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Tips for Creating Your Website Redesign Strategy

A poor website design can have a negative impact on your conversions and sales. If you think that you have an unattractive website, it is best that you get a redesign as soon as possible.

Regardless of the industry you work in or the size of your company, having a strategic approach to website redesign is of paramount importance. This includes knowing what currently works, what isn’t working, and what goals you want to achieve. This will help you take advantage of the current traffic on your website. Let’s get into some tips that will help you create the perfect website redesign strategy for you:

1. Know your target audience

It doesn’t matter how much money you spend on getting the best UI for your website. If the design isn’t complementing your visitors, your website won’t perform. In order to ensure the success of your website, you have to consider customer insight. After all, the whole reason to build a website is so that your customers can find you on the internet and make a purchase. For instance, if you have a clothing brand, you should be focused on creating a photo-centric website. If you are not able to highlight your offerings, you won’t be able to sell many clothes. For news blogs, you will need a format that caters to avid readers.

2. Analyze your website

Before you can make improvements and fix the layout, you need to identify the problematic areas on your website. You have to audit your website and make a list of all the changes that are required. Through your analysis, you will be able to get answers on what exactly is wrong with your website, what makes it unattractive, and others. This will help you prioritize the elements that you have to focus on and exclude the ones that you don’t want to revamp.

3. Define your goals

Each of the items that you have decided to revamp must have a reason behind them. For example, if you want to change your navigation bar, you must have a reason for it. Your users might not be able to find the content they want and you want them to locate information faster. If there are some items on your list without any associated reason or goal, put a star next to them so that you can remember to test them. It is best to focus on data-based changes as it can help you know the exact improvements you have been able to make through your website redesign.

4. Plan your budget

More often than not, businesses underestimate how much the website redesign will cost them. If you don’t want to set yourself up failure, you need to understand every single cost that is associated with the redesign:

  • Planning
  • Design
  • Website development
  • Copywriting
  • SEO setup
  • Image/Video production
  • Hosting
  • Project management
  • Launch
  • Quality Assurance testing

Depending on your website, business, and industry, you might have different needs. But, you have to make sure that you don’t have an extremely low budget, or else your website will suffer.

5. Create action trackers

In order to make sure that you complete the tasks within deadlines, you can work on creating action trackers for every page that you are redesigning. For this, you can use the current site map. If you have 5-10 pages on your website, a document with multiple tabs will do the job. But, if you have more pages, it is best that you create different documents for different pages that cover the goals you have for those pages. You can rename the columns with page-specific tasks, target delivery date, date completed, and person responsible. This setup will ensure that you don’t lose your momentum.

6. Track everything

Everything that you have on your website should be measurable. This includes incoming traffic, bounce rates, leads, sales, revenue, and more. There are several tools available online that can help you track, analyze, and measure your metrics. Some of the most important metrics that you need for your website are unique visitors, page views, bounce rate, organic search traffic, direct traffic, load speed, and referral sites.

It is important to remember that your website is not an online catalog for your business. Instead, it is one of the most important marketing tools you can use. You have to keep up with the latest trends and updates and incorporate them into your website. With the above-mentioned website redesign tips, you will be able to use your website to get ahead of your competition.

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WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com – Which is Better for You?

Unarguably, WordPress is the most widely used platform for building professional websites, regardless of whether it’s a blog, e-commerce store, or business website. It accounts for nearly half of all the websites available on the internet today.

Even so, several users are unaware of the differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com. Many people may not even know they are two separate platforms because they rank at #1 and #2 when you search for “WordPress.”

If you’re a beginner web design professional or just someone who wants to start a hobby blog, you may not be aware of the differences between the two platforms either. Don’t worry – you’re not alone, and we’re here to help!

Let’s dive right into the differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com before looking at how to decide which is the best platform for you.

Hosting

The key differentiator between the two platforms is who hosts your website.

With WordPress.org, you host your website by purchasing a web hosting service and installing WordPress on the hosted server.

With WordPress.com, WordPress hosts your website for you. All you have to do is sign up and start creating your website.

Most web designers would recommend choosing WordPress.org because while it may not be as simple as its counterpart, it allows you far greater design and development freedom that the .com platform does not.

