Planning and Research – Important Part of Web Design

A ‘website design’ requires a lot of planning and research along with good bit of effort. But with the march of the time, now we have some excellent and easy procedures and measures, which help a lot in course of website designing. Now it is not a tough job any more to create a good and professional website with not so advanced skill (still, at least a minimum level of designing skill necessary though) and in very less amount of time. When you are designing a web site, then you must have a good collection of web logos, web templates and some other important components, which are very much important in case of web designing.

Now, it is very much important to have a particular plan much before designing a website, depending upon your goal to design the website. Now along with the planning it is also quite important to realize the goal, for which you are designing the web site. Now, if you are not clear to these objectives, your intention of good website design may fail. It is also essential to collect through data about your business strategies, pricing and the customers before starting to design the website. If possible try to conduct a market survey and obtain the proper result before designing.

Now, start to make and execute the plans, which are to be made after the decision of the website development. When the whole thing is decided, at first you have to choose the proper template so that it can match your requirements. You can find many finely designed web templates in various websites, which are totally free of cost and free for circulation and modification. Otherwise, you can buy templates too. There are lots of companies, who are providing nice web templates in very reasonable rate. While buying, you will have the options of buying a ‘copy-right’ template or a ‘non copy-right template’. Certainly, the price of the ‘copy right template’ is in the higher side. One thing should be noted that a website needs thorough up gradation and total maintenance. While up grading, you may add several new contents, new links or images, and updates to your website. Now, since these inclusions are necessary, so it is also essential that web-template is easily upgradeable. In fact, edit some portions of the web development template as par your necessity.

Now, you have to put then related contents to the web template you have. The contents include the images, texts, flash objects and many other things. Now it is important to add contents considering the physical web space you have. You content should be limited within the physical space. Now you can add the contents to the template by using various editors like MS FrontPage or even Dream Weaver. Now after these works you have to link the template (filled with various contents) to a certain domain address. It is important to have a domain address, which is simple to pronounce.

Now, some people are designing the websites in professional basis. In fact, web site designing is simple job if the mentioned tips are followed thoroughly.

Importance of Browser Compatibility in Web Design

Though browser compatibility is an important part of successful web design, I found that most of the clients are ignorant of this fact. Throughout my career in web development I found very few client who mention this aspect in their requirement document. I shall not hold them solely responsible for this. I came across many colleagues (web programmers) in my tenure in the field of web design who also do not take proper care of this aspect.

Now I shall explain the browser compatibility issue from my experience. Hope you will enjoy the reading and it will be helpful for you in future.

What happened when a viewer opens a web page? He sends the request to open a particular web page by giving the URL (universal resource locator) in the form of “http://www” (http means hyper text transfer protocol and protocol means rules) to the server via a software application. This software application is called the ‘Browser’. Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari etc. are the examples of such browsers. The browser connects the server through the Internet gateway. We send the request to the modem through the computer’s IP number.

Modem sends the request to the ISP’s (Internet Service Provider) IP number and finally connects it to the Domain Name Server (DNS), the server which keeps the mapping of the IP and the Domains). After connecting the web page, ISP sends the contents of that web page to the requesting computer through the browser. Whatever may be the form of the info, it comes in the form of html (hypertext mark-up language) only and the browser converts this html to normal output what we understand. That is why html is called a client side scripting language. So, a visitor can open a web page using any of the well-known browsers he likes. The choice of the browser may vary according to the availability of the browser, using habit of the particular cluster of viewers etc.

Here lies the basic problem. Because each browser does not read the HTML code in the same fashion and you, being the site owner, do not have any control on which Internet browser will be used to view your site.

What may happen if a website is not built compatible to multiple browsers?

