business like a restaurant, you don’t just set one up without meticulous planning and strategy. You run different studies, conduct thorough research and testing to make sure you can minimize the risks of the business.

The only difference between a website and a brick and mortar business is its location.

With a website you operate in the World Wide Web. But that singular difference opens up a whole new set of advantages:

  • Your website business is open 24/7.
  • Lower maintenance costs; hosting fees and periodic updates or improvements.
  • Immediate access to performance data.
  • Easier to implement changes; with the restaurant, a renovation means you will have to shut down operations for a few weeks.
  • Unless you are running a services-based business, you don’t need to hire personnel.

You can read up on thebenefits of having a website from my previous article. But to understand what a website is and what it can do, all you need to do is to change the conditions of building a business from the physical world to the virtual world.

As the web designer, my job is to build you a website based on the research and information you provide. You are the expert in what you do. My primary function is to come up with a website design that will help you achieve your goals and meet your objectives.

Tell me about your business or purpose and I’ll design you a website that meets your needs.

What is a Content Management System (CMS)?

Before I go to the different types of websites, it would be a good idea to discuss what a CMS or Content Management System is and why it’s an important feature for your website.

The CMS allows you to control the content of your website. Whether you use the website for business or for personal sharing, I believe it should have a CMS for the simple reason that it should be dynamic and remain ever-evolving.

Conditions in business and life are never static. Every day you go through different experiences that shape your business and influence its direction. The same goes for your audience. The demographics of your audience may change without prior notice.

In a globalized economy, what happens in one part of the world affects other regions as well. Changes in the world will affect your business strategies and could influence your values, purpose and vision.

If the website is your address on the World Wide Web, then it should be allowed to grow and reflect the changes that you go through. The CMS makes this possible.

The Different Types of Website

When you decide to have a website for your business, it doesn’t mean you have to sell products or services online. Of course you can. However, your website can play other roles that are likewise pivotal to the success of your business:

  • Build a larger fan or follower base.
  • Enhance your reputation as an expert or valuable resource.
  • Educate or inform your market about your business.
  • Establish communities of people who share the same interests.
  • Market and promote your business.

The type of website your business needs would depend on your goals, objectives and its purpose in your overall development strategy.

  1. Personal Website – Your ISP may offer you free server space to set up a personal website. Some people use this type of website as a blog or an online diary. But you can use a personal website for building your brand.

For example, if you are a Personal Fitness Trainer, you can use the personal website to share your views and opinions on exercise through blogs. You can create a timeline of your weight loss journey, post photos, your workouts, diet plans then share the content through social media.

  1. Search Engine Directories, Yellow Pages and Portals – Google, Yahoo! and Bing are the most popular search engine websites. This type of website offers a variety of features and services to the user from e-mail to information.

Classified directories such as the Yellow Pages provide listing services for businesses, both online and offline. Many include an internal search engine to help users find the desired information.

  1. Information Websites – You can have a website that shares information whether paid or not. You may want to have this type of website if you are catering to a niche industry.

A good example would be an information website on investment opportunities if you are a professional Fund Manager. Your website can be a portal where users can access information on different markets including stocks, treasury bills, foreign exchange, commodities and real estate.

An information website will be an effective way of building your brand and enhancing your image as an expert in the industry. You can create a Facebook page to share content that links back to your website and generate more viewers.


  1. Company Websites  –
    In the days before the Internet became accessible via broadband technology, websites were used as a marketing tool. Companies set up websites not only to provide information on their business but to show the audience they were updated in technology. Think of company websites as “virtual brochures”.

Today, company websites are more than just marketing collateral. You can find company websites that are more interactive and functional. Many have a Career Page where job seekers can look for openings and send their application.

The company also uses the website to inform their end users, employees and everyone on the value chain about changes in management, the board of directors and latest developments.

  1. Blog Sites – The blog has evolved from an online diary into a powerful tool for generating inbound traffic. It has become the cornerstone of the Content Marketing Process. This is why many types of websites; company, personal and e-commerce to name a few, have a built-in blog page.

