Things they don’t teach you in Toronto web design school

Being in the Toronto web design industry, apart from being afforded the misconception that “anyone with Photoshop can do this”, is that you inevitably get asked the following: “How do you get started?  Where do you even start to learn to do this?” and most often “My son/daughter/nephew/cousin/(whoever) wants be a website designer in Toronto, what can you tell them to help them get a job?”

I have worked website development in Toronto for Rebel Trail as a designer for the better part of 15 years.  Looking a back, it’s hard to compare what I learned in school to what I use on the job, on a daily basis.  Apart from the software (that no longer resembles what we use today) and basic design or business training – not a lot.

They don’t teach OCD, a compulsive attention to detail, or the ability to tune out distractions. You just have to love what you do and Toronto web design schools can’t teach you passion.  BUT I will list the some of the things you SHOULD know or try to learn while trying to make it the Toronto website development industry:

Learn to ask the right questions.

If you ask 20 people to describe the colours of autumn, you will get an infinite amount of variations of what those people think autumn looks like.  Asking someone to describe what they envision for their Toronto website design project, without guiding them with the right questions won’t get you the end result the client seeks.  Most website design clients have a good idea of what they want in the design, while some don’t.  Using a standard questionnaire for projects in the beginning is a great way to focus the discussion and keep on the project moving forward.

Hone your listening skills

Learning to pick up on keywords during Toronto website design meetings or phone calls will help you enormously during the web design stage.  Things like, ‘clean’, ‘edgy’ or ‘soft’ can carry a design in different directions.  Sharing ideas and encouraging open dialogue between client and website designer can accomplish more than a design but also a solid business relationship.

Lorem Ipsum is my best friend.

Oh ‘Lorem Ipsum’, where would my website designs be without you!   Using lorem ipsum text in the design stage is essential.  It gives you and your client an idea of what the design will look like with text without burdening your client to come up give up new content right away and impeding design.  Not everyone knows what lorem ipsum is though.   The definition is :

Lorem Ipsum is dummy text which has no meaning however looks very similar to real text. Common names for Lorem ipsum text include: – blind text – dummy text – greeked text – placeholder text – mock content – filler text.

It’s still the biggest tool I use almost every day.  Make lorem your friend too.

More to come!  Stay tuned…

Why Choose Toronto Web Development Companies

Is your business starting the process of designing or redesigning a website? After you purchase your business domain name and hire a web hosting company what you need is a web developer (although some firms like Rebel Trail provide both).

The web developer or web designer is the party who would create your website i.e. add content to it and design it to make it useful and attractive. There are basically three methods you can get your website developed.

Firstly, you can use free software to build it from the scratch. This is a DIY solution but it is never recommended for business websites. Web development software is okay if it is your personal website, but for a business website this software will often fall short of accomplishing all of your goals.

The other two methods include hiring web development companies or freelancers. Both of them are hired for business websites but below is a comparative study between the two that would help you to take a sound decision.

Cost involved

Since cost is the first criterion about which most people enquire, let it be on the top! Any web design company has to bear a huge amount of costs due to salary of staffs, maintenance and administration cost, marketing cost, etc. A freelancer on the other hand has minimum expenses as he or she has almost no overhead cost. Therefore, freelancers would charge much less than a web design company.

Quality of work

Since, you are having your business in Toronto you would be able to hire a good Toronto website development firm without much hassle. The quality to be offered by them would be quite high because of their experience and professional attitude towards the work. Freelancers on the other hand are likely to be less experienced and have a less professional attitude as they are involved with web designing as part timers.


When it comes to the question of reliability a Toronto web design company would be a more reliable option than any freelancer. The reason is that the company has a registered office in Toronto and they remain liable for any kind of damage caused by not delivering the work, partially delivering or not doing the work properly. Moreover, a web design company has to maintain their reputation so they will not do anything that would hamper their goodwill. On the other hand, a freelancer is generally contacted online and you do not have any scope for asking for any compensation from them.

