Browse Author

mimin

10 Steps to Hiring the Best Web Designer

You have been planning forever to get a website designer to work on your site. Your plans are clear and you have prepared your content. What next? How do you go about choosing the best web designer or web design company?

Step 1. Ask around. Ask friends, or similar companies who have hired a web designer in the past. Besides getting the contact numbers of the web designers, ask how it is to work with that person. Find out what happened during the design process and what they think of the designs submitted.

Step 2. Do your research for contact information. Use the internet or your phonebook to get the names and contact information of web design companies in your area. If you use the internet, have a peek of their past work. Then contact each and ask for a quotation.

Step 3. Look through the portfolio of the web design company you are choosing from. See if the designs are professional-looking, clean and easy to use.

Step 4. Look at the experience of the web designer or Web Design Company. How long has the person or company been in business? How many companies have they designed for?

Step 5. See if the designer or web design company is up to date with the newest trends in web marketing. Useful, profitable websites attract the correct traffic with search engine optimization and usability and by employing web 2.0 strategies such as social media marketing. Effective web sites take SEO and usability into serious consideration. See if your web designer has at least a basic knowledge of both. In order for your website to be successful you need to be able to implement a successful internet marketing campaign.

Step 6. Look at the web designer or web design company proposed turnaround time. Does it match the schedule of your company’s plans?

Step 7. Examine the web designer or web design company terms of service and website files ownership. See if you agree with the conditions set by the designer to work with you. See also the rights as to who owns the final output and what sizes. If this is not clear from the start, you just may be surprised to find that the work you commissioned is not yours and you may have to pay extra to get it.

Step 8. See what the web designer offers for after-design services. Will the designer help maintain your site or is the designer only expected to do the initial design?

Step 9. Talk to the designer. Is s/he easy to communicate with? You should be able to communicate with your web designer easily. You should be comfortable presenting problems that you want solved. Your web designer should be respectful and prompt. You should both be able to compromise on what will work best for the viewers, not necessarily your personal taste.

Step 10. Look for previous, happy clients. You may look through the designer’s website or blog and see if there are client testimonials. Note what they have to say about the designer. You may also try to call them (you may ask the contact number from the web designer) and ask for comments regarding the design process and final output.

Five Simple Steps to Follow design web

1. Flashy Pages: unwanted Distractions

Most of web designers feel the need to create stylish splash pages that do nothing but create a barrier which stops web users in their tracks and forces them to make the unnecessary decision of whether to push forward to the home page or to leave your website forever. These “website introductions” are typically short Flash-based movies that showcase the web designer’s flash design skill set, yet offer the web user nothing but a distraction. Flash animations are so common these days that it’s almost impossible to actually impress a web user with a Flashy page. The main goal of any website design should be to either deliver the web user what they want or to get the web user to perform an action. a flashy page only slows down this process and should be avoided at all time.

2. Banner Advertisements: Less Is More

When it comes to the strategic placement of banner advertising, the old proverb “less is more” needs to be applied to web design. A single successful banner advertisement is more profitable and valuable then a whole bunch of banner advertisements that get minimal click-through. The harder it is to secure a single banner advertisement space, the more appealing it becomes to advertisers. it’s best to try and fill space with useful content. Another tip is to surround your banner advertisements with as much useful content as possible; this will also make the space more appealing to potential advertisers.

3. Navigation: Is The Important Key

The fastest Bike in the world is useless if no-one knows to drive it. The same goes for websites. Website owners can choose to invest thousands in web design, logo design, flash design, splash pages, funky animations and a whole host of other aesthetic goodies to make the site look fantastic, but if web users cannot navigate around the site to consume the content or purchase products, then the whole website fails to achieve its goals. In web design when it comes to designing effective navigation it’s best to keep it as simple as possible. Once again, web designers will often go overboard and design navigation menus that include flash animations, multi-tiered dropdowns and a whole host of other unnecessary additions that only work to distract the user, instead of helping them navigate around the website. Navigation is the key that unlocks good website design

4. Coding: Never Copy & Paste

Amateur web designers will often copy and paste code from various websites and compile their website like its Frankenstein. When an error occurs, the web designer doesn’t know how to fix it because they didn’t write the code. Web designers must then sit down and waste time working out what each piece of code does, before discovering the error and then rectifying it. During this time it’s the web users who suffer, as they sit through error after error. Although writing the code from scratch causes longer initial development stages and may cost more in the short term, it will save you a lot of time in the long run if any errors do happen to occur. As mentioned above, errors need to be avoided, whatever the cost. Before seeking professionals to do your website design or flash design, always run double-checks to see how much of the code they are actually writing. If the web design agency is copying code from within their own web design / flash design team, then there is nothing to worry about because someone in the agency will know what to do if a problem arises or they typically have an FAQ that can be easily referenced. The only time you should worry is if the code is copied from an external website.

