Do I Need Adaptive Or Responsive Website Design?

Ask Your Naperville Web Developer: Do I Need Adaptive Or Responsive Website Design?

When Google implemented its 2015 ranking signal that rewards websites it considers “mobile-friendly,” site owners and web developers were faced with a big, important question: What’s the best way for a Naperville web developer to achieve a fully mobile-responsive website? Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and each solution comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

There is a mobile-friendliness testing tool from Google, which you can use as a starting point in understanding whether or not your site is currently considered mobile-friendly, and why or why not. Once you understand your site’s strengths and weaknesses in terms of its performance on mobile devices, you’re in a better position to evaluate whether you would derive more benefit from responsive website design (RWD) or adaptive website design (AWD), and find the right web developer to create a website that helps your company grow.

  • Naperville Web DeveloperResponsive Website Design – RWD is a popular choice for designing websites that are effectively mobile-friendly. They generally create easy navigation and consistent appearance across platforms, and are easier to build and maintain, and less costly to set up and maintain than an AWD design. The potentially significant drawback is that Google also counts site load time as a ranking signal and RWD sites load more slowly than AWD sites. The page load time can be improved by optimizing certain parts of the code, but it still works by scaling and shifting the elements of the desktop site, and it does not achieve the load speed of an AWD site, even under the best circumstances.
  • Adaptive Website Design – AWD works differently, by having different versions of the site for each of six most common viewport widths. That means you can custom-design for each of the most likely screen sizes your customers might be using to view your site, which the server will automatically detect and deliver the right experience for the user’s device. When designed correctly, AWD offers faster page loading than RWD, and it can be used to “retrofit” an existing website that is not currently mobile-friendly. The downside is that you’ll need at least six versions of your site designed and maintained: Greater control and flexibility at a higher cost.
  • How Are Your Customers Using Your Site? – A fact-based understanding of how your particular customers and prospects are accessing your site should inform your design decisions at every level. Start with your site analytics; don’t make assumptions based on generalizations if you already have a site and analytics are available to you. RWD actually shifts the page elements in order to fit various display sizes, so if your users are primarily accessing your site through mobile devices, it takes extra care to create a RWD site that gives the experience and functionality you intended to all of those users. On the other hand, if your site is mostly accessed by desktop users (as often happens in B2B situations), you may determine that AWD is overkill for your purposes.

Work With A Professional Naperville Web Developer

It’s true that platforms like WordPress and Joomla make it easier for people to build their own websites, but those DIY builds often miss important elements that could help your website attract more traffic and contribute more to your success. A working website is not necessarily an optimized website that takes advantage of the Search Engine Result Page (SERP) ranking boosts available, and avoids SERP ranking penalties. The Naperville web developers and designers at Design & Promote can help you analyze your web traffic and create a website that best supports your sales and marketing goals by giving customers and prospects an optimized web experience.

Website Design For Best Sales And Marketing Support

Designing an effective website for your business is about creating an interactive experience for you web visitors, which leads those visitors down a carefully laid-out path you want them to follow from landing page to clicking “buy now.” Your website should serve not only to get your name and branding out into the world, but also to generate leads for your sales team, and as a closing support for your sales team to use to make faster, more efficient sales. The role of a business website has evolved from being essentially an online brochure to that of a virtual member of your sales and marketing teams.

  • Expand Brand Reach – By using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) effectively, your business website can expand the reach of your brand message and sales influence far beyond that of your sales and marketing teams alone. Important considerations in improving your Search Engine Result Page (SERP) rankings include your site’s mobile response (does it automatically detect and adapt for correct display on mobile devices?), page load time, proper implementation of a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate, as well as a continual stream of new content on your site. Fresh content that readers find valuable can generate free marketing in the form of sharing, and it can place your content and branding in front of people who may not have discovered you otherwise.
  • Naperville-Website-DesignLead Generation – With smart design and effective lead magnets, your website can capture warm leads for your sales team to follow up with and convert. Carefully planned campaigns involving lead magnets aimed specifically at qualified prospects, combined with an appropriate social medium – Facebook can be highly effective for consumer sales, while LinkedIn may be a better choice for B2B sales – help your sales team by getting the prospects to self-qualify and opt-in. Your sales team will be more successful when they’re not spending time on cold leads, and you’ll enjoy stronger profits and better retention among your sales force.
  • Sales Funnel – A well-designed business website will include a sales funnel that takes the visitor from awareness to interest, through the buying decision process, and walks them through to the purchase. It can act as a stand-alone sales mechanism, when people come to your website and walk through the funnel, or it can serve as a companion to the efforts of your sales team. Your sales people should be able to pull prospects out of the funnel when they’re slowing down and may need human interaction to convert, and they should also be able to drop people into the sales funnel for ordering, once they’re confident in a buying decision.

