Epic Web Solutions Lands on Clutch’s Recent Announcement

Our team is a strong group committed to providing the best web services to our clients. We’ve got well-known clients like Palo Verde or AZ Gastroenterology. We hear from these clients all the time that we’ve done great work for them. That all is great but as a digital agency, we know it’s important to be recognized by industry organizations and business research firms. That’s why we list on Clutch where clients can leave us reviews and we get recognized for the work we do through Clutch’s annual announcements.

We’ve collected one review on Clutch, and since it’s a 5/5 star review, we’re able to be included in their recent announcement!

Clutch recently included us as a top web design company for the state of Arizona. We’re so happy that our work with local small/medium size businesses has got us included in this announcement.

We’re also included on Clutch’s sister website The Manifest, as a top Phoenix area PPC agency!

Clutch is also rolling out their new website, Visual Objects, that will list web design companies and display the firm’s portfolio items alongside their client feedback.

Next year, we’ll work to collect more Clutch reviews and we can’t wait to see where 2019 takes us both in terms of our presence on Clutch and helping new businesses with their online presences.

Epic Web Solutions Recognized By Clutch As One Of The Top Web Designers In Phoenix

clutch image1At Epic Web Solutions, we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of technology, providing our clients with cutting-edge website design, development and internet marketing. Our focus on using proven techniques, along with innovative strategies, has allowed us to create a large, loyal and very satisfied customer-base.  We know that there are a lot of other website design and development businesses out there, or other companies that claim to be experts in SEO, but many are not capable of delivering on their promises or provide short-term solutions that are not capable of standing the test of time.  Epic Web Solutions is a lean and efficient web company, maintaining a focus on our client’s needs at all times.  The bottom line is, we deliver on our promises and our clients are more than satisfied with results.  At Epic Web Solutions, we are proud to be included on Clutch, a website dedicated to connecting customers with leading, reputable IT services that deliver results for their clients.

Clutch utilizes an innovative research process that melds the best of traditional business-to-business research along with honest customer reviews.  Clutch is used internationally to connect businesses and customers and it ensures that the businesses have a proven ability to deliver.  Clutch ensures an ability to deliver by weighing three factors:

  1. References and Reviews
    • As the most heavily-weighted component, honest client feedback is collected and assessed (including things like project size, project complexity, quality of completion, cost, schedule, and willingness to refer/recommend the business)
  2. Clients and Experience
    • Clutch also analyzes a company’s clients as a whole to determine if the firm has delivered to not just small clients but global brands. Clutch also analyzes the depth of experience an IT company has as well as their ability to deliver on complex projects while still creating value.  Additionally, does the IT company not only perform but actually align its experience with its stated services strategy and area of focus.
  3. Market Presence
    • Finally, when analyzing marketing presence, it must be determined if a company presents information that is clear and professional and is their own website consistent and high-quality, complete with a portfolio. Additionally, does an IT firm develop a strong reputation and authority within their chosen sector?  Has the IT company received any industry recognition or awards.  And lastly, does the company have a social media presence that reinforces their brand position and domain authority?

By carefully considering and weighing all of these different aspects, Clutch provides an accurate and immensely useful index of IT firms and website development businesses to clients, providing peace of mind that these businesses can truly deliver.  At Epic Web Solutions, we are proud to be included on Clutch’s 2016 list of Top Phoenix Web Designers, and we look forward to providing many more clients with our top-tier, innovative services that deliver tangible results.

Technology-Driven Web Design & SEO

1f515ad3-9849-4e88-873c-6697105701c5A commitment to providing high-quality, personalized and technology-driven service.  That is what you get with Epic Web Solutions.  There are a lot of website design companies out there and many people claim to have the ability to help a client with their website design, digital marketing, and SEO needs but the reality is, many are not capable or qualified to deliver on their promises.  At Epic Web Solutions we focus on utilizing industry-leading technologies, the most current SEO strategies and digital marketing techniques and, with years of knowledge and experience, ensure client satisfaction at every stage of a project.

                At Epic Web Solutions we try to be as accurate as possible in the bidding process. We like to have an initial conversation with clients and get a list of exactly what they are looking for.  To help us best determine the scope of the project, and so that we can provide the most accurate bid, we discuss subjects like a custom vs.  template website design.  Custom designs take longer to accomplish and are thus more expensive but for those who want a truly unique site that sets their business apart custom is the best option.  Additionally, we like to ask clients if they will want to be able to edit the website themselves once the website is launched.  45fa18a1-2a06-4d33-81c1-e86aeeda1fe2If so, a WordPress site is ideal because it is very user-friendly.  We highly recommend that clients opt for responsive websites because they adapt to things like the user’s screen size, orientation and platform, making viewing and use much more enjoyable and efficient.  A well-designed website is a powerful marketing tool for clients so we highly recommend that a client chooses to make it responsive so that they can provide their customer with the best user experience.  If a client chooses to make their website responsive we factor that into the scope and bidding process.  Next we like to discuss content needs with our clients.  We need to get an idea of how many pages of content will be needed for the website and if our clients will need assistance in writing the content.  Also, we need to know what kind of website our client is interested in – is it e-commerce, informational or an application?  Each additional feature/functionality need will impact the scope of the project and influence our bid.  While these questions may sound overwhelming and some of these items may change during the process of the project, by discussing it up front we are able to provide the most accurate, competitive bid possible and begin our effort of providing the best service available to our clients.

