Author Archives: Kaiste Ventures

Top 10 ways to choose a web design agency

Top 10 ways to choose a web design agency

Choosing the best website design company for your small businesses can be difficult. Just going to Google and typing in “web design company” can bring back thousands of options, that at face value, all look the same.

You’ll probably try to narrow your search (maybe by taking the top 10 listed in Google), and start looking at each portfolio. This is a great start, but will only give you a partial picture of the value they can provide in growing your business.

So, in addition to viewing their portfolio you should find the answers to the questions below. Getting solid answers to these 10 questions can help minimize the risk that your website design project will have issues, go over budget, or provide little value for growing your business.

Questions To Ask Before Signing A Web Design Contract

1. What is the all inclusive cost of the project?

There are usually two types of contracts, hourly and project based. As a small businesses you probably don’t have a huge budget, or one that can absorb hidden costs and fees, so you want to find a company that has project based pricing.

You’ll want to make sure you get a final cost for the project prior to signing the agreement so you’re not hit with additional costs.

2. How long will it take?

There are always unforeseen obstacles that will delay a project’s completion – this is normal and should be planned for.

Make sure you get an estimated timeline from your web design company, and monitor it throughout the project to make sure your design stays on track.

3. Is SEO and Content Strategy included in the price?

Most design agencies don’t include these important factors in their website designs.

If they don’t, we recommend hiring an SEO company to work closely with the company building your website throughout the site design process.

4. Is both development and design included in the cost?

There have been many times that we’ve worked with a small business who thought that when a company said they were going to “design them a new website”, that it meant they were designing and coding the website – this was not true. They web design company simply handed over the designs, and the small business then had to pay someone to build and code the website.

Make sure both design and development is included in the cost of your website design.

5. Can I get a list of people who will be working on my website, and their role in the company?

It is vitally important to know who will be working on your website and what their role in the company is. We talked about this in our article “7 questions to ask when hiring an SEO company“, and it’s just as important with your website design project.

You’re website is the face of your business and it takes only 50 milliseconds for a user to judge your website, so making sure you have the right designers and developers building your website is important.

6. Will my website be built upon a responsive framework?

Google uses mobile friendliness as a ranking factor, and users want to visit and buy from a website that works well across all devices.

Make sure your website design company is building your website on a responsive framework.

7. Do you outsource or use freelancers for your projects?

This goes along with knowing who will be working on your design.

Make sure that you are not sold on a company, only to find out they are going to outsource your design and coding to someone else.

8. Is there a transition plan included?

As we have mentioned many times, making sure you have a transition plan in place during a website redesign, is key to maintaining traffic and sales when your new website goes live.

If your website design company does not include a transition plan, make sure you hire a company that is versed in transition planning during the web design process.

9. What platform will be used, and will I be able to edit the content?

There are many platforms (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Home-grown content management systems, etc.) that can be used as the framework for your website.

Make sure your web design company tells you exactly what platform they are going to use, and if you’ll be able to edit the content without the need for help from them.

10. Is there training provided to use the CMS?

Make sure that if they are using a CMS, that they provide training on how to add and edit content.



The trench-digger story

The trench-digger story

This is adapted from (apparently) a true story.

An elderly couple retired to the countryside – to a small isolated cottage overlooking some rugged and rocky heathland.

One early morning the woman saw from her window a young man dressed in working clothes walking on the heath, about a hundred yards away. He was carrying a spade and a small case, and he disappeared from view behind a copse of trees.

The woman thought no more about it but around the same time the next day she saw the man again, carrying his spade and a small case, and again he disappeared behind the copse.

The woman mentioned this to her husband, who said he was probably a farmer or gamekeeper setting traps, or performing some other country practice that would be perfectly normal, and so not to worry.

However, after several more sightings of the young man with the spade over the next two weeks the woman persuaded her husband to take a stroll – early, before the man tended to arrive – to the copse of trees to investigate what he was doing.

