HOW-TO GUIDES | Sleek Web Designs

HOW-TO GUIDES

At Sleek Web Designs, we may create a ‘How to Guide for at least two reasons:
• To provide technical instructions on how to use a piece of software or technology to a user
• To describe a step-by-step procedure that the user must follow to complete a task

However, we never create ‘How to Guides’ if we’re listing information that isn’t in any particular order, a bulleted list is a better option.

Before we create a new guide, our experts check the website to see if it already exists. Plus, they may speak with anyone who might be responsible. We don’t want to duplicate content on the website because it will confuse users.
• We select the,’ feature not ‘You should select the option,’ or ‘The student should select the option,’ for example.
• Our professionals always make each guide crystal clear when the user must take action.
• To make the writing as readable as possible, we often write in plain English.
• We ensure headings adhere to the same guidelines as your title.
• We organize our steps in the order in which the user will complete them.
• SWD divides the content into sections with headings and uses numbered lists to organize it.

How to Advance Website Design Skills and Your Worth

If you're just getting started with your web design company, don't get overwhelmed and start having doubts. We all need a place to start. And we all need to learn from our mistakes. Any Website Design project you work on provides you with useful knowledge and skills. Any tough client you have shows you how to best pick and handle clients. You learn how to tighten the approach and interact more efficiently any time scope creep happens. You learn how to develop your project management skills any time a project goes off track.

This kind of awareness does not come naturally. However, by reading this, you have already shown your need to understand. The more you go, the better you learn from both Website Design experience and self-development skills.

Check out these ways where you can add value, grow your skills, and help your website design clients achieve their goals.

How to Advance Website Design Skills and Your Worth

Improving Your Website Design Skills

This is an utter necessity. You must develop your skillset in your profession. There's no getting around that. This is one of those projects that takes a long time to finish. Some of us are naturals, and others need to put in more effort.

Many young designers make the mistake of looking for approval from other new website designers who don't even have a clear eye for design skills. It's nice to be complimented and have people hug you on the back. However, we will not be awarded awards for our participation. To truly develop our talents, we must strive among the strongest. We must put ourselves to the test.

Some of the finest can be seen on Dribbble and Behance. You have expertise if you can build up your Dribbble or Behance profiles to get 1k+ followers.

There are many opportunities to practice architecture and become a self-taught talented artist. First and foremost, I recommend that you immerse yourself in architecture. Become enthralled! You're on the right track because the YouTube and Google stream tips just include web design posts and images. Please bear in mind that people go to school for this, and they waste endless hours researching, training, and exercising in school. You would do the same, but without the help of student loans.

 

Learn User Experience and User Interface Website Design Skills

You don't have to become a user interface or user environment designer. You should, however, have a thorough understanding and appreciation of the concepts. These are critical design skills elements for any website that wants to boost traffic, conversions, and brand marketing.

The user interface (UI) refers to how visitors interact through the client's website. You must direct your clients' guests through your design if you wish to maximize sales or conversions.

Since this is all about the customer interface and tactics, learning UX concepts will loosen up your thinking process as you tackle projects. Learning UX will teach you how to think strategically. Many experienced designers have begun to charge for their Strategy and Thought processes. Understanding UX is crucial for web design because it allows you to start thinking about the customer first. Your projects can yield much better outcomes when you work for their clients and target demographic rather than for yourself or the client.

 

Enhance Your Design Skills and Charge More for Website Creation

I know that a lot of what I just said is way out of reach for a customer who doesn't have the funds. And I'm sure many are wondering to themselves, "How do I spend so much time making mockups for such a low-paying job?"

There is a straightforward solution to this problem. Charge a higher fee! When it comes to raising costs, I understand that it is better said than done. But consider it this way: you are bringing more website design effort into your project and you are studying new development skills. As a result, you will begin to charge a little extra for each project. I wouldn't want to make a significant price increase. Making gradual strides, on the other hand, functions and is valid.

Limitations do not appeal to me. Budgets are one of the factors that can affect what we can offer our customers. I will do better and offer more by calling for a bigger budget from the customer.

