Category: Barcelona

Is it time to redesign my website? (part 1)

I want to redesign my website! Whether you live in a fast paced city like Barcelona or prefer a more relaxing environment to conduct your business, keeping your website current is as important as a shop keeper maintaining  their window display fresh.  The good thing is, that, just like in a real store, you do not always have to ditch your old website. Many changes in functionality and form can be done either by you or by a web developer/designer at a low cost compared to creating a new site.

I have broken down this post into five obvious things and five not so obvious things to consider when asking the question “should I redesign my website?” Here we go:

Flash

I said these would be obvious! If your site still has flash elements on it, chances are someone has notified you that they can’t see your page.  Apple plain refuses to include flash support on ipads and iphones, so anyone using those will not be able to see your site.  Also, Firefox users are hit with warnings and have to allow the site to be viewed despite the warnings.  That definitely does not inspire confidence when one wants to view a site and, perhaps, purchase something from it.

You can replace most flash elements you have using html, css, javascript and/or jquery.   I’ll get into tips on how to upgrade on your own in my following posts.

Mobile friendly

Captain obvious strikes back.  If you haven’t heard of responsive design you probably wouldn’t be viewing a page such as this. The mobile tipping point occurred in 2014 where the amount of people using mobile devices surpassed desktop users for their media consumption.  Mobile web browsing is also increasing every year.

Depending on the structure of your site, adapting your site to a mobile friendly framework may not be difficult and would cost less than a new design.

Is it time to redesign my websiteDifficulty updating and maintaining your site

If you need to call someone to add content to your page, you are wasting your time.  Things such as adding blog posts, photos, adding users, editing forms and creating menu links should be handled by you, or even better, by one of your employees.  A content management system (CMS) such as WordPress could make your life a lot easier.

Again, hooking your site to a CMS could be a more viable solution than creating a brand new site.

You are embarrassed of your website

When people ask you for your address, do you reply by saying “it’s www.kick-ass-awesome.com!” or do you make up excuses about how you haven’t worked on it or it isn’t up to date. Even if you do not sell products or services through your site and your site serves as little more than an online business card, there is no reason you should not be proud of it.

Sometimes it takes just a few adjustments to breathe life back into your website.

Because you want to

We buy a nice suit and five years down the line we want to get a new one.  It’s no different for a website.  You might be bored of the design or you might want to change your logo. Maybe you want a fresh start for your business.  A redesign or an upgrade of the site could give your business a boost!

So, do I redesign my website?

Today I examined five obvious things to consider when thinking about redesigning your website, in subsequent posts, I’ll talk about other less obvious reasons and talk about specific fixes that you yourself can do.

Here at Winzyweb we can inspect your website and make recommendations for free with no obligation on your part.  Contact us and we’ll get back to you with ideas to make your site look great.

Check out part 2 with some less obvious reasons to upgrade your website.

Barcelona artist website – Cynthia Fusillo

barcelona artist

A Barcelona Artist

When I was first contacted to create this site, I jumped on the occasion. Here I was, getting started in this highly creative city and the opportunity to somehow be a part of it was something I couldn’t miss, so I got started on making this Barcelona artist website.  The results are are very satisfactory.  You can read about my process for making websites for artists in my two part entry here and here.

Cynthia was great to work with and in the end we created an archive of this prolific artist’s work.  The work speak for itself, so please have a look here and judge for yourself.

Web design for artists (Part I)

Artwork by Farida EL Gazzar
Artwork by Farida EL Gazzar

Web design for artists is a lot of fun. In this job you get to meet lots of people who do many different things, from bakers to tour agencies to fat loss pill manufacturers to piano tuners.  This is especially true here in Barcelona, where everyone is doing everything. However, creating a website for an artist is at the same time a humbling and tremendously exciting experience. You realize right away that web design is a craft, not an art, that first moment you enter a studio.

Web Design for ArtistsDesign-wise, you teach yourself to keep yourself out of the way. You don’t want the website viewer to say, “What a great website!” you want the user to say, “What great works of art!” That’s not to say you should just make a white website with no design. Doing that could get you a, “What great works of art, too bad the web site is horrible.”

You need the website design to be as simple as possible yet at the same time accent the work and have a concise UI to make sure the paths the artists wants the user to take, are taken. Here is what I consider the main things to pay extra care about when thinking about web design for artists.

IMAGES

The images must be perfect. Only top quality photos can be used. Unless you are also a photographer, I suggest you hire one. You need to have the lighting and white balance perfect. The framing might actually be easy in many cases but only go for it if you have very tight technical skills and very good equipment.

