CakeDC Blog

TIPS, INSIGHTS AND THE LATEST FROM THE EXPERTS BEHIND CAKEPHP

Redesigning your website? Do not do this!

From increasing engagement through to increasing overall website performance, there may be aspects of your site that you are currently unhappy with or are looking to improve. Redesigning your website may be necessary due to lack of performance or a brand overhaul, but there are certain things that you should avoid at all costs when redesigning your website.   1. Not considering risk mitigation Most creative or marketing agencies offer web redesigns are part of their packages, however, often fail to outline the different risks that you may face. Such risks include loss of data, server failures, loss of website functionality, bugs and QA testing timelines. To fully understand your risk exposure, it is ideal to consider all individual changes or updates being made and then multiply by the depth of change for each element.   2. An overcrowded home page We understand, when given the opportunity to redesign your website, the first goal is to get all of your messaging across to your potential clients. However, the biggest mistake when doing this, is to inundate the user with too much information and overcrowd your homepage. This leaves visitors confused, overwhelmed - Users make a decision on whether or not to continue browsing after 3 seconds. It is important to ensure that all information is presented in a concise manner. Perhaps investigate infographics to reduce word dense designs.   3. It’s difficult to contact you Leaving out essential contact information or links to your social sites may discourage potential clients from trying to contact you. Keep your information handy in the footer of each page, as well as on its on contact page. The contact page gives you the opportunity to include a contact form as well as other relevant information that may be useful to your visitors.   4. Not having responsive web design and cross device QA testing Your website visitors will become frustrated if they are viewing your site on a device that has not been optimised for - leaving the page lacking user friendliness. Make sure to test a variety of devices and ensure your website has responsive web design.   5. Slow site speed and lack of optimisation Having a slow site can take away any favorable first impressions - make sure to optimise thoroughly when developing your site and ensure site speed is up to scratch.   6. Avoid poor or pixelated imagery Make sure to give proper image files to your development team. Including pixelated or poor imagery onto your site displays lack of professionalism to your visitors or potential clients.   Are you struggling with any of the above website redesign issues? Contact the CakeDC team today and speak to the experts behind CakePHP

Reasons why you should consider CakePH...

In the world of so many options to build your next website, we thought we would put the many benefits of CakePHP forward for you to learn more about this great framework! CakePHP remains popular as it provides ability to simultaneously fulfill the needs of the various stake holders to a project including business owners, project managers, developers, and system administrators. But were you aware of the other great reasons why you should consider CakePHP for your next application? Build quickly CakePHP helps you (or your developers!) build quickly using code generation and scaffolding features. CakePHP is Secure The CakePHP project regularly releases updates and security fixes, as well as allowing developers to follow best practices when securing web applications. CakePHP can make your website faster Ever loaded a web page or web application and wished it was faster? CakePHP helps developers to optimise applications making them more efficient and quicker to load. Reduce your maintenance costs! CakePHP structures code in an easy to follow architecture allowing you to save money on any future maintenance requirements. Create Scalable applications Get a code base developed that is ready for expansion - grow your business without worrying if your web application can keep up. Convenient extensions Easily extend your project with components, behaviors and plugins. CakePHP allows you to expand the functionality of your app using pre-generated code or plugins from other projects meaning that you don’t have to write everything from scratch. CakePHP has a solid community and core team This open source framework has a strong following as well as a strong (volunteer) team leading it forward and making sure it stays current. With these and many more reasons why CakePHP makes an excellent choice for your next application, we recommend it time and time again. CakeDC are not only the experts behind the framework, we are also able to offer you the best solutions catered to your specific requirements. Our team caters to finding efficient problem solving approaches while offering expert assistance, support and advice from initial contact through to project completion and hand over. Contact our team today to get your project started!

Advantages of a custom site and why yo...

Custom websites offer many benefits and advantages over pre-built solutions. Have you considered a custom website or application? Working with the right team is key to success - contact CakeDC today to find out how we can develop your custom solution today! We’ve put together a list of some of the advantages that you could get from deciding a custom solution for you.