To be honest, I started doing mockups for all projects when I was new and didn't get paid as much. It also took twice as long for the same tiny reward. That's why I'm guessing many people won't even bother to do the mockups first. Since it has a steep learning curve that needs a significant amount of time.

That time is an investment in your skills and self-improvement in website design. If you had gone to design school, you would have been expected to know how to use Adobe software and other programs.

 

Establish an Approach of Meetings’ Discovery

This may sound daunting and far out there if you are brand new. I couldn't imagine myself holding a conference with key decision-makers the first time I considered it. It was difficult enough just to chat on the phone with a customer. But only communicating with a customer on the phone is the beginning.

When you're on the phone with a customer, you have to lead the discussion. They've come to you for assistance. They need your assistance! Expect a customer to come to you, tell you exactly what they want, and then leave. That does happen, but when it does, you're reduced to a pixel pusher who follows the client's instructions. As a web builder, you don't want to be here and you have much to give as an order taker. You're better off only finding a job with an agency (which is completely legitimate and not a bad idea!)

 

How to Go About It

Here's a suggestion that worked for me. Also, bear in mind that I am an introvert who is apprehensive about meeting new people. In reality, most designers are introverts, so don't panic if you're feeling uneasy. You're not the only one who feels this way.

Take an hour before a meeting to map it out. Have a list of all the questions you want to ask and set up the meeting the way you want it to go. Also, practice it. It would be best if you could practice with others. If you don't have one, use a mirror. Don't worry, you're not crazy. After a while, you'll see that you're getting better and better. Your investigations will change over time. For might new client meeting, you'll start to think about better questions to ask.

A good exploration meeting aims to get to the core of the client's issue so that you can have a solution. Remember what it's like to see the doctor. People say they have a health condition and are confident they know what it is by googling their symptoms. When they go to the hospital, however, the doctor asks a few questions and comes up with a new diagnosis. Since the doctor is a physician, he or she knows what questions to pose to determine the issue. The web designer does the same thing while leading an exploration conference. To diagnose the issue, we ask the right questions. Only then will we be able to recommend the correct plan of action.

 

Adopt your Website Design Skills to Think of a Strategy

What is the nature of the design process? What are the most relevant skills and practices in your website design procedure? What stages do you go through before you start designing?

Many new web designers who use Elementor claim they start planning their pages when they're still in progress. That is, they are both planning and evolving. And the cause, according to what I've heard, is to save time. And this is where what I'm going to say may hurt any of your feelings. So that's fine. I'm here to motivate, not to condone bad behavior for the sake of other people's feelings.

You're taking risks to the detriment of your client's company if you didn't finish the planning phase before starting the site creation. When your primary aim is to develop a website quickly, how can you really achieve results for your client? And it's at this stage where you must decide what type of designer/developer you want to be. If you want to attract low-paying customers who are just out for a bargain? Or do you aspire to be a true web designer who can add value?

You will have value if you aim to help your client accomplish their goal. You'll need to plan creatively to do this. You will use it to get outcomes until you know your client's priorities, market positioning, and target audience.

 

Thinking “Strategy”

Here are few skills you can check out to support you with the website design process:

  1. Personas for users are being developed. This will assist you and your client in seeing it from the eyes of the customer and designing for them first.
  2. Using a modern modeling app, create mockups. Please don't do this in Photoshop or Illustrator. What you have to do now is practice one.
  3. Build consumer experiences. This will assist you with creating a customer journey map for your client's website.
  4. Style scapes are a form of architecture. This will assist you in deciding what the customer likes and dislikes.
  5. Develop wireframes. This will assist you with creating powerful templates. A web design tip is that each feature on a website should be strategically positioned. Nothing is there at random or just because it looks amazing.
Advance Website Design Skills and Your Worth

How to Add Keywords to Your Copy (So it Peases both Users and Search Engines)

Do you know what determines the success of online content? Does the number of users, revenue, or daily visits define it? Yes, it does to some extent,but to be exact, it is content that readers find useful and search engines rank high.

Search engines do not need your content; they need you to provide valuable content, then they reward you with high ranking. 