Cost

This is the second most important deciding factor when you’re trying to determine which WordPress platform is better for you.

WordPress.com has a free variant that can get you started as soon as you sign up without even having to register a credit card. However, this free version comes with a set of limitations that you may not want in a professional website:

  • The .wordpress.com subdomain suffixed to your website name
  • Limited disk space (only 3 GB)
  • WordPress ads and branding that you cannot remove from your website
  • You cannot install external plugins and themes that aren’t available on the WordPress platform
  • You cannot monetize the website

You will be able to do all of this if you upgrade to a paid plan, but this can easily cost you at least $111 per year, even if you upgrade to a basic commercial plan. It includes hosting and a domain name. To build a fully-loaded website where you can install themes and plugins, you would have to shell out around $300 to $400 per year.

With WordPress.org, on the other hand, you can build a full-featured website at as low as $35 for the first year, depending on what you pay for hosting. With a hosting provider offering low pricing, you can probably have a fully functional website with themes, plugins, your domain name, and the option to monetize it at as low as $50 per year.

Website maintenance, security, and backups

The third crucial factor in deciding which platform to choose is who takes care of the maintenance, security, and backups for your website. With the .com counterpart, all of this is included, regardless of whether you use the free or paid version.

With the .org counterpart, you have to look into all of this yourself since it’s a self-hosted website, and WordPress is neither responsible for the hosting server (which determines security functions) nor the data you upload.

It goes similarly in terms of website maintenance which includes updates to the WordPress platform or functions, the themes, and the plugins you install. Maintenance is included with all plans of the .com version, while you have to take care of it yourself with the .org platform.

Which is the better alternative?

While it may seem that you have to do everything yourself with WordPress.org, it’s worth the effort in the long run. You will be able to customize, monetize, and grow your website the way you want. You can access external themes or plugins that may be necessary to create a beautiful and functional website for your business.

You will require some initial funds to start a .org website to pay for your hosting service, the domain name (which you can purchase from your hosting provider), and security (which also is available with most hosting providers). It also comes with a bit of a learning curve since you will be managing every aspect of the website along with its content. But even so, using the .org platform comes highly recommended by all web designing experts.

The WordPress.com platform may be ideal for you if you wish to start a hobby blog or a website that you don’t expect to grow exponentially, such as a work portfolio. It’s simpler to set up and doesn’t require you to learn anything.

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Seven Smart Tips to Create an Impactful Web Design

Your website is a vital marketing tool that helps you attract, engage and convert your target customers. A carefully designed website enriches your users’ experience, boosts customer traffic and sales. Some of the elements that elevate an average website to a great one are its simplicity, attractiveness, ease of navigation, speed, and engaging content.

While creativity is important, these tips on web design will help you create an impactful web design.

Seven tips for creating an impactful web design

Focus on aesthetics

Website visitors form an opinion within 50 milliseconds about your website and brand.

According to a study, the top influencer of first impressions is the website’s aesthetics. Given the short attention span of visitors, you will need to ensure the visual elements of layout, visuals, size, colors, and contrast are optimized. Professional web designers leverage ‘visual hierarchy’ to direct users’ attention to what matters the most. Visual hierarchy is the way the visual elements are arranged based on the natural path viewers take when seeing a website. For instance, every visitor will see a large video or image at the top of a page. However, a CTA (call to action) in small fonts at the bottom of a page is not going to be seen.

The elements to optimize to achieve high prominence using visual hierarchy include:

  • position – at the top of the page
  • large size
  • Unique colors
  • Strong contrast
  • video, images, icons
  • use of whitespace

Create high-quality content

While a site’s aesthetics dictate the first impression, the content influences the users’ intention to recommend and revisit your site. Follow these tips to create engaging content:

  • Ensure the website content is original, concise, easy to read, and informative.
  • You need to also optimize the content for search engines (search engine optimization) by including relevant keywords.
  • While avoiding jargon, slang, and excessive text, include rich descriptions of the services and products you offer. Explain images and photos with clear subtitles.
  • Ensure there is a dedicated FAQ page to answer your customers’ questions.