3c813c56-e8f7-45ff-b08b-6569704ea1b5Once our bid has been accepted, we like to jump right into a project with our clients.  It is important to us that we get to know each client on an individual and personal level which is why we have a kickoff meeting either by phone or in person.  We take great pride in the relationships we form with our clients and that begins with the kickoff meeting where we not only get to know a client’s unique business but their goals as a business and for their website as well.  At Epic Web Solutions, we have created a design questionnaire for clients to complete that helps clients narrow in on specific goals and helps to guide us in the design process.  Additionally, we research the competition but remain focused on defining our client’s brand so that our clients can be set apart from others within their industry. We work with clients to develop a project plan to ensure business goals are achieved while also implementing optimization strategies that help our clients have the competitive edge.
52649d8d-bdf7-45d9-9879-02dec5f5ef4fAfter the kickoff meeting we begin the design process.    At Epic Web Solutions we use a research-driven design approach.  We do not make assumptions in our design process, we use proven and innovative design techniques to ensure client satisfaction.  We give the completed questionnaire to our talented website designers who take all of the information, as well as meeting notes, and develop a homepage mockup based on what they are given. Once the homepage mockup is completed we send it to the client for review.  Here, and in every stage, we continue to communicate with clients so that we can actively work towards a mutual goal.  Our focus is to not only provide a fast, excellent website and unparalleled services but to help clients further define their brand and expand their customer base.  Our client’s brands are their identity, what their customers recognize, and their promise to customers about who they are – we help clients clarify their brand to their customers, create brand recognition that customers will know and keep returning to, and help our clients deliver on that promise to customers by extending their brand across all platforms.  While we use a research-driven design approach, we know that technology is constantly evolving and we ensure that clients stay on the leading edge of technology.  When designing a website for our client we carefully choose and construct website architecture, content, color, and typography to help best accentuate a client’s brand.  Our clean, responsive websites are consistent and compelling so that our clients are able to engage in a unique way with their customers. At Epic Web Solutions, we carefully create a high-impact design that is also seamlessly functional and outperforms the competition.

above-the-fold-top-heavy-algorithm-changeAs we work together in the design process and collaborate on each stage, we encourage clients to participate in the final outcome.  Revisions are a necessary part of the process and allow us to hone in on the best website design for their unique business.  As our client reviews the completed homepage mockup, and we progress through the completion of inner website pages, our client provides us with feedback on what they like or dislike.  We encourage clients to make either general or specific suggestions for changes that they would like to see made and we collaborate on appropriate revisions while remaining goal-focused. We communicate these revisions to our designer, who makes the updates.  We then send the revisions to the client and this process is repeated until the client is 100% happy with the design and signs off on it.  Once we have solidified the general style of the website the revisions tend to become less and the revision process moves along rapidly.  This stage of the process is incredibly important because we want to ensure that the design is exactly what our clients want, and changes are much easier to make on a design than they are on a coded website.

 

163137bf-12c6-4eb1-946b-f67eecbc642eOnce all designs have been approved by our clients, we then begin the coding process.  We give our website programmers the approved design files (PSDs), which they take and translate into code. The client has minimal involvement during this process, as we are simply taking the visual look that they are happy with and turning it into a functional website. We put the completed code onto our test server so the client can see and interact with their new site, instead of just looking at an image of it. This test site should look identical to the design that the client approved so it is a great opportunity to truly see the design come to life.

 

9ed8ba15-0468-4c4d-968e-0f36d68c7f48       During the design and coding process we may use what is known as Lorem Ipsum text, which is essentially placeholder content, until completed client-appropriate content is available.  If the client prefers, they can supply the content.  But, if the client would rather have Epic Web Solutions write client-specific content for the new website design, that service is available as well.  Our content writers are trained in SEO optimization techniques to help clients improve their organic SEO ranking.  Once content is available we fill in all of the blank pages and remove any Lorem Ipsum text from the test site.  During this process the website begins to really make the transition from a design into a finished product.  If we are remodeling an old website, we will start by pulling all of the old content from the site and putting it into the new design.  This gives us a pretty good baseline and the client can suggest any changes that need to be made. Any potential issues with formatting or layout are also addressed at this stage because client satisfaction is our top priority. SEO is not magic, it is a specific science that helps you improve your rank in search engine indexes.  It is incredibly important to carefully craft website content to ensure that it is SEO optimized so that our client’s maximize the impact and effect of their website.