After sales service

After they deliver you the website, a good web development firm will always keep in touch with you. You would be able to get their help in case of any problem faced later on. A freelancer, on the other hand, delivers you a website and later on becomes untraceable and you will have to hire some other web developer who might not even know the codes with which the website was built.


Having considered all the above points it is better to hire a web development Toronto firm even if they charge a little more than freelancers because of their better quality, higher reliability and continued services.


Things to Consider When Designing and Developing a Website

The successful online presence of your business is only possible by having solid website design. This is where the assistance of a professional web development company is a must. This article will list out many things that a web development company in Toronto should include in your website. All the elements mentioned here are consistently used among successful sites.

The development of your Toronto web site should include three important factors such as interface design, content creation and actual web development. The elements that should be included in any website design are listed below.

Visual appearance

The visual appearance of the website is very important for any business owner. Whether your website is a ecommerce portal or a service oriented website, good visual appearance is must.

Thoughtful user interface

Good interface is next to good website design. The user interface is nothing but the foundation of good website design. The user interface of the website should be designed keeping the type of customers in consideration.  The Toronto web developer should make sure that the customer gets everything that is needed in order to achieve maximum results.

Primary navigation

Toronto web development styles dictate that the navigation should be easy to comprehend by the audience. All primary means of navigation should be kept on the top of the website and the secondary links should be placed on side bars.

Meaningful content

A good website design should be accompanied by good content as well. Knowledgeable and informative content on your website adds good support

About page

Most of the customer will be curious to know about the company as your brand gets popular in the market. ‘About us’ pages on the website should contain some solid information about your back ground which details about your expertise in the field.

Contact information

The contact information that the Toronto web development company presents on the website should give multiple options for the customer to reach you.

Crucial Facts about Web Development Companies in Toronto

When you run a business of your own you need to make sure that it has an online presence so that you are able to reach out to the maximum number of customers in the shortest span of time. It is for this purpose that the services provided by web development companies can prove to be very useful for you. Such services will make it possible for you to target your desired customer base or clientele as quickly as possible and start generating a profit for you business. To know more about the work done by web development professionals, especially in Toronto, Canada where these are known to be of a very high standard, read on.

Cater to All Kinds of Customers

A Toronto web design company is known to cater to customers from every possible economic background. You do not have to belong to the elite strata of society to make use of such services. Neither do you have to take a huge loan and invest in web design services. These are made available for affordable prices and you can get to pay them through instalments rather than paying the entire amount of money altogether at a time.

Can be accessed in Main City Area

The web design companies that operate in the city of Toronto in Ontario are those that are situated in the heart of the city. As a result it will be very easy for you to make an appointment and get in touch with the web design professionals in person.

Work done in a Smooth and Hassle Free Manner

The Toronto web development companies are known to work in a smooth and efficient manner in order to ensure that customer requirements are met in the best possible way. A preview or sample of the work to be done will be sent to you for your approval after which the actual work will take off.

Transparency Needed from Customers

If you are going to use web development Toronto services you need to be transparent about the kind of business you do and what sort of clientele you are looking to target. It is on the basis of this that your company website will be designed and created for you.

Customers will be informed of Delays if Any

If there is any delay in the web development work then you will be informed about this. You will not be kept in the dark about any delays concerning the web design project you have assigned to web development professionals in the city of Toronto.

Hiring a Website Development Company in Toronto

A good and effective website is always the key to attraction for the customers of any business. If you are running a business and need to create an attractive website to build your online customers, you should always look to hire a web designing or web development service provider by web development companies.

Ask Around

Before hiring a service of web development in Toronto, you should always ask your colleagues or associates for the list of top service providers. If they have used this type of service previous, you can get a quick review from them. Many web development companies create attractive marketing campaigns which can help your business significantly

Choose the Best

After your research for the list of Toronto web development companies is complete, you need to keep some points in mind for choosing the best. You will need to compare the prices, the list of services they are providing in that pricing package, the technical team skills which are generally required, their past records, their reviews, and websites they have already worked on etc.