Prioritize speed

The slow loading speed of a website is directly linked to its bounce rate and reduces page views, conversion rate, and user satisfaction. Forty-seven percent of users abandon websites that take more than 3 seconds to load. A delay of even one second can reduce the conversion rate by 7 percent.

Optimize navigation

Good user experience is the key to boosting your website traffic, conversions, and, eventually, sales revenue. Poor user experience, according to a study, causes 70 percent of visitors to abandon shopping carts. Research how your target users search and browse on websites and use the data to design menus, the site architecture, and other navigation tools. Your users should be able to move around your website with ease and find the information they want quickly and efficiently.

Apart from the home page, every page needs to be engaging and easy to navigate. Here are some tips on optimizing website navigation:

  • Keep the visuals simple -Large videos, animations, too many flash components, and infographics can take a longer time to load compared to simple text and graphics.
  • Ensure the buttons in the navigation bar are well-ordered -For instance, your viewer will want to know about you and the products or services you offer before they contact you. Make sure the “About Us,” “Company” and “Products” buttons are located before the “Contact Us” button.
  • Fix broken links- Check the links regularly on your website and replace the ones that are not working.
  • Analyze flow patterns – Flow patterns show the route your visitors take initially to find your site, the order of their engagement, and the number of pages visited. With this information, you can make the necessary adjustments on the site to boost engagement.

Optimize for mobile

Over 40 percent of users abandon a website that is not mobile-friendly. A mobile-optimized and responsive design is mandatory for modern websites. Ensure all elements of the website arrange themselves appropriately in any resolution.

Use clear CTA

An effective call to action or CTA button guides your visitors effortlessly to the action they need to take. They remove your users’ confusion and friction and streamline the user experience. Design your CTA in a way to ensure they stand out on all pages, are direct and simple.

Add social proof

Consumers rely on reviews and recommendations from other buyers to make a purchase decision. Ensure your claims on your products are supported with evidence to build your credibility. Some ways to add social proof include:

  • Product reviews
  • Case studies
  • Endorsements from influencers
  • Awards, accreditation, and rankings
  • Social media following
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What Is A Landing Page?

If you are starting a business, then you need a landing page. Landing pages will help direct viewers to your site. Think of it as a flyer for your website. Here’s some info on landing pages and how to create one.

Landing Page

Landing pages are different than websites, as it stands alone. It provides a summary of your website and your business. Then, visitors can go to your website from there. Here’s how it works: you create your page via templates, such as MailChimp. Then, you make it go live via newsletter, social media, or by advertising it online. Next, people click on your page, preview your website, and/or input their contact info to join your mailing list. It’s an effective method for reaching out to your audience. They have a 4% conversion rate. Here are some more statistics about landing pages.

You can hire someone to create your page. This can run to roughly $75-$1,000 charge, depending on how intricate you want to be. They are typically 1 page long. Or, create your own. It only takes a few hours and a little creativity. Here’s how to make one. First, choose your template: MailChimp, Canva, etc. Then, create your hook. Address the problem your product will solve to get to the point right away. Then, either explain more about the product or introduce yourself. Finally, direct them to your site. Your page should be a page or two, minimal words, and a couple of graphics. By minimal words, we mean either one moderate-length paragraph or 2-3 short paragraphs. Focus on the highlights of your product/service. Don’t forget to provide your contact info or ask for theirs.

 

Why Make A Landing Page?

Landing pages are important for marketing your product/service. It provides a short and sweet what, how, and why (should we care) about your business. Since this page is your brochure, it gives viewers an incentive to go to your site and buy your product. It’s an effective advertisement strategy, as landing pages can be published on various online platforms. Let us know if you want to try it out!

 

Interested in marketing tips? Contact Redwood Creative today!

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What is UI/UX Design, and Why Is It Important?

What is UI/UX design, and what’s the difference in between them? It can be easy to use the terms interchangeably. While they are closely related, they mean two different things. User interface design (UI) is a graphic design term for the front and back end development. Specifically, what their users expect out of their devices and simplifying use. You can find user interface in machines from smartphones to refrigerators. Therefore, UI falls underneath the UX umbrella term. UX refers to user experience. This is what consumers gain out of their product thanks to UI software design. Here’s how UI and UX work together, but could stand alone.