In addition, you need to consider the photo layout. That is where your personal style comes in. Personally, I prefer large thumbnails to go with a large images. The bigger the better. I put the descriptions right on the large images.

STRUCTURE  

There are certain elements a website for an artist must have, and these are:

BIO: The artist’s story told by someone else. This does not differ from most other personal websites.

ARTIST STATEMENT: This is the artist in his or her own words. This is where the artist can explain the art. A place to explain and support his work. For people in the art world, this is obvious, but for us designers, it is good to know this beforehand.

GALLERY: The reason the website exists, the gallery. What you have to think about is how you will structure the gallery. Will it be done by theme? By type of work (painting, sculpture etc)? Chronologically? All three? There is no right answer, but whatever you choose , pay extra care to have it follow a logical order.

EXHIBITIONS:  Where has the artist’s work been featured? List the galleries, provide as many links as you can. Highlight a special event that is important to the artist.

PRESS: If anything has been written about him, include it here.

CONTACT: A standard contact for is all you really need.

Read the continuation about web design for artists, I will get into how to deal with helping sell the artwork and how to deal with social media (it’s not as straightforward as it sounds).

 

 

 

Multilingual websites – Best Practices

A Multilingual website is a must for anyone who wants their message to reach people who live in other countries and/or speak different languages.  Learning best practices for multilingual websites is even more important here in Barcelona considering that having a trilingual site is often needed.  There are certain things to consider when making multilingual site such as the directory structure, how to index your site correctly for search engine crawlers, and certain things you must avoid.  Also, you may be a great English content writer and speak Spanish very well, but are you also a good Spanish content writer?  There are many local content writers and I highly recommend Enredame if you think you need a hand.

TYPES OF MULTILINGUAL SITES

Case A  You have two different pages and on each page there is completely different content.

Case B  You translate the main parts of the page such as the menu, footer and perhaps the wide widgets.  The main content remains in the original language. An example of this would be an e-shop selling shoes and a customer leaves a review.  When viewed on the page with a different language the customer’s review would remain in the original language.

Case C Pages that are almost identical but include regional differences.  An example is THIS site I created which displays British English vs. American English depending on where the page viewer is located.

 

STURCTURING YOUR MULTILINGUAL WEBSITES URLs

You have several options in terms of how your multilingual websites will be structured, each having their advantages and disadvantages depending on how much time and money you wish to spend.  For a business that either has webmaster or the resources to hire outside help, several Country Code top level Domains (ccTLDs) is the best option, for all others the choice is up to them.

 

StructureExampleProsCons
ccTLDs

Country Code top Level Domain

www.boats.com

www.boats.es

Clear targeting.

Easy to separate sites

 

Expensive to register and maintain separate sites

Involves more coding since you are creating multiple websites and not simply translating parts of a site.

 

gTLDS

Generic Top Level Domains with Subdomains

Es.boats.com 

Easy to setup

Use Webmaster tools to target region

Easy to separate Sites Can use different server location.

 

May involve more maintenance than Domains with subdirectories if site installed over many servers
gTLDS

Generic Top Level Domains with Subdirectories

www.boats.com/en

www.boats.com/es

 

Easy to setup

Use Webmaster tools to target region

Easy to separate Sites

Low maintenance due to being on same host

 

Single server location


INDEXING YOUR MULTILINGUAL WEBSITES

If you’re going to localize, the best practice for multilingual websites are to make them easy for Googlebot to crawl all language versions of your site. You should have cross links to each page in different languages.  In other words, the page http://www.boats.com/prices.html should have a link to http://es.boats.com/precios.html. This way an English speaking user who lands on the Spanish page is only a click away from the same one in English.

MARKUP

This is the markup you would have to include in the HTML of each of these pages to inform Google that they all concern the same thing and that they are NOT duplicates of each other.

In the example above the first line is the main page, a non-language dependent page, for example a page in which the user choses which language he wishes to view the site in.

The second line indicates that you want to return  http://www.boats.com/page.html to be found by people searing in google.com.

The third line indicates that you want to return http://es.example.com/pagina.html when users search though google.es and the fourth that you want http://cat.example.com/pagina.html for users using google.cat.

 

DO NOT

Duplicate content

Just don’t do it.  It will interpreted as spam and you site will be punished.  Make sure you have included the hreflang tags in each page.

Auto translate

It may seem obvious, but it is not recommended to allow automatically translated to be indexed. The whole idea of having a multilingual website is to connect with users of different languages.  If you don’t have the translation of a page, leave it in English and if the user wants, they can paste it into a translation program.   Don’t run the risk of the user thinking you are a horrible writer.

Conclusion

Making multilingual websites is not easy, however, if you have general web design knowledge and gusto, you can create one.  As always, my company, Winzyweb, is always here to help you out.