5. Consistency: Way To Success

Regardless of size, every website should remain consistent to ensure the web user knows exactly where they are and where to look at all times. This applies to everything from simple navigation links to the location of help menus. The goal should be to make the web user familiar with all aspects of your website, from the colours used in the design to the overall layout. Some web designers, who are often pressured by management to create a variety of web designs, feel the need to experiment with different colour schemes and website layouts within a single website, but this does nothing but confuse the web user by causing disorientation. Only break consistency when the website is receiving a complete overhaul.

Author: Rajesh Benjamin, Bytesflow Technology Solutions is an Information Technology company that offers technology-based services for organizations across the world. We tower over all other IT solution providers in our commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction.

Our proficiency lies in providing cost-effective and customized IT applications that meets the technology needs of clients. Our focus on technology and process innovation makes us a strategic technology partner who will give you the edge. With our services we have helped several clients generate a high return on investment and garner more market share.Bytesflow Technology Solutions is an Information Technology company that offers technology-based services for organizations across the world. We tower over all other IT solution providers in our commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction.

Web Site Development The Roles of Web Designers and Web Programmers

A web site is a software package. By definition, a package is a ready-made program that is available to users for use to perform some tasks. These users include non-IT professionals. Thus, a web site qualifies to be a package like Microsoft Office, Peachtree Accounting packages.

Before the revolution of The Web (WWW), development of software package was the exclusive preserve of skillful programmers. Programmers or software developers develop the logic of programs which a package will eventually use to function. This logic building aspect of software development requires high level of intellect. This together with the intricacies of mastering programming languages made the development of packages uninteresting and unattractive to a large spectrum of people.

Following the revolution of The Web, it became possible for non-programmers to develop packages right from the inception. These are web-based packages and of course, web sites, requiring no programming skills. The result was the creation of a new type of profession called Web Design. A web designer is someone who organizes a web page by arranging texts, pictures, animations, forms etc on a page and formats them to produce good presentation. All he needs do is to make use of any of the appropriate web development tools like Macromedia Visual Studio and Microsoft FrontPage. Through the Design section of Macromedia Dreamweaver, for example, you can design a whole web page without using HTML codes. What you have is a web site. A web site is one or more web pages. These web development tools are the equivalent of what the popular package Adobe PageMaker does which is to organize and format pages of books, magazines, newspapers etc. No programming is required.

The limitation of web designing is the creation of static web sites which may be suitable for some applications but not all. They produce non-interactive and non-dynamic web sites that are unsuitable for certain applications and needs. For example, online registration. The role of a web designer stops at this point and that of a web programmer begins. As a result of the limitation of static web sites, the need to move further arose. People wanted sites where they could post forms for tasks like creating accounts online and authentication of passwords. This led to the development of web programming languages otherwise known as scripts. Examples are JavaScript, ASP, ASP.NET, JSP, PHP, ColdFusion etc. The result was the creation of the profession of web programming. A web programmer is someone who develops programs for the purpose of performing automated tasks on a web site. Some prefer to call them software developers. Example of such tasks are:

  1. Data validation.
  2. Form submission.
  3. Sign Up.
  4. Database search.

Thus, it became possible to develop dynamic and interactive web sites capable of doing what conventional software could do on stand-alone computer and network using non-internet technologies. Online banking, stock broking are examples. These functions can now be carried out entirely on internet. To develop functional scripts for such automated tasks, logic building and mastery of the programming language to use in terms of syntax are required. Most of the programs are written from scratch.

Can you be a web designer and a web programmer? Yes, you can. There are people who double as web designer and web programmer but specialists are noted for doing better in their respective fields of specialization than non-specialists. Some sites do not require more than web designing but many sites nowadays require both web designing and web programming like the multi-tier applications that have presentation layer, the logic layer that interfaces the presentation layer with the database, and the data layer that contains the database. There are even database specialists who design database and write what is called stored procedures and triggers right inside the database. The use of stored procedures increases the overall efficiency of site execution as it minimizes the number of times SQL statements are parsed, compiled, and optimized during execution. You can see that site development is quite deep.

The roles of web designers and web programmers are complementary in the development of web site. You need to identify where your ability lies and allow that to inform your choice of area of specialization. If you know you have the ability to write programs, you can go beyond web designing and become a web programmer but if it is otherwise, stick to web designing and continue to grow and sharpen your skills. The truth of the matter is that programming is not for everybody.

If you are a conventional graphic artist, you will find it easy to crossover to web designing and if you are a conventional programmer, you can readily crossover to web programming. What I mean by conventional graphic artists are those who have the expertise in the use of tools like CorelDraw, Photoshop, and PageMaker to perform Desktop Publishing tasks. By conventional programmers, I mean the experts in programming languages like C++, FoxPro, COBOL, and Dbase.

As long as you can determine where your ability lies, you will surely overcome frustrations in your tasks of developing web sites and you will continue to enjoy what you are doing. If you are a web designer and you have a job that involves programming which you cannot handle, look for assistance from a web programmer. If you are a web programmer and you are having issues with web designing in your task, seek the assistance of a web designer. If you can handle both areas to a very large extent, well and good.

Olumide Bola holds a bachelors degree of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and is currently pursuing chartered membership of the Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN). He is also a member of Nigeria Computer Society (NCS). He has trained scores of people for well over a decade in programming and non-programming courses. He is currently a Software Developer and the Managing Director/CEO of Victolay Technologies Limited.

