Web Design in South Africa: 10 Informative Tips

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Web Design in South Africa: Where to Start? 2 People Working on computer in office

Web design in South Africa: where to start?

You know you need a website.

Maybe you saw an ad about web design in South African that convinced you. Or your daughter told you that you need one. Perhaps you’ve seen that all your competitors have one. Maybe you read somewhere that having a website will benefit your business. So, you know that you need a website.

Unfortunately, that is all you know.

You don’t know where to start, what to look for and who to ask for help. That’s OK. As a company that specialised in web design in South Africa, we happen to know quite a lot about web design. And we’re happy to answer your questions!

In this article, we cover the basic things you need to know while on the hunt for services that include web design in South Africa, namely:

  • The purpose of your website
  • Ecommerce
  • Hosting and domains
  • The building of a website
  • Website content
  • Website maintenance

Do I REALLY need a website?

Chances are that if you own a business, you need a website. We can think of very few businesses that would not benefit from having a website (and all the ones we can think of are, erm, illegal).

However, you may not need the same type of website as another business. That’s why it’s important to identify the main aim of your website before beginning the design process.

The purpose of your website

Do you want to sell a product (or many products) online? Or inform potential customers about the services you offer? Do you want to share something with your readers, such as recipes or stories?

When starting the process of website design, you should spend some time thinking about what you want your website to achieve. This will make it a lot easier for a web design in South Africa firm to assist you in offering you a

A website that is purely information will most likely cost less to design than an eCommerce website.

What is eCommerce?

Ecommerce stands for electronic commerce and refers to buying and selling goods via the internet. If you have an eCommerce website, you most likely have an online store on your website. You can sell physical products (which would be shipped to the buyer) or digital products (such as downloadable files) on an online store.

Where can I find an eCommerce agency for web design in South Africa?

Swerve Designs specializes in the design of all types of websites, so you don’t need to look any further!

Get a quote for your website.

What’s the best platform for my eCommerce website?

We are huge fans of the WooCommerce plugin. A plugin is a software component that we add to your website to give it added functionality. (Don’t worry, we do the installation for you).

When you install WooCommerce on your website, it allows a huge number of online store functions to be activated on your website. You will easily be able to load new products and visitors will be able to add products to their carts and make payments.

There are also many more advanced features, such as setting up a promo code for your customers or sending an automatic email to customers who have abandoned their cart before checkout.

Trust us, it’s a great plugin!

Hosting and domains

For people to access your website, it must be loaded onto a domain. This domain must be hosted by a hosting company for it to be visible on the internet. We make use of either hostinger.com to host all our clients’ domains.

What is a Domain?

A domain is, in very simple terms, your website name. You may refer to it as your website address. Your website users can access your website by typing your domain name into the search bar of their web browser.

For example, ours is www.swervedesigns.co.za. It refers to the fact that we are a web design company in South Africa because it has the domain name extension .co.za. Websites can also have other name extensions, such as .com or .net. We also used ‘swervedesigns’ in our domain because that is our business name. You could place your business name into your domain.

A domain name must be registered before it can be used, and no two websites can have the same domain name.

We suggest selecting a domain name for your website that will be easy for your clients to remember.

For example, if your business sells cupcakes and is called Charly’s Cute Cupcakes, a domain name like www.charlyscutecupcakes.co.za would be a good idea. (Note that punctuation such as apostrophes may not form part of a domain name). Using a domain name such as www.charlys1cute-cup-45cakes.co.za would create a lot of unnecessary confusion for your customers. Keep it simple!

Can I obtain a domain for free?

You can use a free domain, but that doesn’t mean that you should!

For example, WordPress allows users to set up a free domain. However, the domain will have “WordPress” in the name (for example www.charlyscutecupcakes.wordpress.com) which does not look very professional.

You will also not own this domain, and WordPress can remove all information from the domain at any time. This means that your website could disappear without warning when you least expect it.

Registering for a paid domain is not expensive and we definitely recommend it over using a free domain name.

Will you buy the domain for me?

Yes, if you do not have a domain yet, we will register one for you. Our website design price includes the domain registration fee.

Who will own the domain?

Once the website design is complete and you pay the final deposit, the domain (and the website) belongs to you.

What is website hosting?

Website hosts basically provide the service of storing your website on the internet. You must host your domain with a hosting company so that people can access your website.

Do I need web hosting for web design in South Africas?

Yes, it is impossible to have a website on the internet without it being hosted somewhere.

