We hope you enjoy reading the MEANit blog with all the guides and tips. If you want our team to help with your web presence click here

The articles here will give you everything you need to plan, design, develop, market and maintain your website, if you have the time required – Enjoy.

Architects Website Design – advice for an architecture practice

For an architect’s practice – why create a good architect’s website? Six obvious reasons include:

1. To look professional when someone Googles you (and they do) – so showcase your work. You would make a point of looking professional in print, so why not on the web with your Architects Website Design?
2. To answer commonly asked questions. It would save a lot of time for your team.
3. To attract a certain type of client or business and to put off certain types of unwanted client work.
4. To allow potential clients send you an enquiry 24/7 through the website.
5. To avoid losing work from existing clients who Google your name and finds someone else, who fits the bill.
6. Attract high quality architecture staff who are searching for a suitable architectural practice. How do you look when these people search for architects website

Your practice website is more than a basic tool, so do research what to buy. You have to learn how to use it to good effect or have someone competent do it for you or with you, by outsourcing some of the work, so add that resource to your plan. There are various options and each one comes with challenges and opportunities, costs and returns on any website investment. And your web presence is a lot more than just your website.

Have a complimentary 30 minute consultation about Architects Website Design with us, no obligation, just to see what you need for your particular practice. Meantime, below we include 10 guidelines, 10 questions, 10 tips and some general advice, to help you get it right first time, to save a lot of your valuable time.

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McCabe-Architects


10 Guidelines for a planning and layout of a good architects website

1. CMS – Get a website that is built on a CMS Content Management System, which makes it easy to edit. Content is king, it will decide your success on the net, so create it, add it, curate it and make yourself stand out as an authority on matters architectural. You are the best person to produce good content, do not leave its creation to someone else, unless they are competent.

2. Blocks
Get a website that is Modular, like a modular home, so that you can move elements around without needing a developer again. For example, add or move a scrolling ‘Testimonials module’ on the Home page yourself or move it to your ‘About’ page.

3. Open Source
Use a platform that is open source and allows you to move from one web partner to another. Avoid a one man band, someone who offers to be everything, planner, designer, developer, digital marketer. How many professional architects practices have just one person employed to do everything?

4. Architects Website Design Theme
Get a website that is theme based, so that you can change the whole design theme without having to create a new website. Also, this makes it easier for you to move to a new web partner – avoid any basic HTML developers who have to make every code change for you – at a price, in time delay and money.

5. Custom Design
Plan your branding, colours, content and CTAs Calls To Action before or when talking to a professional web developer, if how you look online is important to you to build your brand. Think Scott Tallon Walker, Grafton Architects, RKD or De Paor.


6. Navigation
Make Navigation simple, intuitive, stand out and logically show what you specialise in, services such as residential, industrial, commercial or community and experience or qualifications.


7. Blog

Show off your knowledge of architecture, architectural experience and useful information from the industry, maybe articles about green energy passive building or renewable housing, council guidelines or trends. Try Guest Blogging or answering questions in forums!


8. Social integration
Tie in all Blogging, Social Media and Advertising to your website content and draw people to the site – they might just connect with you by asking a question. It also helps you monitor all your web output, so you have more control over what gets seen. You can to some point dictate what people see when they search your name.


9. Maintenance
Bear in mind a website, like a car, has to be maintained and updated. It needs constant attention, security updates & patches, cleaning, plugins, software updates, apps updates and useful add-ons – but most of all useful helpful content or advice to engage with visitors, to help promote your own architects practice.


10. Budget
For a spend in Year 1 for the Architects Website design, branding, photography, CMS website, advertising, digital marketing etc and then do a new budget for year 2 for building on that platform. The higher the spend the higher and faster the return – GUARANTEED (if done well)!

