LOVE LOCAL DESIGN

  • What is Love Local Design? What makes you guys different from other design studios?

    Love Local Design (LLD) is a full-service digital design studio catering to small businesses, startups and local organizations. Unlike other agencies, each and every one of our employees has spent time working in both the corporate digital industry AND working for small, local businesses, making us uniquely qualified to understand the needs, challenges, and constraints involved in digital marketing for small business. Also, while other agencies may try to save money by outsourcing development work to individuals outside the U.S. who are often hampered by language or cultural barriers, our entire staff is based right here in the United States, and have an intimate understanding of what it means to get a startup off the ground in our current economic climate.

    Read More
  • Who is this Björk I keep hearing about? Will she be my Account Manager for my project?

    Björk is the fine feline mascot and official “Morale Engineer” of Love Local Design. Her main job is to keep our spirits high while we are working hard late into the night to make sure your website is perfect. With an MFA (Master of Furry Arts) from KUNY (Kitty University of New York), Björk is a world class expert in her field, and her specialties include box inspecting, food disposal, abstract art, and advanced napping. Please feel free to check her out on Instagram account, “The Daily Björk.” You’re welcome.

    Read More

Web Design & Development

  • Why does LLD prefer to build websites on the WordPress platform?

    WordPress, although originally created as a personal blog publishing platform, has evolved considerably over the past 15 years into a powerful website framework, coupled with an easy-to-use content management system (CMS). WordPress is currently used by about 75 million websites worldwide, and our experience has shown that it offers the most secure, versatile and user-friendly platform for almost any website. Nonetheless, there are still a number of common misconceptions about WordPress, which mostly stem from outdated notions of the platform. WordPress offers virtually limitless versatility of design, is one of the most secure platforms available, and is the easiest for clients with no tech background to update so that their site’s content remains fresh.

    Read More
  • So, do you ONLY build websites on WordPress?

    Not at all! LLD is happy to build your website on the platform of your choice. We have experience working with a number of platforms, including Drupal, Joomla, Squarespace, BigCommerce, and Shopify, to name a few. Also, in some situations, it may make sense to choose a platform other than WordPress, depending on your particular needs and business goals. In such cases, we’ll work with you to determine which platform would be best suited to your particular website.

    Read More
  • How long will it take for LLD to build my website?

    The timeframe for building your site is entirely dependent on your needs and goals. If you’re a small business or startup who wants to launch your first website with basic functionality and a limited number of pages, we can build a site that will quickly draw customers to your business. Of course, the more complex the site, the longer it will take to build. Also, keep in mind that our process is thorough and comprehensive, and involves working with you from the beginning to determine the form and function of your site, ensuring it will meet your goals. At LLD, our aim is be build the best site for your business, which can take some time when done correctly.

    Read More
  • Can LLD also provide designs for my social media pages?

    Absolutely! Your social media properties are an important part of your portfolio and overall web presence, so it’s important that there is a consistency of design across all your networks. Social media branding comes bundled with our Premium Website Package, but can also be provided ala carte as a stand-alone service.

    Read More
  • Can LLD build a mobile app that will match my website’s design and functionality?

    We can! LLD’s designers are fully proficient in mobile app design, and have provided this service for a number of clients, including: GlucoseZone and Matchmaker Cafe. Whatever you envision for your company’s mobile app, LLD can offer a complete end-to-end solution that takes your app from concept to launch at an affordable rate.

    Read More
  • How much will my website cost?

    This is a tough question to answer without knowing more about you, your business, and your objectives for your site. It’s sort of like asking a real estate agent how much a house will cost. The price of a house depends on a number of factors: size, location, age of the house, and so on. Similarly, there are many factors to consider when providing an estimate for your site: How many pages will you need? What type of essential functionality will need to be built out? Will you want us to create and/or optimize content so your site is competitive for search engine results? Will you need integration with a mobile app? While our standard web design and development packages start at $2,500, the best question to ask when making the decision on how much to invest in your site, is how much value your investment will bring in sales, or whatever your conversion metric may be. For example, is a $5,000 website “too expensive” if it results in an additional $25,000 in sales? We understand that most small businesses are on a budget, and having a website built by a professional web design team is a big step. Please feel free to contact us and we’ll help you arrive at the solution that works best for you, your business, and your budget.

    Read More

Search Engine Optimization

  • What is SEO? Why should I care about that?

    SEO is short for search engine optimization, the ongoing process of making sure that your site’s structure and content are carefully created and updated to ensure maximum visibility to Google and other search engines. A beautifully designed website is wonderful, but has limited value if no one can find it. SEO is a process of analyzing and revising aspects of your sitesuch as keyword placement, site structure, reducing file sizes and minimizing scripts for faster page loads, link building, and meta tag complianceto make sure your site ranks as highly as possible in search engine results. At LLD, our SEO specialists are here to make this painstaking process painless for our clients, and to make sure they are outranking the competition.

    Read More
  • What is a Google Sitemap? Do I need one for my website?

    A Google Sitemap is a text file, usually written in the XML markup language, which provides Google with information on your site’s content and structure. Think of it as a “cheat sheet” for Google. When Google’s bots crawl your site, a sitemap can considerably improve your search rankings. Sitemap creation for your website is included in LLD’s SEO services.

    Read More
  • Does social media use affect how my site is ranked by Google?

    It sure does. Over the past few years, use of social media has become increasingly important in determining how your business ranks on Google. Web pages are now able to tell search engines which social media accounts belong to your business, and the number of followers and the level of engagement on your social properties can considerably contribute to your site’s “domain authority” with Google. Our SEO services include analyzing and optimizing your open graph data, so that you don’t miss out on valuable “Google juice” provided by your social platforms.

    Read More

Site Security

  • What does LLD do to make sure my website is safe and secure?