Understanding UX

UX is a general term regarding user’s experience with the product. It can refer to any category of product, not just technology. It can apply to hardware/physical design as well. Let’s use a car for example. Do customers like the size, the look, and find it smooth? Does it function desirably? Could you see yourself using this every day? How does the car make you feel? Whether you are satisfied with the product or not is essentially user experience.

Understanding UI Design

User Interface design is the inner works that makes a product function. Since UX refers to overall design, that means that UI is a part of UX. UI is what gives the product its unique brand look. Also, UI is for electronics only: computers, toasters, and such. UI is concerned with software design and layout, like buttons. The main goal is to simplify design for easiest  Matters such as security, battery life, and speed all have to do with UI. Website designers, engineers, and technology developers heavily rely on UI design for their daily work. UI design evolves as technology improves.

 

 

UI/UX design is crucial for modern technology. We rely on our smartphones and computers to have the best user interface design so we can get the best user experience out of it. Since UI is strictly electronics, UX design could exist without UI. There’s a relatively high demand for UI/UX designers as technology continues to develop and evolve. Click here to read about what a computer whizz has to say about UI and UX design.

 

 

Interested in marketing tips? Contact Redwood Creative today!

 

Ecommerce Web Design

Important Elements of E-commerce Websites

E-Commerce websites, such as Amazon and RedBubble, are all the rage. Especially during times like now when people are browsing/shopping online for any items they may need. So, make it easier for your client to browse your site and make a purchase with these tips in mind. First, there are different types of e-commerce websites: business-to-business, business-to-consumer, and vice versa. Format your website according to the demographic that you are appealing to. Have a domain name that’s easy to pronounce and remember!

Clearly indicated prices

The biggest advantage to e-commerce websites is easy product research and price comparison. When displaying a product, provide a layout that will aid the customer in comparing prices.  If applicable, have a page on the website dedicated to products/packages and a chart of price variations.

A detailed description of the product

Some feel uneasy about online purchases, concerned that the product is not the quality that it appears to be online. Reassure them with a clear, technical description and how the product works. Provide a picture for every item and color. Also, guarantee returns for online purchases. Thus, the same applies for services, policies, and contact information as well. If a product has multiple colors/designs, feature a photo of every design that the consumer can click on and enlarge. Include any other handy information, like size charts. Also, offer suggestions for similar products.

Consistent theme and organization

Having a unified look all throughout the page will look more appealing and enticing. In order to stand out against competitors, the website should be uniquely designed. Stick with the same colors and text font. Make sure your website is updated. Have a consistent theme on both website and social media sites.

Other important notes

Fast connection! If it takes more than 2 or 3 seconds to load, then visitors lose interest. Have a clean-looking page, free of ads and clutter. Most websites have entire-page pop-up ads that interfere with scrolling. Instead, have a small pop-up ad inviting readers to join the mailing list for a sweet deal. Keep mobile device formatting in mind. Also, have optimal SEO (search engine optimization).  To learn how Redwood Creative can help you get more of your products online, found, and sold contact us today!

Interested in marketing tips? Redwood Creative is here to help!

 

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Things To Be Aware Of When Creating a Website

So you’re thinking of creating a website and you want it to look great right? Building a website can be fun but also quite challenging. You want it to look good, easy to use, and individualizes you and your business. It’s your website and you can do what you want with it. Just keep these in mind as you go along with your website.

Website creation process

In order to create a website, you must first plan your design. This includes theme, layout, graphic design, title/logo, and more. First you should design your logo. This will set the premise for the rest of your website. Stick with the same color scheme you use for your logo. Next, pick a name that’s unique and easy to remember. Try sticking with something that’s easy to pronounce as well.

Create your website with your audience in mind. Make sure it’s easy for them to find answers to questions they might have, such as service rates. Have your contact information readily available as well. Have a text format that’s easy to read, and space out your text boxes accordingly. Organization will give your website more credibility. If you include ads, make sure they are not distracting or make your site look like a spam page. Read more on website development here.

What you will need

To best develop and build your page, we recommend hiring a web designer and a web developer. Creating a website involves many interconnected process, and having more than one person on the project will ensure smoother development.

