If you’ve been putting off developing a website for your business because of lack of time, or thinking about hiring your nephew “who knows a lot about computers”, you might want to reconsider.
At CPC, all we need is your business card and a clear idea of what your company does to produce an elegant, professional, and optimized web site. We research important keywords relevant to your product or service, and develop the entire content for your web site based on these results. We handle all this process without taking up hardly any of your busy time.
And while your nephew may be a very talented designer, unless he is a professional web developer, chances are he may not be familiar with all the intrincacies of web and search engine optimization. Evolving at neck-breaking speed, web development is a much more complex undertaking now than it ever was in the old days. Caution. You may end up paying a lot more than you bargained for with loss of leads and opportunities forgone.
Providers of web design in Miami abound. With so many web design suppliers in town, the decision of which web designer to choose can be a daunting one. Fortunately for you, after reading this quick guide, you can ask your potential designer the right questions and feel confident that you are hiring the right person to build or revamp your website.
True, flash animations can be beautiful to look at, they are edgy, trendy and in general plain cool. Unfortunately, the search engines like Google or Yahoo cannot see any of it. It is not even that they may take too long to load and the search engine’s crawler doesn’t want to wait and leaves, though this too is already a good reason not to have them. It is that crawlers cannot read the movement or action at all. Search engines read text, that’s what they index in their catalogs, and that’s what they will look up when you go into Google and type, for example “Web Design in Miami“.
Statistics show that users will wait only 4 seconds to begin to see a page loading when they first visit a website; and only 20 seconds for the entire page to have downloaded in the screen. Any longer than that and they will hit the back button in the browser and leave, probably for good. Make sure your web designer knows about this and thus will balance your site with light weight graphics and text.
Research shows that users do not read websites, they skim them. Your visitors will look around feverishly for anything that is interesting or resembles what they’re looking for. A good web designer knows this, so she places important information strategically throughout the website, makes good use of conventions (i.e. anything clickable should be underlined), designs a user-friendly website with intuitive navigation. This is designing with usability in mind. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, is a US law requiring the federal government to make all goods and services, including web sites fully accessible to people with disabilities. It identifies specific standards for Internet and Web accessibility. These guidelines encourage developers to make web sites accessible to desktop browsers, voice browsers (screen readers), mobile phone, and other software that aids the handicapped navigate the Internet.
Besides the issue of search engine visibility (covered above), good web design incorporates competitive and relevant keywords (what the users are typing into the search engines as “Web Design in Miami” in example above.) Keywords are placed within the text of the page, and ‘behind the scenes’, tucked away in the HTML Meta Tags, which are not normally visible to human eyes. The research and placement of the keywords are extremely important if your website is to stand a chance before the search engines, and hence, if it is to claim its share of Internet traffic.
XHTML 1.1 Transitional Compliance: XHTML is a stricter and cleaner version of HTML recommended by W3C (World Wide Web Consortium). XHTML is the effective inheritor of HTML 4.01 and although it is almost identical to its predecessor it is aimed to replace it. W3C will not continue to develop HTML, future W3C work will be focusing on XHTML only. In light of this information, it is very important that your web designer codes (programs) your web site with the latest of standards in the industry.
Web designers have traditionally relied heavily (or even exclusively) on the use of HTML tables to display their web designs on the Internet. However, tables present multiple issues on flexibility, interoperability, and most importantly accessibility. Tableless CSS markup is quickly becoming the standard in the web community, specially since it allows to separate content from the presentation (or design) of a website with enhanced control and flexibility; it demands less bandwidth usage; and it fully supports mobile and hand held devices. Since HTML table-based coding will sooner or later be phased out, it behooves you to check if your web designer will use the highly recommended tableless CSS markup when building your web site.
Since the Internet has continued to grow at an exponential rate, so have the Internet Browser brands, such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Netscape and Safari. While Internet Explorer remains the most popular, followed very closely by Firefox, there are well over a dozen different options out there that are being used by Internet visitors. Each of these browsers decodes the HTML, XHTML or CSS of your web site in slightly a different way. Sometimes the design will hardly be affected, yet other times, the interpretation given to a particular piece of such code can drastically alter the overall design or composition of your site. Make sure your website will be compatible in at least the two most common browsers: Internet Explorer and Firefox.