Three Quick Takeaways from Architects Website Design:

1. Get good web partners, pay them to be supportive – establish an ongoing relationship in the same way you do with your Accountant or other key suppliers. It is outsourced qualified labour, ready to support you when you need help.
2. Treat this web project like opening a new office. How much would that cost ? How much attention would you give it ? Build what you need rather than buy something off the shelf at a set price.
3. Most web agencies are not good at MultiTasking. Chances are you need a 1. Domain Registrar, 2. Hosting Company, 3. Web Graphic Designer, 4. Web Developer and 5. Digital Marketer.
The good news is – a website can promote your practice, show your professionalism, showcase your work, get you found in search, showcase your work, answer frequently asked questions, save time, make appointments, take fees or payments online or allow client access.

Now you know the brief ! What is your next step ? Have a no obligaton 30 minute discussion with us to get some direction on your specific requirements.

Greentec_Architects_website

Architects websites – options for a good architectural practice website

Some architects will want:
1. a simple Starter professional looking site with about 5 pages as a basic web presence or digital postcard with contact details and general architectural services listed on one page.
Others will want
2. to expand on their architects services in more detail, to attract more visitors, to educate them, answer questions, explain terminology, to filter them and engage with them, to use digital marketing to grow enquiries. We list lots of tips here to help you plan what you need and avoid the pitfalls – contact us any time for a personal 30 minute complimentary consultation

10 good opening questions to consider before building a website for your architecture practice:

What does a good CMS Architects Website Design Cost?
CMS Business Website Design Costs for an Architects practice

From €250 to €350 per page up depending on which modules are required – Get a Free quote now. Every website project is different, so talk to us about yours, so that we can give you a proper quote.

  • Content Management System, Initial Content Entry for initial 10 or so pages, (add unlimited pages yourself free), Attachment Management, Image Gallery, SEO Tools, Google Maps, YouTube, Preview Mode, Query Form, Video Tutorial, Website Statistics and User Manual
  • Business Website Design Template subject to choice of Client or Designer
  • Monthly Support & Maintenance Options if required: Agree a monthly support plan to cover website updates, server support, and any edit requests etc or just pay the Ad Hoc hourly rate. Monthly Support
  • We work with your budget and your cash flow #gettingbusinessonline
Optional Business Website items or add ons offered
    • Content Creation – do you want us to write it for you
    • Content editing – can you edit your own text
    • SEF – making pages Search Engine Friendly
    • Image – Producing, sizing, adding to website
    • Downloads – any pdfs, guides, ebooks etc
    • Google Map – adding location pins of your building projects
    • YouTube Video – adding and optimising video of your design projects
    • Google Analytics 4 – set up reporting in Dashboard
    • Google Business Profile – We can set this up or optimise it for you

If required, we can also refer architect clients to industry specialised photographers/videographers/content creators. Or we can use our tools to drive your business and get higher conversion rates. Good ‘Independent’ honest advice for you, is our way of doing things – no exceptions.

How long will the project take?

The planning takes one week. The design usually takes two weeks, plus any delay due to revisions at your end. The Development takes two weeks from the time we receive your website content, written and photographic. Then a week to optimise and test, so usually between 4 to 8 weeks.

Could you please clarify who will be doing the work?

Our own team based here in Ireland, mainly Donegal. We do not offshore our work The developers and project managers are team members on the web design agency payroll. The designers are all local and hired per project, as they all have different styles. We match the right graphic designer with your project. All website are custom designed for you individually. We do not even offshore SEO, as our SEOs are also on the staff.

Will it be responsive and optimised for mobile viewing?

Yes, we actually design for mobile first viewing and then make desktop work too. Mobile page load speed is very important, especially since Google introduced Web Core Vitals, as an important ranking factor since May 2021.

How many pages do you need?

This depends on how many services you want to promote. It could be as low as 5 and as high as you like or need. How may financial advice services do you offer? Add Home, About, Contact and News

Who provides the written content and photos for the website?