There they found a surprisingly long and deep trench, rough and uneven at one end, becoming much neater and tidier towards the other end.

“How strange,” the old lady said, “Why dig a trench here – and in such difficult rocky ground?” and her husband agreed.

Just then the young man appeared – earlier than his usual time.

“You’re early,” said the old woman, making light of their obvious curiosity, “We wondered what you were doing – and we also wondered what was in the case.”

“I’m digging a trench,” said the man, who continued, realizing a bigger explanation was appropriate, “I’m actually learning how to dig a good trench, because the job I’m being interviewed for later today says that experience is essential – so I’m getting the experience. And the case – it’s got my lunch in it.”

He got the job.


(initiative, self-development, making things happen, career advancement, how to get a job requiring experience when you have none)


(Adapted from a suggestion – thanks R Columbo)

The Web Design Trends Dominating 2015…

The Web Design Trends Dominating 2015…

Web design has come a long way since the under construction GIFs and marquee scrolling of the GeoCities days. Back then, we could not have imagined what the biggest design trends would be in 2015.

Top Four Design Trends

In all the sites I analyzed, there were four particular features that were prominent and that most or all of the sites had in common: A responsive layout, a list-style blog, CSS3 animations and bright colors.


With mobile browsing steadily becoming more prevalent, it’s no wonder the top design feature is responsiveness.

These stats make sense when you consider 62% of companies that created responsive sites increased their sales, according to Econsultancy. That was back in 2013, but the stats have not changed – in fact, they have grown.

According to We are Social’s report called Digital, Social and Mobile in 2015, 51% of the world’s population uses mobile phones and 31% of the internet’s usage comes from smartphones.

In February, Google announced it would provide a boost to search engine rankings for responsive sites. In the company’s FAQ, there’s further explanation that sites designed for only large screens may see a significant decrease in their search rankings.

Each of the sites I analyzed weren’t simply functionally responsive, they had a specific layout designed for optimal viewing on mobile devices – visitors would not miss out on any content while using their smartphones or tablets.

Trends Coming in Fast and Furious

There are several trends that are also becoming more and more prominent, including full-width page sections, sticky navigation, one-page themes and well-placed parallax scrolling.


Full-width page sections and sticky navigation’s are quickly becoming a must in relevant site design.

A sticky navigation bar is one that is visible even when a user scrolls through the page and, quite frankly, it just makes sense.

Why make your users work to get to the top of your site to click through to a different page? The easier your site is to use, the better your bounce and conversion rates will be.

It also helps if your site looks eye-catching and full-width page sections help with that. Taking a look at how Asana’s website has been design and you’ll see striking page sections in action:

What was also interesting to see was that many sites and themes either exclusively displayed blog posts in a grid or masonry-style or had them as additional options. In fact, 42.5% of the sampled sites had a grid-style blog, while 15.5% had their posts displayed masonry-style.

Many people dismiss these options, which is clear when you consider 66.5% of sites either exclusively had a list-style blog or had this feature as an option, but different blog styles are on the rise.

It might be surprising to you that 0.5% included music and had a video slider that played automatically. I, for one, was shocked since I thought this was something that died out in the 1990s. It can be alarming to visit a site that has music playing, especially if you have the volume turned right up on your device, which was, unfortunately, the case for me.

If this is any indication of the collective experience of humanity, it might be a good idea to leave any automatic sound out of your site design.

Homepage Featured Images are the New Black

Image and video sliders have been a big trend over the past few years, but they are beginning to be replaced by full-width or full page featured images.

design-trends-2015-tier3It might be time to start thinking about replacing the sliders on your homepage.

Although sliders can be a highly effective way to help drive an emotional connection with your business, you can still achieve this with well-thought out images.

It’s also worth mentioning that automatically scrolling sliders are not accessible to the visually impaired. For this reason alone, it’s easy to see why many designers are beginning to ditch sliders and opt for beautiful and colorful featured images for the homepage.

