10 Things To Think About When Selecting A Web Designer

1. Look at the detail of the web design company’s own website. This is almost always a good indication of the level of detail your new website will have. See if you can find any areas that have added level of detail, such as images with added effects. This could be rounded corners, gradient effects, colour fading etc. No matter if you do not want those design elements on your own website, it gives you information about the designers and their eye for detail and quality.

2. Know what you want. Even if you don’t know the technical aspects or terms of web design, you should have a fairly good idea of what you want the end result to look like. If you leave vital parts of your website design and functionality to the web designer, you are likely to pay more than you have to. If you don’t know what kind of features you could ask for, look around online at some larger websites. If you are selling products, you could try and look at ebay.com or amazon.com for some design ideas. If it works for them, it most likely will work for you.

3. Ask if a detailed quote is available. Just as with other areas of business where you have little or no idea how things are done or how long they take, it is important to get a breakdown of services that you are paying for. Are they only giving you a total price for the web services you have been discussing over the phone or email? If so, they are not giving you information that you can use to compare other web design companies with. You should ask what their hourly rate is which can help you figure out from the total cost how long it is going to take to design the website!

4. What level of support is available during and after building your website? It is very important to know how many changes you can make to your website while it is being built that are not going to cost you extra. Is the web design company giving you an option to view work in progress? How about if you change your mind on a design aspect after the website has been designed? These things need to be part of your contract before you agree to have work done. You don’t want a surprise invoice for “additional requested web design work” to land in your inbox. Always be clear on what is going to be charged for and what is part of the web design package.

5. What do other clients think about the web designer? If you want to get an honest and unbiased opinion about this, there is no better way than going straight to the source! Find a previous client’s contact information and send a quick email asking if it is possible to have them share some of this information with you.

6. Will your site be search engine friendly? Becoming part of major search engines such as Google and Yahoo is the inevitable next step after standard web design work has been completed. When you have a brand new website filled with information about services and products you offer, you want people to find it! Search engine optimization, or SEO as it is usually called, is an art form that takes years to master. It is a constant challenge for the web designer to keep up with ever-changing rules that the search engine companies make for who is more “important” in the search engine rankings.

You should not expect to get this service for free if it is done properly by a knowledgeable person, since it can potentially take more hours to complete than your entire website, and it is an ongoing process. You should be able to settle for a level of search engine optimization that suits your budget and still gives you an increased level of visibility online. Always ask how the search engine process will be carried out since anyone can say they are “optimizing” your website and all they do is adding keyword phrases in a few places.

The most important thing to remember about search engine optimization is that it must be supported by strong research into your specific business niche. If your web designer does not find out exactly what people are searching for when trying to find your type of business, you are just paying for guesswork and are wasting your money.

7. How will you be billed? You want to know how work is being billed, both for web design work that is part of your contract and for extra services or additional hours of work. It is common that a percentage of the total contract is charged up front before web design services have started. It is not recommended without a valid reason to pay more than 50% up front, which is a fair level for both parties. It can be agreed on that additional hours of work are added to the final payment, or invoiced immediately. As long as you feel that your needs and requirements are being satisfied, either way is standard procedure.

8. How much control will you have over content? It is still very common today that all additional work that you want done on the website will be carried out by your web designer. If you want to be able to update content on a regular basis, look for web designers that allow you to log in and update information on your own. This requires your website to be dynamic, using elements of programming code that can separate you from your visitors.

The best type of website for this purpose is a CMS-based website. CMS stands for Content Management System and is a completely different style of web design than a standard static website that only displays the same information every day. If your web designer uses a CMS to design your website, you will be able to have website visitors give comments or write articles directly on your website such as in a blog, or give different people different level of access to content on your website.

This is the direction the Internet is moving today, with so-called “Web 2.0” websites such as YouTube and Facebook popping up everywhere where users can add their own movie clips, images and other information. Of course, your website does not have to have these features to use a CMS, but a content management system allows your website to grow and expand easily for future needs. It is important you try and figure out how you may want to use your website in a few years from now and if you need a CMS or not. This type of design usually comes at a higher initial cost, but will make all changes and additional work on your web site a breeze later on.

9. How is communication between you and the web designer? How fast do you get responses to your emails? Are the responses long or short and do they seem to get shorter for each question you asked? You want to make sure that you can ask “dumb” questions and still receive the highest level of professionalism from the web designer. Is the person you are talking to the same person that will do work on your website? You want to have direct contact with the web designer(s) that are going to work on your website, to avoid miscommunication and “lost-in-translation” scenarios. If you call the web design company, try and get a feel for if they are dedicated to your satisfaction by listening to what you have to say, or if they are constantly doing sales pitches to try and convince you to pay for other services.

