admin, Author at Torc Web Design

Metasearch engines are gaining in popularity and stand their own in spite of Google’s dominance. These metasearch engines are not competing with Google or other popular search engines.

Instead, they take advantage of these search engines’ technologies and massive data to give an interesting spin to the listings or ranking formats.

So what is a metasearch engine?

A metasearch engine, also known as a search aggregator, is a tool that uses the data from other search engines to produce its search results. In this post, we explore 20 metasearch engines that aim to make search efficient.

Dogpile

Dogpile boasts of some excellent features like “recent searches”and “search suggestions”. This metasearch engine uses Yahoo, Google and Ask among other search engines for its results.

StartPage

This is a wonderful metasearch engine that combines the results from Google with its own private search engine.

Draze

Users can compare search results from multiple search engines. Touted as a family friendly search engine, Draze aims to make search safe for families.

Yippy

Formerly known as Clusty, this search engine uses filetype, Boolean operators and language restricted search. It groups the results into clusters.

DuckDuckGo

This metasearch engine collects results from more than 400 sources including Bing, Yahoo and Wikipedia to deliver powerful results.

Vroosh

Also capable of acting as a metacrawler, this metasearch engine allows you to search in any language.

MetaCrawler

MetaCrawler searches Yahoo, Google, About and other search engines and offers the ability to refine searches.

Sputtr

This simple-to-use search engine is completely customisable, fast and very easy on the eye.

Simply register as a user and you can customise the homepage you see everything you visit this search engine.

qkSearch

This three-in-one search engine allows you to search in three different ways – cluster search, blended search and split search.

Info

Info.com brings results from a variety of search engines as well as PPC directories. This metasearch engine compares different results to deliver highly relevant listings. You can search for images, tickets, video, maps, weather, hotels, news, flights, health and more.

Unabot

This all-in-one search engine allows you to choose from a ton of search engines, indices and directories for your search.

FinQoo

This metasearch engine not only allows you to search but it also allows you to summarise and even share your results.

BoardReader

This search engine allows you to search message boards and forums. You can either search for content on the forums or even forums about a specific niche.

FindSounds

This is the search engine you need when you are looking to find sound effects either for commercial use or personal use.

inCrawler

This is a web directory cum metasearch engine and works like a traditional search engine where the categories are displayed right beneath the search bar.

In Conclusion

Metasearch engines combine the power of multiple search engines to provide some stunning results. This not only speeds up your search but it also makes it efficient. You don’t have to crawl multiple search engines if that’s what you do usually. Simply head to any one of these 15 metasearch engines.

Website storyboarding is a wonderful tool that web designers use to help you visualise the layout of your website. You can get a feel for how your site will look and behave before it goes to the next stage of the design process.

It is essentially a blueprint of your website. It’s a wonderful way to represent the various elements of a webpage like navigations, images, banners, text and graphic elements. By visually representing all the aspects of a page, a storyboard makes it easy for you to understand what information goes on which part of the website and how each page will flow with the other pages.

Website storyboards are a critical component of any web design project. Here are some reasons why website storyboarding must be a part of your project.

Humanise the Design

Storyboards allow you to design your website with your visitors in mind. A storyboard helps you to put a human face on research findings and analytics data.

Wireframe

This is the most important role of a website storyboard.

It allows you to create a basic wireframe diagram of your website so you can evaluate the information hierarchy of each page.

A visual layout makes it easy for you to ensure if there’s enough space to accommodate all the important elements of your website.

User Behaviour

A website’s layout plays a crucial role in guiding the users through the sales funnel.

our website storyboard will allow you to identify all the possible steps a user can take to reach the end of the funnel to take your desired action.

While previewing your website on your storyboard, you can identify elements that will make navigation easy and simple for your visitors. For instance, you can ensure that the navigation buttons are clear and easily accessible. You can limit the number of navigation options to make it easy for visitors to take action. You can find spots to place links without making the user scroll down the homepage.

This process will help in designing a website that is user-friendly and optimised for conversions. We at Torc Web Design Ireland provide you with exactly what you want to show your customers.

Save Time

Website storyboarding can save a lot of your time and even money.

Creating a storyboard will take a few minutes. But developing the code for it can take hours. By investing a few minutes drawing even a basic storyboard, you can streamline the entire process.

You can go over the design again and again to identify any errors or chinks that could be removed during the initial stage easily.

After all, changing and updating a fully coded website can take a lot of time and increase the costs.

Control Your Message

A successful website is one that provides only as much information a user can handle at a time.

Storyboards allow you to segment your website copy and images in a manner that engages the reader one step at a time.

By laying out out each individual page, storyboards help you to determine how much information must appear on a page. Although your storyboard won’t contain the actual imagery and text, it still gives you a good idea.

In Conclusion

Web storyboarding allows you to build a website with your target audience in mind. Here at Torc Web Design, storyboarding is an important part of our web design process. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation and quote.

