Why should I pay a professional to design my website? It seems very expensive and I’m sure I could produce one myself.
key factor for any site is its need to build up trust with visitors who want to
see a professional looking and functional site.
With this in mind, the objectivity of an external viewpoint in the design
process is essential. It’s
very easy to get carried away with what you can do with a software package and
to believe that you’ve created the best site ever!
you need is someone who will work with you to produce a site which
reflects your existing house design style, company and brand values.
‘ve seen one terrible site recently produced via the “do-it-yourself
template” method. The
colours and layout were uninspiring and the “who are we” page contained 2
very large photos of team members which took forever to download.
There was nothing about this site to convince anyone they were looking at
a professional organisation – which was what they were trying to do.
using a professional designer, “design” doesn’t just relate to colours and
attractive looking pages. The actual construction of the site is also important.
You need a site with a navigation system which can handle site expansion.
When you want to add a new page or two, you don’t want to find that the
navigation system is out of date. Indeed,
unless a site is professionally designed, you can encounter nightmares when you
come to make even small updates.
I believe it is important that you are able to update the site yourself (ie to
add or change text and pictures) and this is something which we include in all
our web design packages. Unless you
are a very large organisation with deep pockets, it is impractical to pay a web
designer for each update, not to mention that it is much quicker to do this
in-house – assuming of course you have some in-house resource.
One further point though, when employing a designer, make sure you have a written contract with milestone dates, payments and details of the work to be undertaken.
are all these new domain name suffixes that are being advertised for sale? I
keep receiving emails telling me I should register my domain name with .tv,
time this autumn you will be able to buy .biz and .info domain names.
The idea behind this was to make more names available as it can be hard
to get the domain you want with a .com or a .co.uk
suffix. However, you need to
be careful, companies have often invested a lot of time and money in developing
their brand and their domain name. If
you find yourself purchasing a domain with one of the new suffixes where the
.com or .co.uk is owned by someone else, you may find yourself facing a court
case. Solicitors are now keen
to pursue cases of possible trademark infringement or perceived cyber-squatting.
you are trying to register a new domain name on line, it is easy to check who
owns existing domain names and thus whether there is likely to be a conflict.
course, the release of additional domain names means more business for domain
name registrars – it’s in their interest to promote this.
If you feel your existing name isn’t sufficiently memorable, this is a
good chance to get a better one.
domain names which are routinely offered by registrars such as .cc, .ws and.tv
are really country domains (the Cocos Islands, Samoa and Tuvalu – no, I
don’t know where that is either - respectively).
I certainly haven’t seen many (if any) sites with these suffixes and I
wouldn’t recommend this approach.
I’m pleased with the overall design of my web site but it takes too long to download. I’m worried that people won’t be bothered to wait while it downloads. How can I speed it up without losing too much detail?
56k modem takes 21
seconds to download a 125k page – longer if the internet is slow as it often
is at peak times. A 40-50k page is the optimum size for download.
most common problem is slowing down a page is, not surprisingly, graphics –
either too many or too large (one site I tried to access lately had 30 graphics
to download, I didn’t wait to find out what they all were and I’m sure a lot of
other people didn’t either). This
is particularly important on your home page where you need to make a good
tips to reduce page size are:
§ Replace navigation buttons with text where possible.
§ Optimise graphics for smaller filesize by reducing the number of colours and the size of the picture.
§ Use static rather than animated graphics.
thing about graphics and animation you have to take into account is the
increasing use of faster web access, such as ISDN, ASDL and Broadband although
most of these currently make up only a small percentage of the British Web
Users, its far from that case in the US.
I’m having a website designed for my business and the designer has registered the domain name on our behalf. He says this will be easier as he will also be hosting the site. Is this usual?
website designers will offer to host your site as this provides an extra income
stream for them but this may cause a problem in the future if you want to change
service providers. When your website is complete (and before paying the final
bill) you should make sure that you have all the passwords to the site and that
you are able to upload and download files.
should also ensure that all domain names are registered in your name (both as
billing and administrative contact) rather than the web designer.
your site can be successfully hosted by your designer, you should always have
ultimate contract. It’s always easier to be aware of the pitfalls than to try
and sort matters out once something has gone wrong.