Web Design Efforts

Web Design Efforts

We all know how important visuals are in web design and that we simply cannot get by on written content alone. Our web pages need to have media and graphics in the form of images and at time videos or at the very least, links to this type of content. Unfortunately there is an issue with improperly using images that can actually drive visitors away from your site for numerous reasons. This article will help you make the best of the images you upload to your site that satisfies what visitors expect and keeps your niche from shrinking in size thus negatively affecting the purpose of your web design efforts.

Bmp Format

The most important thing to remember when working with images is that not everyone can view them in the same manner. Some people are using large HD capable monitors while others are using laptops, netbooks and portable devices that cannot handle large images effectively. The images need to be of JPEG format and of reasonable size. Unfortunately some people still swear by bmp format which are ridiculously large and of lower quality. Try to avoid PNG format for the simple reason that the higher quality means a larger file and those people on limited data plans do not want to wait for them to load or eat up much of their allowable bandwidth as people still tether to cell phones for internet access or simply do not have unlimited plans and portable devices are the top choice for accessing the internet today.

Captions

Another issue web designers run into is using images in place of necessary text. Content is always what drives our websites but Web Designreplacing words with an image may not carry the impact of written words that can peak ones curiosity where they simply want more. An example would be adding a picture of a product to your site and nothing more. It is visually attractive but the pitch to purchase isn’t there and you need to instead add a descriptive and vivid description of what it does and how it will change ones life to make them purchase it. There is a reason we have captions for photos in books as it makes them more interesting and tells them what they are looking at why it is important. Websites are in the same category and replacing content with an image will lead to little interest in your topic.

Curiosity

Never grab images off the web for your site without permission from the copyright holder. Just because it is on the web does not mean it is in the public domain. There are plenty of sites that offer stock or public domain images for free to steal an image from someone else and risk a costly lawsuit for a site that will never generate the money to cover the settlement.

Internet Today

Finally, stay away from free image hosting sites and simply upload them to your actual host. Free sites often lead to viruses or inappropriate ads that may offend visitors and lead them away from you, never to return.

Necessary Text

Images can be the item that breaks up the monotony of a web page with a ton of written content or be the albatross around your sites neck. The key is to format the images properly and consider the impact the image will make on the visitor. Once you discover that fine line, your site will deliver not only traffic, but also the additional income for which you designed it.

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Category: Web Design

32 Responses to “Web Design Efforts”

  1. Phil.harlow Reply

    How Do You Access A “Portable Device” Like An IPhone Via Command Line In Windows 7? Rather than showing up as a drive with a letter, it is in it’s own section under “Portable Devices”. How can I access this from the command line?

    Thanks!

  2. Doraima29 Reply

    Suggestions About Building An Advanced Web Design Course? I need suggestions for an advanced web design course that will be implemented for a college course. Some examples are divs and CSS layouts, creating a blog, image gallery or simple ecommerce site. This course is targeted for designers in mind, without or little programming experience. Any of your suggestions is very much appreciated.

    • Start at the beginning! Make sure they understand the internet and it’s standards. You would not believe the number of people who fail to grasp the standard box model. And how many people can’t differentiate tag markup and programming.

      Also be sure to cover the use of tools and modules. There are many great software sites out there that require very little modification for many projects, but many first time developers want to create from scratch costing more money and causing more trouble than it’s worth.

      Also, you might introduce planning. There are many developers out there that try to create a website only to realize that the client didn’t want xyz, but abc. Proper planning and documentation can save thousands of dollars and hours of wasted work.

      Also, code reuse is very important. There are times where a quick and dirty answer is needed to meet a deadline, but if there is the extra time, creating a slightly more elegant solution will prove essential for future projects to survive.

      Another point is data mining. Many industries underestimate the importance of data mining. A simple web tracker can provide a mine full of information if only it is tracked. One such industry is the marketing industry. There is little accountibility in this industry. Most of this is due to lack of tracking the information. One of my projects provided a tracker to a company, and it was immediately apparent that the company was focusing it’s efforts in the wrong market area. As soon as the changes were made, their business tripled over a month. Always look for new ways to approach data.

      One final note, many developers start out wanting to target every platform and every system. This is not feasible in the real world. Usually your target demographic does not need or want this. There are certain platforms that are a must, such as IE and Mozilla/FireFox, but I have had many companies tell me that they want their employees to use one or the other. In those cases, it is easier to focus on the one platform. On the flip side, don’t discount a system because of it’s age. There are a suprising number of people still using IE 4. (and even a handful using IE 3 omg) I cut my support off at 4 for practical reasons, but as an example, I was working on a project about two years ago, and I had a customer complain that they couldn’t access a critical part of the site, I started testing everything, and it wasn’t until I found out he was still using IE 4 that the problem made sense.