Consumers turn to the Internet to look for a product/service they need. Because of this, make sure your website offers a perfect display of all your products and services with a clear explanation. Having the history of your company on your page will help you gain more of your consumers’ trust. Be sure to provide visual representations of your business.

For best results, get creative with Redwood Creative! We will provide guidance and tools you need to build your dream website today.

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How To Hire A Web Designer

 

Our previous blog covered web developers. Today we’ll look at web designers more in-depth. The difference between a web developer and a web designer is that the designer draws out the graphics and layout. Front-end web developers will work very closely with designers. The designer decides how the website looks. Then, the front-end developer solidifies that design. Designers (digitally) draw out the navigation menu, graphics, media, and layout. Overall, designers create the blueprint, developers build based off the blueprint.

Why you need a web designer

It’s your business and it is ultimately up to you to decide how you want your website to look like. But, if you’re unsure about your web design, no worries! A web designer takes your vision and turns it into reality. And, they often improve the look. They can fill in holes and aspects that are often overlooked (such as load screen). Experienced designers could guide you on what your audience will expect from your website. In simplest terms, they set the overall appearance. A good designer should be able to express your goal through your website’s appearance.

Traits of a good designer

Like with web developers, designers have to go through formal education. Preferably, an associate’s degree. In order to complete the task, they will use Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, and Illustrator to construct wire frames and prototypes. In this process, they connect the visual design to the function design. However, creativity is critical as well. A good web designer will make your website stand out against competitors. Whether it’s through eye-catching digital art/media, or even a good color scheme, designers design uniquely for you. To learn more details, check out this link.

Are you interested in help with web design/development? If so, contact Redwood Creative to get started on your website and build your business today!

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How To Hire A Web Developer

Website developing and designing involves being fully knowledgeable in coding, computer programs, and formatting. It is also responsible for security, linking, and functionality. Furthermore, it involves creativity, patience, and clear communication between the business owner and the developer. There are two types of web developers- front end and back end. Front-end developers focus on the layout and physical design. Back-end designers specialize in behind the scenes works, like coding. Those who do both are called “stack developers”. Since the website needs to be created for the audience, it is up to the business owner to decide what the website will look like. A web designer will utilize their training and experience to bring that vision to reality.

Elements of a professional web developer

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Neo’s coding, 1999

A good website designer will have these skills: Sharepoint, JavaScript, Virtualization, Ruby, C#, and more. Version control and CSS are handy to know as well. They will also have a great understanding computer science & technology and how the website will function on different types of computers and mobile devices. Front-end developers work with programming language like Java and HTML. It will likely take two web developers for best results as there is a lot of programming and complex systems. Read more about a web developer’s journey and aspects here.

Where to find a good developer

A qualified developer has a formal education with an associate’s degree and experience. Since they’re typically not found at Best Buy or your local computer store, online is the best place to find one. But, you don’t have to bother with hours of research to find one. Redwood Creative can supply a quality web developer to help you kickstart your site! Our team of website professionals can give you advice, guidance, and the finest developers and designers. Check us out and see what we can do for you!

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9 Key Elements of Successful E-commerce Website Design

“Don’t judge a book by its cover” is one of the oldest adages out there, but unfortunately, it doesn’t apply to e-commerce website design. In fact, the opposite is true. When trying to wow online shoppers with your site, you’ve only got an average of 50 milliseconds to make an impression.

That’s all it takes for a user to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they’ll stay or leave. How’s that for pressure? But don’t worry. As long as you’ve got all of the right elements in place, they’ll stay, and crucially, buy products form your e-commerce website.

So what are the key ingredients when it comes to nailing e-commerce website design?

1) Easy Navigation

You won’t make many inroads with your e-commerce site if shoppers can’t understand how to use it. You should invoke the principle of Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) to leave visitors to your website in no doubt of how to navigate to where they want to be.

According to a recent survey undertaken by HubSpot, 76% of consumers said the most important factor in an e-commerce website’s design is “the website makes it easy for me to find what I want.” So overlook ease of navigation at your peril!