You can see how effective a single image can still be on most sites, including ours:

The Bottom Line

So what have we learned from these design trend statistics?

  • Your site should be responsive – It’s no longer good enough for your site to just be view-able on the go. The mobile version of your site should have similar capabilities and visuals as the desktop version.
  • Bright colors can help make your business more memorable – While an excess of neon colors may not be all that inviting, bright colors are a trend you shouldn’t miss.
  • Full-width or full-page featured images are a must – At least on your homepage. It’s time to start ditching those sliders.
  • Full-width page sections are elegant and effective – Nothing displays information quite so cleanly and beautifully.
  • CSS3 Animations can help bring your site to life – Placed above clickable thumbnails or buttons, animations can help your site form an emotional connection with your visitors.
  • One-page themes are nothing to sneeze at – They’re gaining popularity and it’s easy to see why when you consider how amazing they look. They also help make your site more interactive and easy to navigate.
  • Sticky navigation menus are here to stay – They just make sense. Why make your users work hard to use your site? Making it easy for them to navigate your site just makes sense.

By now, you may be thinking, “That’s great, but can I add these all-important elements to my Website?”



Two Brothers and the Geese

Two Brothers and the Geese

Two sons work for their father on the family’s farm. The younger brother had for some years been given more responsibility and reward, and one day the older brother asks his father to explain why.

The father says, “First, go to the Kelly’s farm and see if they have any geese for sale – we need to add to our stock.”

The brother soon returns with the answer, “Yes they have five geese they can sell to us.”

That father then says, “Good, please ask them the price.”

The son returns with the answer, “The geese are £10 each.”

The father says, “Good, now ask if they can deliver the geese tomorrow.”

And duly the son returns with the answer, “Yes, they can deliver the geese them tomorrow.”

The father asks the older brother to wait and listen, and then calls to the younger brother in a nearby field, “Go to the Davidson’s Farm and see if they have any geese for sale – we need to add to our stock.”

The younger brother soon returns with the answer, “Yes, they have five geese for £10 each or ten geese for £8 each; and they can deliver them tomorrow – I asked them to deliver the five unless they heard otherwise from us in the next hour. And I agreed that if we want the extra five geese we could buy them at £6 each.”

The father turned to the older son, who nodded his head in appreciation – he now realized why his brother was given more responsibility and reward.

  • A lesson in initiative, responsibility, thinking outside the box, anticipating, strategic anticipation, adding value to service, value and reward


Credit: Business Balls

The atheist and the bear story

The atheist and the bear story

A committed atheist (that is someone who steadfastly does not believe in a god of any sort) was on a trekking holiday when he became lost in some dense woods.

A large angry bear, with ten starving cubs back home and claws like kitchen knives, suddenly emerged from the undergrowth.  The atheist screamed in terror, turned and ran. The bear was quicker however, and after a long and desperate chase eventually cornered the atheist in a gully.

The exhausted atheist sank to his knees, shaking.
The bear, seeing that its prey was trapped, moved slowly towards the petrified man, drooling. The bear was drooling too.

The atheist lifted his head, with tears in his eyes, and uttered the words he thought he would never say in all his life: “God help me…”

With these simple three words, a blinding flash of lightning lit up the sky. There was a deafening crash of thunder. The clouds parted. A brilliant light shone down. The forest fell silent. The bear froze still, in a trance. The atheist stood gaping, transfixed.

A voice came loud from above, louder than twenty AC/DC concerts, all happening at the same time. We can safely assume this voice to have been the voice of a god of some sort.