How to Add Keywords to Your Copy (So it Peases both Users and Search Engines)

Search engines provide the best answers to search queries. If a user clicks on your content,and then they close it immediately, it means you did not give the answer they are looking for.

Google, the largest search engine, receives above 2 trillion searches every year. With Google's highly sophisticated algorithms, it is easy to tell which content users enjoy online. So, as long as the content is beneficial to the user, Google loves it and rewards you by ranking the content high.

Content for Search Engines or Humans?

SEO is the most misunderstood subject online, according to Copyblogger. The underlying question is whether to focus on humans when creating content or search engines.

Although search engines determine your ranking, they rely on how users interact with your content to rank it.

Online visitors rely on search engines to produce the most relevant results after a search query.

Search engines focus on content that answers the user’s question. In short, people come first then search engines second when creating content. Therefore, your content should appeal to the searcher and must meet the searcher's purpose.

According to Redevolution,Google relies on the relevance and authority of content when ranking as it guarantees an improved user experience.

  • The search engine scans the quality and quantity of links pointing to your content. The quality of links focuses on whether the links are trustworthy.
  • As for relevance, Google analyses the content for keywords. How well have you used the words? Where have you positioned them on the post? How often have you used the terms?

To help guide in writing content that your readers and search engines love, here are some tips.

1.      Research

When researching the keyword, consider the search intent and the search term your target audience use. The two factors will help you create content that focuses on your audience’s pain points.

To get the right keywords, you must understand your audience’s pain points. Are they looking for an SEO agency? Then, find out the intention behind looking for the content on the pain points.

Keywords are the language that your audience uses when looking for your services. So, when you use the exact term, you speak the same language with the user, and thus, you become relatable.

Search volume and term allow you to understand the interest and pain points of your prospects. Before you finalize on the search term to use, cross-reference the search term with current content on Google to understand the intent from Google’s viewpoint.

2.      Up-to-date Information

Is the content and pages on your site fresh? Is there old content on your site? Well, if the outdated content is still valuable, make minor adjustments to boost its relevance and freshness.

Look for trending keywords and add them to the existing content.

Updating your content with trending keywords indicate to the search engines that your site is well maintained. Besides, online users spend more time on up-to-date and informative content.

3.      Diversify

Content is the currency of the online space, but there is no limitation in the type of content to use. Videos, images, and audios are also appealing to online visitors.

Images break the monotony in long-form content. There are free and premium images to choose from on sites such as Pixabay.  Optimize images, audios, videos, and the pages you embed them to increase visibility. A content delivery network (CDN) helps to maintain a low load time, which guarantees high site speed and improved user experience.

For images, add captions and alt-text with relevant keywords while you can include a transcript for your podcasts or videos.

4.      Quality Content

Search engines rank sites depending on their value. One of the secrets why Google is successful, is: providing quality search results consistently.Ranking is like vouching for a website. If the search engine has more trust in the site, it ranks it high. For a website to draw the attention of the search engines, you must have quality content that attracts and encourages visitors to stay on your site.

Google defines high-quality content as original, professionally written, accurate, and comprehensive content. The search engine rewards trustworthiness, authoritativeness, and expertise in content creation.

To guarantee high-quality content that website visitors and search engines enjoy consistently, invest in a content strategy. Come up with relevant keywords to use. Concentrating on relevant keywords guarantees better ranking and improved user experience.

5.      KeywordPlacement

Keywords should appear naturally on your content to maintain readability. Include keywords on your subheads, titles, and body of the content. Forget about the keyword density for some timeto avoid compromising on the quality of the content.

Think about what the user wants to read and the search terms they use then, write content that aligns with the two.

6.      Focus on the Pain Points

When you create posts that respond to a user’s pain point, you please search engines and users in two ways. One, search engines display your content on search results because it is valuable. Two, the prospects find the content helpful because it addresses their pressing needs.

Plain points make the best keywords.

Google results are so accurate that online searchers rarely look for additional content after their first resource.