Your Budget

You should determine your budget first of all. It is very common that it is going to charge you around $5000 or more, which will depend upon your website topic or pages which it contains. Never choose the cheapest option as ‘you get what you pay for’.

What services will you get?

You are paying for the service of a Toronto web development company, so it is entirely their duty to handle your entire project. They will plan for your website, design the best, and do the all required development from promotional activities to online marketing including SEO. Many companies include mobile application builder for your company and website too in their service list. Their team workers should have good technical skills to work upon a new website development project. Hosting services are also included in their service list.

Things to keep in mind

The main thing which you should keep in mind while finalizing a Toronto web design company for your project, is that you should always look for the portfolio or the design which you have chosen for your company from their display list. Sometimes there are errors like portfolios get changed. The web designing company should use their best time saving technology and complete your project in time.

How Will a Web Development Company Help Your Business?

If you are looking to launch your business online, you should lookfor a good web development company in parallel. Anybody who wanted to launch their business online needs the assistance of the Toronto web development company to deliver a great web design. Just launching your business online with the help of normal website templates available online will not help you make the business in this highly competitive arena. The web design you choose should be great to attract the attention of huge number of customers online. The web development company in Toronto will help you in achieving the same. This article details the concepts on which the web development company will focus on making your website design a great one.

Clutter free

It is important for the web design to stay clutter free in order to achieve its desired reach across the globe. The web development company will help you make your website free from the clutter by providing visual focal points to notify important information, organize information on the page to make it easy for the customer to find, make sure that both text and visual complement each other. Most importantly optimizing the images for faster downloads.

Visual communication

The Toronto web development company will establish a visual communication through the images on the website rather than just placing a good number of images on the website Toronto. Make the navigation easy by using thumbnails to place the link in the graphic image. They will also choose the color combination of the website based on the product or service that you wanted to promote through the website.

Rich content

Content is king, with the recent updates of Google, content plays a key role in getting your website indexed in the search engines. They ensure informative fresh content is provided on your website to drag the attention of the readers. They also ensure they deliver the required information to the reader by keeping the content on the website short and sweet.


Consistency on different pages of the website is important aspect that a web development company in Toronto will look into. They ensure that the readers that navigate across the site are not overwhelmed. They ensure that same colors are maintained on all pages of the website to ensure that consistency is well maintained. The user will even find very easy to trace out key links on the website. This will in turn help in easy navigation through the website.


A simple navigation path is one of the important factors that a web developer will review. With wide range similar companies offering their services to the customers online, the chances of visitor returning back to the site are very minimal. The Toronto website developer will gratify the attention of the customer and make them your regular visitor by providing clear and easy navigation. When the reader can find out the required information on the website easily, the chances of him returning to the website are high.

The Right Website Development Company for Your Business in Toronto

Web development services are being used extensively in various corners of the globe and the city of Toronto in the country of Canada is no exception. There has been a huge spurt in the number of web development companies in this part of the world in recent times, owing to an increase in the use of information technology for carrying out tasks of different kinds. More and more companies and small scale businesses are opting for the creation of websites in order to be able to promote their products and services to a wide clientele in a smooth and efficient manner.

All the web development companies in Toronto offer their services at a discounted rate to professionals who opt for these on a contractual basis. The rate of discount usually varies between ten to twenty percent of the actual price of the product.

A Toronto web design company is very efficient about the manner in which it carries out its work. Customers do not have to wait for longer than three to four weeks in order to get a website for their businesses up and running. Work is done keeping in mind the requirements and preferences of the customer. In the event that customers do turn out to be dissatisfied with what has been done, design professionals take up the task once again. Customer or client satisfaction is considered to be most important by the web design professionals as this could impact future sales of their services.