10. Ask for a resume. A professional web designer should be willing to give you a resume of his or her previous work and background. Knowing the background of the person or company that you are going to work with (usually over a period of several weeks) gives you a better understanding if you have found a web designer with skills that will suit your needs. What you want to be looking for is someone who truly enjoys his or her line of work and has dedicated his professional life to this field. If a person enjoys doing what he/she is doing, it shows in the detail and quality of the work produced – and eventually in your new website!

What to Look For in a Web Design Program

You’ve decided that Web design is the career for you. You’re ready to jump into the game, but you’re going to need some education on how to design Web sites first. However, with literally hundreds of schools offering courses in every possible permutation – Web site design or graphic design with a focus on Web sites; certificates or full degrees – how do you decide which program meets your needs?

Skills taught in a Web Design program

Web site designers require a vast array of skills, not all of which are (or can be!) taught in the classroom. However, there are certain skills that all Web designers should know. First among these is HTML (HyperText Markup Language) code, which comprises the building blocks of the Web. All Web sites, no matter how fancy or how focused on Flash animation, consist of HTML at their core.

Although most designers now use Web editing programs such as FrontPage or Dreamweaver to design Web sites, in order to understand what is actually happening when the Web site loads, you need to know HTML. For entry-level positions, this markup language can be enough, but for more advanced positions, you should learn one or more other markup languages, such as XML (eXtended Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), as well as one or more scripting languages, such as JavaScript
and ActiveX.

You will also need to learn the basics of making a Web site look neat and professional. Although it may seem elementary, there are a wide range of techniques involved in creating a Web site that flows well. A logical site is designed to allow the user to quickly understand the purpose of the Web site, and to easily find the information he or she needs. Although this is obviously more of an art than a science, there are many techniques that help users navigate each page within a site more effectively and quickly. As a Web
site designer, you should be fluent in these techniques.

To work on Web sites, you’ll also need to understand the basics of how a computer operates. These technical skills enable you to set up and modify the Web site. Being able to use FTP (File Transfer Protocol) clients to add pages and upload site changes is paramount. So is being able to modify the site contents manually by using text editor software. Some of this software allows you to view changes instantaneously, such as the Real-Time HTML Editor, which is available online. Other text editors are included with your
office computer, or can be installed, enabling you to work on site contents outside of a site editing program.

Finally, depending on the specific career path you have in mind, you may need to have other skills. If you are focusing more on the graphic design aspect of Web design, you will need to focus on learning about vector and raster graphics. Raster graphics, comprised of grids of tiny pixels, are dependent on the size and quality of the image – photographs are raster images, for example, and can look blurry or sharp, depending upon image size and resolution. Vector graphics use geographical points and coordinates
instead of pixels, and can be resized without losing image quality. Typography, or the art of choosing and using fonts and typefaces, is also important. Page layout, or the skill of combining pictures, text, links, and animated images on a Web site to create a pleasing overall design, is also very important.

If, however, you are more interested in the technical aspects of maintaining a Web site, you will need to focus more on server administration, namely by learning to use Web server software (such as Microsoft IIS or Apache), and understanding how to run log analysis so you can track who visits the site, and how frequently you receive unique visitors. There are other specific domains in the field of Web design, including site optimization, security, usability, and quality assurance. Each sub-specialty in the Web design field requires the knowing the design basics described above, plus additional skills which you can learn in class and on the job.

In summary, these are the type of Web design classes you can look forward to taking:

  • HTML and other markup/scripting languages
  • Web site graphics and layout design
  • Some technical skills necessary to publish a Web site
  • Other skills related to the specific type of Web design career you want to pursue

How Do I Know This Web Design Program is Right for Me?There are a large variety of Web design programs, which run the gamut from certificate programs to full degrees. These programs are offered at learning institutions ranging from small, private schools to large, public schools – and everything in between. Finding the specific Web or graphic design school that meets your needs from the many available can be a challenge. Here a few questions to ask yourself when deciding upon a course of study in Web design:

  • Do I want to study online or at a traditional school?
  • Can I fit a full-time program into my schedule, or should I go part-time?
  • Do I want a degree program, or a certificate program, which is usually quicker, and can help me get into the field more rapidly?
  • Am I willing to change my schedule or where I live to learn these new skills?
  • Am I more interested in the technical end of Web sites, or would I prefer to work on graphic design and page layout?
  • Does the Web design program I am interested in offer all of the classes needed for the career I want to focus on?
  • Does the school help graduates with their career planning by offering job or internship placement assistance?

By answering these questions, you are well on your way to figuring out which is the right Web design course for you!