SEO Website Design And Sales Funnel Planning

It takes research and experience to find the most effective SEO techniques, lead magnets, and sales funnel path for your specific business and prospects. Design & Promote will work with you to develop a website that visually represents the unique branding of your Naperville business and provides the powerful marketing and sales support you need to increase sales. Contact us to learn more about our web design and Internet marketing services, designed with you in mind.

The Evolution Of Web Design From Nicety To Necessity

Evolution Of Web DesignWhen the first website was published in 1991, it was considered a marvel. A static, text-based, incredibly simple marvel, perhaps, but it showed the world the potential of what websites could be used for. It took an additional 10 years before there was any expectation at all that a business would have a website, but by the mid-’00s, all but the smallest businesses had or were developing websites. In the time between 2005 and 2010, we saw a tidal wave of services designed to help bring even the smallest businesses online, and in the current marketplace, people not only expect, but demand that businesses have a website.

How Website Design Has Evolved

Like all people experimenting with new things, early web designers scrambled to try all the tools at their disposal, and created a lot of wild designs, in an effort to discover what users would respond most positively to. There were black web pages with neon pink text (ouch!), and fonts so intricate that they were illegible, but it was new and exciting. As web design moved through the ’90s and into the ’00s, sites moved past text-based design, through frame-based design, which was temperamental and inflexible, and into cascading style sheet (CSS) design, which opened up opportunities to build websites that displayed correctly on a much broader variety of browsers and systems. The advent of HTML 4.0 in 1997 contributed significantly toward the efforts to build sites that rendered correctly across platforms and browsers. In 1998, CSS2 came out, with more improvements, and Google launched: An event, which would ultimately drive much of the evolution of web design for years to come.

Website Design In The Age Of SEO

With the rise of search engines like Google, business websites have huge opportunities to reach more prospects than ever before, but only if those websites are specifically designed for success in the current online marketplace. Three critical issues top the list of SEO website design criteria that help businesses achieve top search engine result page (SERP) rankings:

  • Fast Page Load – A recent study from DoubleClick by Google found that 53 percent of mobile users will abandon an attempt to use a website if the page hasn’t loaded within three seconds, and 50 percent of mobile users expect a page to load in under two seconds. Desktop users have a tiny bit more patience, but the gap is closing quickly, and websites need to run lean enough to achieve that two second page-load consistently, or risk losing a significant number of clicks and closings.
  • Mobile Friendly – Changes to Google’s SERP algorithm, and subsequent changes to other search engines, have moved mobile-friendly web design from optional to mandatory. Search engines actively test and reduce the rankings of websites that are not fully functional on mobile devices. Mobile compatibility is a key factor not only for SERP rankings, but also for driving traffic to physical businesses; a majority of mobile users who search for a store visit one that same day.
  • Fresh, Unique Content – Websites that continually post new content are rewarded by search engines, but that content has to be unique because there is a SERP ranking penalty for duplicate copy. In addition to the search engine benefits, users are more likely to return to websites that have a fresh stream of new content.

Keep Up With The Evolution Of Website Design

Website design is evolving quickly, and not likely to slow down any time soon. It can be a challenge to keep up with the latest technologies, trends, and practices. At Design & Promote, we help our clients develop and maintain up-to-date websites that stay on top of the SERPs that matter most in their businesses.

Web Design Content Creative Website Responsive Concept

Long-time local Chicago clients, Stay in Lisle, recently approached us for a full WordPress redesign. Since the lifespan of most websites is 2-3 years, it wasn’t surprising that the company wanted an improved website design with enhanced looks and functionality. The new site showcases more visuals and imagery that expresses the beauty of Lisle, and provides a better user experience that allows users to navigate the site easily and more quickly. Finally, the new site is fully optimized, and features a responsive design that allows it to be viewed on any device.

Here’s what we did for them.

The Discovery Phase

Stay in Lisle knew precisely what they wanted to change about their website when we met with them, and we brainstormed creative solutions to their concerns:

• The older site lacked visual imagery. The new site will feature high resolution photos of beautiful parks and recreation areas all over Lisle and its surrounding areas.
• Too much green. Design & Promote completely reimagined the new site and updated the color scheme to include richer colors for a visual boost.
• Inner-pages lacked functionality. We added functionality like tabs and other toggles to help people find information easily. Because people like to skim pages while reading, making information easy to find and digest is a great user experience (UX) design.