People spend 21% of their time searching for information and 20% reading content on the Internet. For your blog to be effective, it must be found. Being a prolific writer is not enough. You must know how to optimize your page with the use of keywords and relevant links. Writing a blog has become as much as a science as it is an art form.

A blog website can generate significant income. There are quite a number of blog sites that make thousands, even millions of dollars every month. They earn income from advertising and the more followers you have the more attractive your website becomes to advertisers.

  1. Forums or Community Building Websites – This type of website caters to a specific niche. The purpose is to bring together people with the same interests and have a venue or forum for sharing thoughts, ideas and opinions.

A forum or community website is effective for:

  • Building networks, expanding your contacts list.
  • Promoting products and services.
  • Creating support groups.
  • Disseminating information.
  • Strengthening collectives or interest groups.

An example of a forum would be those that deal with supplements. There are a number of forums and online communities that frequently share ideas and opinions on different types and use of supplements.

Supplement companies give beta testers samples of their products on a monthly basis in exchange for a positive review on these community websites. Testimonials and product reviews are powerful drivers of business because these are seen as “honest”.

Social media networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus can be considered community building websites because they bring people of common interests together.

  1. E-Commerce or Retail Websites – Over the last few weeks, we’ve read news that a number of popular retailers in the United States are closing outlets or losing business. Billionaire investor Warren Buffet divested $900M worth of holdings at Wal-Mart.

Retail market analysts point to e-Commerce as the catalyst for the reversal in fortunes of these once- mighty malls. Sales from e-Commerce has consistently been increasing since it first broke through the $1 Trillion mark in 2012.

As I mentioned in my article “Why Your Website Needs Responsive Design”, the growth of smartphones will outgrow the population of the world. Consumers are increasingly dependent on the Internet to meet their needs and this includes shopping.

An e-commerce website is more complicated to make. It will need a products page with high resolution images, “zoom-in, zoom out” or “enlarge” features. You will also need a payment system in place plus a shopping cart to finalize all transactions.

Of course, it has to be mobile responsive, fast and highly accessible by multi-browsers. An e-commerce website will require a larger investment but it would be significantly less than setting up a physical establishment.

  1. File- Sharing Websites – These types of websites are similar to community websites in the sense that they cater to people who share the same interests. However, these interests may have specific niches.

Good examples would be websites that allow users to share music, movies or photos. Some of these websites even offer free memberships that can be upgraded for a reasonable fee so you can enjoy additional features.

You will need a powerful internal search engine in the event the number of files begins to encroach upon the website’s capacity.

  1. Work Collaboration Websites – More businesses are starting to outsource work to remote third party service providers.

In the United States, 37% of workforces are composed of virtual assistants or telecommuters. This number is expected to increase to 50% or higher in 2020. Businesses have been aggressively outsourcing tasks in order to reduce costs without compromising productivity.

Work collaboration websites such as Asana, Salesforce and Evernote, enable businesses to work together with their remote teams. These websites have features for project management, file- sharing, planning, campaign management and communication.

Some of these websites offer free memberships that include the basic features. A monthly subscription fee will entitle the user to more features and benefits that can help grow their business.

So Which Website Type Is For You?

These are just 9 of the most popular types of websites that you can consider for your business. The type of website you choose should service the needs of your audience, enhance your business presence and highlight the products or services you are offering.

Would it be possible to have a website that incorporates features of other types of websites?

Yes, again the type of website would depend on your business needs. As discussed, company websites have evolved and integrated other features such as a blog page and a Career page. A blog page gave these companies a platform to share and engage with their customers and clients. A Career page gave them a new platform to recruit talent.

You can have an informational website that has a products and services page with a shopping cart. You could start out by building your brand and establishing your reputation as an expert in the industry through frequent blogging and posting of relevant articles. Once you have acquired a large group of followers, you can transition to an e-commerce website and sell products and services.