How to Find a Good Web Designer – Developer

Choosing a good web designer is not just about getting some guy to build you a good looking web site. There are many factors that can and will affect the success of your site. For you to know what qualifies as a good designer/developer you need to be educated. That is the intention of this article.

I believe that your web site development begins with a plan. A solid plan that incorporates search engine optimization,(SEO) and usability at its foundation. Building your web site in this manner will enable your SEO to be much easier with just minor tweaking and updating. At the time of this writing it is still not yet possible for search engine spiders, a.k.a: robots, to make sense of everything you have on your website.

Spiders love text. They don’t read javascript and they do not have the ability to read complex flash text or images. Making sure that your entire web site including all its pages are indexed by the spiders is essential. If they can’t see your pages, it may as well not be there.

So what does all this mean to you in your search for a web designer or web developer. In case you’re wondering why I refer to designer and developer as if they’re two different things, the fact is, is that they are.(if you want to be technical). Web designer seems to be the general term thrown about as one who makes or builds web pages. However this is usually the person who designs the physical appearance of the web site. He usually just works with images. Since there’s more to building a functional web site than just pretty pictures and fancy moving graphics, it may surprise you that a web page can in fact also be a computer program, or more appropriately, a web application. This is the behind the scenes code that gives the site its intelligence, so to speak. Some web designers are only responsible for completing a physical design for your site. If they don’t code in HTML or CSS, the design usually photoshop or fireworks, then goes to the coder, who actually puts it all together using html, CSS and in some instances a scripting languages like PHP, asp.net or ruby for back end programming. The end result is a web page that renders in the users browser and depending on whether some scripting was included, also allows the user to interact with the page and make choices and decisions. This is the very short version of a somewhat complex subject.

If you can keep this in mind when you go over the contract it will help you understand why the programming aspect (developing) of your site is usually pricier. Any serious web design company will have an in depth contract and should not hesitate to explain details of the contract to you.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) defines standards and best practices for web design and development and you should make it a point to ask your web guy whether they will be designing your website with standards compliant code. This just means adhering to the W3C standard.

If they say that they intend designing the layout of your web page using tables, insist that they don’t. For two reasons:

  1. Using tables for layout is not standards compliant and could adversely impact page loading times. (not good) The more code in your page the larger the file and the larger the file the longer it takes to download.
  2. Updating and maintaining web pages will be much harder, and could take longer, which may translates more being more expensive.

When you think of your website project try thinking ahead and plan for the long term. You want a site that is extendible and can be managed more easily. Best practices are not called such for no reason. I stress this point because it’s an important one.

A portfolio will give you a glimpse of what the designer / developer is capable of will allow you to see the design style. Any web designer with sense won’t include customers in their portfolio who were not happy. It’s bad for business. Searching for a good designer in reputable online listings is a good place to find a web designer or any other service for that matter where the company or individual will be rated by the public.

It is of greater importance to that firm that they perform well since their rating is available for the public to see. An example of such listings would be Yahoo’s Local Search listings, or online Yellow pages. A good source for finding a good web designer is to speak to people who you know who have had first hand experience and who built their web sites. If people have been given good service they usually don’t have any problem recommending their designer to you.

It is OK to ask for a mock up site. Usually designers will tend to make 2 mock ups for you to compare and sometimes they may even show you an array of various web styles and templates prior to commencing. This is a way of narrowing down the style, how many columns, colors and themes he will need to design for.

The web developer needs to advise you on every aspect of the design process. He should educate you and explain in very plain terms the reasons for doing things. Don’t just take his word for it. Ask why. He needs to give attention to what content you intend putting on your site also, because SEO is all about content, keywords and relevance. Obviously the content decided on is ultimately the client’s decision, but a responsible designer should inform you of how you could optimize your content. It is important to note that some web designers usually are not experts at SEO and there are specific SEO companies or individuals that do just that, however it is best if they work hand in hand with the designer of your website. If you do find a web designer that can do a good job of SEO then you stand a better chance of your web site being easier to market and rank.

So here are a few points I believe would make an overall good choice in a web designer/developer.

  1. Expresses the importance in planning your site for user friendliness
  2. Understands good web design that is standards compliant
  3. Can think through the eyes of the potential visitor of the clients site
  4. Uses colors well and researches the target audience.
  5. Educates the client and explains web terminology in layman’s terms.
  6. Plans a site from SEO perspective, with attention to file structure and naming schemes.
  7. If doing any programming, all the above applies and also strong focus on usability of the application. Easy user interface, secure and full featured to name a few..

These points are by no means the hard and fast rule, its just a guide. However, I believe most importantly above all, you should get good service. Good quality service is the best marketing tool for any business and you should expect it.

How to Choose the Right Web Design Company to Design Your Website?