    With so many dangers lurking on the Internet, security is always of utmost concern to our clients. Rest assured that each and every site we build will adhere to industry best-practices when it comes to the security.  Some of these practices include: rigorous testing of all plugins and themes to detect any security vulnerabilities, disabling file editing from the WordPress admin area to prevent unauthorized file changes, and enabling scheduled backups.  Additionally, we install Wordfence on all our sites.  Wordfence is a powerful and widely used suite of security tools that includes a malware scanner, live traffic monitoring, real-time reporting of intrusion attempts, password auditing, and a web application firewall, preventing your site from brute-force attacks.

    Read More

Graphic Design

  • Does LLD offer print design services?

    Yes, we do! Our team of talented designers are just as experienced and comfortable with designing your business card or brochure as they are with designing your website.  In fact, our clients often prefer to have the same designers working on all their marketing properties to ensure that the colors, style, fonts, and overall look-and-feel remains consistent throughout.  For this reason, we offer a Print + Online Design Package in addition to our basic print package.

    Read More

Marketing

  • What is a Unique Selling Proposition?

    A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is a marketing concept that has been a staple of the marketing and advertising worlds since the 1940’s.  In a nutshell, your USP is what makes you different from your competitors—the singular characteristic, asset, or quality that makes you stand out from the crowd.  Your USP should be the one thing that belongs to you and you alone, something that your competition cannot offer. For example, the USP for Domino’s Pizza is “Pizza to your door in 30 minutes or less,” something no other pizza parlor can guarantee. What’s your business’s USP?  Check out our marketing services to see how we can help you discover and leverage this valuable asset.

    Read More
  • What is paid online advertising? Do I need to advertise my website?

    Paid online advertising most commonly refers to placing ads which appear in Google search results via their popular AdWords service, or to advertising on social media platforms using services such as Facebook Ads. When it comes to marketing your website, there is simply no substitute for advertising on these platforms. With AdWords, you will get exposure on the first page of search results for the keywords you specify, and have the ability to fine-tune your ad until you get it just right. With social advertising, you have the ability to market to people who have already engaged with—or expressed an interest in—your business, as well as to people in specific geographical areas, or of specific demographics (age, income, etc.) Online advertising typically offers a high ROI and the results are measurable.  Whatever your advertising budget, LLD can help you set up, run, and maintain ad campaigns that target the customers you want to reach.  Check out our marketing packages for more details.

    Read More
  • What does PPC mean?

    PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click, a model used in online advertising where the advertiser only pays for clicks on an ad that leads to their website or landing page. With Google Adwords, for example, the advertiser pays a certain amount—which can range from a few cents to several dollars—for each click.  The amount is determined based on the popularity (i.e. value) of the keywords you are targeted in the ad.  For example, if you create an ad that targets people searching for “healthy hair shampoo,” you might pay upwards of $2.50 per click, because it’s a phrase that’s searched often, and there are many others bidding for that search phrase.  Alternatively, if you targeted searches for “healthy hair care products,” your cost-per-click (CPC) may be much lower (currently ~$0.25), as there are fewer searches for that particular term, and less competition as well. The trick to effective PPC advertising is finding the delicate balance between search term popularity, competition, and cost.  Our experienced PPC experts can help guide you through this process, and create campaigns that are effective in driving customers to your site.

    Read More
  • What is affiliate marketing?

    Simply put, affiliate marketing is the practice of having other websites advertise your product, service, or website—typically in exchange for a percentage of any sale or conversion made as a result of the ad. Affiliate marketing can be especially effective for sites offering products or services in a category that has a number of other popular blogs or websites with information on that topic. By offering an affiliate marketing program, you can leverage the popularity of those other sites by putting your product in front of their audiences. This can be an especially effective tactic for small businesses and startups.  

    Read More

Product Development

  • What are UI and UX design?

    You may often hear designers and developers refer to UI and UX design when discussing your website—but what do these letters mean?  In a nutshell, they are digital industry terms, or “buzzwords” if you will, that refer to User Interface (UI) Design, and User Experience (UX) Design, respectfully.  Still confused? We thought you might be, so here’s a bit more detail on each term:

     

    UI: User Interface Design is a concept that is most often used when referring to digital products—i.e. websites and mobile apps—and refers to the way your users navigate through the product.  This can include things like placement of menus, buttons, and other interactive elements. A good UI will present your company in a way that leverages your strongest assets, and visually guide the user navigating your site. The well-designed UI should gently steer your visitors toward the action you want them to take, whether that’s making a purchase, sharing a video, or listening to a podcast.

     

    UX: A “fuzzier” concept than UI, User Experience Design is the process of building your website from the perspective of the people who will be using it.  It’s a more subjective process than UI design, since it takes into account the thoughts and feelings of people as they interact with your site or product.  As the name suggests, it’s designing the experience of your user. UX is also a much broader concept that UI, as it can encompass more than just interaction with your website or app—it can also include any interaction a customer has with your company, including customer service, technical support, the lighting in your brick-and-mortar shop, and so on.  This short video by CareerFoundry, comparing the user experience of a banana and a pineapple, is a wonderfully simple presentation of the concept.

    Read More
  • What is a whiteboarding session?

    Whiteboarding sessions are a specialized product development service LLD offers to its existing clients for an additional fee. For $100 per hour, LLD will arrange a session with one of our Product Development specialists at the location of your choice, where we will work with you to discover and develop user flows, product features, and overall user experience.

    Read More
  • What is a design sprint?

    A design sprint is a rapid development process with the goal of answering critical questions through design, prototyping, user testing, and obtaining feedback in a short period of time—usually a week or less. This process has proved effective in improving the overall user-experience, shortening time to market, and allowing the release of an MVP (minimum viable product) within a short period of time.

    Read More