  3. Desserts.com Reply

    What Are The Best Ways That I Can Advertise My New Dessert Cafe, Both Cost Effective & Maximum Impact? I have got in a professional company to do my branding and web design, What is the best way i can maximise my time and effort to target as many customers as possible, any examples?

    • It sounds like you have a storefront. Having your branding and web site done professionaly was a smart move. Web promotion is one part of what you need to do next. Go to my website listed at end of post for free info on that.

      You also need to work on local advertising, besides internet marketing. My suggestions have worked for me before in a small community. Your results may vary. Does your town have a radio talk show in the morning? Take some pastries or whatever from your store to them in the morning at beggining of their talk show. Make sure to include business cards and a flyer or 2. Tell them you love listening to them and this is my way of thanking you. Stop by my new store when you get a chance, coffee is on me.
      Call the chamber of commerce and see if they will do a ribbon cutting ceremony. My town had the mayor show up, etc. all free and pic and article in the paper all for free.
      Buy small business card holders and place them full of business cards at hair salons, tax services, etc. Ask permission, but most will allow.
      Try and find something your business can give back to the community.
      My 1 store was a computer store. I donated a computer to a womans crisis center, another to a law enforcment drug agency DARE, in each case I proposed I would donate in exchange for free advertising. They called newspaper and setup them coming over and taking our picture and put it in the paper for free.
      I did spend $1.000′s thru the years on TV, radio and newspaper, but the above examples did the most good, at least when I was starting out.

      Gary
      http://www.greatbuys.net

  4. Johnny suede Reply

    How Important Is It To Learn HTML Before XHTML? Is it okay to learn XHTML without having any HTML knowledge at all? Do you think learning to hand code HTML is necessary to be taught in a Web Design class rather than directly proceeding to tools such as Dreamweaver?

    • I suggest that you ditch Dreamweaver, since such “WYSIWYG” only tend to cause problems, usually they also add alot of obsolate code to your documents.

      Most websites designed with such applications, is poorly designed, in the forms of locked font-sizes; incorrect code; over-useage of frames; bad cross-platform/browser support.

      There are many websites, which holds Tutorials/References for HTML and CSS, some of them include:
      http://www.w3cschool.com/ – (tutorials/references)
      http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/Guide/ – (Dave Raggett’s Introduction to HTML)
      http://www.w3.org/Style/Examples/011/firstcss/ – (Starting with HTML + CSS)

      All you really need to create website’s, is a copy of notepad, or notepad++ (But generally any Text-Editor would do). See also: http://notepad-plus.sourceforge.net/uk/site.htm

      Learning XHTML isen’t that important, the differance between html and xhtml is minimal, you can allways update your pages later, with less to no effort.

      A serious Web-design class, wouldent even tuch the “WYSIWYG” editors. Its more then enough to know they exists, having that seid, alot of text-editors, have programming tools, which will speed up, (or even replace) many of the tasks, which you would otherwhise do manually.

      Support for xhtml is poor, causing some browsers to render pages as text/html, instead of appcication/xml.

  5. Spencer Reply

    How Can I Make Money As A “modern Nomad” (constant Backpacker)? So I would really like to travel indefinitely, or at a at least for a large portion of my life, never settling down or staying in one place for more than a few months at a time.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that what I want in life is to constantly experience new things/places/cultures etc, and that I don’t have any other life goals in particular.

    However, there is a chance that I would eventually like to settle down in one place to raise a family. Whether or not I ever do that, I need a way to pay for food, housing, ‘experiences’, and occasional gear/clothing. All in all, I would prefer some line (or lines) of work that would pay at least $15,000 a year, the more the better, but I don’t expect any possibility of something paying more than $30,000 if I’m constantly travelling (maybe backpacking is a better term).

    Additionally, while job experience/security aren’t necessary, they certainly would make things easier, especially if/when I decide to start a family.

    So my question, then, is what can I do for money? Something that I either travel for or can “work from home” for would be best/easiest due to higher salaries and security, but oddjobs that I find based on where I am are good suggestions too.
    I’ve given thought to jobs like tour guide, english as a second language teacher, translator (perhaps easier to do after travelling and learning languages for a few years), working on farms or cruise ships, web design etc. The more ideas you have for me the better!
    Also, while I could definitely go to school to get education for a field, less required education is better, assuming the salary is worth the effort and still allows me to travel.