Whether you want a new website designed for your company or are looking to re-design your website, finding the right web design company for your needs is the first and crucial step that will ultimately decide its success or failure. Unless your are an established business with an in-house Web design team the chances are that you will need to either hire a professional web designer or build the website or contract a web design company to do this for you.

Most businesses small or large do not have in-house expertise to design websites themselves and have to contract the work out to an external web design company. The importance of professionally designed website is essential. A poorly designed or an outdated website can have a negative impact on your company’s brand and drive customers away to your competitors. A company’s website is a window to its products and services and often the first point of contact with customers. It is vital for your website to present the right image and brand for your business.

Should you work with a Web design company or a Freelance Web designer?

Whether your website is designed by an independent contractor or a web design company you will need to consider certain issues before you make the decision. Both working with an independent web designer or a web design company have their advantages. Working with an independent web designer can be cost effective and flexible. Working with web design companies on the other hand may cost more but offers significant advantages. They are represented by a team of web designers who often possess wider skills and experience. Each member of the team will often specialise in a distinct area of website design and development, and will often be able to solve complex business issues with ease. Working with a web design company will provide your business with easy access to support as and when required or when something goes wrong.

Factors to consider when selecting a Web Design Company to design your website

Experience and Skills – Analyse their experience and technical skills. Review the information on their website and marketing material. Better still speak to them personally as often a direct conversation about your project will give you a clear idea of their knowledge and expertise.

Portfolio and case studies – Review and analyse their portfolio or case studies. This is usually available via their website. Reviewing other software or websites designed by the web design company can provide useful information anon their suitability for your project.

A streamlined process with a fast turn around time – Understand the web design company’s process to see how it fits with your requirements.

Ask for a detailed proposal outlining costs, timescales and proposed solution. A professional web design company will always submit a detailed proposal outlining theses issues.

One stop shop

Think forward. Determine what other products and services can the web design company offer. If your require web design now chance are you will need additional services in future such as web hosting, search engine marketing, content m management system and so on. It can be daunting and an administrative nightmare to deal with many different companies for different services.

Long term relationship

Focus on building a long term relationship with the web design company. It is better to go for a company that offers excellent and timely support as required. Analysing the company and communicating with them will give you an idea whether the company focus on long term relationship or just a one off sale. Supported service knowing that they will be around should something was to go wrong or if requirements change with time.

By taking time to communicate with the prospective web design company beforehand will enable you to select the right web design company to partner with who will meet your expectations. Finding the right web design company and forming a relationship can be a valuable asset for your business for many years to come.

Combining Web Design Business With Web Hosting Can Generate More Income For Web Designers

Web designers and developers are the foundation of the Internet. If you are skilled in web design or web development you can make a growing income on the Internet. The secret to making money with your web design and development skills is to include web hosting in your web design or web development quotes or standard packages.

You can add $50 a month to your income, hosting your client sites with more ease. You don’t need to get a dedicated server and you don’t need to worry about trying to compete with web hosting companies. What most people think is just getting a website up. They contact the web designers first, without really knowing that there are web designers and web hosts. Terms with “web designer”get more searches per day than terms with “hosting”. People are looking for web designers to get their sites on the Internet.

Web designers and developers can incorporate the sale of hosting into their web development and design projects. As a web designer you can bill your customers for the hosting fees within the design and then host the account for a year or on a month to month basis. You will be surprised at how much extra income you can generate from your web design customers.

Providing hosting for your web design clients will give you greater assurance that your customers will come back to you to make changes or update their site. This allows you to keep generating income from your work and customer base. Let’s look at some numbers, and how billing for hosting on top of your web design work can make you some serious money. Let’s assume you get paid $500 – $1000+ for a site design. If you charge your client for hosting as well you could generate up to $50 extra per site, per month in hosting fees. You could make up to $1100 to $1600 per site, per year instead of just $500 or $1000 per site. With 100 clients this could equate to $110,000 or $160,000 per year instead of $50,000 – $100,000 per year. On top of this, remember your client is more likely to come back to you to update and maintain your site which means more money for you, for easy work.

With a little effort and focus you could generate a very healthy income in your web design business. With tools like Joomla, WordPress and other highly customizable content management systems you can make the hard work incredibly efficient so you can focus solely on the design. Right now there are a myriad of powerful web applications, content management systems and shopping carts you can quickly install in your reseller web hosting account and produce a design for very quickly. There are also a myriad of ready to run, specialist applications written in ASP, ASP.Net and PHP that you can bolt on to your customers site, customize the design for and really impress your them. With these easily installable web applications you can very quickly impress your customers and raise the value of your web design fees – and the fact that they are specialist customized web applications you have put together, your web design customer will be happy to pay your hosting fees.

