13 Warning Signs to Look For When Hiring Web Designers in Nairobi

Gone are the days when you had to walk into a physical office to get a service. Technology allows professionals to work as freelancers including web designers in Nairobi. The same technology has opened a door for the unqualified web designers to join the industry.

You will come across many designers that promise what they cannot deliver. If you do not do your background check well, you are likely to end up in the wrong hands. The individuals may ever have some papers to show but still lack the skill.

How do you know that you are talking to the right person? Can you read past the marketing gimmicks and identify flaws? Well, let us make it easy for you. Look for the following red flags when interacting with a new web designer.

1. The designers do not have a website

Run from any designers that make too much noise about their skill but have no website. The least they can do as they look for clients is to design a website for their business. If all you see is social media buzz, messages and calls, you are talking to the wrong people. Insist on seeing a running website and then check the next sign.

2. They have a shoddy website

Let us say they pass the first test. They have a running website. Go a step further and analyse the quality of their website. Run if you find a poorly designed website. Otherwise, you will end up with the same if you hire such designers

3. No portfolio or testimonials

It is okay to hire new web designers in Nairobi. However, the decision comes with very high risks. A portfolio shows that the designers have already applied their skills in real projects. If the designers have been around for a while, there is a reason why no clients trust them with a project.

4. Poor customer service

How does the designer address you and your questions? Do you feel safe and comfortable when talking to them? If you must wait for days for a reply or get a bad attitude, you are better off with another designer. Excellent customer service is critical in every profession.

5. The designers lack an online presence

Here is another tell tale sign that you have landed in the wrong lane. You have a name but no online presence. You cannot find the designers in any social media platform. If such accounts exist, they are rarely updated and the information given is scanty.

6. They want to complete your project fast

Time is a critical factor but does take the place of quality. Be worried if find website designers in Kenya who want to rush through the process. The designers will promise to complete your website within days even without considering your unique specifications.

7. Very aggressive with pricing

Have you ever come across an advert for the cheapest or most affordable web design services? Well, there is no problem in offering affordable prices to attract customer. The problem comes when the designer insists on cheap services instead of quality service. If you hear the term “we are the cheapest” repeatedly, acknowledge the red flag and move on.

8. Asks few or no questions about your website or business

You are looking for a new channel to market your business or brand. Your website gives your audience the first impression of your brand alongside your social media accounts. Then you come across a designer who cares little about your business or brand. The goal for such designers is completing a project for the paycheck. Do what is right for your business; look elsewhere!

9. Big on plugins

Plugins add to the features on your website that makes it easier to manage content and monitor performance. However, if all the designers talk about is the plugins to add, you are in trouble. Some designers have mastered different plugins but cannot design a good website from scratch. You can add plugins without a designer. Look for skills and not design tricks.

10. Ignores your conversion goals

You are in business to make money. A website should contribute towards that goal. The right web designers in Nairobi will focus more on building your business than on developing a website. Hence, the chosen features will be based on your conversion goals. Do not trust anyone who ignores the business side of your website no matter how skilled they sound.

11. Lacks knowledge in SEO

You cannot mention web design today without mentioning Search Engine Optimization (SEO). A web designer may not be an expert in it but should have the basic principles in place. Check if their website is well optimised. The ranking on search engines including the domain authority can help you judge the designers’ knowledge of SEO.

12. No architectural strategy

Talk is cheap. If you all you get are promises but no solid strategy, you are free to explore other options. A good designer will give you an architectural strategy that suits the kind of website you need. With such a plan, you can compare the results after the development process to determine if they deliver what they promised.

13. Your gut says no

Have you ever had a chat that felt wrong? If your gut tells you to run, then run. Sometimes negotiating a deal feels wrong even when you do not have the facts. The designers answer your questions but you still feel like you are making a mistake. Do not ignore that feeling. If it feels like there is a loose end or missing link somewhere, try another design company.

Final remarks

Hiring web designers in Nairobi is only an easy journey if you know what to look for in the process. The secret is to have as many chats as possible, whether physical or virtual, before hiring. The field has many competent freelance designers. However, you will also come across individuals or companies with huge promises but no skills. Beware of subcontractors and check for the tell tale signs shared in this article.

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How to Migrate From One Domain to Another without Losing SEO and Traffic

Muva recently moved from muva.co.ke to muva.tech. Our greatest concern like most website owners was the possible effect on traffic and rankings. Hence, before making the move, we considered all the factors that could affect our SEO. Remember that we had built a strong brand around the old domain for 8 years but the change was necessary.

The fear of losing flowing traffic holds many website owners from making such a big move even when it is clearly necessary. You need to be certain that switching domains is necessary even before considering the effects. You could lose all the years of SEO and branding if you switch domains at the wrong time.

It is advisable to move during a slow period in your financial year. The reality is that even with the best planned migration, temporary traffic fluctuations are inevitable.  Search engines take some time to update the index of the new domain. If you are certain that it is the right time for the move, take the following steps:

1. Crawl your website

Prepare a list of all URls and meta descriptions of the old website. A tool like Screaming Frog can help you pick all the links and identify redirects and errors. Remove or replace any links that direct traffic to 404 pages. You also need to list all the pages in your old site from your database. Crawling tools may leave out important pages.

2. Use a test server

Even with a complete list of URLs and pages, you still need to test if everything works privately. Avoid going public before testing and confirming that all redirects are working properly. Fix any errors or broken links that you may find when running the tests. It never hurts to run several tests with different tools to be sure. Web developers can recommend the best tools for such tests.

