Dasha from the Web Design Team at Rosewood sits at her desk

Today, every business needs a website. It allows potential customers or clients to learn about your service, contact you, view, and book services, and/or purchase products. When starting a new business, building its website is one of the first things you should do. 

Creating and designing a website, however, takes a lot of skills and knowledge that you probably don’t have time to dedicate yourself to, especially since you’re running your business. Hiring a team to design, build, and maintain your website gives you a professional and effective website without you sacrificing your time where it matters most. Our web design team creates professional, beautiful, functional, and accessible websites that suit your business. Before they can start designing, there will be a few things you will need to do. Here are all the essentials you need before you meet with Rosewoods’ team, and they start designing the website that perfectly represents and serves your business.

Registering a Domain

In order for you to start a website, your business will need a domain name. The domain is the main address that points to your website. google.com, wikipedia.org, and rosewoodmarketing.ca are all examples of domain names. There can be a lot that goes into coming up with a domain, like whether you want a .com, .ca, or another top-level domain. Two quick standards to remember is that shorter and memorable are better, and ensure it aligns with your brand’s name.

However, you can’t just create and have a domain. It needs to be available and registered. To see if a domain is available and how much it will cost, use a registry service, like GoDaddy. A domain will cost you an annual fee to register and retain. If the domain is new, it will be a nominal cost, but already registered domains can cost significantly more. However, if your new domain gains value and you decide you want to sell it, GoDaddy provides this option. 


To build your website, it will need content: pictures, text, graphics, etc. Gather and create/commission all the materials you want for your website. If you’re not sure what to include, look at the websites of similar businesses to get a sense of the kind of content you need. An “about us” write up, contact information, location, availability, information about the services or products you provide, and a gallery of your store or examples of your work are all standards.

Logo and Branding

Often when starting your business, after the countless hours of picking the right, and available, name then comes the struggle of just the right logo. It’s the icon that will represent your business on all its communication channels. It will also be a main image on your website so it’s essential you have it ready beforehand. Along with your logo, you will need your branding. Your branding determines your business’ aesthetic. A marketing team will use these colours, fonts, and voice/tone to design a perfectly representative website.

Pictures Really Are Worth a Thousand Words

A lot of your website’s content will be visual to give a full impression of your business. There are two main options to give your website professional pictures. One more immediate option is to create a collection of stock images. Only pick those that reflect your business’ brand and aesthetic, or else the images will feel disingenuous. Alternatively, book a photoshoot to get professional pictures for your site. These will give your website a more accurate and authentic reflection of your business. Fortunately, Rosewood also provides brand photography. Let us know if this is something you would like to add to build your website.

Get a Google Business Profile

Google Business is one of the essential places you need to be listing your business. By creating a Google Business Profile, your business will populate in Google searches, and you can directly connect your website to the profile. You can also post the same pictures from your photoshoot here. This profile will help optimize your new website for Google searches so that more people discover your business and visit the website.

A Website Hosting Provider

A domain allows users to get to your website by entering the address in their browser, but your actual website and all its content will need to be hosted on a server that people can access. You will need to subscribe your domain to a hosting service that will keep your website up. There are numerous hosting services available, but your marketing and website design team can recommend a hosting provider. We recommend Cloudways or use our affiliate link with Siteground.

Connecting with a Marketing Team

The expertise of a marketing team like Rosewood’s can help you strategize the most effective sections, social media connections, and content plans like blogs and email marketing for your business’ website. They can also help you with content and branding, and help you determine the best combination that will perfectly suit your business and properly contend with any competition. Contact our marketing team for help strategizing your website.

You are ready to build a website!

Once you have these materials prepared, you’re ready to have a website built and designed. Our website design team will take all these and create mockups for your approval. Once approved, you’ll soon see your website starting to come to life. Ready to start the design process? Contact Rosewood’s website design team today!

Papers with drawings and mockups for website design
a smart phone and laptop both showing the same website

Phones have changed the way we think about web design overall for mobile optimization. A website must be responsive, meaning it will adapt and resize based on any sized device. Once, long ago in the 90s and early 2000s, websites were primarily designed for the one browsing device: computers with keyboards, mice, and square or horizontal monitors. (Need a blast from the past? Here’s the original 1996 Space Jam website still live.) Websites still need to work on computers, but many now browse the internet with their phones. As a result, websites need to be optimized for mobile devices to look good, load quickly, and be responsive. Smaller, vertical touch screens, specific operating systems, and cellular data bring different design considerations than mouse and keyboard. To provide an ideal experience for your users and potential customers/clients, you need a website optimized for mobile.

The Importance of Mobile Optimization

You probably use a smartphone to browse the internet all the time. When you’re working, walking, chatting, or just bored. You and everybody else. Touchscreen smart phones have completely changed internet browsing over the last 15 years by providing constant easy access. Today, over 62% of website traffic comes from mobile devices, and over 92% of users access the internet with a mobile phone. Similarly, 83% of the world’s population has a smartphone, nearly double the number of households with a computer. Many only ever access the internet and your business through a mobile device.

Those numbers alone prove mobile optimization is crucial for your business’ website. Most users are likely visiting with their phone. It only becomes more important when considering that the third most common task on mobile devices, right behind playing games and listening to music, is browsing social media. Since 55% of consumers discover new brands on social media which they primarily browse on their phones, most new potential clients or customers are first visiting your website with a mobile device. Their first experience with your website should be a painless one to give them a proper impression. Mobile optimization is also important for current and returning users. 55% of users also use their phones to make online purchases. An optimized website ensures they have a seamless experience and are more likely to buy from your business and return.