To find out which type of website is right for you, review your business model and conduct studies on your industry and target market.

If you’re thinking about having a website, feel free to contact us at Mountaintop Website Design. We have done different types of websites to suit the needs of our clients. Give us a call or drop us an e-mail. We will be more than happy to share our experiences with you!

There is a better than 50% chance that you are reading this article from a mobile device. It was in 2012 when market analysts first predicted mobile devices would blow away the desktop as the primary source of online traffic. Today, it is estimated that 75% of Internet searches are conducted via smartphones, tablets and laptops. This is why it is not enough to just have a website. You need a website that has responsive design.

What is Responsive Design?

The technical definition of responsive design is that it should conform to the user’s behavior and specific environment as influenced by screen size, platform and orientation.

In other words, it must be able to accommodate different screen sizes of various types of devices. If a user switches his Internet search from a PC to a smartphone, your website must be able to adjust to changes in resolution, image size and scripting abilities.

Thus, your website should have the ability to respond to changes in user behavior and preference.

Responsive design translates to flexible design. When you access Facebook from your smartphone it will appear different compared to a desktop PC, laptop or tablet. In essence, with mobile responsive design, the structure of your website is broken down and rebuilt to fit the screen of the device.

In a smartphone, the contents of your Facebook page will appear like they are stacked vertically. You will need to navigate more in order to carry out specific functions of the website. On a PC, most of the key functions are readily available. Facebook will likewise look differently when viewed from a laptop or a tablet.

Why Should Your Website Have Responsive Design?

If you want to know why you need responsive design, use your smartphone and visit a few websites. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Did you get frustrated when you couldn’t access the website with your smartphone?
  • Did you feel annoyed that you had to “zoom out” just to read the contents of the website?
  • Did you feel compelled to click out of the website and visit a competitor website?

If you answered “Yes” to these questions, here’s the fourth question you should ask yourself. Take note that this is not answerable by “Yes” or “No”:

What if that website was your website?

Frustrated… annoyed… compelled. These are powerful emotions that you would not want to trigger from your website visitors. In a world whereby information is made highly accessible by the Internet, your prospective end- users can easily go to a competitor. 40% will choose another website if yours is not mobile responsive.

Here are other reasons why your website needs responsive design:

1. Mobile Devices Will Continue to Dominate Online Traffic

In 2014, it was reported that there were more SIM cards operating in the world than there were people. Based on the current population growth rate, it is estimated that by 2020 there will be 7.7 Billion people. In that same year, it is projected that more than 5.6 Billion SIM cards will be shipped worldwide.

Put simply, the growth rate of mobile technology will outpace that of global population. Cisco estimates that by 2020, there  will be 11.6 Billion mobile devices for a population of 7.7 to 7.8 Billion people. That is 1.5 mobile devices per person!

A study by Ericsson reports that by 2020, 90% of the world’s population will have a smartphone.

What all of these figures mean is that if your website is not accessible via mobile devices now, you will be greatly overlooked by a market that is increasingly becoming more dependent on mobile technology.

2. Google Says So

A popular saying in the virtual world is that if “Google sneezes, the Internet catches a cold”. And why not? Today Google controls 80.52% of the search market share which makes it the most popular search engine in the world.

So Google can basically tell you what it wants in a website and you can only listen and take note. Since 2012, Google has favored websites that have mobile responsive design for the following reasons:

  • Mobile responsive design makes it easier for Google’s search bots to index and organize all content found online.
  • Mobile responsive design makes it easier for users to share and engage with content that is on a mobile responsive site than with different pages dedicated for mobile or PC.
  • User Experience or UX is an important quality to have for your website to climb up the search rankings. If a user can access and freely navigate through your website with a mobile device, he or she will have a good experience. For Google, mobile responsiveness is a prerequisite for having good UX.