For your design business you don’t need anything fancy, you don’t need dedicated servers or specialists billing or server management systems. You can utilize the cost efficiencies of shared hosting to maximize your profit. One way to do it and a lot of designers do this, is get a new shared hosting account for each site they design and charge the customer more than they pay.

The better way to do it and really maximize your profit is to get a reseller hosting account where you can host all your customer sites in the one hosting account. This works out much cheaper than getting a separate account for each customer site. A good reseller account will give you far more room to move and even greater cost effectiveness which means even more profit and less effort.

Getting up and running with a good reseller hosting account is easy and incredibly affordable. For just a few hundred dollars per year you can host 50 or more sites. A quick search on reseller hosting will give you plenty to choose from. In our experience Windows hosting reseller packages are a good idea as a Windows reseller hosting account will give you the freedom and choice to run ASP, ASP.Net as well as PHP sites with MySQL or SQL Server databases. Linux hosting is incredibly efficient and gives you some of the cheap hosting options available but does not support ASP or ASP.Net applications. For an extra few dollars a month you can get Windows hosting and dramatically increase your options for your web design customers from a wider array of available web applications and freely available code in ASP and ASP.Net.

With Windows hosting you can use all your favorite web design tools and you’ll have the vast resources of Microsoft development products like Visual Studio at your disposal. As a reseller looking at Windows hosting accounts make sure the host offers Multiple IIS sites and not just unlimited domains. To properly host multiple sites on Windows each site needs to have it’s own entry in IIS (Internet Information Server – the Windows web server). Many hosts say unlimited domains and what they really mean is running unlimited domains on one site. All you get with unlimited domains on one site, is your multiple domains show the same site or requires you to write code to detect the domain and redirect to a directory. This is not a great way to run your customer sites.

With each site having it’s own entry IIS means you can have separate application settings, assign it to different application pools and maintain separate log files. This means you can have more control, more flexibility and produce a much better solution for your client. Being able to put your customer sites in separate application pools means that if one of your customer sites get’s busy or some crazy bug causes a problem it will isolate it to just that site and you wont end up with all your customers screaming at you that their sites are down.

After 12 years working on the internet. Through booms, through busts, good times and bad times web designers and developers quietly rule the web. Businesses of all sizes look for web designers first and in our experience they really don’t want to know too much about hosting. As a designer you can save your clients from the complexity and confusion of hosting and make money from it. To make money from hosting your client work you really don’t need to leap out and set yourself up as a web hosting provider with billing systems, hosting plans and support systems and processes. Start off by hosting all your sites in one reseller hosting package and you’ll be surprised at just how much extra money you can make for very little effort. The best thing of all you can keep your focus on why you became a web designer – designing web sites!

Web Design

Services are coming to the web site offering people web design Manchester opportunities to take advantage of great web designs. Whether you are searching for low cost web design, or do-it-yourself options, the web design Manchester services has something to offer you. The company sites are multimedia based in the North West areas of England, UK. Their mission is to provide you with top quality web designs backed with cost-efficient solutions to help you create the web site you desire.

Small or large businesses now can get their web site built for a fraction of the cost whether a multimedia design or a basic web site, you can get low design costs at the top UK web sites. The services are designed to build single web pages, ecommerce sites, brochure web sites, and more. You can rely on the designers to deliver you professional designs. Design Companies in Manchester, UK offer top services including expert ecommerce based designs with shopping cart or the basic web design. Whatever you need from your design you can ensure that it will be delivered by one of the top web design Manchester, UK companies.

SEO and web design Manchester –

Designers are not hired to focus on SEO or search engine marketing; rather they are hired in to work on designs alone. However, the web design Manchester, UK Services ultimately hit the roof with new ideas by combining their sources to deliver you both design and SEO. Now you can have your cake and eat it too. You can have a professional web site built at a low price and have your SEO needs meet, which the services are bent on creating the top SE friendly sites from the beginning of the project.

The benefits you reap from using Web Design Manchester, UK companies who combine SEO and design, is that you get higher SE ranks, increased traffic, organic links, and top of the line web promotion. The combined solutions enable you to increase your corporate identity.

The graphic designers at the web design Manchester services in the UK provide you with graphic designers who have outstanding skills. You have a choice of design over print, posters, flyers, annual submission reports, newsletters, and web design with SEO marketing strategies to boot.

If you are searching for top quality web designs combined with SEO, now is the time to find a web design Manchester, UK Company who services your area. Most of the designers from Manchester web sites are available in Manchester, Derbyshire, Tameside, and Glossop, but because they are based in the UK, it doesn’t mean they cannot reach out to help others in distant countries. When you have the Internet to find web design Manchester, UK companies’, it makes it easier for you to get the design you want and at the same time be anywhere in the world and still get your design delivered to your door. Today’s services are making it easy for businesses to expand their web designs and company at a fraction of the cost.