    Thanks a ton!
    Spencer

    • Become an eBay seller. You can buy local goods cheap and sell on eBay as you travel. If you’re a sociable person you might consider bar or restaurant work. There are many businesses in tourist resorts looking for fluent English speaking staff in customer facing roles. Labourer on building sites… great way to get a tan! Private English teacher (I got stopped in the street many times on my travels by people looking for a native UK English speaking private tutor). Get in with the locals whenever you arrive at a new place as they’re more likely to know what’s available.

  6. Sharon S Reply

    Looking For Site That Provide Free Web Site And Free Posting For Business Ad? I’am starting an internet business – all businesses are low or no cost and I am looking to find a site with free web sites and free postings

    • Hi,

      I’m a Webmaster. I create Web sites for small businesses and individuals.

      Oh Boy! There are a lot of Web site scams out there in Cyberspace.

      One thing they never offer is proof that the average person can repeat what they sell. Here is proof from a real company that has been around since 1997. No fly-by-night here.
      (http://proof.sitesell.com/waltera1.html).

      You may want to look here for a real-life example of the kind of Web site you want to provide: (http://www.mikino.com/waltera1.html)

      Warning…do not use a free Web site. Why not? I explain why below.

      Listen!

      You have to sit down and think.

      You want to work from home. Here is a free course that you can download (http://wahm-masters.sitesell.com/waltera… It gives you the information on how to start your own work from home web site business.

      More resources you need are listed below.

      Here’s the straight poop…

      You can create your own Web site. You do not need special skills or a college degree to create a successful Web site. You do not need to hire an expensive Web site designer. What you should steer away from is the free Web sites. They just waste your time and produce no results. You need your own URL, your own domain name. And it doesn’t cost much. But it does take some effort and work. You’re not afraid of work, are you?

      You need to create more than a few pages. Otherwise, the search engines will not find you (Google, MSN, Yahoo!, Ask). You write information about it and put it on your Web site. It won’t happen overnight. Just remember, the Tortoise or Turtle won the race – slow and eary does it.

      In the language of the Web, information is called content.

      Listen. Content is King. Just keep adding quality content to your Web site. This is what the search engines (SE’s) love. This is what’s real. All the other stuff about secrets is just smoke and mirrors designed to seperate you from your money.

      Hey! – The good news is that even with limited programming ability, even no programming skills, you can create your own Web site. You do not have to be a geek to create your own Web site which can have a Global reach. It doesn’t matter where you live. The Internet knows no boundaries and while you sleep, other people from all over the world can access your Web site. It’s international in scope.

      I can give you the basics about how to create your own Web site, but much more work is required to create your own Web site. You want a Web site that works, don’t you? One that produces an income, one that is an asset you could sell if you wanted? That’s what you want, isn’t it?

      I helped a local boatyard owner create his Web site (http://www.wareham-boatyard-marina.com/)… This is a real Web site that helps him promote his business.

      You may not know how to determine what’s a great Web site?

      One tool to evaluate the popularity of a Web site is Alexa which is owned by Amazon. You enter a URL and it will show you where it stands based on 65,000,000 websites. Google and other search engines are in the low hundreds. However, some individual Web sites have an Alexa rank of 100,000 or less. These Web sites attract a lot of traffic. Even a Web site with an Alexa rank of 500,000 is still in the top 1% of all Web sites ranked by Alexa. Most Web sites come up with an Alexa rank of “no date” which means no traffic for that Web site. As far as the ‘net is concerned, the Web site does not exist and is a waste of money. It may be a hobby site and the owner doesn’t care.

      Another test is your page rank in Google. It you have a Google page rank of 1, that is excellent and it means that when a certain keyword is entered in Google, that keyword will display the 10 best ranked Web sites for that keyword. There is even a PageRank icon that Google supplies that is like a guage of the Web sites popularity.

      There is only one Web site creation system that can get your Web site into the top 1% of all Web sites. I use that system and here are some results of many who have created their own Web sites without hiring a Web designer and paying a lot of money: (http://results.sitesell.com/waltera1.htm… You will even find a few health related Web sites there. The Web sites listed are all in the top !% of Web sites on the Internet. That is quite an achievment for these niche markets. Most Web sites are not even recognized by the search engines.

      Remember, you are invisible if the search engines don’t index your Web site. Invisibility is a waste of time and money.

