Category Archives: Web Design

Custom CMS Web Design Budget

Here are CMS web design service options to consider. The first 3 could be free except for the time needed to setup, manage, and update your website. The other web designer options involve cost.

1. Do It Yourself Web Design
2. Trust a Friend or Relative
3. Use a Free Standard Template
4. Purchase a Premium CMS Template
5. Hire a Freelance CMS Web Designer

If you lack experience, the first 4 options for free or nearly free web design involve climbing a steep learning curve to have a quality CMS website that performs well. With zero experience, it may take 200 or more hours just to research, evaluate, and select a good CMS software package, and then modify it to your unique look in preparation for installation and launch. Hiring a freelance web designer may be the best choice, yet use due diligence to verify their quality and experience. Have them provide performance evidence for their website. Ask for links to customer CMS design projects that demonstrate quality and performance for their clients, too.

Inexperienced designers may exaggerate or overpromise. Many prefer to discuss what they will do for you without real evidence. This has been proven by catching the lies of firms begging for web design work as subcontractors, yet they cannot prove results for their site or their customers. If a person or company can truly provide a quality custom design solution that performs well, they will have evidence. Another test is asking if the designer can create a custom CMS in xhtml in a tableless design with valid code to W3C with the ability to add new pages in plain text without learning advanced technical skills. A custom design meeting that sentence should display well now and on new computing inventions for years to come. You may want to ask for evidence that their designs are cross-browser compatible and will display well in all major browsers, too.

During the custom design planning phase, avoid the temptation of having just something or anything online like an under construction one-pager as a place holder. A more developed site with very general information is nearly as bad. Think of a brick and mortar store having a grand opening while half their shelves are empty. You need to make a positive first impression, so do not launch your until you have provided sufficient details of your product or service to convince visitors to consider you. In summary when choosing a custom CMS web design, budget as much quality as you can afford, use due diligence in selecting your design team, and invest ongoing time or money for future development of your design. Online success of your website depends on planning ahead and implementing our “add original quality content often” strategy along with these custom CMS web design budget tips.

Facts About A Responsive Web Design

These designs have adjustable layouts and scalable images that can adapt to any type of mobile device settings. With a responsive website design, companies can expand the reach of their businesses and websites to targeted traffic. A fluid grid is one of the key ideas behind a responsive web design. This design allows layouts to fit or adapt to any screen size, from PCs to tiny mobile devices. By equally resizing in width, all the elements in a given layout will be visible in any type of device. Fluid grids work hand in hand with CSS3 media queries in responsive web designs. The media queries are supported by a wide selection of browsers, and they basically enable you to collect information or data from the site user. CSS styles can then be conditionally applied using the collected data. Without a responsive website design, a website owner will have to give prospective visitors with alternative URLs for accessing the web using different devices. This could be inconveniencing and time-consuming for many users who are seeking quick and easy access to online information. With a responsive design, you will only create your website once, as the designing process includes formatting the site to be compatible on different platforms and operating systems. All these are made through fluid grids, media queries, and flexible layouts.

There are many advantages for having a responsive web design. You will not have to supply your prospective visitors with multiple URLs for accessing the web on different devices. Multiple URLs means multiple websites. Maintaining all these websites could be tedious and very expensive. Also, a responsive web design keeps you from spending extra money on designing multiple websites for supporting different devices.

When you want to make changes to your current website, having a responsive web design will allow you to make alterations to only one design. A mobile web design, on one hand, will need you to make specific changes to all the multiple websites you own. Building a responsive web design also increases your chances for greater ROI, since your website will become uniformly user-friendly across different devices. However, a responsive website design is not without its limitations or disadvantages. In certain cases, a responsive design will need you to download unnecessary markup. This will prolong your download time and take up extra server space. Also, having designs that are specifically built for certain mobile devices have in some cases proved a better option to having a responsive design. With these facts in place you can choose whether to undertake a responsive or mobile design for your website.

Hiring the Right Web Design Agency

Web Design is an area that includes a wide spectrum of service providers such as web designers and web developers who may be individual freelancers or part of small and mid-level digital agencies with niche skill set employees or the bigger high-end design studios with bigger employee count, larger infrastructure and capability to provide expanded services.

Web Design companies always strive to exceed the expectations of their clients in providing services; however, companies who desire a web presence have to be extremely careful in choosing the right web design company primarily because the service provider has to intuitively understand and provide what the company needs for a wholesome web presence. Factors such as user-friendly navigation, compelling design and flow, SEO friendliness etc. have to in addition be attractive but productive enough to convert prospects into customers.