Discount Web Design Versus Expensive Web Design

In business, the decisions always come from the business owner or the entrepreneur who has the last say. The owner can decide what marketing strategy is to be made. He also holds the decision on which is right or which is wrong for his own company. That may be the case; even the boss can make mistakes. The purpose of this article is to provide some insights with regard to the importance of having a website in every business, the difference between a discount web design and expensive web design and lastly, to help all business owners in conceptualizing the right decision in choosing whether they will benefit from a discount web design or an expensive design.

A website on its understated term can be defined as the collection, arrangement and creation of web pages. The web page contains all necessary information such as content or article, pictures or images, videos and many more. Web graphics designer develop and create a website based on the preference for their client or the business owner that they are dealing. The best design is the one that strongly represents the business or company. Before the web graphics designer develops a website, they must first decide on the theme and the structure of the site based on the client’s preference. The very first page of a website is the home page or the front page of every website. The succeeding pages have their own URL that is linked together with the home page to form a website.

Discount web design or cheap design from the word itself targets those customers who are in need of a cheap and affordable web designs. Cheap designs are intended for personal website or small business’ website. Personal websites are only intended for particular purposes that may not require so much data storage and other features. Nowadays, since more and more companies are into website design, the tendency is that they lower their package prices in order to attract clients for their business. Small design firms get more clients by offering a cheap price for their design services compared to those who offer an expensive web design package. If you only need a simple yet effective website that will be used for marketing tool, it will be better go for an affordable price. An affordable or cheap design cost only about $500 and below.

An expensive design package exceeds the price of a discount web design that means $500 and above. Large companies often hire the best web hosting, the best design and the best web designer because of credibility issues. It doesn’t necessarily mean that small web designing companies is not reputable however; some small web design firms tend to lure other people about how impressive their service is and then once they get hold of your money, they are nowhere to be found. Large companies hire leading design firms just because they feel secured in doing business with them, even on the expense of spending more money just to hire them. Large companies usually need an e commerce site that will showcase all of their products or services. Most of them also have a safe check out that shoppers use in buying their products. An expensive design has more features and space compared to a cheap design package.

Since we have mentioned that there are many reputable and credible design companies now that offer their service inexpensively, most entrepreneurs prefer to hire a design company that offers the best web design at a cheap price. You can achieve it by finding those that work independently. There are three basic reasons why small design companies are able to provide their quality service at a low rate. First is they eliminate business overhead.

This means they do not spend extra money on a rent for an office space, do not spend other bills like Internet connection, water, electrical bills and other because most of them work from home office. Second is that small web design groups utilize all available tools brought by modern technology. Lastly, business efficiency and sharing of ideas from everyone in the group are intact.

Now that we have seen the difference between the two, the decision will still be left to the owner or the boss if he will choose a cheap design service or the expensive one. If he chooses an affordable design company that will create the website, he must be patient in finding a credible one. The benefit that he can get is that he will save more money compared to those entrepreneurs who will go for an expensive design package.

7 Tips for Successful Web Design and Promotion

If you’re thinking about having a website built, it’s important for you to have a clear idea of the process before you begin. Your website could be a profitable business venture for you, but only if you’ve really done your research ahead of time. Many people begin investing in their new websites before they’ve really thought out each step and end up wasting money on sites that never see fruition. However, with some simple planning and research, you can set yourself on the right track toward developing a successful website. Here are seven tips for web design and promotion to get you started.

web design2

1. Survey the Market and Research Your Competitors

Before you get ahead of yourself and begin hiring a web designer, take some time to survey the market and research your competitors. Look at what other types of websites are out there and see if anyone is doing something similar to your plan. Consider how many people are running similar websites, as well as how professional their websites look. This will help you to determine whether or not it’s worth setting up your own site, before you’ve invested too much in it.

To help ensure the success of your website, you should begin finding a niche market that you can target. You may be tempted to attract any and all customers that you can but you’ll actually have greater success targeting a very specific demographic. Think extensively about who your potential audience members are and what they would be most interested in. Then, you can begin to develop your website around these ideas.

2. Brainstorm Design Ideas and Figure Out What You Like

Once you’ve thought a little more about your site’s purpose, you should now think about your ideas for the design. You’ll need to consider the best way to present your message or to feature your products to audience members. Keep in mind that people tend to skim websites looking for something interesting or eye-catching, so make sure that the most important elements of your site are featured prominently.

The best way to figure out what you like is by looking at other websites. You can make a list of things you do and don’t like, in order to show your web designer. Look at the designs and colours of other websites, as well as their use of text or images. Think about the pages functionality, as well. This type of list can help you to get clear on what you’re looking for in your website and will also help your designer to implement your vision.

3. Determine Your Budget

Figure out what you can reasonably afford to spend on your website design and begin to look for designers in that price range. It’s best to contact a few web design companies ahead of time, in order to get an idea of general pricing. If the designers you talk to are telling you that your budget is too low, you may need to raise more money or lower the scale of your vision for the site.