      I also know FrontPage 2003, HTML, Javascript and perl and I could use those to create a Web site, but the $299 system is faster, more comprehensive, and easier to use. I found this free course very helpful (http://aff-masters.sitesell.com/waltera1… Over 20,000+ people have used it to design their own Web sites and the company has been in business since 1997, a real oldie in Internet history.

      Most of the answers tell you where to go to set up a Web site. Get a hosting company and domain name. Sure, you can use GoDaddy and it’s a good service, but that is not where you want to start.

      That is putting the cart in front of the horse. Completely, back***wards.

      First, you need to do some research on keywords and find out if there is a demand for your product or service. You need to find out if there is a huge demand for what you are selling and very little supply. Anyone of those places mentioned can create a Web site, but you need a Web site that works. One that has a low rank in Alexa and a low page rank in Google and the other search engines.

      99% of your efforts should be in promoting your Web site. Almost all Web site creation products ignore this salient fact.

      Creating it is easy. It’s the 1% solution. There are hundreds of Web sites that will let you create a Web site. Many of them are free. The catch is that they will put all kinds of ads on your page. That’s how they make money. They don’t care about you. They make money, you do all the work and get nothing in exchange. That’s the easy part. None of them will help you with Internet marketing and how to get indexed (recognized) by the search engines.

      Remember – if the search engines don’t index your Web site, your Web site for all practical purposes is invisible and does not exist. I know of many cases where hard-working people have spent a year’s effort creating a Web site and it doessn’t work. It get no traffic. Traffic is the life-blood of a Web site. Traffic is lots of people coming to your Web site, clicking on your Web site that is listed in one of he search engines (google, yahoo!, msn,ask). You must be listed to get the click. No mouse clicks, no income.

      Perhaps I should explain indexing. The search engines have programs called “spiders” that look at Web sites. They collect data from the Web site. The spiders are programmed to look for certain things in a Web site. If they find those elements, then the spider gives that Web site a grade or a rank. The beeter the grade, the higher the page will appear on your browser (Internet Explorer,Mozill Firefox)

      Of course, the best page is be on is the first page of the list in your browser – that is a page rank of 1. And that page rank of 1 could be out of millions of hits recorded in the browser. Most people will only check the first few pages of the browser for solutions to their questions or keyword searches. The rest of the pages will never be read.

      Look – if you want to make money on the Internet, you need to get a low page rank from the search engines. That’s the name of the game. How do we do this. We find a niche. A little place on the Internet that belongs to us. What really interests you? What turns you on? What would you rather fo than anything else? Are you passionate about something? Here is what many people did with their passions (http://passion.sitesell.com/waltera1.htm… More on passion below.

      Driving traffic to your Web site is your main concern. Without traffic your Web site will fail because it will be invisible to Web surfers.

      Hey! You don’t need any advertising or marketing companies to get your Web site recognized by the search engines.

      In fact, you don’t need to do any advertising. For example, to get your Web site known, you can create press releases and send them to various newspapers, radio, and TV stations. This is free advertising. You can announce that you have just created a Web site, or that you have created another page on your Web site, etc.

      Another way to get free advertising is to write an article and submit it to various Website that publish articles. It doesn’t have to be more than 300 words and you sign the article and it has your Web site address or URL in it and people will be curious and visit your Web site.

      The last way to get traffic to your Web site is to buy it. Google AdWords will sell you space on the right-hand side of the page. It might cost you $.20 per click or more. I would try for $.10 per click. Every time someone clicks on you AdWord ad, it costs you money. But the good part is that you can put a limit on how much you want to spend. Say $20 for the month. Then when the clicks reach $20, your ad is removed.

      I just helped a local boatyard owner put up his Web site. He really loves it.

      We already have one page of the Web site ranked number one with Google and we did not do any advertising. That means the first page that comes up on Google with specific keywords, has a page from the boaryard on the first page of Google. It only took a few days to analyze the keywords and create the Web site. The best thing about it is that anyone can do it with only rudimentary knowledge of the Internet and computers.

      No technical knowledge is required. Isn’t that what you really want?

      If you’re using Yahoo!, you have more than enough knowledge to start your own Web site. But you want a Web site that works. One that creates some income. This is known as Monitising your Web site. There are several ways to Monitize. You can put up Google AdSense ads that cost nothing and when people click on the ads, you make money. You can become an affiliate of many companies and when some one buys, you make a commission. You can sell ads on your Web site, etc.