  • The web design company’s qualifications, designations and experience – a long standing company has earned its reputation by longevity which is a fairly good indicator of skill and the stability of the enterprise. It also translates into sound design work and reputation for excellent customer service. This is very important because several start-ups die out leaving an organization flustered when looking for upgrades and maintenance. Any agency with fair amount of experience, client interaction and sound qualifications is worth a try.
  • The employee count and specific roles and skills – the agency does not have to be a big one but specific skills need people to play those roles – web designer, web developer, graphic designer, programmer, project management, etc. along with skilled sales & marketing people.
  • Other skills provided besides web design – for an effective web design, the agency has to be adept at search engine marketing, content writing, search engine optimization, social media marketing etc. The services provided have to match the requirements of the company seeking the services. In addition, capability in defined areas such as quality checking and testing, programming languages, operating systems and conformity to web standards is a must.
  • Payment terms – any web design company that charges a full upfront fee should be kept at arm’s length. Only those who design payment terms on stage by stage basis with agreed deliverables and payment milestones should be encouraged. It may also be necessary to know if payment terms include future maintenance, providing updates and versions, providing relevant content and testing etc.
  • A sound Privacy of Information and Non-Disclosure Policy – this is extremely crucial as the agency may have access to sensitive information that cannot fall into wrong hands. Besides, the concept itself should be kept in strict secrecy to prevent competitors and business adversaries getting hold of it and taking away the originality of the design and content.
  • Outsourcing to third parties – if the agency is in the habit of outsourcing components of the worth to third parties, it is better upfront to know what components and who the third-party agencies are. It is also necessary to know if they are in different geographical locations.

Most companies make one crucial mistake in hiring a web design agency – picking the one that quotes the lowest price. A web agency that quotes a lower rate is not always the one with best service. At the end of the exercise a badly designed website can frustrate the business as well as visitors resulting in poor impression, loss in sales and revenue and bring down the web presence even before it takes off.

 

Responsive Web Design

Earlier web designers had one major challenge to fulfill – to ensure proper functioning and maintain the look and feel of the website across different web browsers. But the advent of smartphones and the users’ fondness to access sites on their cutting-edge mobiles has changed all that. Now the task before web designers and developers is to create a site that functions across all screen sizes. That’s what make responsive web design all the more important! Responsive web design is all about designing and coding a website in such a manner that the site provides optimal user experience and easy navigation across varied devices right from desktops to smartphones. However there are many myths associated with responsive design such as the belief that it is expensive.

Responsive web design is an investment

It’s true that it takes more time and money to create a responsive site as compared to a conventional site. But then you are spared the need to create separate sites for smartphones and other devices. That ultimately reduces the overall expenditure. Having a responsive web design is an investment that will pay in the long run.

Good for SEO

Moreover responsive website design is a must for search engine optimization. Rather than optimizing content for multiple sites, with responsive design you get a single site that is easy to update and optimized for all kinds of devices. The benefits of responsive website for search engine optimization are:

• Higher local rankings
• Increased Conversions
• Lower Bounce Rates
• One URL for all devices that makes it easy for Google to index your site
• What’s more, Google adores responsive web design

Makes a site accessible to all

It is a million dollar fact that content is king. But then what is its use if it doesn’t reach your target audience who is content with browsing the net on mobile phones than desktops? Responsive web design makes it happen! No matter what your target audience preference – be it a tablet, iPhone, iPad, smartphone; responsive design ensures that website is accessible to all!

The Progress of Web Design

Evolution of Web Design

In the early 1990s, websites were text-based. The use of images and graphics were not yet main stream at the time. The first web design was made of a single column and text-based pages in Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML). Website pages were a collection of text documents connected to each other by internal links. Through research and development, significant advancements were made. The first website was published in 1991 by the inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee. He is also the current director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) founded in 1994, which oversees the web development and its standards.

In the mid 1990s, table-based websites were introduced. Now web designers were able to organize their web pages within cells of a table. It became possible to create multiple column websites, which in return allowed better web content organization and navigation layout. Table-based websites also enabled customization of each element within the table. Web designers could now insert background images within cells of a table; however, good design principles were not really important. Website designers and clients were interested by the hottest, latest and most advanced web design technology available. As things started to evolve, frames, animated texts and visual hit counters became part of web design. Frames were used to clearly separate the body of a website from the sidebar navigation. Animated texts and GIF images were used to capture the website user’s attention, while visual hit counters became a good way to measure the popularity of a webpage. In 1994, Macromedia introduced Flash, which is essentially a software used to produce Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) to create animations and stream videos.