Keep in mind that quality web design is not cheap. Too many people don’t put enough money into their web design budget and their sites suffer for it. If you want a website that will look professional and that will really engage your visitors, it’s important to set your budget realistically.

4. Research Your Options and Choose a Web Designer

Now you’re ready to begin searching for a web designer. Research your options and look for a web designer that has experience in building similar websites. Most web design companies keep an online portfolio where you can see examples of their past work and see their design styles. You can also check out reviews of designers on third party websites like Which Web Design Company. Again, it’s important to remember that quality web design requires an investment on your part. Web design is an area in which you truly get what you pay for.

Before hiring a web designer, make sure that you can communicate well with him or her. The designer will be an important part of your team as you work toward building your website and beyond. It’s also important that you and your web designer are able to see a similar vision so providing a detailed specification will be extremely helpful but we will cover that in a moment.

5. Work With Your Web Designer to Set Clear Expectations

Once you’ve hired a web designer, you should begin working together to develop a very specific idea of what the website will look like. Give the designer your list of what you do and don’t like, as well any particular elements it’s necessary for the website to have. Though the designer should be able to give you feedback about your design ideas and can offer great advice, it’s also important for you to directly communicate what you’re interested in. Some designers may try to persuade you to do things their way but stand your ground.

You should begin by giving the designer ideas about the general look and feel you want the website to have. Make notes about any specific colours or design elements you want, as well as the features it needs. Think about how many pages you’ll need for the website, as well as any content you already have or will need to develop. Working with a clear set of expectations can help the web designer to implement your vision quickly and on budget.

6. Launch Your Website and Begin Marketing Heavily

It’s a great idea to have your marketing strategy in place before you’re ready to launch the website. When launch day arrives, you’ll be ready to start off with a bang and begin receiving traffic instantly. You may want to write press releases to feature online or through local media. You can also utilize social media to spread the word about your website naturally through Twitter and Facebook.

You may also want to consider using Google AdWords and other pay per click advertising sites to build traffic to your website. Plan to spend around £300-£500 per month for the service so you get a good influx of traffic which will be essential to getting those orders flowing. It will help you to receive traffic instantly, which can help you greatly as you work to spread the word and promote your website. Even if the visitors you pay for don’t buy anything they may well tell others who will. If you want your website to be successful, it’s essential that you receive as many visitors as possible. If you’re having trouble getting traffic to your website, it will be difficult for you to make any sales.

7. Allow Time and Money for Search Engine Optimisation

Google AdWords is a great way to help you get started but it’s also important to use search engine optimisation, or SEO, to build organic traffic to your site. While AdWords will automatically place you at the top of search engine rankings with an advert you will have to continue doing that for ever. SEO can help you get to the first page of rankings naturally and eventually you will receive lots of traffic for free. This is important to increasing your traffic and building your site’s legitimacy and authority on your subject.

Be sure to budget the time and money for SEO. It’s not cheap and it can take 6-12 months to get your page to the first page of rankings for a number of keywords but it will generate a great amount of free traffic when you get there. It may cost about £300-£600 per month but SEO is truly the best way to start bringing in consistent traffic. Over time, your SEO efforts can help you build a reliable customer base and increase your sales. You’re website will now be a true competitor in your niche market and well on it’s way to success.

How to Choose a Cheap Web Designer

Choosing a web designer can be like choosing a tradesman. Who do you trust? Which ones are genuine and which ones will leave you feeling out of pocket? I have compiled a list of questions that we feel you should always ask before commissioning a website. It shouldn’t matter whether you’re going for an expensive site that is all singing and dancing or a simple site – you should still expect and receive a great service.

So here are the top questions that we think you should ask your web designer or check on their website. Please don’t be put off! There are thousands of honest, fantastic companies out there who want nothing more than to make their customers happy. However, as I search on Google, some companies aren’t perhaps quite what they appear…

1. Do the examples of their work click through to a website?

I have noticed that on some web designer’s sites, examples of work are displayed, but it is not possible to click through and actually view the site they are claiming to have created. I cannot think of any reason for this, other than:

a) They haven’t actually created the site – they have simply taken a screen shot of any website and added it to their “portfolio”.

b) They have created the site, but it isn’t very good and so don’t want you to see it.

c) They have created a site with a fantastic looking homepage, so that they can add the screenshot to their “portfolio”, but they can’t show the rest of the site, as it doesn’t exist!

If you can click through to the site, I recommend the first thing you do is scroll down to the bottom of the page. Most web designers stipulate in their terms and conditions that the website will have a “Created by… ” link at the bottom of the customer’s website. This is the norm in the industry. If then, you scroll down to the bottom and you don’t see this, I would be suspicious that the company who claim to have designed the site, possibly haven’t.

Also, if you can click through to examples sites, double check that they are genuine! I have seen “portfolio examples” that are clearly fabricated. Perhaps the telephone number of the web designer’s “customer” is 01234 5678910, or the domain name is a sub domain, rather than a real domain name. Be vigilant – it will be worth it!