2) Frictionless Checkout

It goes without saying that the aim of an e-commerce website is to sell products. That’s not something you can achieve without a checkout capable of accepting payments. Regarding checkout design, you should always offer the option of checking out without creating an account since it’s the second-highest reason why people abandon their cart. (We’ll get on to number one shortly).

Next, take time over selecting your payment gateway. You need to have a payment gateway that accepts a range of payment methods, as everyone has different preferences. Some may prefer PayPal, whereas others may swear by Apple Pay. If they arrive at the payments page and discover you don’t support their preferred payment option, they’ll become one of the 70% of shoppers who bail at the final hurdle.

3) Fast Load Speeds

E-commerce sites are data-heavy entities. They are stocked full of product photos and videos, which is why you need to work with a web design agency with expertise in optimizing website loading speeds to avoid bad user experiences.

Time and attention are today’s most valuable commodities. Don’t believe us? Online retailers lose at least $2.6 billion in sales each year to slow loading speeds alone. Not to mention half of all shoppers expect a website to load in less than two seconds.

4) Live Chat & 24/7 Support

With more people shopping online than ever before, the customer service experience has moved online to match demand. Today, over half of online shoppers expect to be able to use a live chat function on your website. That figure increases to 62% for shoppers visiting your site on a mobile device.

In the age of everything, everywhere, just having the ability to quickly ask a question about one of the products can be the crucial difference between a lost sale and a conversion. Thus, make it easy to find within your e-commerce website’s design.

5) Mobile-First Design

Speaking of mobile visitors, your e-commerce site is dead in the water if it doesn’t perform well on mobile devices. This year, mobile devices have accounted for 70% of all internet traffic. Furthermore, mobile e-commerce revenue already accounts for over 50% of total US e-commerce revenues.

These figures are only going to rise as smartphone use becomes even more ubiquitous within society. Not to mention that Google openly admitted back in 2016 that it was beginning to rank the best performing mobile sites first. By 2020, those changes will affect all websites. Therefore, creating a mobile-friendly experience not only benefits your sales but your rankings too.

6) Free Shipping

Extra costs, and more specifically, additional shipping costs are the number one factor for online shoppers abandoning their carts. Therefore, it’s crucial that in the design of your site, you show prices that reflect their actual costs (including tax, etc.) of products as well as offering free shipping.

If a shopper thinks they’re going to pay $50 for the products added to their basket, you can bet your bottom dollar that they’ll leave those items right where they are if that total increases to $75 at the checkout.

7) Gorgeous Product Photography

Pictures, it seems, really can paint a thousand words. It’s crucial to remember that it’s your images and videos that sell the product, not the text. The more photos, the better, as consumers want to see every possible angle.

A video of your products in action is even better. 97% of video marketers reported that video increased user understanding of a product, and 76% said video helped them increase sales. So don’t hold back on imagery when constructing your e-commerce website.

8) User Reviews

User-generated reviews are also a vital piece of the e-commerce jigsaw puzzle. First of all, reviews influence $400 billion of total e-commerce sales revenue. As if that wasn’t convincing enough, 97% of consumers report that the customer reviews they read influence their purchasing decisions.

Therefore, user reviews are a crucial element that you need to consider during the e-commerce website design process. Without any social proof, you could suffer from low conversion rates.

9) Security Features

Trust is another critical aspect of successful e-commerce sites. With so many online scams, customer’s trust is easily shaken. You’ve got to earn customers’ trust to make sales. That’s why you need to have security features that give them peace of mind. The SSL certificate (with the padlock in the browser) ensures that your site can be trusted to handle sensitive personal information.

Next, you have to build trust at the most crucial moment, the checkout. While some shoppers may see the padlock on their browser, others may need more encouragement. That’s why it’s a good idea to display your security badges on the payments page. Display your firewall, your payment processing certificates, and your SSL provider to give your shoppers total peace of mind that they can trust your website with their payment details.

Design Your Industry-Leading E-commerce Sites with the Help of Experts

Here at Redwood Creative, we’ve helped design successful e-commerce sites for both national and international brands. So if you would like to benefit from e-commerce website design skills trusted by some of the best in business, don’t hesitate to request a quote tailored to your specific requirements.