Effective Web Design
How effective is your website? Are people able to find your site, and once there, do they get what they need from it? Just having a website isn't what's important, having an effective website is. Your website’s design — both how it looks and its behind-the-scenes coding influence its effectiveness.
Website Design & Website Coding: Yes, I do both! You can look to me for an attractive website design built with standards-compliant website coding.
What’s Unique about Web Design
Getting to Your Site: Most business owners want people to find their websites through search engine “organic” searches — searches that don’t require a business owner to pay for advertising and that are relevant to the keywords used in the search. The way a website is designed will affect its search engine optimization.
Typography: Print designers have long relied on typography to help set a tone in their designs, but this practice is more difficult to implement on a website than on paper. Why? Because there are only a handful of typefaces common to most computers. Some designers resort to using decorative typefaces in images but search engines can’t “read” text in graphics. Until recently, the only option for important SEO text was to use a plain-jane web-safe typeface. That's still an appropriate option, but now with Typekit (a subscription service) it's also possible to use "real" typefaces in a website. How? Instead of using the typefaces on the user's computer, a web browser will link to the typefaces on a centralized computer server.
Navigation and Content: Visitors to your site should be able to easily find what they need. Organization of your content is important, as is the placement and labeling of links. Each web page should contain a narrow range of topics, but since there isn’t a page size limitation, the content can be as in-depth as needed — keeping your visitors’ attention spans in mind.
Two-way Communication: Web technology allows for fast two-way communication between you and your website’s visitors, from e-commerce and contact information gathering to opinion polls and social networking.
In order for people to find your site, you need a unique web address, or domain name. A company called ICANN coordinates web addresses worldwide through accredited web registrars. Registrars charge an annual fee for domain names.
Websites are made from a whole bunch o’ digital files. Web hosts put your website’s files on their computer where people can access it with your domain name. Web hosts charge an annual fee for the service.
Some web designers resell domain name registration and web hosting. In spite of the tiny profit I could make from doing so, I prefer to let my clients have direct access to their registrar and web host. Even better, I offer a discount if you host your website with a green web host.