In the late 1990s, Flash became more popular. Most websites became a combination of table-based design and flash elements, with flash animations including the company’s logo, a flash-based navigation and flash-based image galleries. The major Web Design innovation of the late 1990s was the introduction of Personal Home Page (PHP) which according to Wikipedia, is a server-side scripting language designed for web development. PHP gained a lot of popularity because it is free and compatible with leading operating systems and web servers which make it deployment easy across different platforms.

The 21st century brought a lot of innovation to web design with the introduction of CSS. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a style sheet language used to format an HTML webpage. Now web designers could separate the content of a page (HTML) from its styling or design (layout, colors, fonts, etc.). In the early 2000s, Microsoft Internet Explorer became the first web browser to fully support the CSS structure. In stride, the concept of intelligent web was introduced with the advent of JavaScript. Now designers could animate content without flash and perform a complex computation of data. The use of drop-down menus and forms also became very popular. These forms allowed internet users to generate content online, create personal profiles and upload pictures.

In the mid 2000s, the semantic web was born. This movement primary allows machines and computers to understand website pages as well as human do. This was made possible by inserting computer readable Meta tags about pages and their relation to one another through technologies such as XML, TURTLE and N-TRIPLES. The last decade was marked by the advent of web 2.0 with some major updates. The web became more and more interactive, and web applications began to expand. Now web content can refresh itself without having the entire page reloaded. The attention is now geared toward web content (articles, Press Releases, graphics and videos) instead of just selling products online. And HTML 5 was introduced as an alternative to Flash and graphics.

 

 

Moving From Graphic Design to Web Design

Who is a graphic designer?

Graphic designers combine text and images to create designs and layouts. It is their responsibility to create interesting designs which attract the viewers’ attention and effectively communicate the message. The message may be meant for both offline as well as online audiences. To put it in brief, graphic designers deal with how objects look. It is all about making static designs as visually appealing as possible. There are many branches of graphic design and many designers specialise in creating one category of work – such as Film poster designer Raj Khatri – while others prefer to do a little bit of everything.

Who is a web designer?

Web designers are broadly divided into UI and UX designers. User Interface designers are responsible for the way the layout of an application or a website i.e. the interface looks to the audience. While user experience designers are more concerned with what happens when one interacts with the interface. Together, they both work towards how the product feels. Their goal is to maximize product simplicity. They refine and iterate to create the best possible experience for the users. As you can see, graphic designers are different from UI/UX designers in terms of both their process as well as the final result. There’s no doubt that currently UI/UX designers are in the greatest demand in India. They bridge the gap between how things look and how they work; and are at the forefront of creating fantastic products for people in the technological age. On the other hand, the graphic designer market has fallen a bit stagnant and the job market is shrinking for them compared to more technologically relevant designers.

1. Don’t be the Expert

The best web designers are the ones that don’t have all the answers. The key is to understand that all clients are different and one solution will not work for them all. You need to understand what designs they need, exactly and create it for them. Often, giving them an answer won’t be enough. You will have to research and give the clients reasons why your answer is right. Be prepared to get stumped every day and having to work hard for every single change that you make, because you’ll need to be accommodating of the clients’ needs in your designs. Here are three tips to keep in mind when moving from Graphic Design to Web Design;

1. Don’t be the Expert

Good web designers always start with the basic, always plan ahead while working and create rough wireframes for your designs. Rough is the key word here, as many designers often put too much effort in making their wireframes look pretty and lose focus on their purpose. This is a very important point for graphic designers as aesthetics take a backseat when it comes to creating wireframes. This doesn’t mean that you need to throw away your creativity but you need to learn to focus it and use it in the right places.

2. It’s a Science as much as an Art

Being a web designer, you must embrace product thinking. Being a web designer means understanding that designs overlap with product management, as no one can design an intuitive user interface for a product that they don’t have a clue about. User research and testing is a big part of web design. Your intuition as well as all kinds of biases should never get in the way of the design process. This means that you’ll have to conduct interviews, studies, inquiries and testing to validate your design and ensure it’s intuitive to your users.