2. Do they offer testimonials that can be verified?

As with tradesmen, often the best way to gauge a web designer is on testimonials from previous clients. I care about the work I do and I want to ensure that my customers are satisfied. On completion of their site, all my customers are sent a short questionnaire about the quality of my work, service, price etc and I am proud to display these on my site. Your web designer should be happy for you to contact previous clients, as this is truly the only way that the testimonials can be verified.

3. How much do they charge for hosting?

When you get a web design quote, you will often find that hosting is included free of charge for the first year. You must ensure that you know exactly how much your hosting is going to cost after this time. For example, I had a customer who had a great website that had cost GBP50, but they were being charged GBP30 per month for hosting! This is far too much (and in my opinion unethical). Their cheap web design ended up costing them a fortune.

You should expect to pay anything from GBP30-GBP60 per year for your hosting for an average site. More than this and I would walk away. Conversely, if you are told that hosting is “free forever”, then I would also be suspicious. Perhaps you will be charged a high fee to renew your domain name instead…

4. Will they accept payment from you, without having discussed your needs first?

I have seen some websites that send you directly to a payment page. I would never recommend making a payment for a website without having first discussed exactly what you want – either via telephone or email.

Before parting with any money you need to ensure that your web designer understands what you want from your website, how many pages it will be (you need to know what constitutes a “page”), what you need to supply and what they will source, what would be the best domain name etc etc etc. There’s a whole list of factors that should be decided before parting with your money. If a company is happy to receive payment before this, be wary.

5. Do they have Terms and Conditions?

You are entering into a contract with your web designer and as such, you should firstly ensure that they have T & Cs and secondly read them! They are there to protect both you as the customer and also the web designer themselves (yes, sadly sometimes the customer tries to rip the web designer off also). If they don’t have T & Cs and say not to worry, it is all based on trust, then be wary.

6. Whose name will the domain name be in?

This is really important. The domain name should always be registered in your name, not the web designer’s name. This means that you own the domain name. For example, an unethical designer may register the domain in their own name. If your business is successful (which hopefully it is!) and the time comes to renew your domain name if the domain name is not registered in your own name, the web designer can charge you whatever they like to use the domain name. This is not a situation you want to find yourself in.

Luckily, I think this practice is fading out but I still have the occasional customer who doesn’t own their domain name – their previous designer does. How do you check this? If the company’s portfolio is genuine, you can visit the website http://www.who.is, type in the domain name and it will tell you who the owner of the domain name is. The owner of the domain should not be the web design company (although they are often listed as the administrators, which is fine)

7. How much will you be charged to makes changes to your site in future?

This is a tricky one. Having your website designed is usually just the first step in. Once your site is up and running, you often want to make changes to it, add special offers, new pictures etc. Obviously it would be unfair to expect your web designer to carry out this work for you for nothing (although some customers do think that web designers should do updates for free!). On the other hand, you want to know that you’re not going to be ripped off every time you want to change your site.

You can expect to pay around GBP25 per hour for updates and this is around the norm for most ethical web designers. It’s possible get a lot done in an hour, so it generally works out pretty well for customers. Some companies will charge GBP25 per change however, so watch out for this. For example, a designer might alter some text for a customer, add 2 photos and an extra PayPal button. It could usually do this in approximately half an hour let’s say, so it would cost GBP12.50. If you were being charged per change, this would be GBP100! Again, just be aware of all the costs before committing.

Something else you may want to look at, is whether or not you have the option to be able to update your own site in the future. This means that you can log into your website and make changes to your own site as and when you like, without worrying about the cost each time. As technology becomes more user friendly, this type of service is becoming increasingly popular.

I hope that helps in your quest for a web designer. Please don’t be put off by any of the above. Like all industries, you will hear both good and bad stories and as long as you do your homework, trust your instincts and follow some basic principles, you will end up with an appealing, user friendly, navigable, SEO friendly website.

Top 10 Tips for Choosing a Web Designer

How to Choose a Web Design Firm

Simple. You do your homework on them. Then, you start asking questions and taking notes. There are plenty of web designers available. You want to go with the best because, in fact, your web designer is in essence your partner. You want to choose a designer that takes YOUR business seriously.

What questions do you ask?

There are several important questions to ask when choosing a web designer for your business web site.

Creating your web site can be a tricky process. Choosing the best web design firm for your business web site is a very important decision. And if your company is like most small businesses, you probably do not have web design experience. Building your web site will take time and work. And working with a web designer is no easy task. So choose the right web design company from the start and avoid do-over’s, which can be costly and time consuming.

1. What kind of web experience do you have?

For starters, find out what kind of design experience your potential design firm has. Do they have experience with content management systems such as Joomla or Drupal, do they have experience working with “raw” HTML? Has the web design company created web sites similar to yours? Do they have relevant industry experience? If you want to sell products through your web site and accept credit card payments, does the web design company you are considering have experience with ecommerce hosting?

2. Do you have a portfolio that I can review?

An experienced web design company will have a solid portfolio of web sites that they have created for other clients. Ask for links to other site the design company has created and review each one. Do you like what you see? Do the sites have a style that appeals to you?