 

HomeSmart Infographic At Epic Web Solutions, we take great pride in our pre and post-launch process.  Some website design companies will simply launch the website design, hand it over to the client, and that will be the end of interaction between the website designer and the client.  We believe in going above and beyond for our clients because client satisfaction is our priority.  During both the pre-launch and post-launch process we have a checklist that we go through to ensure optimized functionality, speed and performance.  We complete this checklist any time we launch a website.  We do this so that there is no need to constantly go back and fix issues after the site is live; we do not launch a website unless our client tells us to. This is much more involved than most of our competitors but it is just another step we take that we believe is one of the reasons we have such long-standing client relationships.

 

After a client’s website has been launched we do not disappear.  At Epic Web Solutions, our services go beyond launch into the post-launch process.  We leverage our expertise, along with monthly analytics and regular communication with clients to keep websites fresh, engaging and as always – a useful marketing tool so that our clients keep current customers happy and continue to attract new customers.  Our ongoing support even after a project is complete is a show of our commitment to our client and the pride we take in our work.

 

c775bb18-2ec2-40e9-bc2f-89b512104b8eWe are able to not only discuss these services with our existing clients and prospective clients, but provide them with proven results.  We have long-standing relationships with clients because we listen to what our clients want and make those goals our goals.  We do not make promises we cannot follow through on.  We carefully craft stylish, innovative, responsive websites and increase our clients organic SEO rankings through research-driven design that produces real results.  We keep open lines of communication with our clients so that we can collaboratively work towards ensuring each website is exactly what our clients want and we never launch until a site has been fully approved by our clients.  At Epic Web Solutions, we enjoy getting to know each client and pride ourselves on providing highly individualized service based on each client’s needs.  We serve all industries and all clients and simply put- our creative ideas perform and our success is measured by our results.  Let us use our digital strategy, focus on technology, creativity, and passion for what we do to provide a customized solution for your next website design.

8 things to look for in a website design proposal

When getting a quote for your next website, there are a few critical items that you should see in every web design/development proposal that you get back. Obviously these may not apply to all proposals but a good general guide for anything website design/development related.

  • How long has the company been around? With any industry, there are several companies/freelancers that are flying by the seat of their pants. You will generally get these website for a little cheaper, but you usually pay the price elsewhere (communication, delays, expertise, etc…). It’s important that you see that the company has built other website similar to yours either in industry or in size.
  • How does the company handle changes in scope? There should be a clear concise way of handling changes in scope, because the reality is that scope changes on almost every project. You want to see something like a change order, or a document that outlines the scope change process. Usually changes in scope have a cost, and that cost should have a signature attached to it so the client is always in the know.
  • What is the Cost? This is obvious. Have an exact price of what your project is going to cost. Determine which fees are optional and which ones are required.
  • What is the payment schedule? Know exactly when payments are due and for how much. Typical payment schedules depend on the size of the proposal, but are usually 50/50 or 35/35/30. Please don’t ever pay 100% of your proposal up front. It’s also very normal for companies to not start work until a deposit is made.
  • Is the company that you are using insured? Things happen that are out of everyone’s control. Everybody makes mistakes, and you need to know that if a mistake is made either by the company doing your website or someone internal to your business that you are covered. You should look for proof of an insurance policy that covers errors and omissions for at least $500,000. This protects the company you are doing business with and your company. The insured amount changes if the project is larger or there is a significant potential for loss of revenue (eCommerce).
  • Does the company have references? The company should either provide testimonials, references or the ability to check references. It’s always nice to see what others have to say about the company you are about to use.
  • Are the legal terms sufficient? The legal terms should spell out exactly what happens in the event there is litigation. The legal terms should also clarify if deposits are refundable, and who owns the intellectual property once the project is paid for in full. Once you pay in full, you should ALWAYS own all intellectual property. It’s unacceptable for anyone not to hand over assets once the contract is paid in full.
  • What are you actually getting? It needs to be very clear what will be delivered for each line item on the proposal. Single line items with simply just a name and a cost aren’t good. For example, if you are paying for design, does that come with 1 mockup or two? Also, are revisions included in this price or billed extra?

Overall, we believe these items are the key pieces that need to be in a well written website design proposal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mobile Website Design

No doubt about it, the demand for mobile web design is growing like a mushroom cloud. You want to get your business on board before you get left in the dust. Professional Phoenix Web Design developers can offer you advanced services for both web design and mobile marketing. The investment in these services will be well worth it.