Mobile Optimization Tips for Your Website

There’s a lot that you can do to optimize your site, and you may not be a web design wizard. That’s why Rosewood has some easy tips to help you start thinking about optimizing your website for mobile users. 

  1. Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Tool – Google has made a convenient and simple tool that tests how mobile-friendly your website is. It will quickly help you discover any issues in your mobile optimization. Enter your URL or even the website’s code, and the tool will crawl your entire website for several minutes. The tool will then list any issues in your site’s mobile optimization. Google regularly crawls websites for mobile optimization itself, ensuring they should be populated on mobile searches.
  2. Design “Mobile First” – When creating a new site or redesigning your old one, it’s a good practice to design a website that prioritizes mobile use over desktop computers. Many users discover businesses and browse the internet with only a mobile device. Mobile sites can still function on a desktop, but a site designed primarily for computer use can leave mobile users frustrated with a dysfunctional site. When designing, think about small screen sizes and clean aesthetics.
  3. Create a responsive website – A responsive website is one that adjusts to a device’s screen. Smartphones have a variety of screen sizes. To accommodate these different screens, websites scale up or down. A responsive website will keep elements visible and text readable as it scales. Many modern web design platforms include responsive functions or plugins to easily make your site response. They also allow you to view your site as it would appear on mobile devices.
  4. Easy Visibility – Ensure all the essentials to navigate your site, like menus, search bars, buttons, and any text are immediately visible on a small screen. This will also make them easy to interact with on a touchscreen, the primary way users will interact with your site on a mobile device. If users need to zoom in on your site to hunt down information or touch the right element, they are far more likely to become frustrated and leave.
  5. Reduce the File Size of Your Images – Users hate loading times and big images are often the guilty party, especially when users are on slower internet or data connections. Resizing or compressing your photos reduces file size so they load faster on slower connections. 
    1. Resizing means reducing the overall resolution of the image to make it smaller. It only wastes data for an image that never displays large than 400 pixels wide to be loaded at 4000 pixels. Cutting down on that extra resolution, will shorten its load time. Be careful to not reduce the image below its display size, or it will lose quality as it stretches. You can resize multiple photos simultaneously with Bulk Resize.
    1. Compression is an alternative to resizing that keeps photos the same resolution and instead reduces the file size by using math to simplify data. It isn’t magic though, and too much compression can also jeopardize quality. Use Batch Compress to compress photos in batches.
  6. Pop-ups For Mobile – Every website has at least a few pop-ups to get a user’s attentions. However, they can be more obstructive and disruptive on mobile device screens than desktop browsers. You can try removing pop-up elements altogether to create a more seamless browsing experience, placing the elements on the site. If you are using pop-ups, use only a few and ensure they only cover a small portion of the screen and are easy to close. 

Your Digital Space

You know all too well that your website is essential for your business. It’s how people discover, learn about, contact, and purchase from you. It’s your storefront or office on the virtual streetside and just like in a physical location, you want to ensure customers have a painless, seamless, and pleasant experience. Optimizing your website for mobile with these tips is a great start to ensure your potential customers or clients are less likely to leave frustrated. Curious about other ways to update your site’s mobile optimization? Maybe you think it’s time for a redesign? Rosewood’s website design team will be happy to help. 

Finger about to tap on a touchscreen smartphone

Why Website Accessibility is Important for your Business

Since January 2021, small business have been receiving notices for non-compliance of Web Accessibility. Don’t know what Web Accessibility is and why it matters to you, your business, and the wider industry? Let Rosewood tell you and help you stop getting all those citations. There are some key website accessibility aspects that you should consider.

Web accessibility has become a technical standard. It is extremely important for your business’ website as well as the general internet. Your website provides worldwide access for people to discover and learn about your business. It is often one of the first impressions someone has of your brand. It is critical to your company’s success and growth. So you want to be sure that your website can accessed and browsed by people with a range of hearing, movement, visual, and cognitive abilities. You want your website to welcome its users, not scare them off. Some simple examples to increase accessibility are ensuring that all writing is easily legible and understandable, providing subtitles and captions for videos and audio. In addition, making the website usable with just a keyboard. 

Does your website need to be accessible?

Web accessibility is the basis for an accessible internet, and it means your website can be used by more potential customers or clients. Every website should be accessible for the public. For some businesses it’s also legally required. In Ontario since January 2021, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) requires that a public sector organization or any business with at least 50 employees must make their public websites accessible. According to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 at compliance levels A and AA.

As a result, they have begun issuing non-compliance notices to business not meeting these requirements. British Columbia is currently finalizing its own accessibility act this year which will have similar requirements. While 2.0 is the current requirement, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has already released 2.1, 2.2 will be published this September. Version 3 is an early draft. It is a good idea to future-proof your site for these upcoming revisions. Plus it will only make your business’ website more accessible. 

Our Founder Deanna Simone, recommends finding out if your website needs to be accessibility compliant prior to starting the development process on your website.Website accessibility is extremely important for your website’s users, and improving accessibility on your website will also improve its SEO, meaning search engines like Google will prioritize your site.

How can Rosewood help?

Our web-design services will apply their expertise to make your website comply with these standards to provide users an accessible experience. Our team can help you build a new site that’s accessible, functions smoothly, and looks elegant on most of the major platforms. Including WordPress, Shopify, Squarespace, and Wix. While it’s better to design a website as accessible from the start, it’s not always easy or possible to build a replacement. That’s why Rosewood is partnered with AccessiBe. This AI-powered software continuously scans a website for any possible accessibility concerns and updates pages to be WCAG 2.1 compliant. 

Whether it’s from the ground up or a revision, our web design experts will ensure your website’s users have a smooth and welcoming experience.

The above key website accessibility considerations are important for all device types.