In short, Google wants to keep your end-users happy so they won’t have to go to another website. Customers who frequently leave without further exploration of content will increase the bounce rate of the website. Not only will a high bounce rate affect your search ranking but it will cause problems for Google’s external rate algorithm.

Thus having a mobile responsive website offers a win-win-win solution for you, your end-users and Google.

3. Provides a Cost Effective Solution

Another option for your website to cater to the growing market of mobile users is to create a site that is dedicated specifically for them.

A mobile website offers you the following advantages:

  • It will load faster on mobile platforms.
  • Because it has been designed for the mobile audience, UX will be better.
  • Ranks better in local search results.

However, there are also distinct disadvantages:

  • Your customer will have to remember 2 URLs or be mistakenly taken to one of the other websites.
  • You will have to maintain and update 2 websites.
  • A single mobile website will not function in the same way with other device types.

With a mobile responsive website, you don’t have to build a separate one that can accommodate users of smartphones and other mobile devices. It will be much easier to manage just 1 website instead of multiple ones. Although there are legitimate concerns on loading speed, these can be rectified through revisions in design and development.

4. Boosts Your Online Marketing Efforts

3.5 Billion people are online every day. If you are not using the Internet to market your business, you are limiting your audience reach.

A mobile responsive website will greatly boost your online marketing efforts because nearly 70% of online users are on social media and 55% of them prefer to use a mobile device.

Of course, as discussed earlier, Google favors websites with responsive design. If your online marketing strategy includes content creation and it qualifies under Google’s criteria for great content, you will be rewarded with high search rankings.

For Google, great content should be:

  • Unique
  • Relevant
  • Usable
  • Engaging
  • Keyword- rich

A mobile responsive website makes it easier for users to access great content, improve UX and move you up the search rankings.

5. Enhances the Professional Reputation of Your Business

When it comes to establishing the online presence of your business, you should have a mobile responsive website. There are those who believe actively participating in social media and joining online communities are good enough to improve their online presence.

While social media sites are accessible via mobile devices, your company page will not firmly establish your identity in the same manner that a mobile responsive website would.

If you conducted business in a popular coffee shop, would you put their address on your calling card? So a coffee shop brings in a crowd; some even have free Wi-Fi and it is an acceptable place to host business meetings. It does not make the coffee shop your formal place of work. To do so is paramount to squatting or freeloading. It certainly will not enhance the professional reputation of your business.

Having a mobile responsive website tells clients and customers that you are updated with technology. It also says that you are invested in your business unlike those who don’t even want to put up the money to build their own website.

Owning a website means your business has a unique domain name. You have a professional webmail and not using a generic one. That alone separates you from a competitor who has to use a or webmail address.

Finally, a mobile responsive website shows customers you care about their convenience. You understand that times have changed and people are living the mobile lifestyle. \

6. Increases Sales Conversion Rates

Research has shown that 69% of online shopping is done via tablet. How can you convert leads into sales if it cannot be accessed by mobile users?

With a mobile responsive design, developers will have more control on how their website will appear on a screen. Thus it gives them greater flexibility in coming up with a design that would make the process of finalizing a sale easier and more convenient for the user.

Responsive design also allows developers to conduct A/B Testing using software like Optimizely or Clicktale. These programs allow developers to segment users, collect and analyze data on how they are using your website. It will help you come up with strategies that will get them to complete the sales process.

It is no wonder that conversion rates via smartphones are 64% higher compared to desktops.

Should You Transition to Mobile Responsive Design?

If you have a website that is not mobile- responsive, these 6 reasons should be enough to convince you to get your professional web designer on the line, request for a meeting first thing tomorrow morning and transition to mobile responsive design.

If you do not have a website yet, look for a professional web designer who can do the job. One of the criticisms against responsive design is that it takes much longer to download compared to a mobile website. A professional web designer has the experience and expertise to get your mobile responsive website to run faster.

Responsive design is here to stay for the next few years. Having one should not be a question of “if” but “when”.

In this day and age where digital technology and the Internet has influenced how we live and work, it is shocking to know that very few small business owners have a website.