      You can begin to Monitize when you have 15 – 30 pages in your Web site. People come to the Wordl Wide Web looking for information or content. They are not looking for your Web site or business.

      Content is king. If your Web site has quality content that people like and admire, that content will drive traffic to your Web site. Lots of traffic means many people are clicking on your Web site. The more traffic you get, the more chances you have to make money.

      However, I would caution you, again, not to try the free Web sites as they will not help you in the Internet marketing side of the business. You want to pick a system that does it all from keyword analysis to Internet marketing. Like the one the boatyard owner used.

      And don’t be distracted by the “noisy minority”. Most of them do not know what they are talking about and have a “smarter than thou” attitude which is usually based on false information, ignorance and rumors. Apply your own due diligence.

      Once you decide on your little niche which you found by doing keyword analysis, you name your domain and you get published on the Internet. Keyword analysis finds out things like how popular your keyword is, how much that keyword is in demand, etc. You want to pick keywords that have huge demand, but very little supply; this is where the money is.

      You may have a hobby like collecting stuff or you like to set up home theaters. Something you are passionate about. With passion, you can write lots of content on your favorite interest that will interest other people. Here are some real site subjects:
      Cookie Kitchen, your own biz, small biz guide, home biz guide, remote control cars and trucks, gear for motorcycles, Tunscany villas for rent, Beaches in Anguilla, Poker, juggling, pregnancy guide, flat stomach, doggie quotations, women’s health, puppy names, etc. The list goes on and on.

      Most Web sites exist to sell something. They are one huge ad for whatever it is your selling. It could be hard goods or soft goods or even electronic books, sometimes called e-books. E-books are books you download online, One company that sells them is called ClickBank.

      You must find a niche for your Web site. You need something to hook that surfer. Something unique. That’s why you need a niche. None of those sites listed will help you find a niche.

      People find your site via keywords. They are not looking for you or your Web site. Like Kayak Rentals. They enter Kayak Rentals into Google and Google finds all the Web sites with that keyword. If your Web iste is popular, your Web site will be on the first page of Google. The boatyard Web site has one page ranked number one in Google.

      How do you know which keywords will make money? There are keyword analyzers on the Interent. Most of the good ones cost money, not a lot but some. After all, you can’t expect to start your own business without some investment, even if it’s on a shoestring budget.

      Here is a tool that is very useful: (http://searchit.sitesell.com/waltera1.ht… in finding keywords and analyzing Web sites.

      The boatyard bought a system for $299. It has 50+ software modules that allow anyone with practically no technical knowledge to create their own Web site. Get this free course: (http://aff-masters.sitesell.com/waltera1… This is a company that has been around since 1997. It has helped 20,000+ people world-wide to create their own Web sites.

      What is great about this system is that they also have a forum where you can go and chat or ask questions about creating Web sites and experts will answer your questions free of charge. There are many steps to creating a Web site that works – one that produces an income. Free web sites just don’t cut it. You need this industrial strength system to create a Web site that works and makes money.

      You need to know how to Brainstorm keywords, how to write to presell, how to build your site, how to attract traffic, when to Monitize, how to Monitize, how to find the best niche for you, interpreting keyword supply, demand and profitability, RRS and blogs, E-zines, look and feel templates, how and where to get graphics, setting up forms, etc.

      Then, when you have a Web site, you can submit it to the Forum and they will critique for free. There is even a Water Cooler where you can chat, gossip, rumors, etc. all in a friendly manner by people who really care.

      With all the free Web sites out there, many people can create a Web site. But after wasting a lot of time on these free sites, they come to realize that they just don’t work and that’s when they give up.

      It’s like the gold miner in California who struck gold and he went to get some machinery to get the gold out of the ground. When he came back to his gold site, he dug a little with the new machine and the gold vein gave out. He gave up and sold the machine to a couple of miners down on their luck. They dug in the same place and bingo, just 3 or 4 feet from where the vein gave out, they struck another gold vein even bigger than the first.

      So don’t give up. Keep digging. There’s gold in them thar hills!

      .

  7. Garage Reply

    Web Design Contract Help? I am about to make a website for somebody and I have no contract, nor do I have any experience with contracts. I don’t know how to write my own so I was wondering if there was a ‘simple’ contract out there anyone could point me to?

    Also, is it better to charge hourly, or just give them one big sum for the whole deal?

    Thanks

    • Tough questions… A contract should merely describe what you are going to do at a high-level and provide to the customer your estimated level of effort.