The digital media has pushed the brick and mortar shop concept to the backfoot as an increasing number of customers are logging on to Ecommerce sites to make necessary purchases. An Ecommerce site for online sale of your products necessitates an Ecommerce website designed for your company. For this, it is important to hire a specialized Ecommerce web design company that can create a user-friendly website within the specified budget. However, not all Ecommerce website design companies are good and one must be careful before hiring the right one. Keeping the following points in mind can help make the right choice.

Nature of expertise:

Does the vendor company have the necessary technical expertise concerning Ecommerce web design? Designing a website for a company is different from working on an Ecommerce website design as the functional elements and technological aspects of an Ecommerce website are different from a normal website design. Choose that company that has online stores as its clients and has prior experience in designing E-commerce solutions.

Check client portfolio:

Ask your agency to share its list of Ecommerce clients whose websites they have designed before. Check out the websites of the various clients for their practical value, ease of use, design elements, browser consistency, efficient navigation, effective handling of errors, fast load times and mobile compatibility. See if the features included into those Ecommerce website designs are in sync with your requirements or exceed your expectations. It is possible that you may gain some novel ideas regarding your website after looking at how your competitors’ websites perform.

Check client testimonials:

Client reviews and testimonials highlight their experience of working with the vendor. Check what these clients say about their services and intent to continue working with them. It would be worthwhile if you can contact these clients directly and seek genuine feedback about the vendor.

Charges:

Once you have selected the list of Ecommerce web design companies you would like to hire for your services, it is important to find the prices they charge for their services. Ask the vendor to suggest a quote that would include charges for each service starting from designing to updating the site from time to time. Avoid any scope for hidden charges in near future.

SEO friendly website:

There is no point in creating a website that is not SEO ready. Ensure that the developers have the necessary knowledge and experience in developing SEO friendly Ecommerce website designs so that they can be accessed on any search engine. All your efforts would end in futility if your Ecommece website does not feature on any search engine results pages.

Nowadays, website designing has become much easier and accessible than sometime ago. Today, people are able to customize their websites to make them look unique and outstanding. Yet not all are aware about the techniques available to make their website stand out from the pack.

There can be a big list of things that you can do to make an attractive and unique e-commerce web design. Here are five tips to guide anyone who wishes to make their website look better.

1. Use unique font

The artistic style of printed letters lay a profound effect on the overall appearance of a site. When analysed closely you will still notice many people using the very basics like Arial, Georgia and Times New Roman fonts on their website. You can browse for a number of interesting fonts available as they can instantly spike up your project.

2. Use subtle background image

Put up an image, texture or pattern to the background of your website. It can really give it a whole different feel. A website must display light background to get a subtle e-commerce website design. Check out new patterns and textures which are very minimal. This way you can make your site look different without making it distracting.

3. White space

In the first place, avoid unnecessary content on your website. It may appeal to book readers but it is not a catch for everyone. Try making it more colourful with images. However, if you must, make sure there is white space between certain parts of the content.

White spaces not only improve the appearance and readability but it can enhance your site’s structure, make it organized and handy. You will come across many websites that look like an ebook.

4. Display icons instead of words

Using push buttons instead of words for things that have definite icons such as receiver for contact number, location symbol etcetera, can be a great way to save on pixel space and give an edgier touch to the website.

5. Change color scheme

Changing your color scheme can change a site drastically. However, be careful on how many colors you use though. Too many will end up making your site look like kids coloring book.

Every year Google makes a number of modifications in its search algorithm. While most of these are minor, there is one major update which affects the search results in many ways. It is thus essential to keep yourself abreast of these changes to be at the top of the search results.

According to various researches much as 75 per cent of potential customers conduct an online search before deciding to buy a product or service online. A majority of these find their products using search engines and read about the product reviews. If you are interested in bringing in more number of customers to your website, then there are a few tips which should be borne in mind when hiring web design services in Ireland, a few of which are –

Using Local Keywords

This is one of the most important aspects in search engine optimization. Using keywords which are targeted just for your business will help prospective clients find your more easily when they search for your online. That said, it is also essential to have realistic expectations as it is impossible to get the rankings overnight.

Correcting Location Data

Off-site location signals have become one of the major influences of search engine rankings. Today, Google relies more on offsite signals to determine whether a business is legitimate or not. This in turn affects the SEO of a website in Ireland. Mentioned below are methods on how to deal with this –

Ensure that the name, address, and contact information of your establishment is correct on your website. Incorrect information will greatly mar your business prospects.
Google Maps provides the name of your company, address and a phone number which can be copied directly to the mobile phones in a click. Thus, a vast majority of the local traffic will come from the searches which are conducted locally. So, if your credentials are incorrect, it will greatly diminish the chances of getting a good ranking for your website.

Intentional Website Structure

This refers to arranging the information on your website so that viewers to gain all the information which they need in the fewest possible clicks. Some of these information must include –

In the end, optimizing your website from an SEO standpoint in Ireland and surrounding areas will not only help in getting better rankings but will also bring in more traffic. This in turn will greatly increase your profit margins in the long run.