 

 

Restaurant website in Barcelona – What makes a good one

The restaurant business in Barcelona is huge and the competition is fierce. It is highly competitive everywhere, I know because I come from a family of restaurant owners. You need a solid marketing strategy to create a buzz to get the word out. The best way to do this is with an attractive restaurant website and a presence on all the major social sites that people use to find places to eat. Given the fact that tourism is so important here in Barcelona, it is imperative that the website and all social media placement is in perfect English as well as Catalan and Spanish.

There are several elements needed to make a great restaurant website.

  • Responsive/mobile friendly

icon-boost93 percent of restaurant customers make their dining decisions the day of the visit

63 percent of mobile customers state that mobile apps are “important in helping them decide where to eat near home”

83 percent say their smartphone helps them find a restaurant when traveling
*All statistics above reported by JiMobile / NinthDecimal

The importance of having a restaurant website that be viewed on mobile devices cannot be over-stressed. A group of friends that finds themselves in Poble Sec and wants a drink or a bite to eat will take out their phones, go to Yelp! and see what is close by that looks good and other have said is good.

  • Your Story
    A description of your place. What you are all about? Are you a trendy tapas joint? Are you a Chemistry Professor who got tired of his day job and is now mixing gin and tonic? Write about it. Your customers will appreciate it. It breathes life into your restaurant website.
  • Menu
    Let everyone in Barcelona and beyond know about the food you are making. It is important to have excellent photos to demonstrate how good your food is. If you have the equipment and the patience and skill, take them on your own. If not, hire someone or let us at Winzyweb help you out. We have several food photographers that we work with.   Descriptions of the food are also important. You may list prices, specials, and nutritional information if you wish.
  • Contact Info
    It seems obvious but I have encountered restaurant pages that were missing either their address, a map, phone number, hours of operation and/or email address.
  • Gallery
    A gallery of what your restaurant looks like, of people having fun and eating, of your staff, of you! Customers like to have an idea of what type of place you have, and while you could describe it in words, a gallery will leave a better impression
  • Extra Pages
    Depending on what type of restaurant you own you may want to include a page with upcoming events (with a newsletter for your fans). If you take reservations, a page to handle reservations will save you a lot of time. We have  provide the latest in reservation management software for your business. You might want to provide online ordering of food for pickup or delivery. Or perhaps you work with an outside service such as http://www.neveraroja.com , we can seamlessly connect your site to their services.
  • Presence on restaurant apps and social media
    You need to make sure you have a storefront that you have created on Yelp, Tripadvisor, bcnrestaurantes.es, restalo.es, foursquare, Google My Business and others. Your restaurant might already appear on those pages just from customers that have visited and posted on those sites, but if you do not claim them and edit various details you could be getting shortchanged. Facebook is important, if only to have your store searchable, and it, along with Twitter, can be a great tool for promoting your restaurant. Instagram is another useful tool for the restaurant business.

Having online presence is a great opportunity to reach out to your target market. If you want to create a new website or plan to redesign your existing one but you need help in building a beautiful and organized website, you can contact us here at Winzyweb and we can offer you an affordable restaurant package deal which includes a web site and the creation of various social media sites, or you can opt for our custom solutions including the creation of the web site along with everything that can go along with it, from photo sessions to expert content writing.

 

Getting started in Barcelona

For me, Barcelona is the last stop of a 20 year tour of the continents. Great food, excellent weather, friendly people, incredible architecture. A trend setting city with great designers artists, chefs combined with an offbeat street vibe. It is no wonder so many people move here hoping to get away from the life they live in. And many of those who do, kill two birds with one stone. Statements such as “I’m moving to Barcelona AND I’m going to work for myself” have been said and followed through by many people, and many have succeeded. There are those who are afraid of starting in a foreign country but I always felt that entering a new culture is an advantage when starting business. You are not constrained by many of the social norms which, as a result, has you doing something that is not normally done but which works out well. People are generally interested in knowing foreigners and with a little effort you can make many local connections quickly. On the other side you can also meet many expats who are always willing to expand their circles.

You have made the decision to move here and start your business, or you already live here and your business is a reality. Like you, I came here to set up my business designing web pages and help build others do the same. Everyone knows that a good web design is a must. But there is more to it. A mobile first webpage is the future, so is a responsive site fully integrated with all relevant social media. I will talk about the various aspects of an online presence such as the costs of a web design in Barcelona and elsewhere, choices of whether to target local or expat customers, the importance of offline networking, design trends, the benefits of WordPress and many more topics of interest.

Are you ready for a new website?

Yes, let's start!