      If you want, I’d be happy to review what you are coming up with and provide feedback to you. At my work, I am responsible for interfacing between the development process and client. So, I have gone through a few of these types of contracts.

      In regards to charge, keep in mind that you may not provide a good estimate. Clients tend to prefer a date that indicates when they are going to have the project complete.

      For example, you might say that the layout will take 40 hours.
      It might take 45. How do you handle the extra 5 hours?

      Where it gets to be difficult is when the client wants to make minor changes - these hours can add up.
      Assuming a 40 hour task consider the following issues:
      1.Interruptions
      2.Estimate may be wrong and take longer
      3.Client may want changes which adds to the time
      I would present it with a presumed 56 hours of work, the extra 2 days should cover items 1 & 2.
      Now, assuming you started work on a Monday - Client should be able to see the layout by the following Monday (your 40 hours). This might mean a few extra hours during the week if it takes longer than expected.
      Monday/Tuesday the client can make suggestions to changes and that is still within the 56 hours. Hopefully, you can draw a line though to help prevent too many changes once something is started without charging them for the extra work.
      Again, if you want some guidance or a review on the contract - don't hesitate to send me the information (irishtek@yahoo.com) you have and I can help you. If you want we can tackle one specific item or two so you can get an idea of what to expect and then you can run from there.
      Anyway, I'd be happy to help in any way I can.

  8. Louis r Reply

    Name Suggestions For A Web Design Company? I need to come up with a name for my web design company im struggling to think of one.

    if anyones got any ideas please let me know

    i need someone who doesnt mind me using the name for my business.

    thanks louis

    • The name is fairly (in fact: entirely) unimportant. Call it “Louis R” Web design… the job you actually do is what is important, and that is what will bring you repeat trade and a real “name of worth” for yourself.

      If you should get to the stage where your “corporate image” actually becomes important, then the name might be important, but you will have a clue by then.

      Don’t get yourself tied up in total irrelevances, people starting businesses seem to love getting caught up in “names” and frankly sh1te like that… that’s playing mate, seriously, just do the job… you’ll go a shedload further, effort where efforts needed. You don’t get trade and support because your name sounds cool… you get it because you are good at what you do.

  9. Gauge Reply

    Best Web Design Program ? I’m looking to create a web site and its been about 10 years since I’ve done so, and I was wondering what are some of the best programs out there to help with page design? I use to use Microsoft frontpage, like I said its been awhile so I was just looking for some tips, thanks.

    • It really depends on how involved you want to be. The industry standard is The Adobe Creative Suite (CS5). You would use Photoshop to design your layout and then use Dreamweaver to lay it out. If you not good with current coding though, I’m not so sure this is the best idea for you. If you are familiar with HTML 5 and CSS then you shouldn’t really have a problem. The Suite also includes Illustrator which you can use for Vector images and some people even use it to design their layout as well, but I prefer to use Photoshop for the layout. If you don’t want to be bothered with doing it yourself you can always go to a template site like Template Monster and buy an interactive template. Then you would just have to fill in your content. Other than that I would say hire someone to do it the right way the first time, because if you don’t get it right it can hurt you in your organic rankings, and lets be honest… you’re either making a website to promote your business/cause, or you’re trying to sell your product. If you don’t have those Search Engine rankings to go along with you website then all your efforts are for not.

      Have Fun,
      Ed

  10. Gauge Reply

    Best Web Design Program ? I’m looking to create a web site and its been about 10 years since I’ve done so, and I was wondering what are some of the best programs out there to help with page design? I use to use Microsoft frontpage, like I said its been awhile so I was just looking for some tips, thanks.

    • It really depends on how involved you want to be. The industry standard is The Adobe Creative Suite (CS5). You would use Photoshop to design your layout and then use Dreamweaver to lay it out. If you not good with current coding though, I’m not so sure this is the best idea for you. If you are familiar with HTML 5 and CSS then you shouldn’t really have a problem. The Suite also includes Illustrator which you can use for Vector images and some people even use it to design their layout as well, but I prefer to use Photoshop for the layout. If you don’t want to be bothered with doing it yourself you can always go to a template site like Template Monster and buy an interactive template. Then you would just have to fill in your content. Other than that I would say hire someone to do it the right way the first time, because if you don’t get it right it can hurt you in your organic rankings, and lets be honest… you’re either making a website to promote your business/cause, or you’re trying to sell your product. If you don’t have those Search Engine rankings to go along with you website then all your efforts are for not.