3. Do you have any references?

In addition to reviewing web sites, ask for customer references. Contact their clients and ask them about their experience with the web design company. Were they happy with the results? Did they get what they paid for? How much did they pay? Would they recommend them? How long did it take? What didn’t they like about the company? How responsive was the company when they had questions?

4. What are your prices?

The most important step in pricing is to make sure the potential design company outline all of the prices associated with the work and puts it all in writing. Never enter into a deal unless all of the costs are well understood up front.

Ask them a bit about how they manage payments. If they respond in a very business-like and professional manner, this is a good sign. If they throw out answers like – “Don’t worry, we’ll manage” or “Whatever you are comfortable with”, don’t be fooled. This is trouble waiting to happen. Get the price in writing before you begin the project.

5. Do you have experience with search engine optimization?

Most small business owners do not have it in their budget to hire a separate marketing firm to work on search engine optimization (SEO), so it imperative that your web designer have experience in SEO. A good designer will know that design and SEO go hand-in-hand. Designing a web site for search engines with “clean” code that utilizes cascading style sheets is essential to getting your content indexed in the leading search engines, such as Google and Bing.

6. Do you have experience with social media marketing?

Many marketing firms do know the first thing about social media marketing. These firms are stuck in the past and are not as effective as they pretend to be. Be sure that you work with a designer that knows how to setup a Facebook fan page for your business and design a customized Twitter profile. This is important because you will want your social media properties to mesh with the design of your web site. The web site and social media pages should complement one-another.

7. What is your process for designing or building a web site?

Make sure you ask your potential web design company about the process that they use? Do they design a web site or do they build a web site? An experienced Internet professional should understand the difference between these two concepts. If they don’t, they’re probably not as experienced as they claim to be. Building a web site is a highly technical process, while designing a web site is a highly creative process. Many advertising firms specialize in web site design which does not necessarily require any web development skills whatsoever. At the same time, many firms design web sites, yet out-source the creative portion of the project. Find out from the beginning what the process if for the firm that you are considering.

8. How long will it take?

Perfectionism can be a huge stumbling block in the fast paced world of the Internet. Some designers are unable to compromise between quality and time to market needs. Test: See how long it takes until you receive a proposal.

9. What type of support is offered after web site launch?

If your design firm does not offer web site maintenance, you might want to continue looking. Most reputable design firms will offer “post-launch” maintenance for companies that do not have an in-house webmaster.

10. Which web hosting providers do you work with?

If your design firm does not know the first-names of the contact at their favorite web design firm, then this should raise a red flag. Most reputable web designers know not to choose a web host simply because they are the most popular or because they offer the cheapest web hosting. A reputable web design firm should know who to call and how to get results! Does your web designer work with a green hosting company? Environmentally-friendly web hosting is becoming more and more popular for business web sites looking to implement an eco-policy.

Getting a little recognition on the W3 is hard, even in a niche market (especially in a niche market). You have less than 10 seconds to convince a site visitor to stick around long enough to learn about the quality of your services, your products or your message. Web surfers are jagged out on information overload. If they don’t see what they want to see on your home page or a landing page, they bounce. So, making a statement about your corporate culture and your business’ core values has to happen in the blink of an eye. Visitors will never even see the “About Us” page if you don’t create a good impression – in 10 seconds. So, go green! An emblem or banner proclaiming that you employ green hosting makes an immediate statement about your on-line business. It says you care about the environment.

Do your homework when choosing a web design firm.

Good designers are creative people that need to think out of the box. Finding a good web designer is getting harder and harder. The good designers are being snatched by agencies and large projects. They are overloaded with work and often, you won’t know about them because they don’t have time (or need) to market themselves. Doing your homework and asking the right questions is important to decide if they are right for the job.

Web Design and Development Information

Web design usually involves many varied disciplines and skills in the maintenance and production of websites. The different parts that encompasses web designing include interface design, graphic design, authoring which includes proprietary software and standardized code, search engine optimization and user experience design. Although some designers may specialize in all the aspects of web design, most designers usually work in groups each individual tackling a different aspect of the process.

web design1

The term web design is mostly used to refer to the design process involving the front-end design of a site that includes writing mark up too. In the wider scope of website development, Web design is partially complex more than web engineering. This is because web designers are expected to have the technical Know-How in usability and to be at par with the current website accessibility guidelines if their work involves creating mark up too.

HTML and CSS in Web design

HyperText Markup Language commonly known as HTML, plays a big role in web design since it gives the content in the website, it’s meaning and structure by defining what the content is, for instance, paragraphs, images, headings and so on. Cascading Style Sheets or what is commonly referred to as CSS, is a display language used to enhance the appearance of the content in the site for example use of colors and fonts.

Both the languages CSS and HTML are used independently of each other and that should be maintained when dealing with web design. For instance in all your web related activities such as “Web Design and development, appearance, website, homepage, HTML” HTML should not be written in a CSS document vice versa. The general rule is that HTML should always be representing content while CSS should always represent how that content appears. For those who are the beginners of HTML, in some cases you might encounter strange and often-new terms but with time you are likely to become more conversant with all of them. However, the commonly used terms in HTML you should begin with include attributes, tags and elements.