You do. We can get written content done for you by a writer. And we can buy photos for you too if you need them. However when it comes to Financial Advice, you are the expert.

Where will my website be hosted?

We do not sell or resell hosting. It is too important to be used as a way of making a little side profit. We recommend suitable WordPress hosting for your specic WordPress requirements. The hosting, like your domain name, should be in your name and on your credit card – much like the deeds of your house.

Do we need a blog?

No, you do not. However we often recommend having one. This is to allow you add supporting content for your main architectural advice or service pages. If you have a service page called Passive House Design, then why not write a supporting blog article about what is required to get the best deal in Passive House Building. Or what are the typical charges are in relation to using renewable technologies in modern house building in Ireland in 2022.

Will we be able to update our new website after it is delivered?

Yes, absolutely. We will set you up as a User. And we will provide you with a Website User Manual. Plus you can book training with us as often as required. The website is a Content Management System and is designed to allow you add, edit or delete content.

Do you offer any kind of guarantees or warranty on your work?

Yes. Unusually for our industry, we do in fact stand over our work. We agree targets. We even offer money back because we only take on projects where we know we can add value to Architects in Ireland. We have never had to give any form of warranty refund. And why not talk to Shane or Declan or any of our architect clients.

Architects website – 10 tips on how to use the web well

10 Reasons to get a professional web presence and a competent team of web partners.

You make a point of looking professional in print, so why not do the same online?

Most people are timid about approaching an architect and they are afraid of costs.

1. Look professional – if someone finds your website you want it to reflect the real you whatever that may be. You can dictate how people see you rather than leaving it in the lap of Google search results. You can even look friendly, inviting and agreeable, at least on the web 🙂

2. Save team time – answer common questions on your website and save a lot of phone calls that are time consuming and repetitive. Invite questions and if you get some with any frequency then answer them on the website too.

3. Spell it out – ensure that the practice policy is adhered to by having your enquiries or questions answered the way you want them to be answered, rather than having team members speak off the cuff when the phone goes

4. Make a statement – by using your website to record and promote your policies and standards, terms and conditions – this will help ensure that your team are aware of them too, especially if you have any HR issues around misunderstanding of policies

5. Engage visitors – add value by offering useful information such as standard costs for any normal expenses (not necessarily your fee structure) or how much a planning application costs.

6. Help – let people find you and contact by having your correct full address, postal code, telephone number, email and functioning Contact Form

7. Provide downloadable forms – on your website as PDFs to save on postage and speed up delivery as well as providing a useful service.

8. Social – Integrate all your social platforms, your various publications, statement or comments, by linking your accounts to your website including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

9. Blog – use your blog to post news about you, your services, your industry news or your activities in the community

10. Security – ensure that your domain name and hosting is in your name on your credit card

Professional Web Services for Architects – useful ballpark estimates below as a guideline only

 

OptionsSimpleBusinessEnterprise
Pages5+10+Unlimited
Home pageYYY
About pageYYY
News pageYYY
Services pageYYY
Contact FormYYY
Pay ButtonYYY
Facebook integrationYYY
CMS Content Management SystemYYY
Mobile responsiveYYY
Design themeYYY
eMail redirectYYY
Google AnalyticsYYOptional
Basic SEOYYOptional
ManualYYY
Open sourceYYY
Page Builder with Drag n DropYYY
TrainingNYY
GalleryNYY
Blog dynamicNYY
Newsletter integrationNYY
Survey/PollNYY
Events CalendarNYY
ForumNNN
ShopNNN
Member areaNNN
Supportemail 72 hoursemail 48 hoursemail 24 hours
Monthly SupportOptionalOptionalOptional
Hosting monthly 3rd party1020POA
Custom designPOAPOAPOA
Digital MarketingPOAPOAPOA
Hours in for Senior Developer3050POA
Price estimate30005000POA
Book NowBook NowBook Now

Note:
Remember to include a page for your Privacy Policy, Terms and Conditions and Social Media Policy. 

