Whirl Sites Blog

At Whirl Sites we’re passionate about the web, and our blog is a place where we share resources, tips, and interesting links that we think are of value to our existing customers and to everyone else who loves web development as much as we do.

4 Things Good Websites Communicate

As human beings, we are constantly observing and analyzing.  We use the information we gather to make wise decisions.  Your customers are no different.  In every interaction with your business, they are gathering data.  They are looking for clues about your company and your products or services.  This includes the interactions they have with you via the web.  What do you want to communicate to your customers when they visit your website?  Here are a few things good websites communicate.

Show Them You Are Trustworthy

Businesses that are new, small, or unknown may struggle with convincing prospective customers that they are worthy of trust.  Limited knowledge may lead a prospect to jump to less than flattering conclusions.  Just having a website can often go a long way in counteracting this tendency.  A website can communicate a sense of permanence and stability.  Your website also gives you a great place to promote your associations or awards, all of which improves your credibility. Furthermore, when the website works smoothly, looks professional, and contains helpful, error-free content, customers have more reason to trust the business.

Convince Them Your Product or Service is Worth Trying

No one knows your product or service better than you do.  One of your primary challenges is to communicate this knowledge to prospective customers.  A well-designed website gives you a great platform for doing this.  It is important that you take advantage of every available capability.  Great content that is clear, concise, and compelling is essential.  You can also use photos or even videos to showcase your product or service.  Beyond this, you can also use your website to report statistics about your business success or share the glowing reviews of current customers.

Demonstrate Your Excellent Customer Service

Prospective customers will be interested in your products, but they will also be looking for clues about how you treat your customers.  Will you be prompt in addressing their concerns?  Will you go to any length to make up for a bad experience?  If they need to contact you, will it be easy for them to talk to the right person?  While they can’t know for sure until they put your customer service to the test, they can get indications from your website.  You can demonstrate your dedication to making their experience a positive one by not only saying so in words, but also including clear methods for making direct contact with you.  Detailing a specific and simple process for contacting the appropriate people within your organization can demonstrate your commitment to treating them fairly and making sure they are happy.

Show Them How You Make Things Simple

Like you, your potential customers are likely to be busy people.  You don’t want them to have to work hard to investigate or buy your products.  Simplify your prospects’ interaction with you and you will go a long way toward cultivating a positive feeling toward your business and your products.  How can you do this?  First of all, make sure navigation is simple, straightforward, and intuitive.  Don’t hide important elements of your website or jumble unrelated information together.  Second, guide them with appropriate headlines and guideposts so they know where to look for the information they seek.  Third, utilize simple forms for common activities on your website, such as requesting information or contacting a salesperson.  Finally, if you sell online from your website, make that the e-commerce components on your site are simple and, most importantly, functional.

Your website is a great way to communicate to potential customers and actual customers about who you are and what you do.  If you don’t have a website or if your website needs to be updated, Whirl Sites can help.  All our sites begin with a foundation that is tuned in to the needs of online visitors.  They are designed to be mobile responsive and load quickly.  We utilize a navigation structure that is clear, simple, and intuitive.  If you need help with content, we offer a cost-effective solution.  Based in the greater Indianapolis area, Whirl Sites helps small businesses in Brownsburg, Carmel, Zionsville, and beyond to communicate with customers and prospects.  Our innovative websites are surprisingly affordable and require minimal time or effort on your part.  Give us a call (317.892.9435) or visit us online to see how easy it is to get started.

What You Might Lose Without a Mobile Responsive Website

As a small business owner, you probably know that it is important to have a website.  But will just any website do?  Clearly, no one believes that the quality and substance of your website don’t matter.  One extremely important element of any website is its ability to be viewed on a multiplicity of electronic devices.  In other words, it’s important to have a mobile responsive website.  The disadvantages that come from having a website that is not mobile responsive have been well-documented (as in this article from Huffington Post).  Keep reading for a list of some that we feel are significant.

Teeny, Tiny Text

Some of us have near-perfect eyesight, and even the teeniest of tiny fonts don’t faze us.  But the text of a nonmobile responsive site as it appears on your smart phone can give even your 20/20 vision a challenge.  Obviously, this makes text hard to read.  If visitors can’t read your text, it doesn’t matter what awesome content you have.  Many visitors will not expend the effort needed to make tiny text more readable.  Some will just simply move on to a mobile responsive site that is more reader-friendly.