Online Web Design

Instead of heading over to the UK to find a good web designer to handle your design projects go online now and find an online web design Manchester, UK service. UK designers are equipped to create ecommerce web sites with shopping carts. The services can design your web pages and create simple or complex solutions to give you the best options in design. Designers in the online web design Manchester companies’ focus on security when they are building your ecommerce web sites to ensure that when customers use your web sites that their information is safe. The secure sites are designed also to give you ways to accept credit cards.

When you have an ecommerce web site built by one of the online web design Manchester services, you are giving the option to choose your method of accepting payments from your web site. The designers will consider CCNOW, PayPal, Yahoo Direct Pay, Clickbank, and other options and work hard to ensure that you get the payment method you choose for your ecommerce web site. Payment systems are great tools that designers focus on in the online web design Manchester, UK services. The designers know the importance of giving your customers ways to place orders, and to pay for products online. In addition, the designers know how valuable it is for you to be able to sell your products on the Internet, thus the designers will look for options to help you out.

When the designers start building your ecommerce web site they will also focus on form pages. They know that customers need means to fill out forms to enquiry product information and so forth. While this is only the half of building ecommerce web sites, it is one of the most important parts of designing that the expert designers consider at the online web design Manchester services.
Most people feel threatened by building their own web site because the codes and scripts in the programming aspects of design scare them away. Most of these people though do not have lots of money to spend on a single web site so they wait, wait, and wait until that day comes that they do have the money to hire someone to build their web site for them. You don’t have to wait any longer, since the online web design Manchester services are making it easier for people to get their web site design the most cost effective way.

The online web design Manchester services are also designing with style in mind. Now you can get the web design you desire for half the cost. There is no better solution in design than having affordable and expert services combined to get you what you want. If you are ready to start building a web site now is the time to find an online web design Manchester service on the Internet. Even if you don’t want an ecommerce web site, you have the choice of basic designs open to you with the UK web design services.

Web Design Templates

The intention of web templates is to design a web site. Web design templates are used for separation of content from presentation in a web design and mass production of web documents. These collections of electronic files reside on one or more web servers to present content to the end user in the form of web pages. Studies have shown that web templates can grab interest of the first time user in only 10 seconds.

Web design templates are designed for professional and visual appeal. One can have a customized web design for a better reflection of the companies brand or for personal or commercial use.

Most of the web design templates created for commercial use, and should be appealing and luring to the visitors of the site. The web template should be stunning, innovative and ready to use. A spectacular web template will without doubt create an eye-catching home page that can almost grab the visitor by the collar and engross them on the site. However not all persons have the technical skills to create web design templates. For such people one can always ask a professional to make a customized web page at a certain cost.

For a minimal fee, one can own web design templates created by the best designers. These web templates are cost effective, unique, professionally designed, have functional web layouts, innovative, easy to customize with interfaces in Photoshop format. Other than purchasing the web templates, it is also possible to get free web design templates from the various websites that offer them. After purchase, the website can be used as one’s own but there are rules pertaining to the terms of usage. To avoid copyright, one should have the link of the web designer on the home page. An amount can be paid not to have the designers’ link on the home page.

After downloading the web design templates, one can replace all generic information that came with it and use their own to fit their profile or organization brand. The web templates are used to display personal information or day-to-day activities, to display information about an organization or company, displaying family history, a gallery of photos, to place music files or mp3 through the browser or to set up private login areas on-line.

Most of the successful web designs companies and other designers emphasize that the most important factor for creating web design templates is that it should offer original content to the readers in a way that will easily assist the search engine results. To be able to achieve this, web design templates should be interesting, in that they should attract viewers by adding quality and original content. Other ways are getting the brand right, keeping the home context short, easy linking pages, pictures to give enough emphasis; also, the size of the text especially on home page should be large enough to suit the web design layout. However, one is not limited to one design it is best to research on the content that one wants to use and even ask peers on the best way to create good web design templates.

How to Create Good Web Design

There are many different types of web design, from those built using website templates and ‘build your own’ site building applications to complex content managed and e-commerce web designs such as those used by big brand names like Amazon, eBay and Tesco. Some companies, even some big name companies, have unprofessional looking and badly designed websites. Some have amazing looking websites but because of their high graphical content and minimal text content can take an age to load, are not user friendly and do not provide what the visitor wants.