New standards in HTML and CSS

To enhance “Web Design and development, appearance, website, homepage, HTML” the W3C recently released new standards of CSS the CSS3 and HTML the HTML5. Additionally the W3C released new JavaScript API’s. Although they are all new but they are all individual standards. While the new term HTML 5 solely refers to the latest version of the HTML and a number of the JavaScript API’s it is common to hear most people use it to refer to the whole lot of the new standard both the CSS3,the HTML 5 and JavaScript.

Technologies and Tools used in web design

Depending on the step of the production process, web designers use a wide range of varied tools in their work. Though the principles behind them remain the same, the tools and technologies are updated with time by the current software and standards. To create design prototypes or and images that are formatted on the web, web designers use raster and vector graphics. The main technology used in creating websites is the standardized mark up, which can be generated or handcooked using the WYSIWYG editing software. Furthermore, there is proprietary software that uses plug-ins to bypass the user’s browser versions. They are mostly WYSIWYG but with the choice of using the scripting language of the software. Search engine optimization strategies may also be applied to check the ranking at the search engine and suggest ways of improving it. Other tools used are the mark up validators and other tools used for testing accessibility and usability. This is to make sure that the website meets the website accessibity guideline.

Homepage design

Most Usability professionals and experts such as Kyle Soucy and Jakob Nielsen have on a number of times insisted on homepage design for any website success since the homepage is the most essential part of a website. However, in the early 2000’s it was discovered that a surging number of web traffic was inconsiderate to the homepage and was directly going to the contents of the pages via e-newsletters, RSS feeds and search engines.

Due to this, it is evident that homepages play a lesser important role in the success of any website. In the years 2012 and 2013 rotating banners and sliders, also known as carousels became a very popular component of web design on homepages. The carousels are used to display recent content in a specific space. However, while undertaking “Web Design and development, appearance, website, homepage, HTML” it should be noted that carousels often damage site’s usability and search engine optimization.

Web development

The term web development is used to refer to the work involved in coming up with a website for the World Wide Web. Development usually ranges from coming with simple single page sites using plain text to the complex web applications, social network services and electronic businesses. Tasks in web development include web design, client liaison and e-commerce development.

Web site appearance

The feel and look of your site is more essential than just displaying the information you want, but doing it in a way that it appeals and creates attention from your target audience information. Multiple factors should be taken into account when scaling out the appearance of your website. One of the major considerations is your intended audience. Look at their nationality, gender, age bracket, animations, colors, animations and graphics.

In summary, the idea here is to assist you develop a site that appeals and gets attention from the largest possible audience in all your work including web design and development.

Tips for Backup Web Designer Web Design irritating Out Process

When you are running a web design business, it is very important for you to understand that your clients are the part and parcel of your business. The type of clients you agree upon to work with speaks a lot about you and your web design firm. Similarly, the grounds on which they delegated the responsibility on you to produce a design speaks a lot about them. Maintaining a good relationship with the client is though a hard nut to crack, but a lot of it spins around the web designers’ knack to edify their customers and set expectations so that both sides end up with gratification.

Many of the designers go off the beaten track in a way to gratify their clients. They make continual edits, re-designing, Last minute changes, moreover the add-in features that had never been discussed. Web designers just give in to each and every caprice of their clients but then at the end they end up getting underpaid and feeling frustrated, rebuffed and jaded.

Most web designers might relate this to worst example in a web design process. There are a few absurd expectations for a project to go quickly and smoothly. The minute these expectation ruins out of delays in the completion of the project or the bad designs or due to the coding bugs, etc., both the client and the web designer as well gets irked. Nevertheless, there is a trick out of which you can make your irksome design process a pleasant experience for you and your client as well. Edifying your clients is not a great part of your business project but you can make certain that it will aid you greatly in recuperating the working relationship with your client.

Wondering what tags along a general list of some significant lessons that must outline the scaffold for the education process? Well, a few key points are brought into a limelight below:

Tip 1: You are a Professional Designer, Not a Laborer

People never tell their Doctor’s and electricians how they need to do their jobs. They understand that the doctors and electricians obviously more on familiar terms with their respective field of work than them. This attitude on the other hand ought to persist with the webmasters too. Many clients have a set mind that just browsing through the websites qualifies the webmasters to make design decisions. They treat web designer as the annex of their brains. And because of this kind of false premonition the designers are often wrongly taken as the laborers who are born to get their task done, and not the professionals who are creative and talented with the skills and experience that others professionals to might have in their area of work. Moreover, the clients forget that the Web Designers too are the part of the design process equally.

This pathetic situation occurs generally in the case of freelancers where the clients presume that if the designers don’t have their office then they can work in any odd hour of the day too as if they don’t have their family or other things around to be taken care of!

Thus it is imperative for the web designers to make certain that their clients understand that they are experts and that their opinions are grounded in the research before the web design process initiates.