  • Being able to plan, and plan properly
Custom solutions allow you to start with a planning phase. This ensures that all expectations and a complete project scope can be decided on and approved. It allows you and your development team to be on the same page. Here is the chance as the client, to ask questions and deep dive into options with your development team.
  • Longevity
At CakeDC, we aim to ensure that custom applications and solutions for our clients, are built with longevity and scalability in mind. Getting a custom solution developed for you is a dream, but imagine that your business grows from strength to strength over the coming years - will your solution, application or website be able to cope with increased traffic, more users etc. We keep these in the fore of development solutions, ensuring longevity for your application.
  • Support, expertise and assistance
Cheaper, non-customisable solutions are often chosen over more expensive solutions. However, choosing the cheaper option can leave you in the deep end - it leaves you and your business open to vulnerabilities (hacking, lack of security, ransomware attacks). At CakeDC, we offer custom web development solutions that are tailored to you and your needs. We also offer support, expertise and assistance. When acquiring a team, be sure to ask them what they will offer you in terms of support in developing your application.
  • Alignment with your branding and business message
A custom website enables you to be able to design the website around your brand. It will impress visitors (potential clients), allow you to showcase any images, brochures or video’s appropriately and keep your branding intact. CakeDC delivers scalable, secure and reliable solutions, contact us today to get your project started!

Navigation options for improved usability

Ease of navigation is closely linked to user experience - it can make or break how the user interacts with your website. From being able to find and use your navigation menu, through to the user being able to find the information they are looking for, it is important to ensure your navigation options are cleverly designed and stick to best practices.   If visitors are having difficulty with your navigation options, you are missing an opportunity to either create a conversion, delight your customer or engage a potential client.   When it comes to your website usability, here are some things you can focus on to ensure your site’s navigation is a user-friendly one:   1.     Keep it simple While this one may sound obvious, it is important to ensure that you avoid making your navigation difficult to comprehend. Examples of this include cluttered navigation menus, disorganized sub menus   2.     Keep it predictable While creativity makes your website stand out and is great to catch a user's attention and provoke emotion, it is important not to practise creativity in areas where predictability is preferred by the user or visitor. Such as when creating your navigation menu or the placement thereof.   3.     Keep it consistent It is key to keep the theme and structure of the different pages of your site consistent. Check our CakeDC.com menu and the different pages, each page keeps the overall theme and structure consistent. This is to ensure that your user is able to make sense of the content as quickly as possible when switching between pages.   4.     Have a clear hierarchical structure Every category and clickable sub category should have a clear hierarchical structure and should be visible in your menu. Doing this gives your user a clear view and pathway for them to go to the exact page or content that they are wanting. This point is particularly important for website that have a wide range of products or services.   5.    Make it distinct Navigation options should be clearly visible and easy to find. They should stand out from other graphics, images or backgrounds. This can be done through size, color and font.   6.    Link the logo to the homepage A good practice is to link the homepage to the logo of your company on your website. This logo should be in the same place on every page. Users have a high tendency to click on your logo, with the expectation that it will lead back to the home page as this is a generally predictable behavior across websites and design practices.   7.     Always include a search bar Search bars are necessary for making your website more usable to your visitors. Some visitors only want to find information by using a search bar within your site. Offer your users a way to navigate through your website without having to go through every page or menu option.

Difference between UX and UI

UX and UI are often misused in the tech industry. Understanding the key differences between UX and UI is beneficial, we take a quick look at both. UX, User Experience Design, and UI, User Interface Design, are both crucial to a product, such as a website, and work closely together while remaining vastly different disciplines. UX design tends to be more analytical and technical, while UI is not. A basic example for UX design would refer to how users interact with CakeDC.com, where they find the navigation menus (is this as per industry norm or do they have difficulty navigating around the website to find the information they are looking for, or how to contact CakeDC via our contact form or telephone number). Whereas UI design looks at ensuring brand relevance through the look and feel of the site, keeping color standards as per best practice. UX, User Experience Design UXD or User Experience Design refers to the process of enhancing the experience that a user has with a company, its products or its services. This is done by focusing on increasing the ease of use as well as improving the overall interaction between the user and the product or service. Good user experience design translates to customer satisfaction and loyalty so it's vitally important to ensure good design is put to practice! As a UX designer, you will  need to understand your site’s users and potential users, from creating persona’s to determining user stories and carrying out user testing. A persona could be an example of a customer who is seeking more information by contacting you versus a visitor who would like to learn more by reading your blog. UI, User Interface Design User Interface Design is the look, feel and interactivity of the product, basically referring to the means by which the user and a product (such as a website) interact with each other. The end goal of UI Design is to “achieve structure, analysis and optimization of a customer’s experience with the company and product.” UI Design includes activities that range from user guides and story lines through to UI prototyping and implementation with the development team.
  While there are differences between UX and UI, there are some similarities, let’s look at these:

  • Have a primary objective of improving customer satisfaction such as improving the use of a “contact us” form
  • Focus on the user and his/her interaction with a product/service such as having an easy to navigate menu
  • Can be applied to any product
Here is an example of the planning behind CakeDC.com

We Bake with CakePHP