The rate at which the use of mobile internet is growing is nothing less than tremendous, and the boom is really just in its infancy. Projections are that mobile use of the internet will continue to grow for years. The frenzied appetite for Phoenix Web Design in the mobile market was instigated by two key developments. The first was the onset of mobile technology. Wireless application protocol has enabled handheld devices to access the internet. As this technology becomes more and more main stream, prices drop, making these devices accessible to the greater population. In time, such devices will surely be considered a necessity, where they were once a luxury for those with extra means. The more that users that have access to such devices and actively use them, the greater the demand will be for Phoenix Web Design that is specifically suited to mobile applications.

The second factor that has fed the frenzied appetite for Phoenix Web Design for the mobile market is increased connectivity. Over time, mobile connectivity becomes accessible to more and more users as the price point drops to reasonable levels. Mobile connectivity also continues to get steadily faster and better. As a result, more and more people are accessing the internet on the mobile devices.

All this demand for mobile web access has put the pressure on Phoenix Web Design developers. Websites have traditionally been built for use on laptop and desktop computers. Unfortunately, these websites do not work correctly on mobile devices. This is primarily due to the discrepancy in screen size. As a result, websites have to produce altered layouts of their site that are mobile browser compatible.

As more and more mobile users turn to their devices to access the internet, profits will become more and more tethered to mobile-friendly web design. With greater and greater frequency, mobile users are making decisions while browsing on the mobile devices. They are researching, purchasing, booking, and reserving online. Websites that are not correctly rendered for wireless application protocol (WAP) browsers will soon be bypassed and overlooked by this large body of users.

Mobile web design providers offer a variety of services to make your website mobile compatible. If you have an existing website, they can assist you in developing a WAP friendly version. When mobile access is detected, this version will be displayed. If you do not already have a website, these developers can start from scratch and create both desktop and mobile websites to enable e-commerce for your business.
There is no doubt about the fact that mobile web access is the wave of the future. If you want to keep your business viable online, you have got to dive in now. Professional design services can provide you with web design that is WAP compatible and mobile search that is optimized to keep your business on the cusp of mobile access technology.

Interviewing Senior Level PHP Programmers

This post is intended to educate interviewers and interviewees on what I ask with my programming team to qualify candidates for hiring high level PHP developers.

PHP SECTION

Question #1:

We draw the following URL on a while board and have the candidate identify each part of the URL.  Keep in mind, we start very BASIC to get them comfortable white boarding and then slowly get more difficult.

https://www.example.com/jams/jellies/13

We ask them to identify the SSL piece of the URL, the domain name, the model, view, controller and action.  For any senior level developer, if you ask them what MVC stands for and they say anything other than model, view, controller….you should be wary.

 Question #2:

We ask the candidate to write a function that passes two variables and returns a string.  Again, this is very basic and if they are unable to do this, or take more than 5 minutes to do so you may not be dealing with a senior level developer.

Question #3:

Setup a class called Jams that inherits Jellies.

Question #4:

Please define in your terms what refactoring means?

Question #5:

Write a getter and a setter method that takes in a number with a  decimal and outputs a number without a decimal.

Question #6 (fizz buzz test):

Using php code (not looking for exact syntax) please do the following:

Write a script that echo’s the #’s 1 – 100.

For #’s that are a multiple of 3, print fizz instead of the number

For #’s that are a multiple of 5, print buzz instead of the number

For #’s that are a multiple of 3 and 5, print fizzbuzz instead of the number

This question will give you an in depth look into there problem solving skills, reasoning and there approach to coding while not in front of there computer.

HTML/CSS SECTION:

Question #1:

We draw a basic layout of a website that has a container div centered on a page, a header, navigation, content and footer div inside the container and have the candidate code the layout in html and css on the whiteboard.  We realize there is lots of ways to code layouts, we are just looking to make sure they understand cross browser compliance, standards and aren’t using tables.

Question #2:

What is the proper way to write a break tag that will validate in transitional doc type.

JQUERY/AJAX

Question #1:

Write a basic jquery selector.  Also write a small block of jquery that adds two numbers together and appends the result to a div called total.

Question #2:

Define AJAX and how you have used it in a web application.

GENERAL QUESTIONS:

We then ask them what their strengths are and what their weaknesses are.  Depending on how they answer this question we have the white board something tailored to there strength and white board something tailored to there weakness….to see how weak they are and how strong they are according to us.

This all generally takes about an hour with limited amounts of wasted time.  We are looking for programmers that can program from scratch (not looking for exact syntax but more for deficient/clean decision making.