I’ve recently had the pleasure of advising a few companies on final web design and web development steps.  In these cases, the companies had worked with ultra-low-cost developers to build the site, but as a consequence there were elements of the design and functionality somewhat lacking.  This just goes to show that you can get great development at low cost, but it’s worth holding back a bit of budget to finish the site.

For The Mortgage Centre Direct I was able to advise on modernising some of their theme’s styling to use harder lines, flatter design, ghost buttons, adding a favicon and generally sharpening up how this translated to mobile devices.  On review of the site code, I also picked up a few SEO (search engine optimisation) concerns such as abuse of h1 and h2 tags and put them on the right course with these.  If you’re ever in need of mortgage or life insurance advice you should check them out – a great team!

More recently, I’ve been working with Simply Domestic Staff.  They’re a recruitment agency for domestic/household staff (think butlers, estate managers and cooks).  With previous experience of serving royalty, they’re highly professional and needed a site to reflect this.  Their approach was to work with off-shore developers, who were able to deliver the site at a fantastically low price.  However, many glaring holes remained from an SEO perspective as well as design finesse.

Within a day’s work, I was able to provide a set of keyword recommendations for pages – based on a competitor review and market research – as well as providing recommendations (and a bit of hands-on coding) to improve design and usability across the site.  In addition to this, I applied a number of performance tweaks to the WordPress back-end, such as caching and image optimisation – helping the site load far more quickly and improving search ranking as a result.

Simply Domestic Staff wanted to hit the ground running with relevant traffic hitting their site from day one.  So we set out a couple of small, low cost Google AdWords campaigns – targeting different audiences with different keywords and ad variations.  The time taken to research, set up and launch the campaigns was just a few hours.

Both clients have managed to launch great-looking and successful sites, with very low design and development costs.  I’m sure they’ll go from strength-to-strength.