Slow Loading Site

Websites that are mobile responsive are designed to load quickly regardless of the device.  On the contrary, a website designed for desktop use will usually load more slowly on a mobile device.  Given how impatient we have become as a society, do you want to take the chance that your visitors will stick around for your slow loading site?

Inaccessible Information

The previous two disadvantages will necessarily make it harder for customers and prospects to find the information they are looking for.  In addition, the way pages are displayed on mobile devices may keep viewers from even knowing what information is available or how it can be accessed.  Some information may be completely unseen on certain devices.  Visitors who can’t find what they need won’t waste time playing hide-and-seek on your website.

Dysfunctional Forms or Tools

While giving information on your website is important, these days many small businesses are using their websites to do so much more.  Gathering valuable data is one important function that businesses rely on websites to perform.  However, if your website is not mobile responsive, your forms may not work on all devices.  Similarly, if you offer visitors the ability to buy on your website, this vital feature might not be usable on mobile devices.  How much data are you willing to lose out on?  Even more so, how many sales are you willing to give up?

Visitor Frustration

All these disadvantages add up to one thing – frustration.  Any one of these problems can cause a fair amount of frustration, but as multiple problems occur, visitors are sure to lose patience and give up on your website.  Prospective customers who become annoyed by your ineffective website will leave with a negative perception of your website…and worse yet, your company.

Online Invisibility

So far, we’ve been discussing problems that occur for visitors to a nonmobile responsive website.  Yet what if your website isn’t even findable to potential customers searching for products or services like yours?  Since websites that are not mobile responsive generally receive lower search rankings, these websites may be largely invisible to searchers.  It’s pointless to have a website if no one can find it.

With all the disadvantages, it really doesn’t make much sense to have a website that is not mobile responsive.  Yet the cost of purchasing a custom mobile responsive website can be significant.  Whirl Sites provides a cost-effective solution to this dilemma.  By utilizing our own templates that can be customized for each customer, we keep costs low while providing a product with high-quality performance.  Businesses and organizations in the Indianapolis area are already taking advantage of Whirl Sites.  Call us at 317.892.9435 or visit us online for answers to your questions.  We are ready to get started when you are!

Two Common “Reasons” Businesses Fail to Get or Update a Website

The evidence seems incontrovertible.  Having a website can benefit your business in a host of different ways.  It promotes your brand recognition, helps you get your message out to your target audience, makes your business more visible to prospective customers, and even provides a place for you to make online sales.  That’s just the beginning of what a business website can help you do.  Yet some small business owners still don’t have one.  Others have a website that is hopelessly outdated or barely functional.  Why?  Two reasons that are often cited are lack of time and lack of money.  But if you consider the cost-effective websites that Whirl Sites offer, these reasons really don’t hold water.  They are merely excuses!

“I Don’t Have the Time to Launch or Update a Website.”

Creating a website from initial design to final launch is not an easy task.  We get it!  That’s our business so we understand how hard it is to get everything just right.  However, we also know that you don’t have to do all the work yourself.  That was why we created Whirl Sites in the first place.  We wanted to give businesses an option that wouldn’t cost them a lot in time, effort, or money.  When you buy a Whirl Site, you can make the fun and easy decisions based on your tastes, and we’ll do the rest.  You pick a template that appeals to you, tell us what colors you’d like us to use, and give us pertinent information about your business.  We combine your preferences with our designs to create a website that looks great, functions efficiently, and reflects the character of your business or organization.

So you can see that it really takes very little time and effort on your part to launch a Whirl Site.  The one exception that does require some input from you is content.  Your website needs to tell visitors the story of who you are and what kinds of goods or services you provide.  Some businesses have already invested in creating clear content.  If this is the case, we are able to simply lift this content into your Whirl Site.  In the case of a website redesign, we can take content from your old website and add it to your new and improved Whirl Site.

If the necessary content does not exist, we have a team of writers who will write and optimize content for your Whirl Site at the cost of $150 per page.  Your investment of time in this process is limited.  We ask that you make yourself available for an interview (usually lasting around 1 hour or less).  From this interview, we will gather information from which we will write your content.  Again, your time investment in this process is minimal.

“I Don’t Have the Money to Launch or Update a Website.”