Useful content answers a user’s questions in a comprehensive, complete, and substantial manner. Search engines love content that is beyond obvious.

To increase visibility, optimize your content for direct answers, and featured snippets. Optimization improves the chances of your content appearing after a voice search call.

Sometimes you may want to add H2 within your text to increase the accessibility of the main points. This strategy helps you to attract and maintain visitors to the post.

Conclusion

When you create content that is relevant to your readers, search engines understand the value of the content, and they reward you.

How to Install WordPress Plugins for Free

455,000,000 self-hosted websites use WordPress for their content management system. The CSM has robust features that focus on unrivaled user experience. You need to know that you can start a blog on WordPress without plugins, but with time, you will need to learn how to install WordPress plugins. The good thing about the plugins is that they are easy to install for tech and non-tech people.

How to Install WordPress Plugins for Free_

As your blog grows in terms of visitors, activity, and content, then you will need to install plugins. Due to need to improve the speed of the site, user experience, SEO ranking, amongst others, will force you to install the necessary plugins.

For people who are new to WordPress, installing the plugins might sound like a tall order, but it should not. There are three main ways you can install the plugins: via search, FTP, or upload a zip file. Only people with the self-hosted WordPress can install the extensions.

I will demystify how to install WordPress plugins by discussing the three installation methods.

How to install a WordPress plugin via FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

It is a way used to transfer computer files over the internet between a client and a server.

To install a WordPress plugin using FTP, you need to have your FTP server credentials. You can contact your web hosting company to give you the details or, you can get them from your web hosting account. The FTP server URL, FTP password, and FTP username are the credentials that you need.

First, choose an FTP application/program. One of the most accessible programs to use is FileZilla. For with Mac, try Cyberduck. The two programs are free.

Download the plugin you want to install then unzip it.

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Remember the FTP credentials? Now it is time to use them—login to your FTP account using the FTP password and username on the FTP server.

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Look for the plugin folder. You can access it from WP-content then plugin. In the plugin section, look for the folder.

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If you are using FileZilla, drag the WordPress plugin you want to install from your computer and drop it to the server. You can also upload the theme to your WordPress plugin folder.

The upload will take some minutes, depending on the number of files to be uploaded. Wait for the process to end. When the process comes to an end, the plugin is ready to be used. You can access it from your WordPress dashboard by going to appearance then plugin, you will find it there.

To start using the plugin, activate it on your WordPress dashboard. To install a WordPress plugin using the FTP method, you use an FTP software; then you use the other two methods (search and find) to configure and activate the plugin.

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Install WordPress plugins using the dashboard plugin upload

If you want to use a plugin that is not on WordPress but is compatible with WordPress, you can upload it on WordPress. Search for the plugin then confirm that it is compatible with WordPress. Download it.

Go to your dashboard, search for the plugin, and then click on the 'upload plugin' button.

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The upload method is also excellent when you need to install a plugin that cannot be installed through the WordPress dashboard. Configure the plugin settings after installation so that they can meet your needs.

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Install WordPress plugins through plugins search

Here is a clear way on how to install a WordPress plugin to your site; you can do it on your dashboard. WordPress has a search box that allows you to search for any WordPress plugin without having to go to another platform to look for the plugins.

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When you identify the plugin you want to install, WordPress gives you a chance to learn more about the plugin before installation. When you click the name of the desired plugin, a pop-up page with additional details about the plugin appears. Additional information includes the ratings, its developer, number of active installations, compatibility information, and last time it was updated.

To install a WordPress plugin, go to plugin then add new from your dashboard. The page has a few options at the top, such as featured, favorite, recommended, most popular, and search.

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The featured options are for plugins that are recommended by WordPress. If you want to install a featured plugin, use the search button at the bottom of the page.

The most popular option has a list of plugins arranged by their popularity. The most popular plugins appear at the top while the least popular are at the bottom.

Recommended plugins consist of plugins that WordPress recommends based on the plugins you have installed. These are plugins that work well with installed plugins.

As for favorite plugins, all the plugins marked as favorites appear in this section. Finally, if you want to look for a specific plugin, then you can use the search option. Use a keyword, and WordPress will provide a list of plugins that match the keyword.