It is hard to believe that only 46% of small businesses have a website. This statistic is confounding when you realize people spend 6 hours a day on the Internet.

Based on 2014 survey results, 41% of small business owners reported they don’t think they need a website. What that means is they probably don’t know the benefits of having a website for their small business.

1. Improve Business Credibility

A simple way to view a website is that it is your online business address. This is where your customers, clients and associates go to find you on the Internet.

The Home page identifies your branded value proposition, the About Us page tells visitors all about your business and the Contact Us page informs everyone how to get in touch with you.

It legitimizes your business and improves your credibility. It gives your business an identity and is virtual proof that it exists.

Don’t be mislead into thinking a company page in Facebook is enough to build your credibility. A2015 survey showed that 84% of consumers believe that having a website makes your business more credible than just a social media page.

Having a website means you have your own domain. In the same survey, 65% of respondents regard a company-branded e-mail as more credible than a generic one.

2. Build Your Business

Before broadband technology became widespread in 2004, websites were used primarily for marketing and informational purposes. A website functioned more like a brochure; you put one up to stay ahead of the competition. But there wasn’t much thought and purpose behind the content.

With the growth of the Internet, the influence of social media and the popularity of mobile devices, the website has become a crucial tool to build your business.

  • Share Your Story – According to Nobel Prize winning psychiatrist Daniel Kahneman, consumers patronize brands they can align their values with.

A website is a great way to share your story; tell your audience why you started this business, your goals and what you hope to accomplish with it.

  • Get Clients – It’s not enough to have a rock star online profile. 36% of clients prefer to deal with businesses that have websites. By contrast, only 21% will work with businesses without websites.

A website gives you the platform to highlight your experience and expertise.

  • Find Your Team – Are you looking for people to help you run your business?

Set up a Career page in your website where prospective candidates can fill out an application form and attach their resume.

Post your job requirement in social media and link it back to your website. You should have a good number of candidates in no time!

3. Enhance Your Online Presence

worldfoodbank responsive website design
Website for WorldFoodBank

Here’s a statistical fact that will blow your mind:

Of the 7.4 Billion people in this world, 3.5 Billion people or 47% are online every day. They are searching for information, sharing on social media or shopping on e-commerce websites.

This number is expected to grow as the world becomes increasingly dependent on mobile technology to search the Internet. Today there are an estimated 2.3 Billion smartphones worldwide. But in 2020, the total number of smartphones is expected to hit 6.1 Billion.

If your small business does not have a website, you will be undermining its ability to generate income. And not just any website; but a mobile responsive website, one that can be accessed by mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Statistically, 65% of online traffic comes from mobile devices.

A mobile responsive website will help you capitalize on the opportunities available on the Internet through the following ways:

  • Improve Search Rankings – By optimizing your web pages, it will be easier for people to find your content.
  • Distribute Content – Create relevant, unique and usable content and distribute them through different channels such as social media and blog sites. People who love your content would want to know more about you and visit your website.
  • Open 24/7 – Unlike a brick- and- mortar business that operates 9- to- 5, a website never closes shop. It is open 24/7, even on holidays.
  • Introduce Business Flexibility – If you don’t want to miss out on opportunities, outsource customer service and have your agents manage all concerns and inquiries via chat or e-mail support at your website.

4. Build a Strong Relationship with Your Market

A business by definition is a living, breathing entity. Loyalty is achieved when customers know they are dealing with a company that understands their needs and not just a company that wants to profit.

  • Let the Market Know “Who You Are”. Outside the Home and About Us pages, you can set up a blog page where you can share your thoughts and ideas with your audience.
  • Address the Needs of Your Market. Invite your audience to engage you by encouraging them to post comments on your blogs. Embed survey forms and ask your audience to participate and convey their needs.
  • Educate the Market of Your Business. Utilize the 80-20 Rule; 80% of your content should be usable or relevant to the needs of your audience while 20% should educate them about your business.
  • Improve Customer Service. In addition to e-mail, social media, mobile and landline, install chat support as the 5th avenue for customer service. This will give your end-users more options to relay concerns and inquiries.