3. Maintain the URL architecture

The recommended way to migrate to a new site is to keep the URL architecture identical. The reason is that when you change the architecture, Google may interpret the new site as a different site. Hence, you will lose your rankings in the new site. In addition, maintaining the URl architecture simplifies the process of redirecting old pages to the new pages. The redirect workload on the server is lesser when the architecture for both sites is identical.

4. Check duplicate content

The best way to solve issues of duplicate content is through self-canonization of all new pages. The process ensures that only one version of a URL is published. Self-canonization is also a way of telling the search engine that the new site is the new location of the old site. Check your folders to see if more than one folder leads to the same content. In addition, ensure that all IP addresses redirect to the new URLs.

5. Keep a copy of your Google Analytics

You will never know if you lost any traffic during the migration if you have no benchmark. A copy of the current analytics acts as your benchmark. Monitor the traffic to your top pages after the migration. You can run analytics on the new site and compare it page by page with the old site. Consequently, you can determine the specific pages that need special SEO attention. The reality is that if old pages with the highest number of inbound links go down in terms of SEO, the ranking of the new site will be low after the migration.

6. Update internal links

HTML links on the new site will automatically redirect to the new site if you migrate in the right way. However, depending on this automated process is risky. The redirect process takes longer and the slow loading time affects the page rank. Search and replace all internal links on the site’s database. Be careful with the updates to ensure that only the text with a HTML link is updated and that the folder structure remains the same.

7. Avoid removing pages

You might not need all the old pages on the new site. However, deleting many pages during a migration will hurt your SEO efforts. Google views the new site as a new website and you now have to work your way up again. The best strategy is to keep all the pages and remove the unnecessary pages later when the traffic is back to normal. However, if some pages must be removed, keep a list of the pages. Set the replacement links where necessary and remove all links to the old pages. Avoid redirecting the removed pages to the home page.

8. Keep the old domain

Many website owners sell their old domains after migrating to a new site. The general advice is to sell the old domain when Google stops indexing the domain. However, you can lose the redirects from the old site to the new site along the way. If you no longer have control over the old domain, you will lose all the inbound links from the old site. It is possible that the migration was to lead to the sale of the old domain, but if you can, keep the old site in your control.

9. Check the sites for errors and redirects

Every link on the new site should lead a functional page. Visitors should not get any 301, 404, 501, or any other errors. Find a replacement for all links with errors immediately. Internal links should point to a functional page directly and not through a redirect. Your goal when monitoring the new site is to eliminate redirects because it takes longer for such pages to load. The result is a lower ranking and poor performance of a site that was high ranking before the change.

10. Monitor the performance of the new site

Track the rankings and traffic to the new site after the migration. It is advisable to pull data daily, weekly, and monthly. Conduct the page-by-page comparison consistently as you monitor the performance. Tracking performance daily helps you make quick SEO decisions right after a migration. You can identify and fix errors early before you lose your best customers to redirects or slow loading times.

Final remarks

Migrating to a new site is a risky process but sometimes necessary to build a strong brand. All the steps outlined above happen in private. However, you must publicize the move even before making the major move. Talk to your current customers or audience on all social media platforms. Press release statement and offline advertisements will help maintain your audience as well.

The reality is that you will lose some traffic in the move. However, the magnitude of the loss depends on your migration approach. Much SEO work is required to keep the traffic flow but with the steps above, you are already in the right direction even without an SEO expert. Involving a good web developer is also advisable to avoid missing any step.

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Why Companies in Nairobi Require a Mobile Responsive Website in 2016

A well-designed website is a must-have for Nairobi Companies worth their salt. It is no secret that many clients in 2016 and beyond want to find product at the comfort of their homes or offices. As such, the internet marketing and advertising has exploded in the last few years. Nevertheless, having perfectly designed site is not enough. A company must go ahead to come up with a mobile responsive website. Why should this be the case? Well, here are some of the reasons:

Read this: 5 Useful Tips When Outsourcing Website Development Services in Kenya

  • Everyone has gone mobile

Approximately 1.2 billion people access the internet using mobile devices. The numbers will most likely be skewed in the future. Nairobi-based companies must, therefore, be willing to reach these users by developing a mobile responsive website.

  • Mobile landing pages need varied strategies

A company’s landing page helps generate online revenue. Even so, the landing page for a desk top is different from that of a mobile device; most mobile phones cannot handle the same style of presentation as does the desktop. Accordingly, coming up with a mobile responsive website will enable companies to take advantage of the frequent purchasing behavior of mobile users.

  • Search engine ranking

Search engines such as Google have in the recent past favored mobile responsive sites. In some instances, Google has imposed penalties for companies that do not design mobile friendly sites.   To be on the safe side of search engines and to make significant profit, it is imperative that Nairobi-based companies make the necessary changes.

  • Getting social media referrals

A majority of internet users utilize their mobile devices to access social media platforms. For this reason, every company must create mobile responsive website and in so doing, their content marketing efforts will be worthwhile.

  • Becoming different from competition

Undeniably, many Nairobi-based company’s sites have not been optimized for mobile devices. As such, wise companies have a chance to differentiate themselves from the competition. In turn, they market their brands significantly and earn profit and good reputation.

  • Mobile users are likely to buy more

Mobile users are likely to make frequent purchases as compared to their desktop counterparts. This is because of the convenience of accessing the website. As such, Nairobi-based companies must reach these users and make profits in the ultimate.

Precisely, to make profit and attain high levels of sustainability, Nairobi companies must design their websites with mobile responsiveness in mind. Finding the best web-designers who can render such services is, therefore, critical.

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