Here at Torc Web Design we offer a full range of SEO packages to ensure your website is reaching it’s full potential online. Whether you are promoting a new website or a long established one, your site WILL benefit with one of our affordable SEO packages. If you’re unfamiliar with SEO and it’s benefits I’m always happy to speak to clients and explain how SEO can promote your site. I practice only white-hat (ethical) SEO, which focuses on promoting your site through link building, social media and good quality content. Keep on reading to see exactly why good SEO is a must-have for anyone who wants to succeed online.

Affordable SEO Packages

SEO need not be an expensive process; good SEO starts with ensuring your site is optimised in all the right places. Onsite SEO is one of the most important aspects to get right, once that’s in place everything else should follow nicely. I offer onsite SEO throughout Ireland at a once-off affordable price. I also offer monthly on-going SEO packages to suit every budget. Think of it like this – how much would you pay annually for a space in a printed directory? SEO doesn’t come anywhere near that cost; yet the results are much greater! Affordable, effective and the best investment you will ever make for your website.

SEO Ensures your Website is seen!

The whole point of good SEO practice is that it brings visitors to your site. What’s the point in having a state of the art website if no one can find it? With onsite optimisation, I ensure that your keywords are an integral part of your site, meaning when someone searches for the product or service you’re offering, Google is able to find you! I back this up with monthly offsite optimisation, building links and social sharing to further enhance your web presence.

Good SEO will help to build your brand

One of the key benefits of SEO is that it is essential to building your brand online. How? Well, if your site is consistently appearing at the top of the search results for your chose keywords in Google, Bing, Yahoo and every other search engine, then the natural assumption is that you’re number one for a reason! Being the best at what you do, interacting with your customers and providing a service or product that is found easily and without fuss online, will no doubt make you the strongest of your competitors.

The number one result in Google organic search (not including paid adwords) is clicked by over 35% of browsers. The number 2 spot is visited by 12.5% and the number 3 spot is visited by 9% of searchers, after this as you can imagine, the numbers dwindle.

SEO Ireland, affordable SEO with big results

Should you wish to explore SEO for your own website, please feel free to get in touch with me here at Torc Web Design at any time. I will be happy to talk with you about your goals and how I can realistically achieve them for you. The most important thing to remember is that your site needs to be found online to be in with a shot, to be the best in your field you need to be appearing on the first page of the search results for your relevant keywords. That’s where I come in; I aim to get your site not just on the first page but into that all-important top three. SEO will be the most important investment you will ever make for your online business.

In this blog post I would like to talk you through some of the trends I’ve seen in website design over 2014 and what I expect to see more of in 2015. I will be revisiting this topic over the coming months and keeping you up to date with what’s happening in the world of website design trends from my viewpoint. Website design trends change dramatically from year to year and what may have worked wonders 5 years ago may now look tired and out-dated. In my line of work I’ve been lucky enough to design sites for all manner of businesses, from small start-ups to large organisations. Understanding what’s on trend is the key to providing my clients with a site that stands head and shoulders above the competition and keeps users coming back time and time again.

Responsive Web Design

Whilst this is not a ‘trend’ as such, I feel I need to address this must-have functionality. In these times of smartphones and tablets, it’s imperative that your website is functional on all devices. There’s nothing worse that viewing an out-dated website on your mobile phone. Responsive website design is here to stay and needs to be number one on your list when you decide to purchase a new website or upgrade your existing site. If it’s not responsive, it’s not worth it!

Single Page / Scrolling Websites

‘Scrolling’ was the buzzword for 2014 and it seems to have taken root now as a staple for many web designers. Rather than the user having to click from page to page, all you have to do now is simply keep scrolling. One page or scrolling websites have a place in today’s online world; they cut down on load time and make for a more intuitive experience for users. The old ‘nav bar’ is still present in most cases…but for how long?

Full Width Websites

Full width websites were a huge trend in 2014 and this looks set to continue for the foreseeable future. Full width designs really do capture the browser’s attention and make for pretty impressive viewing on all devices. With a full width website you are making use of all the space a browser window allows you, this is perfect for those who want to put an emphasis on a product or service and means that great images get all the attention they deserve. Perfect for photographers!

Background Videos

There has been a large increase in using background videos in the past year, and once again I see this being a feature that will go even further in 2015. Incorporating background videos into your home page or landing page can really give a boost to your site. Background videos are a fantastic addition to a site that needs to rely on visual content. Perfect for those who need to showcase their product or service in a more innovative fashion. I recommend this feature for videographers, musicians, public speakers and just about anyone who ‘performs’ a service where customers will appreciate seeing them in action.

When designing a website for the first time or upgrading an existing website, it is essential that you hire a professional designer to take charge of the process from start to finish. Here at Torc Web Design, I provide a full range of web design solutions for businesses throughout Ireland and I am proud to say I have built a portfolio of very satisfied clients throughout my career. Not sure of the type of website you require or whether you have the budget that’s needed? That’s no problem, simply give me a call or pop me an email at any time.