Additional WordPress Customization

So many of our clients prefer WordPress sites because of the vast amount of ways they can be customized. While you may initially select a “theme” to get started with, by adding plugins and utilizing the customization options within WordPress, there really is little limit to what you create. The end result can be a visually stunning and highly-functional site and looks nothing like a “template.”

Stay in Lisle wanted some specific pages customized to improve user experience and make utilizing the site faster and more convenient. Namely:

• Calendar/Events page – Instead of a singular page users have to navigate to, the new calendar is now a feed that scrolls across every page. While visitors can still go to the calendar page to look for future events, the quick scroll on each page shows what events are coming up at a glance, and will ideally result in higher interest and turnout for events.
• Special Offers page – The old website’s offer page had coupons aplenty, but the new site’s offer page is color-coded and organized by category, making it fast and easy for visitors to find coupons and deals for the service they’re interested in.
• About Us/Meet the Team page – The smiling faces haven’t changed on this page, but the functionality has. Now, the staff photos and titles are front and center, instead of being reduced in order to fit additional information like duties and contact information. The new site features flip card images, so that when you mouse-over an image, it flips to reveal additional information and contact buttons.

Are You Ready For An Improved Website Design?

If you feel like your users could benefit from improved website design and functionality, it might be time for an improved website redesign. Design & Promote has been here for local Chicago clients, like Stay in Lisle, to not only build their initial website, but to help them imagine a redesign that will poise them to take their business to the next level.

To learn more about website design services from Design & Promote, contact our Naperville website design company today!

chicago web design agencychicago web design agencychicago web design agencychicago web design for emotionThe days of designing a website that does nothing more than showcases your products and services are over. You must go further to reach your potential customers. You need to appeal to their emotions.

Consider life insurance companies. They learned long ago that people weren’t interested in talking about their impending deaths and the financial ramifications for their families. So insurers began to appeal to their audience’s positive emotions. Take a look at their websites. They’re designed to inspire sentiments like trust, love, optimism and joy.

Our Chicago web design company goes to great lengths to create sites that reach visitors on an emotional level. Hard-hitting sales copy that trumpets your products’ benefits isn’t enough. Your website should have an aesthetic that encourages visitors to engage with your brand.

An added bonus is that your site will stand head and shoulders above those that neglect emotion in their design.

Designing For Emotion To Boost Your Conversions

Your most important goal is to increase your conversions. That can include sales, downloads of a white paper or joining your mailing list.

Your biggest obstacle is logic, or specifically, how the brain processes and responds to marketing content. In 2011, UCLA researchers found that ads that used rational reasoning were more likely to trigger activity in the brain that inhibited a response. In contrast, the use of “non-rational influence” lowered subjects’ inhibitions.

The researchers’ findings, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics, confirmed what smart web designers have known for ages. Appealing to visitors’ emotions has a positive effect on conversions, and that holds doubly true for Chicago web design.

The question is, how do you design your website to take advantage of that fact?

How To Infuse Your Site With Emotion

When it comes to emotional web design, you have a lot of options.

For example, you can appeal to visitors’ tendency to prefer attractive things. To that end, design your site to be visually stunning and easy to navigate.

  • You can appeal to visitors’ sense of family and parental instinct.
  • Photos of smiling children and happy babies can be extremely effective depending on your audience.
  • You can appeal to visitors’ desire for success and happiness.
  • Images of successful individuals can inspire people to put themselves in those individuals’ shoes.

Emotions reinforce perceptions and dictate behavioral responses. In the context of web design, that means seducing visitors to take your most desired action.

The Effect Of Showing Faces On Your Site
One of the most powerful tactics for using emotion in your web design is by including images of faces on key pages. Our Chicago web design company has made this practice an art form.

We relate to people better than we relate to ideas. Images of people instill trust. The more a person in a photo seems to reflect our values and circumstances, the greater our trust in the company behind the image.

This effect occurs on an instinctive level. It happens without our thinking about it.

In terms of relating to the person in an image, the most important feature is his or her face. It provides an instant familiarity and sense of reassurance. Even though the individual displayed in an image is a stranger to us, the inference that he or she has benefited from doing business with the company gives us comfort.