Do you want more traffic?

Hi, at MEANit we help 40 ‘Professional Services Businesses‘ to be effective online annually. Will your business be one of the 40 in 2022?

MEANit-Web-Design-Agency-Michael-MacGinty

Written by Michael MacGinty

Michael is a well known speaker, author and coach on how to use the web to grow a business. He is also WP Elevation certified as a Digital Business Consultant.
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Essentials Website

Get a clean, fast, mobile friendly, custom designed website that ticks all the boxes. By focusing on the essentials we can get you an online presence that makes a big positive impact on your business without investing a fortune initially. Build your brand and grow your audience with a Mobile-friendly, WordPress website typically 5 to 10 pages, along with all the training provided, so you can grow your site yourself over time, adding your own content and Search Engine Optimisation to get you found in Google search results over time

Best suited for:

Small firms, practices or businesses, who need a high quality custom design website without needing any large initial investment, but a platform that they can build upon over time.

Intended to get you online and give you a platform to start building your brand.

Includes simple Brief or Plan & Wireframe or Layout, Custom Graphic Design, Website Development of typically 5 to 10 pages, Initial SEO Search Engine Optimisation and Training.

From €4,800

Optional items include: Keyword Research, Keyword Mapping, Competitor Analysis, Monthly Support Plan and ongoing SEO services.

Custom Website

Let us get you noticed with a totally custom designed, fast loading website built to your specific needs. Then we can engage your target audience with unique page layouts perfect for feature content and focused landing pages. Training is provided with this custom designed WordPress website, typically 10 to 30 pages – this allows you to make all the changes you want.
And we can add in the critical Search Engine Optimisation, so your website ranks well in Google. Plus a full written plan for your team to follow..

Best suited for:

Medium-sized firms, practices or businesses who need a quality custom website and a marketing plan along with some ongoing help every month to generate the leads they want

Intended to make you more effective online and build upon your brand at a steady pace.

Includes Brief or Plan & Wireframe or Layout, Custom Graphic Design, Website Development of typically 10 to 20 pages, Initial SEO Search Engine Optimisation and Training.

From €6,000

Optional items include: Keyword Research, Keyword Mapping, Competitor Analysis, Monthly Support Plan and ongoing SEO services.

Strategic Website

You probably have an underperforming website, but realise you need a better web presence. One that will consistently generate the ideal pre-qualified leads and work you really want.
However, you do not have the team time to be doing all this digital marketing stuff. So you want some expert help.

Lets start with a meeting, then we can write up a digital strategy or plan, to ensure we set some agreed goals or targets for us to deliver for you.

Best suited for:

Growth focused medium sized firms or practices, who want to outsource all the website management and digital marketing responsibility to a competent, reliable Irish team, who will generate the new business.

This allows your whole team to focus on what you do best. Results Guaranteed by us!

Includes Brief or Plan & Wireframe or Layout, Keyword Mapping, Competitor Analysis, Custom Graphic Design, Website Development of typically 20 to 100 pages and Training, plus SEO Search Engine Optimisation.

From €9,500

Optional items include: Monthly Support Plan and ongoing SEO services.

A Web Presence Checklist, for the senior partner

12 things to oversee the web presence for your legal practice

LinkedIn including company profile page and personal profile for you and all employees. Post some articles about your services, giving some useful advice, sharing insights or sharing industry news. Connect with logical potentially good connections. No sales pitch, just hello with a short line to make the connection, like swopping a business card at a networking event. Read our Linkedin Guide.

Facebook – keep it a basic entry for the practice just to turn up in Facebook in search or get reviews. You could use it to get reviews from people who spend a lot of time on this platform. Or use Facebook to advertise your services, if it is right for your target market.