Good Website Design

Though many aspects of website design differ from site to site, many things remain the same throughout the majority of websites on the internet. Most notably is the navigation or menu. The way in which a website’s menu works and looks is very important, as ultimately, visitors to a website are looking for certain criteria that will make them either stay and interact or leave. This ability for a website to keep visitors interested is sometimes referred to as stickiness. Visitors want an attractive visually exciting experience, but perhaps more importantly, they want ‘ease of use’. Website usability is a key factor for websites that want their visitors to stick around, make an enquiry and ultimately complete a transaction and order a product or service.

Easy to Use Web Design

Internet users tend to prefer easy to use websites, because they do not want to have to learn how to use a website every time they find a new one. They should be able to use a website after only a few seconds of looking around a homepage, any more and they will leave and browse elsewhere. The need for fast user interaction is vital and therefore having a fast loading website is also important for a website to succeed. Even with faster internet connections such as broadband, internet users don’t want to wait around.

Just imagine, if you go to a shop on the high street and are totally ignored by shop assistants at the counter for 5 minutes, even after you have made it clear you want help. There is a correlation here to how an internet user may feel, when they arrive at a website that has been poorly designed, is difficult to use, unfriendly and slow to load. Making sure that a website has been well thought out and designed with the user in mind, displays a company’s unique selling points within easily recognizable eye catching calls for action and has a clear, easy to use menu is key to its success.

Flash Web Design

With recent web design advancements, such as the introduction of Flash animation and high definition video content, impressive websites have been produced to take advantage of much higher levels of visual effects and interaction. However with this ‘high end’ web design, comes a price, more often than not, web designs which rely heavily upon Flash content are often ridiculously slow to load. They often have a progress bar, which slowly goes across the web browser to signify when the website will finish loading.

This is much like the progress bars that you may be familiar with if you use video editing or 3D rendering software, or if you use games consoles where they are displayed whilst you wait for games to load. Internet users on the whole do not want to wait 3 – 5 minutes for a web page to load even if it does feature high resolution images, animation or video. They want fast informative content rich websites. If they wanted to watch an animation or video they would watch TV.

Good Flash Web Design

This is not to say that Flash animation is all bad news and shouldn’t be used in web design. If used subtly and in small amounts it can make a website more visually appealing without slowing the load time down too much. Suitable uses for Flash animation in web design are things such as; Flash banner advertisements, Flash video and interactive Flash forms for online questionnaires or business presentations.

Using Flash for a whole website design however, is not such a good idea. It slows the user’s experience down because they have to wait for elements of it to load. Also, sites totally developed in Flash tend to use unfamiliar menu structures and features. This can confuse visitors who just want to quickly interact with the website and not be amazed by the way the menu animates. Just because you can do these things in Flash, it doesn’t mean they have any real working value in the real world. They may look pretty, but if they are not functional and only irritate the visitor then they have no real value.

Flash Web Design & SEO

Another argument against using Flash to create a whole website is that it dramatically reduces the effectiveness of your websites’ Search Engine Optimisation. Flash web designs are made up of one main file within a web page which search engines find difficult to index. This is because the text within them is usually graphical text and therefore is not usually accessible by search engines. Some recent developments allow some text to be displayed for search engines in Flash websites, but this is nowhere near as effective as text content within traditional HTML based websites.

Don’t Write Off Flash in Web Design

Although Flash does have its limitations it also has its good points if used correctly. For instance; Flash animation is usually smaller in file size than traditional gif animation and because of the way it is made the animation flows smoother than gif animation too. Having said this, I would recommend only using Flash in small areas within a site to compliment other imagery that makes up the overall design. Finding a balance between minimal graphical elements, imagery, Flash and good quality informative text is the key to a successful user friendly website. This isn’t to say that web design needs be boring. By working with quality web design companies there’s no reason why you couldn’t have a visually exciting, well designed, easy to use and successful website.

Visually Stimulating Web Design

When visitors first arrive at a website, they want to be impressed and engaged with what the website has to offer. This will be determined by the ways in which the web designer has laid out the website’s content text, images and features. Arranging elements such as imagery, text, graphics, flash and video in such a way as to keep the visitor interested in the website is the key to good web design. If a website has poor design and doesn’t grab the attention of the visitor in the first few seconds, then it may well be dismissed as just another average website. This ultimately means the visitor will go elsewhere to spend their time and, more importantly, money.

Good Web Design Layout

A lot of time and money is spent making sure that the right elements of websites are positioned in the right places. Companies spend large amounts of money conducting research into how internet users use their websites. This type of research shows where their visitors’ eyes concentrate the most, which elements of the website they click on first and generally how they interact and use their websites. Most internet users will look primarily from the top left either across the page, or down the left hand side of the web page through an internet browser via a computer, mobile phone or TV set.

