Why choose Three 31 Media? What can we do for you?
Our professional and creative team of designers and programmers have been creating and developing on the Internet since it’s boom in the mid-1990’s. We have a true passion for what we do and we pay close attention to every detail. You can see this passion, pride, and love for what we do in everything we create for ourselves and for others. Nothing makes us happier than working with clients and helping them see their vision through. When it’s time to go live we are incredibly proud of the positive feedback we receive from our clients when they tell us how much we’ve helped improve their brand and increase sales.
Whether you’re a brand new company trying to get started or a seasoned company that has been around a long time looking for an update, our team is always ready to help you fulfill your needs. We will work closely with you and/or your team to understand exactly what it is you do, what you need, and come up with clear goals and plans to help you achieve exactly what you’re after. Once we have a clear picture of what you need, our team will get to work while staying in constant contact with you and showing you our progress along the way. We have perfected the ability to work on your new project without allowing anyone else access to see it until you say it’s time to reveal it to the world. In other words, we will provide you a secret login and password to view our live progress so we’re all on the same page. At any point, you will be able to contact us and to let us know whether or not to make any small adjustments. This way there is no surprises to anyone and no wasted time.
The Ugly Truth About Web Design, Programming, Graphic Design, and Hosting
Time and time again we see many people and business owners trying to use free tools they find around the internet to build their online presence and website themselves. It is easy to underestimate how many fine details there are in the process and one of two things usually end up happening. If the project does get completed, it is immediately obvious that it was done with free tools and a lot of sacrifices were made in order to get the job done. Or, if the project does not get completed it’s due to the fact that all the fine details were underestimated and they got in over their head. In either scenario, a lot of time is wasted and companies and people end up calling us for help. If you do not have much experience building your own website, handling your own graphics, and managing your own hosting, then your time is better spent focused on your business and what makes you money. In other words, you are better off to contact us today to assist you with all of your digital needs. Then you will be rest assured that your brand new launch date or your relaunch will be as smooth as possible.
To give you a better understanding, let’s dig into the things that most people don’t think before getting started.
- Web Hosting: Choosing the right host and hosting environment
The first thing you need to think about before putting anything online is web hosting. Sounds simple enough right? Just go to any hosting company and pay a few bucks per month and poof you’re online right? Well, yes and no. Do you really want to pay bottom dollar for the bottom of the barrel hosting? What are you really getting for such a cheap price? What you’re getting is extremely limited hosting with penalties if you abuse the fine print.Your files are typically shared on a monster server with tons of other websites. These websites could be any type of website. Web sites that share malicious files, inappropriate material, or other things that could affect the performance of your website throughout the day and night.Okay, so now you’re thinking about getting better hosting. Now you have an assortment of new choices like Virtual Private Servers and Dedicated Servers. So, let’s say you researched the differences and you’re ready to take the plunge on one of those two choices. Now you are presented with even more choices. How much hardware do you want to rent per month?After doing even more, research for how much hardware you think you need for your particular website you are presented with even more choices! What Operating System do you want your server to run? The preferred hosting Operating Systems are not simple everyday choices like Windows. Usually, servers recommend Operating Systems such as CentOS or Ubuntu.Okay, so now you’re researching these wild operating systems and find out they are powered by Linux. Do you really have time to start learning how to configure and manage Linux servers? A lot of the heavy lifting that is done managing servers is done by command line. These are not DOS commands, they are bash commands. So, forget anything you might think you know with DOS. It’s nearly useless information in comparison.
- Web Design: Building your websiteStill ready to dig deeper? Okay, you must have gotten your domain purchased, pointed the DNS records to your web host, and configured the domain to serve pages you’re finally ready to start coding. Great! Now it’s time to start building the site out. At this point, many people are probably just staring blankly at their screen wondering where to start.Some quick Google searches will lead you to code editors and some graphical editors. For those that don’t know how code, they’re going to be inclined to use something like Dreamweaver (which is NOT free). Dreamweaver is a fine program and many people swear by it.. but the truth is, it is a crutch. A seasoned programmer and designer are going to know right away that it was designed with what is called a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor. Why? Because they write the code for you and the code usually has certain ticks and flaws that are noticeable to someone that has a true passion and love for writing code.
You’re also at the mercy of these visual editors to know how to set you up to get the best search engine results possible when you actually go live. Cause, let’s face it, if you aren’t getting any traffic what was the point of all the hassle you’ve just been through. Well, let me tell you, these programs can do a nice job but they definitely aren’t perfect or ideal. It’s better to actually know exactly what to do in order to ensure traffic to your site, but that’s another story.