Website focusing on the services that you want to specialise in, the ones that make you the most margin and that you are happiest to deliver. Bear in mind that you can offer services that you do not personally have to deliver, but make you margin. You do not have to deliver you do not necessarily have to be involved in the process whatsoever. Who is responsible for your SEO Search Engine Optimisation? Read our Guide.

Include SSL – This is the little padlock that appears on the top left corner, to indicate the site is safe. This is not just for eCommerce websites.

Google Business Profile – Have you got one? Is your Google Business Profile profile populated, as in photos, service details, opening hours, blog items, reviews. Independent Google Reviews are fuel for your practice. Get as many as you can. Remember to reply to every single one of them. These are happy clients or people who are in need of attention. Read our Guide.

NAP – Include nap NAP everywhere that you write your address, search Google to see where you appear and ensure the NAP is exactly the same everywhere, including the Eircode.
Do any Google search of your name in an ‘Incognito window’ to see what people see on their computer when they do a search of your company. Whilst you’re there also do a search for solicitors in your town or area. Also do a search for the legal services that you want to promote in your area. Such as conveyancing in Dundalk or conveyancing solicitors in Dundalk.

Recruitment – Your website can also be used for finding new team members, rather than going through the expense of recruitment agencies. This tactic would generally be known as being a part of your overall content marketing strategy. This is where are you create content on your website that will attract people who are looking for certain things. Whether that be a specific legal service or a job in a legal practice that looks attractive to them.

Google Page Insights is a tool that is free and will give you an idea of the speed of your website. Google gives a lot of weight to a fast loading website, especially on a mobile view. Websites are being measured by Google more and more for their mobile view as a key metric.

Google analytics is also free and will give you an idea of the number of people travelling to your website visiting your website on a monthly basis. Use the overview to see how many people visit your website on a monthly basis to see if it’s going up or down. Google Analytics is a great tool but having a high numbers visit your website does not guarantee a conversion to a customer. In order to get conversions you continually need to add content and optimise content and compete with whoever your competitors are. A very simple search for a legal practice in your area will show you who is ranking number 1, 2 or 3. These are the competitors or people you’re competing with, so you need to be better than them. Read our Guide.

Google – With Google Ads you can spend a fortune easily. So if you want to use this platform, get to understand it or engage a specialist. It can be very useful in the short term or to use whilst you are working on your website and SEO. Read our Google Ads Guide.

Conversion. However, bear in mind even if you are number one and you get click through so people visit your website when they land on a page on your website. You have to work on the content in order to get them to convert from visitor to customer. This is your user experience as in UX through your User Interface referred to as the UI.

Reports – Ensure someone is producing a monthly report to measure the numbers. As Peter Drucker said “What gets measured gets managed — even when it’s pointless to measure and manage it, and even if it harms the purpose of the organisation to do so”. Ensure you get a Google Analytics report. And ideally have a report created, so that you can see the numbers at a glance.

Conclusion:
As a senior partner you do not need to do all of this work. This is not what you’re qualified to do and could be way below your paygrade. Unless you engage someone who can deliver a high return in the long term and needs to be well compensated in the short term. Get a proper Digital Marketing Plan drawn up.

However, somebody has to do the work. It would be good if you could use some of these tools to see if the person, practice manager or web agency is doing a good job with your investment.
The bottom line is the practice should be kept busy. And ideally be able to recruit enough staff to deliver services. As a senior partner if you allocate a half hour every month to review these basic reports, you will then be in a position to see what is being done on your behalf.

Read the monthly reports from your Digital marketer. And if needs be, have a conversation about what needs to be improved. The Digital marketer will need a budget to do the search engine optimisation or create graphics for the website. And possibly doing advertising on LinkedIn or Facebook or anywhere where your potential customers are hanging out. Without sounding like an ambulance chaser you can have your content found when people do a search for chiropractor or osteopath or bad back or medical negligence. Get ahead of the curve.

How much time, hassle and money would it save you to have any and all advertising done online through your own website by a competent specialist agency?
Also posted here.

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