Tip 2: Communication is Vital

Lack of communication can often badly ruin the whole of the project. Generally, the clients tend to keep themselves involved and vocal in the initial stage of the project. This as a result ends up with the designers’ belief that the things are going well until when the clients hand over them the laundry list of edits.

So, bringing this clause under the contract that you might need your client’s feedback throughout the project from an issue as large as payments and billings to the minuscule subjects like the color combinations etc. so that you can generate a better product in less time period.

Tip 3: The Web and the Print Medium are like chalk and cheese

There are some of the clients who are going through the web design process for the first time and web is a strange and foreign place for them whilst there are a few who are incapable of figuring out the difference between the print medium and the web.

There are also a few clients who want their website to represent itself just like a brochure of their product or services.

Therefore, being an expert of this design arena, it’s the designer’s responsibility to enlighten their clients about the things like their website can be very well fabricated like a brochure as per their desire but doing this might fail to plug the real power of the internet eventually setting them up as the failure on the web. The web designer’s having their lives almost certainly been spent surfing the web should never take these little things for granted. Edifying the clients over the nuance and the subtlety of the web can help aid the wrong illusions that the clients might have.

Thus, to wrap-up, the art of learning the management of clients is a major challenge for any service-oriented business. If one wants to maintain good working relationships then, edifying clients are one of the wisest ways. Web designing is an essential fragment of the service-industry and thus follows the same rules. The toughest job to do ever is to stand up your client or boss but as a matter of fact doing this regularly can make your irksome website process a pleasant experience for yourself and for your clients as well.

Select Your Best Web Designer for It Can Make or Break Your Online Business

It is negative thinking to say that as of today more than 1 billion websites have been floated; and thus Internet Marketing has become heavily competitive. Instead, the positive side is there are billions of consumers out there, spread in all the countries of the world, as never before. This excellent opportunity can be used to your business advantage. How formidable it is?

If you are really bent upon meeting with success online, and stave off the challenges posed by your competitors, you have to act smart and select the right web designer, from among the numerous web development services. Only this will create your website that fulfills the objectives of a successful website.

Selection criteria for a best web designer:

There are lots of web designer services online. So you should determine first what you are looking for. If you want a demographic-specific web developer, start your search accordingly. For example, if you want to locate a website developer in any part the world, narrow down your search only to that country. (Here is interesting information relating to web development. Singapore Government offers liberal Grants under Productivity and Innovation Credit Scheme – PIC – for business community, to offset the expenses relating to designing and development).

While making the search for web designer services, the main focal points should be –

– Whether they are affordable?

– Can they create websites that stand out?

– Will their designs perform?

– Will the website be found by visitors?

– Whether the Website Design will reward expected results?

– Whether the website development services provides comprehensive services?

Now let us see each of the above questions in detail.

Affordability of web development:

In any business, including online business, cost consideration is vital. You cannot pour out money blindly in the initial stages, if you want to be successful in any business. Online business starts with designing an eye-pleasing, clutter-free, purposeful and technically-sound website. Your website is your online business address; a shop-front; it is the place where you have to take back your Return on Investment (ROI) from.

The web designer you select should be able to create a website, which has all the above qualities; and yet the prices charged should be comparably competitive, if not cheap. You cannot compromise on quality for “cheaper” web designer. So check and compare the cost the prospective designer is charging, with other website designer services and select the best.

Your website should stand out:

Anything that is out of the ordinary catches attention easily. Instead of drudging into the old and worn-out path, your website should be innovative, consumer-oriented, and should be truthful and down-to-earth on its approach and activities. Simply put, your customers should love your website.

Create a Performing Website:

The website’s performance is gauged by its simplicity and functionality. Your web designer should take care to see that your website functions well after uploading online, and should continuously monitor its performance always. Fixing up defects and glitches should be done then and there and consistently. They should be available for contact 24 hours every day.

Accessibility of web visitors:

Today Responsive Website is the buzz-word. It means visitors from all countries through sophisticated servers and computing devices, including billions of Smart Phones should easily access the website, in macro-seconds. Only the web designer can make it possible by proper coding and programming the website design efficiently and effectively.

Result-oriented Design:

Web-visitor traffic is diverted to your site through Search Engines. The crawlers of popular Search Engines pose many challenges to web designer services, in creating a website that gets the immediate attention of these crawlers. Then only they award high ranking, pick the website-link and publish it on the top-page of Search Engine Indices.

Visitor enjoys good experience from a well-designed website, easy-navigation, trouble-free functionality and availability of all required details. This happy consumer-experience is vital for growth of volume of any business.

The web-visitor traffic in crowds, conversion of the visitors into buyers first and then becoming loyal customers permanently, as also bragging about their happy experience with their friends and relatives – everything depends upon innovative, technically-sound, well configured software-rich and functioning website design. This is how a web designer can make or break your online business success.

Web Designer providing comprehensive services:

The web designer you choose should be able to take up and deliver, all the other related services to web design. Their professionals should be well-versed in implementing and configuring latest technology applications, like eCommerce software solutions, SEO Services including consultation, On-page SEO, technical audit, key word research, content development and link-building etc.