How a professional website is created

how a website is created

As active web designers in Nottingham and the East Midlands, we are sometimes asked, surprisingly (!),  “What do you actually do?” Well that’s a reasonable question, so let’s take a look to see what is really involved in the creation of a professional web site.

The first step is the design of the web site.

It is important to determine the best structure for your site. This involves determining the pages, sub-pages, and navigation. We then need to look at how we are going to set up the headers, footers and sidebars. The formatting that we use for  image placement must be also considered, as well as where social media share buttons will be placed,

In the overall design we must think about logos and branding, as well as accessibility, usability, typefaces to be used, type sizes, and even the colours to be used.

As we make these decisions, we have to keep in mind the different screen widths that your website will be viewed on, such as tablets, desktops, and mobile devices. It is important that your Web site looks good and operates correctly on all devices.

Content

If, the content is to be produced by us, then there is research that needs to be done. The content will need to be written and optimised for keywords. Of course, all this will need to be proofread and checked. Our goal here is always to write original content. We strive to write engaging content in order to keep your visitors on your website. At this stage we will also consider the use of source graphics and photos.

Functionality

At this stage we start making decisions as to what happens when you click on a particular button.Although this issue is more important for online shops than other websites, we still want to make sure that your website has proper functionality.

Optimisation

This is where we begin compressing photos, in order to minimise the number of bytes without losing the quality of the image. We compress the code in order for your web pages to quickly load on all devices. This is particularly important for mobile devices on the 3G, because the mobile network runs slower than broadband. Optimisation is also what Google uses when determining where your Web site will be positioned in their search results.

Testing

At this point we test your entire site to ensure it works as expected on a multitude of desktop browsers. We Check desktop operating systems (PC and Mac) using Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Opera browsers. We also check to see how your website works on tablets (iPad and Android) as well as a variety of smartphones (iPhone and Android). Because there is more to test for online shops, this phase takes a little longer if you have this kind of website.

Time to move to the live stage

In order to make your website live, we upload all the code, videos, graphics, photos, all databases etc. to the live server. At this time we will set up a site map, a method for the collection of statistics, and we will make sure that the entire site is operating correctly and as expected.

This is been a quick high level overview of what is needed for a professional website. As this is just an overview, please do ask, if there are things not mentioned that you feel should be here.

Photo by Halacious on Unsplash

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Why you should only use a local web designer

Looking at getting a new website? Here are 7 reasons why you should only choose a local web designer

As you begin to put together a great website for your business, it is important for you to locate a good web designer. This should be one of your first tasks.

Outsourcing your work to freelancers and other companies whose services you see advertised on the Internet cvan be a tempting alternative to the hiring of a local company or professional. After all, the world is a small place now thanks to the Internet and it may seem a cheap and easy option to employ a web designer who may not even be in the same contry as you!

Although it may seem cheaper to hire a cheap web designer you don’t know too much about, it could become quite costly in the long run. If this is the method you choose to create your web design, there is a good possibility that sooner or later you will regret that decision. Let me give you seven reasons why your best option is a local web designer.

1: Time zone issues and communication problems are something you don’t need to do deal with

Face-to-face meetings are still the best way to get things done. When you are trying to explain your web requirements to your designer, it makes a substantial difference. At various stages of the project, it is easier to review and make needed corrections. If you have a remote wed designer, you are unlikely to be able to do this, which can hinder the project.

Of course it is possible to use teleconferencing or video chat to do these reviews, but these methods have drawbacks and limitations. For instance, if the web designer you have hired is in a different time zone than yourself, you have automatic communication hurdles to overcome. There will be inevitable delays, due to time differences. Getting replies through your emails will be delayed, and you will find the tasks generally take longer. When you are trying to communicate any new requirements or changes that need to be made, these delays can be quite frustrating. By hiring a local web designer, you not only avoid any time zone issues, you also negate any possible language barriers and cultural differences.

2: A local web designer has the advantage of understanding your business

A local web designer will be able to visit your office and get an understanding of just how your business works. By coming  into your office, they will be able to better understand your objectives and what you are trying to achieve with your web presence. When they actually do the work on your project, they will be able to use the knowledge they have gained, to your advantage. Rather than just creating a design from your specifications, they will have the ability to give you new ideas and suggestions that can improve your website.

