Have you ever wondered what it takes to maintain a first-rate website or blog? Web design isn’t easy, and we know that, which is why this week for our interview series we spoke with Riz Ali, founder of the web design/development blog Downgraf.
What made you (or your colleagues) start the company/site?
I am a web designer and know that work can’t be done without any inspiration. So, I made this website for the designer community, to inspire and motivate them, and give them a new notion and idea to do something.
What do you think are the most important skills every new site owner needs to know (or have his/her staff know)?
This is the most important question you asked. Many new site owners don’t know what they should do in order to make their website well-known and useful.
- Other important thing is Website Design. It should be user friendly and try to make it as minimal as you can. Selection of color must be chosen with deep concern.
- Navigation represents your whole website. So, make it prominent and vivid so that user can search out easily through it.
- Then comes SEO. There are two types of SEO. One is On Page SEO and the other one is Off Page SEO. But I won’t discuss it here since it should really be a separate article.
- In short one must be dedicated, inspired and have know-how of making website. Let me clear one thing, You should Have Patience and Carry On.
Technology is evolving in the speed of light. Users are getting pickier and sites are being consumed in more and more devices, resolutions, and browsers. Meanwhile, the costs of running a site seem to be on the rise, with the need to monitor and manage so many moving parts. If you had to give your most important recommendations to new site owners with limited budgets, what would you tell them to focus on based on your experiences?
It depends on one’s aim, passion, intention and interest. First ask yourself, in which field you’re interested in; which field attracts you? Technology is a massive subject with many categories, fields and types that are linked. Designing is one field, networking is another field; hardware troubleshooting is different, and web developing is poles apart from all of these.
What are the tools/applications and devices you can’t live without and why?
None of them, seriously…just kidding. I can’t live without my laptop with internet, as it is source of my living for sure. It has become the most important part of my life.
How much effort do you put into Social media, SEO and traditional marketing (banners)? Which do you think is the most important and which is the easiest one to gain traffic?
We don’t do traditional marketing at all, but pay a lot of attention to Social Media and SEO because it’s essential. It’s not difficult to gain traffic, depending on what you do, but you have to work hard with patience in order to get positive results. Sharing good stuff related to your blog and commenting on niche related articles will increase traffic as well.
Managing a site is a complicated task if you’re running a brand new site on your own or have a very popular site with a support staff. In your case, how do you manage your time? Do you have any tricks that help you become more productive that you would like to share with our users?
It is very difficult to manage time, but you have to have good time management to assemble things. The trick to becoming more productive is dedication, passion, and struggling and to do what you want to achieve your aim. Doing your best is the only key to success.
In your opinion, how critical are core development skills in owning a successful site? If you think they are critical, what skills do you recommend anyone wanting to own a site know?
Core development skills are very important to owning a successful site. If you don’t know the ABCs you won’t be able to run any site effectively. Know-how of HTML, PHP and CSS are imperative. So, if you want to run a website, you must know the basics of HTML, PHP, JQuery and CSS.
Do newsletters account for an important segment of your site’s success? If so, in what way?
Of course, it plays a vital role as you need to E-mail a newsletter every week to let users know about the recent posts that have been posted on your website. It increases user engagement.
If you only had $1,000 and needed to plan the month ahead for your site, what would you spend it on and why?
I would like to use the $1,000 to promote my website in Bing, AdWords, and Facebook. This is what matters a lot.
Where can our users go to hear more about your insights?