3. Design for Information

One of the most important aspects of good web design doesn’t deal so much with pixels, colours or typography, as does with the content that is inside your designs. People use websites and apps not for their beautiful designs, but because they want easy access to the content. While making the switch from graphic design to web design, one must keep this aspect in mind and make sure one’s designs are as simplistic as possible. It is very important to make it as easy as possible for the users to find the content that they need. The entire interface must be logical in its arrangement and easy to access for the end user.

Common Mistakes in Your Home Business Web Design

While every Web site design should reflect the unique qualities of the business itself, there are some universal rules of professional design that every business owner should follow. You don’t want to lose a potential customer or client due to a simple mistake.

1) Don’t Be Too Flashy

Flash animation certainly has its place in the Web site world – but it’s typically not on the home page of your business site. Customers arrive at your Web site expecting to find helpful information about the products and services that interest them not a slowly unfolding display of digital animation. Use flash wisel and sparingly in your professional Web design. I recommend not using flash at all; especially if you are using SEO. Discuss the pros and cons with your design team.

2) Don’t Strain the Eye

Keeping Web site design simple can literally save you – and your customers – from headaches. Use a tried-and-true font style, such as Arial, that’s sans-serif and proven to be readable. Background is another area of concern for professional Web design. Using busy patterned backgrounds or placing colored type against a black background may cause users to get frustrated and leave your site.

3) Don’t Make it Difficult

Use of navigation in designing your web site is like using GPS on a road trip. Use it wisely to guide visitors to the desired destination – and they will enjoy themselves along the way. Resist the urge to get too creative with this aspect of your web page – a clean navigation panel is a user’s best resource. Don’t lose your customers interest in a flood of flashy pictures and spinning click here buttons.

4) Don’t Waste Time

When your Web site design is full of graphics and images, it requires a greater amount of bandwidth. This increased bandwidth takes longer for the user to download. Keep in mind that some people use older computers. In the time it takes for your Web site design to load, your customer may very well decide it’s not worth the wait. Only use the graphics and images that are absolutely necessary for your web site and save the rest for your portfolio.

5) Don’t Overdo It

Too much or a cluttered Web site design overwhelms your site’s visitors and can make your business appear unprofessional. A disorganized site tends to reflect poorly on the very business it is supposed to promote, while a professional Web design speaks volumes about your attention to detail. Keep it simple and clean. A good website design needs to not only turn customers’ heads, but also keeps them interested. Follow the simple guidelines of a business Web design and you’ll see the beauty in a more positive visitor experience.

Web Design Vs Graphic Design

Web Design is a type of graphic creation which includes making illustrations, typography, and pictures simply like Graphic Design, however we make use of the World Wide Web. A website specialist or a web designer has to face a lot of restrictions on what they can do. Sites need to stack quickly and run on an effective note. We need to represent things like document measure, screen determination, alongside general speed and execution. Along these lines, Web Designers regularly utilize compacted illustrations that give up quality for speed. Not at all like Graphic Designers or the Web Designers likewise should have the capacity to transform their plans into a working web page design. This includes knowing Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) and more often than not Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).

  • What do you mean by graphic design?

On the other hand, Graphic design includes making illustrations, typography, and pictures which can be used to show a thought. More often than not you will discover Graphic Design in the print business, however they are found in the field of web extends and programming also. Visual Designers make computerized illustrations, which at that point are transformed into handouts, publications, or whatever marking materials are required of them. Visual Designers do not indulge in any mind of programming. They are in charge of making designs which can later be utilized for distributed print work or other web creations.

  • Where does the difference lie?

The main difference between graphic as well as web design is about the medium. People in the Graphic Design field regularly have more opportunity since they are not limited by programming, determination or speed. Whereas website designs experts need to adjust great plan with speed and effectiveness for the web. There are a few experts out there that can do both of these positions as one, yet it is quite rare that they are useful since they have a tendency to have more qualities in either.

Clashes can emerge between experts in both Design world. For instance, a Graphic Design proficient may feel that a Web Design proficient’s work is at a lower quality than print work. On the other side, Web Design experts frequently get angry with Graphic Design experts since they don’t comprehend the web. It is one of those major contrasts that will dependably exist since neither side truly sees each other. Periodically, a web venture will request a Graphic Designer yet they should have run with a Web Designer so as to make an expert and proficient site. On the off chance that website architecture gets less prohibitive then they will have the capacity to have more opportunity to make. As HTML editors turn out to be better at making productive sites, it will be less demanding for visual planners to utilize the World Wide Web to display their thought.