Once you identify the plugin you want to install on WordPress, press the install button at the top right-hand corner of the plugin. When the installation process is complete, the button changes its label to activate. Press it to enjoy the plugins' functionality. When the plugin becomes active, WordPress redirects you to a pane with all the active plugins. This (the pane) is where you can upgrade, deactivate, or edit the settings for individual plugins.

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Why can't I install plugins on WordPress?

WordPress installation errors hinder even people who know how to install WordPress plugins from installing the plugins. The installation errors are easy to fix and identify.

'Syntax error' or 'parse error' can occur during installation or after installation. If it happens during installation, it means the error is on the developer's side. Before you decide to fix the error yourself, check other issues that could be causing the error. If all the different areas are working well, get a new plugin. You do not need to have a plugin with recurring errors: fix it for good.

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WordPress only uploads zip files, so if the file is not in the right format, you are likely to get the 'bad format' error. This error is thus standard when uploading a plugin on WordPress manually. Before reaching out to the plugin developer, confirm that the plugin file is in a zip file.

Sometimes you can get the zip file, but the contents might be wrong, incomplete, or missing. Check against the WordPress recommendation for zip file content to confirm the required file contents. Confirm that the zip file is the right on. Lastly, check whether the zip file has any contents. If the above does not resolve the error, reach out to the developer for solutions.

Memory limit error happens when the web hosting PHP memory limit is incapable of processing the installation if it is too low. The memory is set to 64M by default.

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To fix the error, open the file editor on your control panel and then edit the memory size. Add this code define( 'WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M' ); to the wp-config-PHP file found in the root directory.

WordPress has a set file size for plugins. When the limit exceeds, you are likely to get this message, "The uploaded file exceeds the upload_max_filesize directive in php.ini." To fix the error, write new code on the php.ini file on the filesize section. The correction will allow you to install larger files without an issue.

How to install a WordPress plugin from zipping?

Go to your dashboard and click on the plugin. Go to add new then upload plugin.

Select the folder you want to install then activate it. If an old version of the plugin already exists, you will need to delete one of the plugins. If you have not yet activated the plugin, delete it directly. If it is already active, deactivate it first then delete it.

Can you install plugins on WordPress free?

Yes, you can, there are many free WordPress plugins available on the site or other directories.

How many plugins should I install?

There is no set number of plugins that you should install: just install the number that helps you customize your website as you want. Sites for people who are new to WordPress have fewer plugins, but as they continue working on WordPress, they increase the plugins.

Some websites have 20-30 plugins, while others have up to 50 plugins. To maximize the potential of WordPress, ensure all the plugins follow the coding standards set for WordPress.

Should I delete inactive WordPress plugins?

Yes, because hackers use inactive plugins that have not been updated as leeway for hacking your site. Install Wordfence- a free plugin that notifies you when a plugin is no longer being updated. A lean site loads faster, so clean your site by deleting inactive plugins.

Some plugins should not be deleted, such as a secondary security plugin and a maintenance plugin. If something goes wrong with your site, you can activate the secondary security plugin, then scan the site to see the source of the issue. This is important if your primary security plugin has problems identifying the source of the item. The maintenance plugin is essential when you need to carry out a live maintenance procedure on your site.

How to Write Content That’s Optimized for Both Search Engines and Readers

How to Write Content That’s Optimized for Both Search Engines and Readers

Today, people find solutions for their daily challenges by searching the web. As a business, being found online and offering relevant help is essential in establishing your authority. SEO services in New York help you craft strategies that improve your online visibility. The plan relies on quality content and relevant keywords to improve the user experience for your prospects.

Search engines collect data on how online users interact with websites to determine which sites to rank high. Although search engines want optimized content, they are interested in the content that humans like. In short, search engines are interested in what others think about your site. Website visitor’s behavior reveals what they think about your site. That is why search engines rely on backlinks, page views, bounce back rates, etc. when ranking websites. The aspects determine if the website visitors are satisfied with the content. If the bounce-back rate is high, it means the content does not meet the user intent.

