Call For Information-Based Web Developer sites

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http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=169965

Please visit the above link, which gets into the elements of a strong Web Site for any professional, including a Web Developer.

In addition, please take a look at the following article on the same subject:

http://www.itprosuccess.com/articles_fifteen_web_design_secrets.shtml

I’d like to begin collecting as many examples as possible of Web Designers/Web Developers who include the following elements on their own Web Site:

- Testimonial(s) on top third of home page (which immediately establish credibility);

- Free articles, white papers, case studies of web sites that work and don’t, and other resources that educate and inform their audience (which gets them interested, and positions you as an expert);

- Headlines and sub-heads that grab the attention of visitors, and keep them interested (e.g. they are curiosity-inducing, or show real benefits);

- Solid guarantees that competitors can’t match (which takes the risk away from the prospect);

- Copy that talks about the prospect twice as much as it talks about the web designer/developer (which draws the prospect in);

- Ways to entice visitors to leave their contact information so that the Web Developer can follow up over time to continue to build credibility; and

- A focus on a specific target market, with strong marketing messages that appeal to that market’s unique issues and language.

You don’t need to have all of the above elements in place, but I’d sure like to have a collection on Sitepoint of Web business sites that go beyond the usual talk about “Here’s who we are, here’s our portfolio, here’s the services we offer, etc….”

So, if your company or any Web Development/Design firm that you know and respect meets any of the above criteria, please post their link on this blog so that others can learn from it. Where possible, include results you have gotten by including these elements.

That way, readers of this blog can start to set their Web sites apart from the usual generic stuff….

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  • http://boyohazard.net Octal

    Pre-empted my question on how to set my website apart from other web design firms, I can now trash that email :)

    My goal is to have such a site in place (and on your Sitepoint list) within the next 6 months as I have just gotten my proverbial foot in the door of a target market.

  • Jake

    Amen… I am in the process of a complete re-everything (design, information architecure, the works) on our site and after reading this article it gives me an even better idea on how to present my company to our customers. I knew there was a good reason to read this site! I’ll be on your list in 3 months!

  • http://www.cyberiansolutions.com cyberian

    Great ideas! I wouldn’t dare submit my site as it would get a beating. :) Soon though. I’m working on some testimonials now. The target market may take time though.

  • Tailwind

    I whole heartedly agree with your view that most sites deal with “I” rather than “You”, and I’m sure that there traffic response indicates this fact. I am a new entry into the field of web design and have spent several months researching what works and what does not.

    My site is new (www.pl-web-design.com), but I do feel that I am on track to implementing your theory. I would enjoy any feedback, good/bad, as well as ideas to further enhance my site.

    The web is the greatest “invention” mankind has produced in order to disseminate information, and the sooner that we, the web designers, understand that, the better sites we will be able to build for our clients. People use the web to search for information; therefore, our sites need to provide that for them; not blatant displays of our egos. So, let’s give them the quality content for which they are searching and leave the flash and glitter to the kids.

  • Neerav

    I am in the process of redesigning my web development business’s site http://www.bhatt.id.au in exactly the way recommended in this Sitepoint newsletter: specific features that set me apart, articles to show research and the pursuit of best practices etc

  • Wits

    I was really surprised to see your #1 criteria …
    “Testimonial(s) on top third of home page (which immediately establish credibility)”

    My experience has been that testimonials on the home page actually decrease credibility.

    There is no better “testimonial” for a web designer/developer, than links to actual sites they’ve designed/developed. If you can’t display what you’ve done, “testimonials” aren’t going to help in the least.

  • Amazing

    I am sure Criteria #1 goes in the direction of decreasing credibility. Maybe it is cultural, I do not know, but putting testimonials anywhere, on any website IMMEDIATELY turns prospects off … GUARANTEED

  • http://www.theimajination.com imajin2102

    I read that entire thread and I gotta say….wow. Very good insight from all who replied. I find the comments from aneitlich to the point and right on the money. I particularly like the fact that he spoke about testimonials. As developers and designers I find them to be priceless tools when you are trying to win a client you have never met or might never meet. In this context of doing business on the web references are incredibly important. Although my site ( http://www.theimajination.com )does not past the acid test of the different requirements that aneitlich pointed out I have included the testimonials on my front page. I am currently in the process of redesigning the site so this thread could not have come at a better time. It is currently a Flash site and I need to get it into a more standards-compliant, information-rich site. I welcome any comments also.

  • http://www.thewatchmakerproject.com/ Buddy Bradley

    http://www.message.uk.com have some great (and frequent) articles/white papers on their site.

  • http://www.rolywalter.com/ rolywalter

    Hey imajin2102, I’m afraid I don’t like flash sites much, particularly moonfruit ones. But the there is something excellent about your idea and the wording on your homepage, all summarised in your name which is great. And I couldn’t work out what some of the links did either. But then again parts of my own site have been under construction for a while now, so forgive my humble opinion…!

  • http://www.dimensionmedia.com dimensionmedia

    At Dimension Media, since the majority of our work comes from referrals, try to balance the importantance of testimonials and actual URLs and proof-of-work. Right now, we’re experimenting with this balance on our site (top 1/3 of our site, BTW). We welcome feedback from the web developer community – our content is mostly “fluff” and being polished, but it seems to be working good for us at this time.

  • George K.

    Website: http://www.flashbannernow.com

    Checklist:

    - Testimonial(s) on top third of home page – Yes

    - Free articles, white papers, case studies of web sites that work and don’t, and other resources – Yes

    - Headlines and sub-heads – Tons of them

    - Solid guarantees that competitors can’t match – The Web’s Best Price Guarantee

    - Copy that talks about the prospect twice as much as it talks about the web designer/developer – ???

    - Ways to entice visitors to leave their contact information – Yes

    - A focus on a specific target market – Yes

    Now the question is: does all this really work? From my experience, I don’t observe any significant sales improvement.

  • Chris Schmidt

    Hi there

    I believe our site meets a lot of your criteria for information based sites. I would appreciate heeps of feedback to improve even further- be a scriotical as you can.

    Regards

    Chris

  • KennPoint

    My site has many of the above save:
    – strong market focus
    – a satisfaction guarantee

    Any comments on improvement would be appreciated!

  • KennPoint

    My site has many of the above save:
    – strong market focus
    – a satisfaction guarantee

    http://www.k3nn.com

    Any comments on improvement would be appreciated!