      Have Fun,
      Ed

  11. Ricky singh Reply

    How To Design A Web Site? Plz Help? I have been wishing that i want to make website. i want to be website professional. but i look through a lot of web site but i cant find one for free. i want to start up with free one first so if i mess it up. so i wouldn’t have to worry about it . is their any one can help me in this. i dont even know much about it . so u probably have put some efforts and start with me from chapter zero. i really want one my own but i dont have even a clue about it … plz help .. i would appreciated.. thanks.. by ricky

    • Try Blink Web or Wix, their easy to manage free website (or blog) has cool features that include drag and drop capability, switch designs on the fly, youtube and google video, custom html, upload images, flikr photo gallery, visitor stats and more. You can also buy a new domain instantly, or host your existing domain for free and make it your own (www.yourown.com)

      If your looking for something more advanced but still user friendly then try XsitePro, Sitebuilder Designs or Calvary Studios, they have everything you need in building your own website: domain name registration or domain transfer, web hosting, web builder, site maintenance and email accounts. Everything is laid out in an easy to follow step by step instruction. Some of the characteristics include d enable you to add your own themes, videos, images or mp3 music making your site unique to you. Pricing is comparable and affordable too.

      I hope that I was of some help and answered your question.

  12. Mchacker Reply

    Is Setting Up A Web Design Company A Bad Move? Okay so i’ve been doing website design for a long time and not blowing my own trumpet but i’m sure i design some better stuff than what i’ve seen from some website design companies.

    I’m experienced in designing for content management (WordPress) which i base all my web design on, due to ease of use for me and the client. I’ve been doing free lance for a while and work for a media company who i think charge stupid rates for simple design.

    I want to start my own website design company but when doing my market research and google keyword search (SEO Purposes), it looks like it is stupidly competitive which is putting doubts in my mind about it. I don’t want to put a lot of effort into starting up a company which will go no where!

    What your opinion on this? If you have experience in this field i’d like to hear your advice!

    • If I were you, I’d setup a Premium WordPress themes type site that showcases your design style. If you have the ability to design premium themes that stand out from the rest, you’ll have a shot at some nice sales, including recurring payments depending on your pricing model.

      Check out http://wordpress-themes.topfiveawards.com/ for some inspiration.

  13. Kristatoes Reply

    I Need An Opinion On My Web Design Project.? Alright, I made a website for my web design project. I need some opinions on it please. I’ve only finished my front page so don’t expect my links to work just yet. Thank you.

    http://www.freewebs.com/html-krista
    By the way, it’s just a website project and it is not meant to go on the internet. We’re just learning how to make tables.

    • Good job Krista, I like it. Of course, I already told you my opinion on msn. Lol. If I were making it, I would put like a light brown colour like a box’s or sand, and make it look like a tile (with texture, kinda like a book’s or something) and make it repeat across the background. But other than that, it’s nice. But that’s my opinion if I were the one making it. But I like it! Good luck with your project! It’s not like Ms. McEdward’s going to be shunning all your mistakes. Good effort!

      Edit:
      One of you guys (not mentioning) are going too harsh on her… It’s just the beginning of the year and she’s just going to start and take this course. She is new to it. She is in grade 10, and I can say that most people might not be able to design such a thing in our grade. You can see her effort, and that’s what our teacher also marks us on. So if you have to criticize, please say it in a nicer way. I’m not saying don’t criticize, because criticism helps people, but please use constructive criticism.

  14. Anonymous Reply

    Did You Teach Yourself Web Design? Hi there. Let me first say that I’m NOT asking how to build a website. I already know where to find tutorials and have some basic familiarity with HTML etc.

    Trying to teach myself web design has been a bit of a struggle for me in the past, so I was wondering if those of you who have built your own sites would share a little bit about your experience. I’m talking about things like:

    How long did it take you to build your first site? Which coding languages do you use and which do you avoid? Do you code by hand or do you use an editor like Dreamweaver? Or is there some other method that you use, like a content management system?

    Basically, what advice would you give to someone starting out, things to embrace and things to avoid?

    Noobish questions, I’m sure but I’d appreciate some experienced input. Anything helps, so go wild. Will choose a “best” answer. =)

    • I taught myself to design websites completely off the internet. I’ve built 4 and am working on a really nice one for an insurance agency. My first website I built with a friend on free hosting using very basic html, it’s a good idea to have a project and build it for somebody else. They tell you what they want and you have to sort out how to make it.