We see ourselves in that person. If they’re smiling, we imagine we’ll be similarly delighted by following their lead (e.g. buying the company’s products).

This effect is even more pronounced with the use of close-ups. When an image is composed entirely of a smiling, confident face, we’re more apt to consider the photographed person’s intelligence and character. Our ability to relate to the individual will influence our decision-making, including whether or not to make a purchase.

Chicago Branding Company Trumpets Emotional Design

In 2016, websites that neglect visitors’ emotions will pay a steep price through a lower conversion ratio. Fortunately, it’s an easily solved problem. Evaluate every important page on your site and ask yourself whether images showing confident, happy people will appeal to your audience.

Chances are, they will.

If your site is not currently designed for emotion, it’s time to renovate it. The upside is that your site will be better equipped to stimulate a positive emotional response from your visitors.

Design & Promote is a Chicago web design company with years of hard-won experience building sites that deliver measurable results. Contact our team today to create a plan for increasing your conversions and making 2016 your best year yet!


Are you a freelance Naperville web developer who’s tired of looking for new clients? Do you regularly feel exhausted after working on one-off WordPress development projects during the day only to spend your evenings looking for new jobs? Do you perform tasks like prospecting; creating proposals and negotiating rates frustrate you?

The good news is that you have another option. You can join a team of web design professionals who work together to bring gorgeous, high-performance websites to fruition. Here at Design & Promote, we’re looking for a proficient Naperville web developer with experience in working with WordPress.

This is a unique opportunity to help evolve and impact a growing web design team.

What We’re Looking for In a WordPress Developer: 

Your core strengths lie in your familiarity with the WordPress architecture.

You know how to optimize a WordPress site so that it loads quickly. You know how to code elements of a responsive design that looks just as good on your Android, as it does on your MacBook Pro. And you know how to tweak the WP backend to guarantee Google’s bots and spiders can crawl and index a site.

At Design & Promote, you’ll be a part of a skilled, enthusiastic team of design and marketing pros. You will no longer be flying solo for the entirety of a project.

You’ll have plenty of autonomy, of course. As a talented developer, you’ll need space to brainstorm and implement creative WordPress solutions. Our work environment is geared toward honoring new ideas!

At the same time, you’ll have the opportunity to use other expert team members as a sounding board for your ideas. That’s an invaluable part of the website design process. It allows you to tap into an array of in-the-trenches perspectives, all of which are focused on producing results.

Questions To Ask Yourself Before Joining Our Team

Although we firmly believe collaboration optimizes the web development process, we realize that type of environment isn’t for everyone. Ask yourself the following questions to determine whether you’d work well as part of our team.

Do I enjoy working with other design and marketing professionals?

Our best web design and marketing campaigns spring from working together. Each member of our team brings a different set of core competencies to the table. Each contributes something valuable to the end product.

Do I have what it takes to be an agency WordPress developer?

Working solo is a lot different than working as a Naperville web developer in an agency. You’ll have a broader set of responsibilities. You’ll have exposure to larger brands. And you’ll benefit from opportunities to deploy WordPress solutions on a larger scale.

Do I have enough experience?

The more experience you have developing and optimizing WordPress sites for clients, the better. Working in the trenches exposes you to challenges you may not confront when creating your own sites. Experience as a freelance Naperville web developer is good. Experience in an agency is even better.

How familiar am I with non-WordPress aspects of web development?

You should understand the basics of search engine optimization, hosting and server management. You should know your way around various scripts and programming languages, such as PHP and CSS. When problems surface, you should be able to troubleshoot them.

How confident am I in my WordPress skills and ideas?

The environment at Design & Promote is fast-paced. We thrive on creative, innovative ideas posed by team members. As a member of our team, you should have the confidence to present solutions to known issues. You should also be able to anticipate potential problems and make recommendations that will prevent them from occurring or fix them before they wreak havoc.

What Do You Want From Your Career?

Design & Promote has built a hard-won reputation for delivering groundbreaking WordPress-based web designs that prioritize brand visibility, lead generation and conversions. For the right Naperville web developer, it’s the ideal environment to learn new technologies, improve your current chops and collaborate with a team of motivated marketing professionals.

Ask yourself: where do you want your career as a WordPress developer to lead? If you’re looking for a career “home” where you can dig deep into interesting projects and face challenges that force you to grow, get in touch. You may be our next team member.

Apply today for a position with Design & Promote as a WordPress developer. If you’re ready to go the extra mile for our clients, we’ll go the extra mile in helping you to further your career.

Category Archives: Web Design

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