Google, Bing, and other search engines depend on keywords to send people to your site. The more people come to your site, the more it draws attention to Google and other search engines. If the engagement rate is good, the search engines rank your site favorably.

Writing for Search Engines

Keywords are essential for ranking high, but you must know where to position them. Add keywords in the following places:

  • Page title
  • Body of the post or page (three times of the exact keyword, not a variation)
  • URL
  • Heading
  • Image text (image alt attributes and image file names)

Writing for search engines does not guarantee an increased engagement rate for your content. You must balance writing content that search engines like(and rank high) and humans love(and engages with it positively.)

Here are tips to help you write content that pleases the target audience and search engines:

1.      Provide Unique Content

Duplicate content performs poorly so, how do you write content that others have touched on before? Consider looking at the content froma new perspective while using relevant keywords. A new perspective will draw new readers and leads to new discussions.

Sometimes focusing ona new perspective means basing your writing on strong and bold opinions. Bold opinions are not always celebrated, so be ready for rejection and criticism.

In most cases, the content draws strong feedback: either strongly support or disagree. Most people who write bold posts understand and have a passion for the topics.

Fortunately, most readers like, comment, link on, and share the content as it encourages engagement.

2.      Know Your Keywords

When looking for keywords, consider the user intent of your prospects, and use long-tail keywords. Let us consider ‘pediatric orthodontics near me’and ‘pediatric orthodontics tools.’ The first keyword suits a patient who needs care, and it is appropriate content for a dental clinic blog post—however, pediatric orthodontics tools post focus on information that benefits the practitioner.

Assuming the two keywords are not competitive and have a high search volume, your content objectives determine the keyword to use.

Long-tail keywords are specific so, if you use the right keyword, your content will have a high engagement rate. Also, it will rank high as search engines will love it. Do you need help in identifying the right keywords to use? Reach out to SEO services in New York.

3.      Loyalty to Rules

A few years ago, keyword stuffing was not an offense. In fact, Google was so keen on the keyword density as a requirement for higher ranking. Today, keyword stuffing leads to penalties from Google, such as low ranking.

For search engines to keep providing relevant search results, they update their algorithms frequently. So, you need to know what works today and how to implement it. There are SEO tools that you can use to check your content against search engine requirements. New York SEO experts have the latest SEO updates, so you can be sure your content will be in line with SEO requirements when you hire them. 

4.      Actionable Insights

Do you know why people are confident with Google? Because they find solutions for their issues. Content that makes tasks easier or shows how to do something new attracts traffic.

The content might focus on a new solution or explain the answermore deeply. Anyone who needs the solution will find the content helpful as it is actionable. Suchinformation is like a blueprint from someone who has figured out how to do something that gives you a challenging time.

Online users love ‘how- to’ content,and it ranks high on search engines. This is because people want strategies to complete tasks within the shortest time and with the highest accuracy.

5.      The value of Backlinks

Quality internal and external links increase the credibility of your content. When you source your content from reliable and authoritative sites, it means that the information is accurate, and readers love it. Also, your readers enjoy additional information when they click on the quality links.

When authoritative sites link to your website, search engines award your site with better ranking.

6.      Create a Pool of Loyal Followers

Remember, your content needs to create a positive impact for it to have a high engagement rate. So, even if your content is well optimized, you require your readers to comment, share, and like itfor it to become viral.  However, the posts must be optimized, unique, informative, and relevant to your audience. 

Share new posts on your social media platforms. The more your followers engage with it, the higher the chance that it will rank well on search engines.

Social media marketing is cost-effective, increases reach, generated leads, develops loyal fans, increases traffic, provides analytics for better marketing, and improves search rankings.Talk to a New York SEO expert for you to get the most out of social media marketing.

Conclusion

Keywords draw people to your site, but the quality of the content determines the engagement rate. If you focus on writing for the search engines, you most likely miss out on the content's quality. However, quality content involves the right amount and well-positioned keywords. As long as your readers love your content, the search engines will love it too. However, you must make sure your posts are relevant and accessible to your target audience.