      As far as languages HTML is obvious, CSS is a must if you’re going to build websites, don’t ever design one using tables for layout I promise you it is worth the effort to learn CSS (I learned it mostly off of htmlgoodies.com it’s a pretty good site). I code by hand in TextPad, I find any WYSIWYG editors tend to write very “dirty” html and I like mine to be clean and concise. Textpad is a fairly simple java editor but it also does very well with html, it colors the tags and things that are in quotes so it helps you keep from making mistakes without being too intrusive, it additionally has some nice tools that are better than notepad like the ability to have more than one document open and a save all feature.

      If you’re looking to design more complex websites you should download wamp server which allows you to locally have a mysql database and PHP. I’m not sure if PHP is better than Perl, I chose it on a whim and it’s been fairly easy for me to pick up.

      For advice I would recommend not cutting corners, when you know you’re doing something that’s not technically right but it would appear to render properly and look okay… change it. It seems easy at the time but invariably you will go to change something and it will screw the whole thing up and you’ll have to do it anyways. Also (I doubt this would happen since they’ve fallen out of favor but here it is anyhow) stay away from frames, they aren’t used anymore and websites just look silly if they have them now. Finally never be afraid to ask for help, when you’re stuck on something there are forums where people will give you very helpful advice and often suggest solutions you didn’t even think of and do most of the work of solving the problem for you. In general people are very helpful, don’t be afraid to let them help you.

      If you have any questions or want any advice/sites that I use email me at cbahr@paigeinsurance.com

  15. Boo17 Reply

    I Would Like To Strat A Web Site. How Do I Start?

    • Hi Boo
      First you need some software to design your website with. If you know (or are prepared to learn) HTML then notepad is fine but your life would probably a lot easier using Front Page or Publisher (if you have them), or one of the many free web site design software packages out there. Very highly rated is dreamweaver but I reckon you need to be designing a lot of web pages to put in the amount of effort needed to learn that.

      Second you need somewhere to put your web site. There are free web site hosts – like yahoo geocities but you don’t get your own personal web site address and you do get adverts that you can’t control. The alternative is that you pay for a domain name and some web hosting. There are plenty of companies out there that are happy to take your money to provide this kind of service ands who you choose will depend a lot on what kind of web site you are gonna have. If there is lots of multimedia then you are gonna need lots of space.

      I think that (in the UK) one.com offer a great deal – it is cheap and very easy to use but they don’t give you much space so (as always) you get what you pay for :-)

      I wish you luck in what you are doing and if I can help any more just get in touch

      AJ

  16. Billiardguy69 Reply

    Is Anyone Here Into Web Design? How About As A Career? I Am Looking For A New Career!?

    • I was into web design when I was 13. I’m now 23 and haven’t done any web design for quite some time.
      I didn’t have a formal web design education of any sort. All I did was study how other webpages were made and adopted their practices. You could call that copying or stealing, but I would only use a source code temporarily until I knew how to use it, then I would use my own. So I wasn’t really trying to skate off of others efforts, but trying to learn.
      HTML is very easy. Javascript is much more involved, requiring an actual knowledge of some programming.
      Then you would have cgi, which was like server based processing/storing of information. Then of course you have shockwave and flash. As well as java. Then there’s a whole bunch of other stuff now that I don’t know what it is but it is simply to exceed the capabilities of the formatting of html, and the processing of information. That’s all web design comes down to. How you want it to look, and how you want information to be processed or stored.
      What you must know depends on the needs of a particular web site.
      A regular webpage can be built strictly with html. With no other types of skills, this type of webpage would simply be informational use only.
      It also helps a great deal to be somewhat of a graphic designer so you can create your own images instead of it being purely text based.
      Having it as a career you want to be flexible. So you must know more than html and making images. You need to check out the use of flash and shockwave.
      Seeing as how many sites house so many flash and shockwave content, for games, jokes, whatever, made mainly by youngsters who have nothing else better to do…it tells you how not-super-difficult it is.
      While html, imaging, and shockwave/flash make for a good presentation, you want some processing skills as well. I’m sure as a career you’re going to have businesses that need to handle accounts and various other information.
      It also depends on what type of web-design career you want.
      Do you want to work for one company and maintain their site? Or do you want to be like a consultant and move from company to company and charge for your services?

      Anyway, aside from web design, if you want a career with a lot of potential, I can get you in touch with something that will put the power in your hands and you get to help people with what they really need in the process. Give me a holler at thrashaero on AOL instant messenger if you’re looking for an opportunity.

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