“You atheists make me seriously mad,” boomed the god, “You deny me all your life. You tell others to deny me too. You put your faith in all that bloody Darwinian airy-fairy scientific nonsense, and then what a surprise – you get lost because you can’t read your stupid map, and now you’re about to get eaten by an angry bear all of a sudden you’re on your knees sniveling and begging for my help?……… You must be joking…”
The atheist looked down, realizing that he was not arguing from a position of strength.
“Okay, I take your point,” said the atheist, thinking on his feet, while he still had them, “I can see it’s a bit late for me to convert, but what about the bear? Maybe you could convert the bear instead?”
“Hmmn… Interesting idea…” said the god, thinking hard”, Okay, It shall be done”. At which the brilliant light dimmed and vanished; the clouds closed; and the noises of the forest resumed.
The bear awoke and shook its head, a completely different expression on its face. Calm, at peace.
The bear closed its eyes, bowed its head, and said, “For what we are about to receive, may the Lord make us truly thankful, Amen…”

The gardener’s badge story

The gardener’s badge story

A landscape gardener ran a business that had been in the family for two or three generations. The staff were happy, and customers loved to visit the store, or to have the staff work on their gardens or make deliveries – anything from bedding plants to ride-on mowers.

For as long as anyone could remember, the current owner and previous generations of owners were extremely positive happy people.
Most folk assumed it was because they ran a successful business.
In fact it was the other way around…

A tradition in the business was that the owner always wore a big lapel badge, saying Business Is Great!

The business was indeed generally great, although it went through tough times like any other. What never changed however was the owner’s attitude, and the badge saying Business Is Great!

Everyone who saw the badge for the first time invariably asked, “What’s so great about business?” Sometimes people would also comment that their own business was miserable, or even that they personally were miserable or stressed.  Anyhow, the Business Is Great! Badge always tended to start a conversation, which typically involved the owner talking about lots of positive aspects of business and work, for example:
• The pleasure of meeting and talking with different people every day
• The reward that comes from helping staff take on new challenges and experiences
• The fun and laughter in a relaxed and healthy work environment
• The fascination in the work itself, and in the other people’s work and businesses
• The great feeling when you finish a job and do it to the best of your capabilities
• The new things you learn every day – even without looking to do so
• And the thought that everyone in business is blessed –

Because there are many millions of people who would swap their own situation to have the same opportunities of doing a productive meaningful job, in a civilized well-fed country, where we have no real worries.

And so the list went on. And no matter how miserable a person was, they’d usually end up feeling a lot happier after just a couple of minutes listening to all this infectious enthusiasm and positivism. It is impossible to quantify or measure attitude like this, but to one extent or another it’s probably a self-fulfilling prophecy, on which point, if asked about the badge in a quiet moment, the business owner would confide:

“The badge came first. The great business followed.”

CMD Collaborates with Kaiste Ventures Limited to Fight Quackery

CMD Collaborates with Kaiste Ventures Limited to Fight Quackery

The Centre for Management Development (CMD) is working with Kaiste Ventures Limited (the publishers of towards ensuring only duly accredited training institutions / firms practice in Nigeria. One of the ways CMD intends to achieve this is by ensuring intending trainees or organizations wishing to send their staff for training have unfettered access to the list and training programmes of accredited training institutions / firms in Nigeria.

Under the terms of the collaboration, Kaiste Ventures Limited is to update the full list and addresses of all Centre for Management Development Accredited Management training institution / firms in Nigeria and upload them on the Portal.

The list of accredited management training institutions was released to Kaiste Ventures Limited for the purpose of contacting and inviting the institutions to avail themselves of the opportunity of free publicity of their training programmes on the Nigerian Seminars and portal.

Organizations already on the portal and not yet accredited would be given a time frame by which they will be accredited or be dropped from the portal. Organizations that have already initiated the accreditation process will be allowed to continue to enjoy the free service.

The management of Kaiste Ventures Limited believes strongly that this relationship with CMD is an important step towards ensuring the quality of service offered visitors and subscribers to the Nigerian Seminars and portal is at par with internationally accepted standards as subscribers can now confirm the status of training providers and have the assurance that comes with the CMD accreditation.

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