The 3 main job types we get asked about a lot at kc web design ltd are web design consultancy, website design and builds on content management systems such as WordPress and Expression Engine and cheap web design. We work on projects in all of these areas and they all have their own unique processes and pricing.
Web design consultancy
Web design consultancy usually involves high level research and design and less coding than other types of projects. We do a lot of web design consultancy work for well known brands, such as Fujitsu, that requires a lot of research, planning, wire-framing and UI design. Working closely with business owners within Fujitsu we redesign large sections of the UK website to improve user flow, call-to-action engagement and navigation as well as making the design more engaging and unique for specific sections of the site. We’re currently involved in a project to make the careers section more engaging and less masculine feeling by introducing different design elements to make the overall feel of the page more enticing to female job applicants. kc web design ltd have also made huge improvements to the Fujitsu UK contact process which has improved communication to the correct departments by over 70%.
For prices of our web design consultancy please contact us.
Website design and builds on content management systems
A lot of the projects we work on are basic web design and build projects. These normally consist of a period of research and planning then a design stage followed by coding and building the website. These days we usually build our websites utilising content management systems such as WordPress and Expression Engine unless the client specifically doesn’t need access to change content. But thats very rare these days.
Most of these sites are for small to medium size businesses although we do build large corporate sites using Expression Engine (for example the Geocel website) as it’s a very good scalable CMS that works well for large complex sites.
We also now build most of our commerce solutions using WordPress and the brilliant Woocommerce plugin. E-commerce websites are a little more complex than basic brochure type sites and so the costs are higher and development times longer.
If you would like a website built on WordPress or Expression engine or need an e-commerce website please contact us for pricing.
Cheap web design
At kc web design ltd we get asked a lot about cheap web design. Although we no longer do cheap web design we do try and support local businesses that want to get started with a website but we also know that in this world you get what you pay for. We’d had a huge amount of people come to us over the years asking us to pick up cheap web design projects that have gone bad for one reason or another. There are a lot of cheap web design providers out there offering very poor services.
In light of this we decided to build a self-build system for people that want cheap web design but also want it to be professional, modern and supported by professional web designers with over 15 years experience in the web design industry. So, we built an online website builder for small businesses called kc-weblite that’s cost effective (only £10 per month including hosting and support), very easy to use, comes with professional web design support and allows you to get a modern, responsive website up and running within a few hours.
Google fonts get used a lot on the web. Even though I have a Typkit account here at kc web design I still find myself using Google Fonts for certain web design projects. Their list of good web design fonts is always growing but here in lies the problem. Many times in the past, while working on flat graphic mockups of web design projects, I’ve needed to use a Google Font in a web design and the only way to do this was to download the whole library and install them into your font management software. When I was a print designer we had huge font libraries managed by huge bits of software but designing for the web is different and we don’t tend to use so many fonts. Well, we didn’t until better font usage and external font subscription services became so popular. Now we can have pretty much any font we want on a web page design.
The other day I found a website using a nice looking font so using my font checking tool (Fount – very, very useful!) I saw that it was Muli, a new font from Google Fonts. Normally I would have to go to Google, find the font, download the zip file, open my font manager, install the font, go back to photoshop and use it. Not a huge amount of work, but enough of a hassle when working on a design and trying different fonts.
A while ago I remembered hearing about Skyfonts but at the time it wasn’t released to the public…it is now though! And what a wonderful little app it is!
A quick download and the app is installed and sits in your menu bar. All you have to do is click on a service – there are a few to choose from: Google Fonts, Fonts.com, my fonts and Monotype (It’s made by Monotype!) – choose ‘find Google Fonts on Font.com’ and away you go to a website where you select the font you need. You then click ‘Add to Skyfonts’ and magically the font appears in your fonts menu on whatever apps you have open as if you’d just spent the last 15 minutes downloading font files and messing around with font managers.
Its super easy, very clever and saves a lot of messing around! Anything that makes using fonts easier is a big plus in my book!
For a while now I’ve had a little side project bubbling around here at kc web design. I love weather. I love weather apps. So I’ve been creating my own weather app with some pretty unique features (all top secret!). I’ve had a number of proof-of-concept builds lying around that have utilised the Jquery UI script to deal with dragging, dropping and resizing but we’ve hacked it around so much to get it to do what we needed that its become a little unworkable. We did contemplate writing our own drag, drop & resize script but for a working prrof-of-concept the investment was a little high.
After hitting a nice patch of quiet time at kc web design kent I decided to revisit the old concepts and re-evaluate where we’d got to. The conclusion was that Jquery UI was to large and buggy to work for the job we needed and so I decided to go back to the drawing board. Making the decision to dismiss weeks of previous work is a hard one to make but when something just isn’t working you have to be bold. Hopefully the rethink and new direction will make the final product a lot better and it will actually save time in the long run.
After a lot of time Googling around it became apparent that there aren’t many light weight drag/drop/resize libraries around that would be suitable for what we needed and I was about to give up and start writing one of my own when I randomly came across interactJS.
InteractJS – Drag and drop, resizing and multi-touch gestures with inertia and snapping for modern browsers (and also IE8+)
It sounded perfect, was very light and had a few nice extras included…but would it work for our very specific needs? We’re not scared of a bit of hacking around and experimenting here at kc web design so we quickly got together some rough designs and through in some test code and it worked…but then it didn’t…and it wasn’t doing what we thought it might do. So with a little help from the developer we got a bit further, then added our bespoke functions and extra bits and eventually we had a working prototype again that was far, far better than the original that we’d scraped.
So the moral of this story is – never be scared to throw things away and start again from scratch. Never be so precious of your work that you cannot or will not see its failings. Learning when to erase and undo will help you move forward quicker.
And also have a look at interact.js. It is a very good drag/drop/resize script.
UK rural small businesses are being held back by lack of fast broadband says a new report by The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). As a web design Kent company based in rural England we’re a bit limited on our broadband options. BT being the main option with a few others but they all have to use the same BT gear at the exchange so each offering is limited to the speed at the exchange. In a way we’re luckier than most as the exchange nearest to us was upgraded a few years ago so we have relatively good speeds of around 6mb.
Small web design companies like kc web design kent rely on fast internet connections to do there jobs. Most of the time its only uploading and downloading small web files but when it comes to things like off-site online backups or downloading large files (don’t get me started on why a BT business broadband home hub had a download cap of 5gb!) a 6mb connection just isn’t enough.
If small businesses are to thrive and prosper and contribute to a growing economy, they need universal access to what is now considered the fourth utility…
Faster broadband seems to be the norm in other countries, especially in large cities, but rural broadband is still being rolled out in some remote parts of the UK. With even just a small increase from 6mb to 20mb the difference it would make on what we can do here at kc web design kent would be huge. Online backups would take a fraction of the time. Downloading large files would be almost instant. Using Dropbox with large files would be a lot easier to manage. Our business would thrive.
So come on rural small businesses, lets hassle BT and get something done…
You can vote for better broadband with your local council. For any small web design kent businesses you can go to the KCC website here.
Or you can tell BT you want superfast fibre broadband.