How much does hosting for web design in South Africa cost?

Hosting costs vary depending on how much data (text, images, number of pages, plugins, etc.) your website contains or how much storage you require. Hosting costs are included in our website design fees.

To find out which other services are included in our fees, read this blog post about fee inclusions here.

Do you offer email accounts with your web hosting?

Yes, both Afrihost and hosting.com offer email account system under your domain. It’s a great idea to have email addresses for your business (both for you and your employees) that include your domain, rather than working with Gmail (or similar) addresses. It just gives a much more professional feel to your communication.

The building and design of the website

Building and designing a website involves setting up the actual website.

If the website was a Lego tower (a very cool, complex Lego tower of course, with loads of little windows and arches), the building process would involve placing all the Lego blocks in the correct position. The design process ensures that the Lego blocks are placed into their position in an aesthetic manner so that it is appealing to look at.

You want a website that works and that is good-looking. We can give you both!

What will my website be built on?

We build all our websites on WordPress. WordPress is a website creation platform that allows us to produce good-looking and responsive websites.

What is a responsive website?

Responsive refers to being mobile-friendly. In other words, your clients can view your website on a desktop computer or cell phone in the same functional way.

Do you use and/or purchase pre-made WordPress themes?

Yes, we use pre-made WordPress themes. We go through a careful selection process to ensure that the theme we choose for your website suits your business and website aims.

We purchase all our themes (free themes come with a variety of potential problems) for a stress-free website user experience.

Website content    

To design your website, we require specific content.

Think of any website you have ever visited. Each of these websites would have had text to tell you more about the website and the business that owns it. Products in online stores have product descriptions. There are “About Us” sections, contact details and often a blog section as well.

The text on a website (among several other factors) is what a search engine such as Google uses to analyse your website and decide whether it is relevant to its users. The text thus needs to be written according to SEO (or “search engine optimization”) guidelines.

These websites would also have had photographs. Photographs of products or services being offered, for example, would be visible.

We will need access to this content that is specific to your business.

Can someone help me write content?

Yes, we offer copywriting services in addition to our web design services in South Africa. This means that we can write all text for your website for you at an additional fee.

Our copywriting services include keyword research, an important aspect of making your text more SEO-friendly. You can thus rest assured that your text is written to be optimally used by search engines.

This is a good thing because your website will be seen by more people.

How can you write the text for my website without knowing what I know?

Getting to know your business is part of the copywriting and website design process. We do a lot of research about your business and the industry in which you work. This research includes asking you several questions about your business, which you can answer either via email or voice note. In other words, we interview you about the content.

We also consider websites from your competitors (both web design in South Africa and internationally) and do general research about the type of business you are in.

I don’t see any work examples from my industry. Do you work with all types of businesses?

Yes, our services are not limited to specific industries. We love getting to know new businesses and providing web design services in South Africa (and internationally) is our passion.

Website maintenance

Once the website is launched, some level of maintenance is required each month. For example, plugins need to be updated, content needs to be kept up-to-date and security services to be improved regularly. If you have an eCommerce website, you also need to update your products, stock levels and order statuses.

Can I maintain my own website once it has been launched?

You can maintain your own website. However, we suggest having at least a basic knowledge of WordPress and eCommerce functionality if you would like to personally handle this task.

Do you provide support after the launch of my new web design in South Africa?

Yes, we can maintain your website for you. This is done at a monthly fee. Our average monthly website maintenance fees depend on which type of website you have. Generally, it will be more expensive if we manage an online store for you than if we maintain an informational website.

Our fee also includes hosting costs and annual domain renewal.

What does your support include?

If we maintain your website on a monthly basis, we will ensure that the website continues to function optimally. This involves a lot of “behind-the-scenes” work which helps to prevent problems. We prefer a preventative approach, rather than having to respond to issues.

Do you offer training for the websites you build?

Yes, we can offer you basic training to maintain your website yourself. We offer this training online at a fee. Contact us to find out more!

Summary

Deciding on a website design firm can be daunting. Especially if you do not know much about website design yourself. Understanding these six concepts will help you to communicate with your website designer with more confidence:

  • The purpose of your website
  • Ecommerce
  • Hosting and domains
  • The building of a website
  • Website content
  • Website maintenance

About this blog

We aim to inform and educate our readers with the latest web design technology trends, topics and discussions. Feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think. We are a web design and digital marketing company with a focus on helping our customers achieve great results across several key areas. Learn about SEO and web design.

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