Non-compatibility to multiple browsers normally does not effect the functionalities of a website. Rather it mostly affects the design view of a site, which creates the first long lasting impression on a viewers mind. A website may be displayed perfectly in a particular version of IE, but may look much different in Fire fox and even in other versions of IE also. The whole thing depends on the level of complexity of the design. In case of simple designs, if some conventions like W3C validation and standard resolution of 1024 pixels X 768 pixels are followed during the development process, normally it does not create any problem. But in case of a complex design, lot of other things should be taken care of. Now, to the best of my ability I shall try to write down some suggestions for the site owners and the web designers. It is nothing new; but may act as a reminder during the development process.

My suggestions for the website owners: It is a common practice for a good web development company to make all the websites compatible to two major browsers, named Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. Still I like to say a few words to the respectable site owners.

Don’t forget to mention this aspect in your work specifications document.

Set your target audience and try to anticipate their browsing habits. Suppose your target audience is the viewers of Western Europe and there, viewers prefer Safari to IE or Mozilla. Then you have tell your website designer to make it compatible to Safari and at least another one of global acceptance like IE and Mozilla. You may have your website compatible to more than two browsers at time. But it may cost you few bucks more.

My suggestion for the web developers: Even if your client doesn’t mention anything about the browser compatibility or is ignorant of the fact totally, it is your moral obligation to make it compatible to the most frequently used version of IE and Mozilla (IE 6.0 & Mozilla 3.0). If the client is specific about his choice of browsers then get relaxed. There are many tools available that will help you to make your Website compatible to multiple browsers. Alternatively you can download a version each of the browsers you need and test your Web site in each of them. It is important to know that most of the discrepancies you will find are because of the different ways the browsers handle erroneous code.

Always try to get the HTML coding of your website W3C validation by using validating tools.

Develop the web site of your client by setting your computer’s resolution to 1024 pixels x 768 pixels. This resolution is fairly common and should take care of almost all your visitors, including those using wide screen monitors and laptops.

It is a common practice for the web programmers to apply CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) for designing purposes. They develop many CSS classes that are applied to different HTML components. While creating a CSS class remember that a single CSS class may behave differently in different browsers. So you have to develop a CSS class in such a way, that in different browsers the HTML output looks alike and get it tested properly before implementation of the same.

Above all keep the design structure as simple as possible. It will help you to sort out the browser compatibility factor easily.

How to Maintain a Website Development Process

Step by Step Process of Web Development

As we all know a website is not any product, it is a service offered by various companies. Nowadays, it seems to be quite difficult to hire a strong web development company among so many well established companies and because of this, I have examined that why most of the companies have a bad experience while developing a new website.

These are a few points that came to my notice:

1. When a web development company is new in the market, having minimal set of standards.

2. What you’re offering is difficult to figure out to end users, which results in impractical objectives.

3. It takes more time to effectively determine the development plan than it does to make the whole site.

4. The plan for web development is often described by the client instead of being a combined decision between the client and the company.

5. Good web marketing workers are difficult to find and expensive for organizations to seek the services of.

Determine your objectives – Your company should come into the development plan with the answers of what you’d like to achieve from a business viewpoint, not with regards to website functions, design and structure.

How do you evaluate the achievements of the project – What benefits does the customer want? How can you make your users feel great when they visit your website? Many people usually compare their website with their competitor’s site for solutions. Stop! Instead, think about what you’re trying to achieve.

Select a budget range – By developing clear goals of your business and a budget range, you’re guaranteeing you will get your money’s value. The company will lay out the choices that are the best match for your business requirements and set the complete plan of implementation to achieve the desired results. During this, they will complete the cost so you know where your money is being invested.

Let the agency to reach out your business goals – If you want to speed up the development process, the most important thing that you can do is allow the team members to come up with their own suggestions and concepts which may help in achieving your business goals. You can share your feedback or thoughts over the concept. This can increase the comfort level of working on your project and hence deliver better outcomes.

Trust your company to obtain the best results – The best approach is to ask your agency regarding work performance, website cost and how their team is going to implement their strategies to fulfill your business requirements. Believe in their potential experience and capability to recognize your objectives.

Hence, we can say that the process of making a website involves trust. Believe in the company you have chosen for accomplishment of your desired output. It will build a strong relationship with the firm that will speed up your business.