3: Having local knowledge of your business is a definite asset

If your business is geared only to your specific city, county, or locality, a local designer will have a greater understanding of the local aspects of your business. This will allow him to better target your local market. As an example, by being familiar with your community and area, a local designer will better understand the target market specific to your area. Your target market might be people who live in a particular location or possibly people with a specific amount of income.

4: Local website designers want to keep their reputations intact

Local designers know that if their customers are in the same area, they have a great deal more to lose if they provide poor service. They know the importance of keeping a good reputation in the market, both online and off-line. They understand that word-of-mouth reputation is even more important when they are dealing with local businesses. You also have the ability to ask for local references in order to check the quality of service they provide. It is very difficult to check on the quality that you may receive from an outsourced designer halfway around the world.

5:  You can expect a higher level of technical support and training

Technical support is needed by everyone. There are times when these technical problems may be because of design issues. If you are unfamiliar with your web hosting control panel or with your new content management system, you may require additional training. If you have a local designer, it is likely that you will get better support and training than you would from an outsourced designer.

6: Local web design companies or professionals are more likely to be there when you need them

The inability to ensure continuity is probably the worst part of outsourcing. When you’re dealing with individuals and smaller companies, this can be especially true. I am sure you can imagine how frustrating is when you find that your web designer or company no longer exists, just when you need to make changes or have more work to be done. Often within one year, sometimes even less, these designers and companies are no longer around. You are much less likely to come across such a problem when you are dealing with local companies that are well-established.

7: You never know the commitment level when you work with a non-local designer

Local web designers and companies are committed to help you achieve your goals and objectives with your website. We have already discussed two reasons which makes this so. One, of course, is as we discussed, the better understanding of your business, your requirements, and your goals. The second is the need for your local designer to maintain their reputation within the local community.

The Internet has made it easy to hire a designer from some far off exotic location, and although it may seem easier, in the long run it may prove to be more costly and more difficult. Even though most of the work done on a website is initially done in the first few months, proper web designing is an ongoing process. Changes keep coming up, and new requirements are often needed to keep your website up and running properly. Because your local web designer most likely has a higher stake in your success and is committed to you and your project, you are much better off with his services.

At Zoom Planet, we have been developing pages on the World Wide Web for over 10 years. We are experienced Nottingham web designers who can create websites that will distinguish your business online. Give us a call on 0115 871 4994 and let us help you achieve your website needs. We can give you a no obligation quote.

Photo: Image courtesy of Jeffrey Zeldman on Flickr

Why keeping your website fresh is important

There are more reasons than you may be aware of for making sure your website is constantly growing.

  • When you continue to create fresh content for your website, it shows your readers that you care about them and gives you a way to show your personality, as you engage with your customers
  • By having user focused content, you are able to engage with readers and customers that may not be in your usual off-line marketing channels
  • It is well-known, that an important factor to improving your search engine ranking for specific keywords, is by providing continual new website content

Having a print mentality in the web industry is outdated.

  • You no longer have to have everything ready as if it were a final print run. Changes can be made to your website after launch and as often as needed
  • It is understandable that you must meet deadlines, however with a website, you are able to grow gradually over time. Small changes can be made easily and quickly within your website, unlike in the print world, where everything is set in stone
  • In print, the colours you see are the colours you get. However the colours within your website may change slightly on different monitors or displays. It is important to understand the colours and tones on your website

Although a website may mean many things to different people, there is one philosophy that should remain central, that is, it must continue to improve, refine, extend, and adapt.

A new approach:

For instance, if you have been redesigning your website every three years, why not spend your budget in a slightly different way. Spread your budget out over time, instead of spending it all at one time. This will allow you to keep up with trends and not have an outdated website.

Benefits:

  • You will have better control of your budget by spreading it evenly over time
  • You will prevent your website from becoming stale, as it will be continually evolving
  • As new technologies become available, you can make changes to your website, thereby keeping your site on the cutting-edge
  • The needs of your customers and readers can quickly be adapted to
  • Your goals will be achieved far quicker than before because your web team will understand your business needs and objectives and have a greater understanding of how to proceed by adapting to a constantly evolving environment

In Summary:

Utilise your web teams talents and your online marketing team to enhance your business and capture new trends and technologies as they occur. There is no reason for you to be three years behind. Instead of hiring once every three years, spread your cost out over time and have a website that is constantly evolving.

Photo: Image courtesy of Seth Anderson on Flickr