I know what you’re thinking.  If your business is going to have a website, it is going to be a good one.  You don’t want one that looks like everyone else’s.  I’m sure you don’t want one that looks unprofessional or adolescent.  And you absolutely do not want a website that doesn’t work right.  To get a website that is attractive, professional, and functional, you’re going to need to buy a pricey custom website, right? Wrong.  While a custom website is a great investment for some businesses, it is just an unnecessary expense for others.  Whirl Sites are a cost-effective alternative that allows you to get a website without lowering your standards.  Our templates are made to function smoothly and correctly and feature professional, eye-catching designs.

Much less expensive than a custom website, the cost of a Whirl Site is an amazing $499.  This makes a Whirl Site a very smart investment.  For a fraction of the cost of a custom website, you can increase visibility, upgrade your image, strengthen communication with customers and prospects, and broaden your target market.  Where else could you invest a mere $500 and receive so many benefits?  And remember that this one-time investment can reap benefits far into the future.  A website, unlike a paper marketing piece, can go on reaching prospects for years without re-printing or re-distribution.

I think we’ve shown that your “reasons” are really nothing more than excuses.  Furthermore, the ease and cost-effectiveness of launching a Whirl Site make your excuses seem pretty flimsy.  It’s time to quit making excuses and just give us a whirl.  We are helping small businesses and organizations across central Indiana, from Avon to Zionsville to experience the advantages of a well-designed, visually appealing website without incurring a major cost in either time or money.  We can do the same for you.  Give us a call at 317.892.9435 and we will get you started.

How Bad Source Code Can Affect Your Website

There is a lot to think about when you are creating or revamping a website.  What kind of a design will it have?  How will the navigation be structured?  What content will you add?  But unless you are doing the coding yourself, you probably won’t give a single thought to the source code of your website.  In fact, you may be wondering what source code is and why you should care.  In short, source code is the set of instructions, written in the appropriate computer language, that governs the look, actions, and interactions of your website.  While you may not understand much about source code and how it works, you should still care about your website’s source code because it can affect the function of your website.  Here are some effects that inaccurate source code can have on your website.

Missed SEO Opportunities

SEO is a big deal these days.  Having good SEO means that your website will be found by more potential customers searching for your types of products or services.  There are a lot of things that can be done to improve your SEO.  But often businesses miss one huge opportunity: failing to add information to a website’s back-end which specifies fields such as page title and a meta description.  This information does not show up on the pages of your website, but it can make a huge difference in your SEO rankings.

Downgrading from Search Engines

Beyond just missed opportunities, mistakes or omissions in source code can also adversely affect how search engines evaluate your website.  Sometimes the code on your website’s back-end can actually tell search engines not to find certain pages or not to index those pages.  These pages will have no chance of showing up in search results.  Having too much extraneous code or hiding SEO-rich content on the back-end can cause search engines to look unfavorably on those pages.  Bad code can cause you to lose any hope of winning the SEO game.

Nonworking Links

Source code affects more than just SEO.  Since the source code tells your website how to function, errors in it can cause malfunction.  Bad code can cause links within your website to stop working correctly.  When this occurs, visitors will not be able to navigate from page to page.  They may not be able to reach some pages at all.  Obviously, this can create frustration for your visitors.  Furthermore, if prospects cannot find information about your product or service, they probably are not going to buy it.

Slower Loading Pages

Another effect that inefficient code can have on your website is pages that load slowly.  When the source code is full of unnecessary code or code with bugs, it takes longer for a computer to read the code and display the page. While visitors may not be directly impeded from reaching pages by slow-loading pages, they may just give up while waiting.  The last thing you want to do is make your prospective customers wait and thereby cause them to look elsewhere.

Increased Likelihood of Being Hacked

Many small businesses fear a website hack.  And for good reason!  The mess that a hack creates can be difficult to clean up, and the damage can be immense.  But did you know that having clean code can provide protection against the insidious work of hackers?  Code that contains errors or extraneous lines can give hackers a way into your site.  Alternatively, code that is straightforward keeps the doors of your website locked.  Just as a home with securely locked doors will keep much (though not all) mischief outside, a well-coded website will prevent much destructive online hacking.

As you can see, bad code is not irrelevant.  While you don’t see it or even necessarily know what it is doing, it can have major effects on your website’s performance or security.  At Whirl Sites, we are proud of our clean, straightforward code.  We believe this is part of what makes our customizable websites a superior product.  It’s not just how good they look; it’s also how well they are built!  Working with small businesses in Carmel, Noblesville, Brownsburg, and throughout central Indiana and beyond, Whirl Sites provides quality customizable website with quality code.  If you’re ready to give us a whirl, visit our website or call us at 317-892-9435 to get started.