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You Should Hire a Professional Web Site Designer
Author: Tami Jones
Date of Publication: May 10, 2005
Your web site should always adhere to standards!
A professional web site designer will provide
you with a standard compliant web site that is
cross-browser supported. What does this mean to
you? Why should you care? Any site that isn't standard compliant
can "break" in older browsers, or simply not display at
all in, say, text-based browsers. If you are a small business, this
could be the difference between a conversion and a lost sale. That
potential customer just went to your competition. Also, a standard
compliant web site will have “clean” HTML, XHTML, or
XML code. This allows search engines to index your site easily and
improves your Search Engine Rank Position (SERP). What good is your
web site if no one can find it? Read more about the World
Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Web Standards and Guidelines.
But you aren't a small business?
That's ok. Non-profit organizations can lose
potential members and/or donations due to a lack of credibility.
Individual web sites are no different. If you don't care if people
can visit your site, or not, why even bother publishing your web
site on the World Wide Web? Think it's too expensive? Not at all.
An ethical, professional web site designer should
be able to provide simple web sites for as little as $50.
A is for... Accessibility!
A professional web designer gives you all of
this plus they ensure that your site is accessible to people with
disabilities. Too often, web sites are not created with people with
disabilities in mind. For example: The wrong font colors are used
causing people who are color blind to be unable to read the text;
and proper code and navigation are not utilized for individuals
who are blind or vision impaired. Another benefit with Return on
Investment (ROI): better indexing for those Search Engines. Read
more about the World
Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).
You should make sure that the professional web
site designer you hire provides all of the above and should adhere
to the most common, professional ideas about web design, like the
Only a few years ago, the web was a mass of blinking,
twirling, animated images and scrolling text. Today, things have
changed. Design principles focus more on simplistic, clean development
and ease of navigation. How wonderful for all of us wandering around
the World Wide Web! The problem now with most sites is the lack
of flexibility. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and other design tools
make changing and updating a web site's pages with little effort.
And that translates into less time the web site designer is spending
on maintaining your web site - and that equals less dollars out
of your pocket, especially if your designer is getting paid by the
Usability goes hand in hand with standards, accessibility,
and cross-browser compliance. When you achieve all of this, usability
is a natural by-product. Usability can be best defined as: how easy
the average person (without disabilities, etc.) can get around your
web site, or how “usable” is it. If someone has to hunt
for a link back to your home page, or hunt for how to contact you,
then you have a usability problem with your web site design.
As a rule of thumb, a visitor will wait 8 - 10
seconds on a 56k dial-up connection for your web site to display
- then they'll leave. Most web designers agree on a limit of 50
to 60k total for a page. This includes: the html page, the images
will go a long way to increase the loading speed of each page. However,
it must be kept in mind that these external pages DO effect over-all
page loading speed.
Only one thing needs to be mentioned here - a
professional knows the best way to use technology and when to use
it. Using a 250k flash intro page - just so your site looks cool
- is not making the best use of the technologies available. In short
just because you can, doesn't always mean you should. A professional
web site designer will advise you of the technologies available
and make recommendations based upon your individual needs in how
to best include any advanced features into your web site.
Clear, concise information (text) on your page
should immediately convey to the visitor what you site is about.
A professional web site designer will work with you or your copywriter
to ensure that you are conveying what is needed and appropriate.
In closing, if you want a professional looking
site that is available and usable to the widest group of people,
you should hire a professional web site designer. Have more questions?
Please feel free to contact