5. Efficient Way to Promote Your Business

If you are still using traditional forms of marketing, you are wasting valuable resources, time and money. Traditional forms include press releases, print ads, flyers and distribution Point- of- Purchase materials.

While still popular, traditional methods cost more money and cover less ground. It is also unsustainable; flyers, posters, print ads and press releases usually end up in the trash can.

Online marketing is faster, more efficient and inexpensive. There are many tools and techniques that you can use for online marketing but without a website, these strategies will fall short.

Think of the website as the sun with these online marketing tools as the planets revolving around it. Your online marketing efforts will create inbound avenues to a specified destination place which is your website.

Among the most popular online marketing tools that you can use to create inbound traffic to your website:

  • Social Media – Of the 3.5 Billion people online every day, 2.34 Billion or 67% are on social media.
  • Blogging – Companies that blogged 16 times a month received 4.5 times more leads than those that blogged 0-4 posts per month.
  • E-mail Marketing – E-mail marketing is 40 times more effective in acquiring customers than Facebook.
  • Use Videos – Embed a video on your Home page. A video can deliver your messaging content faster and more efficiently than text. Video on a landing page can increase conversion rates by 80%.

Finally, online marketing is a sustainable process. Your content will not go to waste. You can easily update it and reuse after a few months.

6. Boost Your Reputation as an Authority

If your business is in a competitive industry, a website will give you the forum to boost your reputation as an authority figure.

  • Blogging –  There’s one reason why blogging is the cornerstone of the content marketing process: It works! Here are 3 key statistics on the benefits of blogging:
    • Websites with a blog have 434% more indexed pages.
    • 47% of buyers read 3 to 5 blogs before engaging a sales rep.
    • 61% of consumers report a blog influenced their decision to buy.
  • Podcast – Set up a podcast in your website, distribute the schedule via Twitter, Facebook and invite experts to discuss topics that interest your audience. 21% more people listened to podcasts in 2016 compared to 2015.
  • Seminars – Conduct seminars on your website. This is a great way to share your knowledge with your market. Encourage your audience to actively engage during the seminar.

7. Create a Tool for Sales Generation

A website can also be an active and passive tool for generating income because it is the termination or exit point in the sales funnel.

It is very difficult to convert sales in social media. There are no available mechanisms to complete the transaction on- the- spot. An e-commerce website for example, has a checkout counter where goods and services can be paid for right away.

It can also be a good source for passive income via PPC or Pay- Per- Click advertising. Advertisers will pay you every time a user clicks through their ad in your website.

8. Showcase Your Work


Here’s a valuable tip for those who want a clear advantage in the job market:

Open a personal website and include a page that showcases your body of work.

That is one valuable tip that Hiring Managers all over the country wish job applicants knew. The same can be said for small business owners. A website will give you the venue to present samples of your work.

If you’re offering interior design services, content writing, professional web design services and other types of work that can be made visual, a portfolio page will encourage more clients to try you out.

If you want to increase the impact of your portfolio page, include 5 or more client testimonies. You can put the client testimonies in the Home page which is where users land after clicking unto your link or the Services page.

9. Keep Track of Your Business in Real Time

One of the most significant benefits of having a website for a small business is that you can keep track of its performance in real time through the use of analytics.

Analytics will provide you valuable data on how your business has been moving within a period of time. Key indicators of business performance include the following metrics:

  • Number of visitors going to your website.
  • Number of “unique visitors” or those who visit your website only once.
  • Page views or impressions tell how many times a page has been read or visited. This will give you an idea on which type of content visitors find interesting.
  • Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your website without exploring past the page they landed on.
  • Average time on site will show how long visitors view your content. The longer the average time on site, the better for your website.

10. Professionalize Your Brand

Many small business owners make the mistake of not working on their brand until they gain traction.

