Website Design

I love building websites — but only the kind that work well for my clients.

When I first started creating web pages, I started by making beautiful backgrounds and all kinds of cool flashy buttonry. I quickly learned that these pages took longer to load because of all the bulky graphic files and swirly coding it took to pull the site together in a browser window. Yes, the pages looked great but the graphics took hour upon hour from creation to customer approval. So while they added a small measure of impact to the site, custom graphics and unnecessary images are expensive to produce and slow to load.

Your reader is generally in a hurry and will not tolerate a long wait for a page to load on their monitor. I don’t know about you, but when I come to a web page that is R-E-A-A-L-Y slow to load, I usually hit the back button and head another direction. Without a doubt, a leaner site is definitely more practical from the angle of keeping traffic flowing freely to your website. So the first rule of thumb is that you want to keep non-critical graphics to a minimum so that your site’s resolution speed is at its fastest.

Another thing I discovered was that it’s essential to display direct links and buttons to as much information as possible on your landing page. If your visitors have to guess where to look for information on your site, they will give up and move on. That means that links to your most important pages and information should be worked into menus and submenus that show up on every page, organized by topic or purpose. An easy-to-use and thorough navigation system is absolutely critical to the success of your site.

I go for navigation systems that will ensure a front-row seat for every important item on your site. The menus are tidy and easy for the eye to scan. Adding new menu items is simple. Most of my sites load quickly, though they can slow some if they depend on a lot of features. No doubt, choosing and configuring the perfect navigation system for your unique purpose is tricky, so unless you want to learn HTML/CSS coding, you need someone who knows the ropes to handle that for you.

How we build your site

First, we take an overall view of  what information you’d like your website to cover. Once we get a feel for how many topics we’ll need to include, we organize your menu system. After creating a site navigation plan for optimal display of your pages, I’ll customize a theme design in a flattering style that will present you with all the features necessary to meet your individual site requirements.

The next step is gathering the content. You’ll have to step up to the plate and provide that material, the text that appears on your site. Perhaps you have a corporate brochure or other printed matter you can draw from. You will need to provide pictures, audio or video files, download items like .pdf files, etc. that you want to have available on your site. Pulling together the content is a big job; if you know you’re needing a website soon, label a folder and begin tossing items into it immediately. Start a list of items that you’d like to show up on your site.

Next, we put your content into digital form and add it to the site.

If you have no content and don’t think you’re up to the task of composing your own, I will be happy to take care of that for you at my hourly rate. However, if you are computer-savvy and wish to maintain your own content, I can train you to do that. It’s definitely cost-efficient if you need to keep your website information current.