The best way to get in touch with a Toronto web development company would be online. These companies have their websites which contain details about the services which they provide and the rates at which these are available.  Such a website is one that is fairly easy to navigate and in the event of any difficulty, one can also get in touch with the customer support section on the site.

Most of the web development Toronto companies cater to clients of a middle income budget. Services rendered for a customer do not end after a website has been entirely created and handed over. If customers have queries or doubts as to the work done or want further changes, these will be readily incorporated later on by the design professionals. The majority of them are very highly qualified individuals who are known to do a very thorough job indeed. There are times when one can seek out their services on a freelance basis as well rather than using their work through the medium of a company.

Toronto Website Design Companies: A Primer

With the competition rising every day you just can’t leave room for any error and not owning a website in today’s world is a big mistake. With most of the people nowadays judge your business not by visiting it, but by going through your website. Also, having a website is certainly going to help get in more clients and help you expand your business. To get yourself a website you can contact web development companies, which can create websites, both professionally and according to your requirement. So here is how you can choose the best web design firms.

Deadline should be met

There are so many web development companies out there, but not all of them are competent enough.Every day you delay in getting yourself a website the more potential clients you loose and in turn more business you lose. So if you ask a Toronto web design company to design you a website they should be able to deliver it to you on time without any delays.

Website should be user friendly

A good website is one which is user friendly. No one likes a website where one has to dig in for some kind of important information. So it is of utmost importance that you ask a Toronto web development firm to design a website in such a way so that a user feels comfortable browsing your website. No one can stress on the fact how important is it for you to choose a good web developer for your website so that you have a good business expansion.

Flexibility in design

What if after finalizing all the design with the web developer you have hired for your website you would like to make some changes to the design? There are web developerswhich would say that we cannot change the designs now as our experts have already worked on your design. Now if this was to happen to you what good it is to hire a web developer? So talk to your web development firm before you hire them to create your website that if they would be able to tweak the designs if you wished so.

Website can bear the traffic

Once your site is set up you would certainly want that it doesn’t crash even if there is a lot of traffic on your website. So you need to ask your web development, Toronto Company to design a website which can work smoothly even if there is a lot of traffic. Some developers also offer you a choice in which you could see how your website would work if there was more traffic on it than usual. You might have to shell out a bit more to try the above, but it is better because if your website crashes for just few minutes you could lose a considerable amount of business.

Of course budget

Budget should always be in sight when hiring a website developer. With so many web developers out there you can easily find a service which would be well within your budget and could provide you with an excellent website keeping in mind all your requirements.

Web Development Strategies for Beginners

You have just started a new business and obviously the first wise thing is to do in today’s tech-savvy world is to have your own website. You are on the lookout for web development companies and you definitely need to consider certain criteria before actually opting for one.

Criteria for selecting a good website development company

You may be searching for a good Toronto web design company and it is good to consider the following criteria:

  • The range of web services offered by the company
  • The years of experience in the field
  • Average years of experience of personnel who will be involved in the website design
  • SEO techniques employed by the company
  • Cost of updating or modifying the site at a later date
  • Who will be the owner of the work product, design, source code and database scripts?
  • The manuals that will be provided along with the final product

Be clear on what you need

It is a good idea to first browse through different websites online and check what kind of design you would prefer functional elements, style of content and the purpose of your website. Before you decide on website design, Toronto you need to assess what your exact needs are. This will make it easier for you to speak to the web designers and you will be able to decide appropriately on the right company. Have you already selected a logo and is it in a digital format. If no then you may have to check with the company whether they are involved in logo design also. You must also have a color scheme in mind, have at least raw content available, photos with copyright and most importantly a domain name. In case you do not have a domain name, hosting space or a web server you may need to check with the web development Toronto Company if they offer such services and what the rates are. You may also need to check if they offer copywriting services and all related services.

Website Functionality

It is also important to decide on the functionality required for the website. Do you intend the website to be just a brochure for the company? Would you want customers to be able to browse your website and look for answers and solutions? Will your customers be shopping online or playing games online or any such functionality? Are you intending to have a live chat or a discussion forum? Is there a need for password-protected sections for staff or clients? Will you require the functionality of being able to update the content yourself? Is there a need for dynamic elements such as calendars searchable tips?