You have to start working on your brand before launching your business. The brand gives your business its identity and makes it easier for customers and clients to understand what it is all about.

The website is the most effective and efficient way to build and professionalize your brand:

  • It places your branded value proposition front and center in the Home page.
  • Website optimization techniques can help Internet users find your brand.
  • It can be distributed seamlessly through various online channels.
  • A professionally made website shows you are serious about your business.

11. Expand Market Reach And Coverage

If you have a school, having a website will expand your market reach and coverage. You can offer online courses in specialized subjects to people outside your jurisdiction. 

For example, you are planning to introduce a school for Business Leadership training. You can create modules that can be uploaded on your website. People who sign up for your courses, will be able to access the modules and undergo online learning. 

Now let’s take it a notch higher by introducing a Learning Management System (LMS).

An LMS is a digital platform that allows you to replicate conditions for face-to-face instruction. There are LMS platforms that have features for virtual classrooms. 

In addition to modules-based learning, you can provide classroom-style instruction or one-on-one consultation. 

The courses can be accessed by anyone with Internet service. If you live in Los Angeles, someone from Europe or Asia who is interested in your program can sign up. 

12. Provide Contingencies for Your Brick-and-Mortar Business

If there’s anything that can be learned from the Covid-19 global pandemic is the importance of having a website for your brick and mortar business. 

The massive spread of Covid-19 necessitated governments worldwide to impose community lockdowns in their respective countries. Businesses came to a standstill – except those that have websites.

Businesses with a website were able to run a telecommuting program whereby employees work from home. An employee can log into a built-in portal where they can sign-in, retrieve the day’s assignments, and upload completed work. 

Customers can also use the website to contact you via email or chat support. In case they have issues with your products, customers will have a platform to air their concerns.

Definitely, this will do wonders for your brand reputation!

With a coronavirus vaccine still under the early stages of development, there are fears intermittent lockdowns will be imposed. 

Protect yourself from Covid-19 by staying home but protect your business by having a website. 

With a website, it will always be “Business as Usual”.

13. All-In-One Business Hub

The website has evolved by leaps and bounds since its early beginnings when it was used primarily as an Internet-based marketing brochure.

Today’s websites are more advanced and equipped with features that can turn it into an all-in-one business hub. 

What can you do with your business website?

  • Provide a showroom for your products
  • Finalize sales transactions through various modes of payment
  • Receive resumes and pre-qualify them through an Applicant Tracking System or ATS
  • Provide social proof via testimonials and customer reviews
  • Organize customer information with a built-in CRM
  • Offer subscriptions
  • Sell memberships
  • Educate your audience with blogs, e-books, modules, and training manuals
  • Give your audience an interactive experience with the use of 360-degree images and videos.
  • Provide customer support channels via chat, email, or built-in forms. 
  • Give clear-cut information about your business including a location map, directions, phone numbers, and email addresses.
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14. Have a Professional Email Address

What is more impressive?

[email protected] or [email protected]?

Any person who’s named “Dan” can have a [email protected] email. But only Dan; the owner of your-domain-name can have a personalized email address.

Having a professional email address has the following benefits for your business:

  • Creates better brand awareness
  • Representing your company with a free email account may be seen as a red flag for some prospects
  • Control the number of emails for your business. If an employee leaves, you can terminate the email.
  • Allows you to create specific email accounts to organize business operations. For example: [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected]

15. Keep Your Business Open 24/7

Unlike a commercial establishment, the Internet doesn’t have operating hours. Your customers can find you 24/7. There are no holidays and you can “work overtime” without incurring extra costs.

Thus, a website can be an effective way to improve your customer service. 

If you have chat support available, all you need is to hire customer service agents who can manage incoming inquiries and concerns, and have them addressed immediately to the right person or department of your company.

You may want to outsource customer service to another region where time zone differentials exist. 