- Graphic Design: Spicing up your website with amazing visuals
So, you’ve got your web hosting setup and you’re successfully building out your website and code? Are things are going well and looking pretty good? That’s awesome! But, unless you’re already a seasoned graphic designer and you’ve been implementing nice graphics along the way you’re probably thinking it would be nice to spruce up your page with some outstanding images.Uhoh, where to start right? I bet Photoshop comes to mind, and you’re right that’s a great program. But, guess what! If you don’t already have it that’s going to set you back some more cash. Or, if you do have it, maybe you have an old version and you’re tempted to just work with what you have even though it’s outdated. Now, you’ve already compromised again. Besides that, we all know that not everyone is born with an eye for design. That isn’t something that can be easily taught.Also, Photoshop isn’t the only program out there that can help make outstanding imagery. For example, our team likes to use an assortment of tools we’ve been collecting over the last 20 or so years to help make the best looking and optimized images and animations. Speaking of optimization, did you think about page load speeds? You need to be careful to use proper file types, compression, and aspect ratios to ensure pages load properly across all devices and as quickly as possible. There is a fine balance between beauty, speed, and usability.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Getting your website found on the internet
Wow, you’ve made it through all that and you’re ready to get your website in front of visitors and potential customers? That’s outstanding! So, where do you start with this? The logical thing is to start Googling how to optimize your site for search engines. Immediately, you’re going to see that this is a highly controversial and documented topic on the Internet. There are enough articles out there to make your head explode. You may even walk away feeling like you know less than when you started. You’re going to need to verify your site across various networks, adjust areas in your source code, update, test, wait, experiment, rinse, and repeat until you find exactly what starts working for you. Who has that kind of time when they’re also trying to run the daily operations of their business and let’s not forget.. lives!?So, many people turn to hiring an organization to help them with this task. But, the problem is there are so many companies out there trying to offer these services and it’s hard to decipher between who really cares and wants to help and who wants to make a quick buck. Sometimes the companies will take your money and disappear. Yes, we’ve seen it happen to our clients. Your best bet is to either struggle to learn to handle and manage this on your own or to find an agency that you trust that can help you do it the right way.If you’re still reading and were already overwhelmed by the first bullet point then it would be in your best interest if you’re looking to go down this route to hire someone (hopefully us!) from the start of the project so that everything is done right the first time from top to bottom. Then, when it comes time to market your web presence online it will be a breeze. All the foundations will already be set in place.
Many times people skip having our agency help with the hosting, build, and design. They come to us after they’ve already used an instant website builder interface and then expect us to be able to market it. It isn’t always that easy. In fact, if you’re website isn’t up to par, we will not accept your money to help you market something that we know isn’t possible. We would need to back pedal and correct things before we could even feel comfortable getting to this step. If anyone tells you differently and leave you with a bad taste in your month that something just doesn’t add up, it’s because it really doesn’t add up. They’re just trying to take your money for the quick buck. If you’re really serious about getting results, talk to us about how we can do it for you and do it properly.
- E-commerce: The nightmares of selling things online
Have you really gotten through all the rest of the process above? And now you’re ready to take things to the next level and sell online? Congratulations! This is a big step, and one of our favorites because it’s so gratifying to see people having success online. Especially, when we’re the ones that helped you get this far.If you are still looking to get started selling online surely you will start looking online for how others are doing it. Again, you will be inundated with an insane amount of results. One of the most frustrating aspects of selling online is that the tools you use to sell online are also selling their tool online. They all make their software or platform look like the best tool ever invented. But, obviously, that can’t be true and it isn’t.We have been tasked over the years to sell in every way there has ever been to sell online. There is Amazon, Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Zen-Cart, Magento, eBay, craigslist, and even selling on Facebook and selling on Twitter just to name a few ways. We can help you come up with a clear plan to integrate multiple platforms to maximize sales, but without clear direction, it would take a very long time to figure out the best route to take. The pros and cons of each method of selling are incredibly overwhelming. Just looking at how other stores are having success isn’t always a great way to tell what is actually happening behind closed doors.
With our many years of combined experience, we can tell you how to get from point A to point B in the quickest amount of time with the least amount of headaches. If you’ve already dumped many man hours and money into going the cheapest route to get online possible you may very well find yourself in a situation where the website or platform does not scale in a way to support E-commerce. This puts you right back at square one! How frustrating is that? By this point, you’d probably want all the time and money you’ve invested in this venture back. It just doesn’t pay to cut corners in the long run.
Those are just some of the scenarios you could find yourself in if don’t choose to have professional assistance. The difference between trying to do it yourself and hiring a professional agency like ourselves is the passion. If you do not have a passion for technology, servers, software, code, and how all of it works together you are going to find yourself frustrated. If time is money, then don’t waste time trying to cut corners. Contact us today to see how we can help streamline the process for you and get you a professional online presence so you can stay focused on running your business and your personal life.