 

Techniques Every Web Designer Should Know

Web designing incorporates a lot of strategical tasks and implementing them one by one enhances the front-end beauty of the website. It combines a lot of work with the frameworks, the programming languages, CMS or Content Management System, pre-decorated templates, web designing tools and hosting platform. On the other hand, it takes a lot of planning, sketch, graphical designing and strategy building for designing websites. A web design company deploys professional and experienced web designers who will perform all these tasks single-handedly.

  • Mobile Responsive Design
    The demand for the mobile first designs has taken the interest of the consumers due to the major shift of searching methods from desktop to mobile. As the huge number of customers is using the smartphones nowadays and search almost everything from their smartphones instead of switching on their desktops and PCs, designing responsive websites has become a necessity for the entrepreneurs for increasing the visibility of their websites. The emergence of Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm has also facilitated the mobile responsive search results, pushing backward the nonresponsive websites in terms of amenity. This has invoked the designers to use the mobile responsive templates and tools. The designers should use coding & programming that is utterly suited for mobile. The contents should be fit in the screen resolution of the mobile and the layout should be mobile first for the smooth access from the smartphones or cross platform devices.
  • URL Orientation
    Search engines can’t find ambiguous and vague URL identity. The clear format of the URL makes your website SEO-friendly. With a perfect URL, the chances of getting the visibility to the viewers are more. Moreover, incorporating keyword phrases with the URL allows your users to identify and find the URLs easily and quickly. A designer should know about this so that they can easily collaborate with the SEO team of their respected companies.
  • Enhancement of the Website Speed
    Improving the site speed is the major part of the SEO. Google’s algorithm supports the websites that have a good loading speed and disapproves the sites whose loading speed are worst! This is because the users don’t like websites with low loading speed and chances of the increase in the bouncing rate also raises up. Thus, improving the speed of your site is a much-needed thing, which can’t be optimized without the help of the designers. The speed augmentation process lies within the back-end service provided by the designers which include optimizing the database, minimizing HTTP requests, compressing images, reducing server requests, minifying resources, enabling the browser caches and accessing a CDN or Content Delivery Network.
  • Pertinent Title Tags
    Exclusive & relevant title tags are important for phrasing up an online document and those title tags are only used in the rich snippets aftermath. These title tags are displayed in the SERPs, on the browser, and on the external websites and should be smaller in size so that Google can easily catch them up.

 

Web Design Prices and Costs

First of all you have to have a rough idea of what it is that you want from your website. You have to have thought of what you want to achieve with the website.  You will then need to have thought of a basic structure for your website. There are many website examples out there for you to have a look at; the important thing is to have an idea about what structure you want for the site – meaning a rough outline of the numbers of pages and the content that will make up each page. Once you have your project objectives in mind and a rough idea of your websites structure you are in a position to start contacting suppliers. There are multitudes of web design companies everywhere and in our particular area of the UK – Doncaster there are lots of web design companies to choose from. The key thing to remember is that everyone wants your business. The web design marketplace is completely saturated so you as the buyer have the upper hand! As in all other industries there are people who provide excellent service, there are people who provide an average service and there are also cowboys.

What you have to think to yourself is this: If a person promises me the earth for £1 does that mean to say that they can deliver it? The best advice I can give is to be realistic. There are lots of really good city based web design companies throughout the UK that provide excellent services. They are always there to take your calls and you even get your own personal account manager to handle your requests and hold your hand through the entire web design process. The services of such companies are wonderful but this obviously comes at a price. City based offices, account managers and admin staff are large overheads and the prices charged by large city based web design companies reflect this. If you have a modestly sized website, which needs to be under content management system control, don’t be surprised if the web design quote runs into tens of thousands of pounds from a major city based web design company. If you are looking for a top quality 100% inclusive, comprehensive service and your company can afford this kind of bill then I would suggest using a big city company every time.

Then there are the smaller companies that are made up of just a few individuals. These types of companies have much lower overheads and frequently have very knowledgeable and capable staff. The service level can be much lower than that of major city based web design companies but you can get some excellent work done by such companies at a fraction of cost of the large city based companies. A much overlooked group of web designers that can produce some excellent web designs are the wide community of freelance web designers. Freelance web designers are private, self employed individuals who work from small offices. Freelancers have very low overheads. As such they can provide quality web design work for much lower costs than larger web design companies. If you are looking for good quality web design for less money then it definitely work looking at using a quality freelance web designer.