I would hazard a guess, that they are looking for the company’s name or logo, their main selling points or slogans and then what the website has to offer in terms of what is featured in the menu. After which their eyes are probably drawn across the page content and over to the right hand side. Successful web design usually takes this into consideration and will ultimately affect the way a website looks.

There are of course rather famous exceptions to this rule for instance one rather well known search engine has a web design which is quite different. The main focus and core functionality in their web design is located right in the centre of the page. This however, isn’t any ordinary website with tens or even hundreds of pages of products and services to display, its main focus is its recognisable logo and of course its search box. It does however feature a small minimal menu across the top of the web design, which flows from left to right. So even they have taken onboard some of the research undertaken into internet users’ habits. If you go looking at websites after reading this article, I can guarantee that most of the web designs you’ll see, will have a left hand menu and a defined header bar with a company logo and slogan across it.

Good Web Design

What is Web Design?
A Web site is the final output of a Web design. The Web site sits on a Web server where electronic files are stored. The Web site presents the contents and interactive features or interfaces to the end user in the form of Web pages. How the information requested is displayed to the user is par of the Web design process. Additional controls are embedded in order to display more complex media like animations, sounds and other forms.

Whats New? The Clouds of Course!
Everybody wants something new from time to time and yet some need a fix of something totally different. In the realm of the internet, that is quite a common occurrence with the many innovations that are always popping up and with all of them, none can be as exciting as the move into the clouds.

The Open Design Community: Free CSS Templates!
If youre most people out there who dont know CSS and have no time, or care, on how to do one for your blog, then the next action for you would be to find a place where you can download one for free. Thank goodness that there are a lot of sites out there that give them away for free. The only problem is, that since you were not the one who created it, you will be subject to their designs and whims.

One of the sites that give free CSS of cool web designs is The Open Design Community (TODC). The Open Design Community is a hub for open source website designers from around the world providing thousands of XHTML and CSS based free web design templates available for download. So, please feel free to take a minute or two and browse through the designs that our fabulous designers have submitted and see if one might work for you! And remember they are free!

Bad Web Design
Here are some features that can really mar the over all concept of your web design. It is important to take notice of the most common mistakes web designers commit. You might be able to use some insights into creating an effective web design which might be simple but can invoke your projected image. Backgrounds that are gray in color by default presents so many problems most especially with the pages readability. Avoid color combinations that can render the characters unreadable. Backgrounds are mostly effective when it is left simple and does not interfere with reading. Texts must be readable. Avoid small characters. Keep the links colored blue as much as possible because common users are already used with the color.

DIY Web Design
Do it yourself design projects are proliferating in the internet these days. There are a number of web sites that practically teaches you what to do without hiring a web designer. A do it yourself web site design applies perfectly for young professionals who are just starting to learn stuff in business or trying to reformat the existing business that they are running. DIY web site design offers you total control over the project and over the site that is why its simply gaining popularity. It takes the work out of dealing with consultants, designer, contractor landscaper and the likes. In DIY design, your ideas are sure to be heard and taken careful attention to. You get to express your style and personality. because at the end of the day, it still will be your website, selling your products. This has solved constant problems with web designers who are truly passionate in their work who sometime can get overly sensitive to a small correction or observation of his work. Do it yourself web designing surely saves you money and time and energy.

Benefits of Web 2.0 Applications
Web 2.0 applications are the latest trend in website design . Many Internet companies and users are turning to web 2.0 for its added features. It has also increased functionality. It has brought about a new wave in how sites are to be built, designed and applied hands-on. It makes the users enjoy blogging, download, RSS feeds etc. These developments give added excitement to online experience. It is said that Web 2.0 companies sites get higher ranking in search engines, like Google, yahoo and countless others. Web 2.0 benefits are countless. You can post photos, albums, help guides and maps for planning your travel abroad.

It has radically changed the quality of social interaction worldwide. Blogs proliferate. marketing online costs much less. And it has created networking success stories. Web 2.0 gives you full control over your business while adding smaller but very useful features to it.

Website design is of course not giving the visitors with another plain piece of text. Go as per the old saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Here the beholder is the visitor of the website that you are going to design. So as a skilled website designer you should have mastered all the skills needed to create classy and attractive graphics, colors and shapes placed in perfect balance to catch the eye of the visitor together with drawing his focus to the most important sections of your website. Your job as a website designer is to make use of colors, text and graphics and translate into a visually appealing layout, logo, banner, and button system.

As a professional website designer, you need to chalk out a well-devised approach for creating the website. First, you need to understand the specific business necessities of your client and lay out the basic structure of the website. In order to minimize the cost of the set up, the website designer should be equipped with predefined web templates. Having this feature in your armory, you don’t need to go hog-wild with the designs for the reason that you are not designing a website by tinkering.