Rebeltrail Web Design Company

Rebeltrail is one such Toronto web design company that offers a complete package of web solutions that include website design and development, mobile application development, consulting, hosting and SEO services. The company has won several awards in the field and features expertise in the area of web application and website development for organizations and businesses. The company offers cost-effective website services delivered on time.


5 Sure-Fire Ways to Boost Your Web Copywriting Response Rate

Developing reader-friendly web copywriting isn’t easy. People have little patience when it comes to reading content online. They want answers and they want them now. The problem for us folks creating online content is it’s impossible to convince a prospect to choose our product or service in the time it takes for them to lose interest.

So what can we web copywriters do to keep people reading until we’ve shown them our offering is the one they should choose?

I’ve put together a few tricks of the trade learned over many years and many successful websites. By following the techniques in this article, you’ll have a chance to grab and hold your prospect’s attention and improve your response rate dramatically.

  1. Write Conversationally To Connect with Readers – The biggest mistake I see novice copywriters make (and experienced ones too!) is using long sentences, complicated words and jargon. No matter who your target audience is, you should use simple, short sentences. By writing simply, you make it easy for the reader to understand you. You want people to focus on WHAT you’re saying, not HOW you’re saying it. A rule of thumb I use is – if you have to read a sentence more than once to understand it, rewrite it. This technique alone will boost your response rate.
  2. Use Headlines to Grab Attention – Advertising great David Ogilvy said five times more people read a headline than body copy. So you better be sure your headline works hard to capture interest and get people to continue reading. Many web pages waste a golden opportunity by using a weak, lazy headline that offers nothing to the visitor. Give people a reason to stay on your site. Give yourself the chance to turn them into a customer.
    Some techniques to improve your headline writing technique include:

    • Promise a benefit: “Get White Teeth in 15 Minutes or less”
    • Ask a question: Want to Double Your Income in 6 months?
    • Include words such as: new, announcing, introducing
    • Promise useful information: Avoid Making This Major Real Estate Mistake
  3. Write Directly to Your Reader – One of the best techniques for helping a reader focus is by writing directly to them. Write as if you’re speaking to them, the same way as I’m doing in this article. Use words like ‘you’ and ‘your’ instead of ‘they’ and ‘their’. Famous copywriter Robert W. Bly describes a great technique. He says to imagine you’re across the desk from a friend and you’re describing the product or service to them, how it will help, why they should use it etc. I personally believe this to be a fantastic approach that will help you connect with readers and avoid sounding like a corporate robot.
  4. Ignore Yourself – Don’t talk about yourself, nobody cares. Sorry. Improve your web copywriting by focusing completely on the needs, wants or problems of the reader and ONLY THEN explain exactly why your product or service is the perfect solution. Show that you understand why they’ve come to your site in the first place. They are looking for something specific. If you can figure out what that is and address it in your copy, your response rate will blow up.
  5. Write About What’s Important to the Prospect – This is not necessarily a copywriting tip. But it is a way of ensuring you’ll maximize your response. You might love a certain feature or benefit of your offering. You think it’s amazing and sets you apart from your competitors. But what if the prospect doesn’t care? You better be sure that whatever it is you’re focusing on is what the prospect is interested in. This is standard in sales. And really, copywriters are just salespeople behind a keyboard. Discover exactly what drives interest in your product or service and I promise your copywriting will benefit.

As I’ve already mentioned, web copywriting is really about connecting with the reader as quickly as possible. Try to remember that a site visitor has come to you for a reason, it’s up to you to figure out why, and then explain why they’ve made the right choice. Review your copy and make sure it’s reader-focused and you’ll have a much better chance of creating a genuine relationship with your prospects.

This article is prepared for Rebel Trail by Brian Birnbaum.