For example, a North American company can hire customer service agents from the Philippines. With the 12-hour difference, the agents can provide customer service to your clients while you are sleeping.

16. Gain Valuable Insights On Your Customers

For those who ran businesses before broadband technology became widely available, you probably depended on traditional marketing strategies to promote your products and services.

Traditional marketing strategies include the use of press releases, broadsheet advertising, the use of Point-of-Purchase materials such as flyers and counter-top ads, posters, and streamers.

Not only were these marketing strategies expensive, inefficient, and unsustainable but they delivered poor ROI. It’s hard to track the performance of your marketing campaign with the traditional approach.

In contrast, a website will collect data on your visitors:

  • Where do they come from?
  • What are the demographics?
  • Are they using mobile or desktop?
  • Which types of content are they interested in?
  • What is the frequency of cart abandonment?

A website has built-in analytics that you can use to assess the performance of your business as well as evaluate the effectiveness of your digital marketing program.

17. Stay Ahead of the Competition

Or at the very least – keep pace with the competition.

It’s not going to look good on your brand if your competition has a website and you don’t. 

More than branding concerns, not having a website gives you one less stream of revenue to help your business stay profitable. 

Go back to #15, “Keep Your Business Open 24/7”.

With a website, your business can be accessed by anyone with an Internet connection. Prospective customers can view your products, testimonials, and read your content before they make a decision to buy.

18. Find Clients

More accurately, your clients will find you!

Some well-intentioned people may advise you that you can run a business with only social media – no website needed. 

That’s not true.

Other than the 16 other reasons discussed above, social media marketing is not that effective for converting sales.

Only 12.5% of consumers are enticed to purchase by a “Buy Button” on a social media page. In contrast, 60% of consumers reported that they were encouraged to purchase by an email.

Thus, email marketing is a better strategy than social media marketing for converting interest into sales.

And this “leads” us into #19…

19. Generate Leads

Lead generation is an important component of email marketing and your website is the best tool for capturing email addresses. 

When someone gives you his email address, he is giving you permission to send content to his inbox. If you ask your friends, family, and network of contacts, they will gladly give you their email addresses.

What about a complete stranger? A person who just visited your website?

He will not surrender his email address to anyone without getting something of value in exchange. 

With a website, you can offer a free monthly subscription to a newsletter, an e-book, or limited access to premium content. 

By doing so, you add value to your business, enhance your reputation, and most importantly, gain the trust of a potential customer.

20. Open New Streams Of Revenue

How else can you earn money from your website? Aside from having a virtual store to sell your products and an Internet-based address where prospective customers can find you, here are other ways to make money from your website:

  • Paid Ads – If your website generates an impressive amount of traffic and ranks high in the search results page, the advertisers will come knocking on your inbox! 
  • Affiliate Marketing – Promote the products and services of other businesses and earn a commission from every sale that’s generated from your website. 
  • Get Hired By Other Businesses – If your blog page has a good following, reputable websites might ask you to write for them for a generous fee. 

21. Manage Your Business Reputation

The website is your platform on the Internet. This is the place where you will be heard and have 100% full control over your content. 

Let’s say you’re the meat refining business and there are concerns about tainted meat being sold in markets and popular restaurants.

You can put a disclaimer on the home page of your website and inform site visitors that your raw materials are sourced from a region that has been declared safe for consumption.

You can embed an explainer video on the home page or add images of certifications from recognized organizations attesting to the safety of your meat. From there, link the home page to your social media accounts.


If you want an effective website or one that can help you take your business to another level, you have to be prepared to invest in one. In a survey of small business owners, 19% identified cost as another reason for foregoing a website.

A website is not an expense. It is an investment because you should expect a return on your money within a period of time.

For your investment to pay out, you have to make sure your website is professionally designed, fully functioning with fast download speed and packed with great content.

Do not penny- pinch and try to do a website on your own despite the availability of free templates. Your best option would always be to hire a professional web designer who has the experience and training to build a functional yet aesthetically beautiful website.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2017 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.