The Importance of Having a Professional Website Design
Having a professionally designed website is a necessity in today’s market. Any company that treats its image seriously understands that its website design is just as important as a suit for a businessman. As the saying goes:
Dress for the job you want, not for the one you’ve got!
This saying holds true when it comes to website design. Any company that wants to appear professional and trustworthy must have an attractive website that projects the proper image. This is a common truth that is accepted in the business world, as the design of a website can have a significant impact on its success.
What Does “Professional Web Design” Mean?
The phrase “professional web design” refers to the graphic quality of the website design as well as other factors that distinguish it from other sites. Since I am a developer as well as a designer, I can design an attractive site for your business while also writing the code for the site. That way, you get the “whole package” when you hire my services. Some other factors involved in creating a professional web design include all of the following:
A professional website designer will analyze your current website or, if you don’t have one yet, the content you intend to put there. The desiger will then suggest a clear website structure and an intuitive navigation scheme.
When you buy a car you expect it ride different kinds of roads, not only two-way highways. Although some roads may be narrow and difficult to drive on, your car should be able to navigate 95% of the roads you encounter. This is exactly the case when it comes to your site’s browser compatibility – it should look the same when viewed with the majority of modern browsers and when viewed with the most frequently used screen resolutions.
Readability and Ease of Use
In today’s market, there is a great deal of competition in nearly every market niche. Web visitors use, bookmark, and return to the websites that match their needs. In order to make your site useful to its users, the information on your site should be correctly organized and easy to find. A website that accomplishes these goals will receive a greater amount of Internet traffic and will generate leads.
Search Engine Optimization and Future Website Marketing Needs
When you pay to have your website developed, you expect a return on your investment. A professionally designed website will allow proper search engine optimization on each page while the quality of the design and content will help you get links to your website.
Ease of Maintenance
There is no point to spending a lot of money on a beautiful website if you will need to spend a large amount of time keeping it working properly. By implementing the proper design, a professional website will be easy to maintain and update when necessary.
Standard Compliant and Error Free Code
A great deal of pressure is being placed on web developers to use valid xhtml and css code when creating websites. This is because the code should pass W3C, or World Wide Web Consortium, validation. The World Wide Web Consortium is a company that develops common protocols and creates WWW standards. By meeting these standards, your site can use W3C code validation tools (MarkUp Validator, CSS Validator) to check the code for possible errors.
While there is still debate within the industry about whether or not using valid xhtml and css code helps to achieve high search engine rankings, I am convinced that it does. You can read about the experiment that convinced me and then decide for yourself. If you ask me, the professional web developer should provide a code that validates with w3c validators in order to help you with future website marketing.
Modern Web Development Needs
Today, most websites need constant expanding, which involves adding and updating content on a regular basis. With the great boom of blogging and the development of search engine technology, websites are no longer static. Website marketing makes constant change a necessity for a website, as only those websites that regularly update their information can gain visitors and generate sales. Fortunately, advancements in web scripting technologies provide a growing number of useful frameworks, libraries, programming api’s and content management systems that can help simplify this process. In addition, development of dynamic websites with an admin backend or even Internet applications with these tools has become easy and affordable for everyone.
Of course, with the growing variety of available tools to choose from, a higher level of knowledge is needed. While everyone can build a simple xhtml page, only a professional can properly advise you when it comes to making decisions about the tools you should use to create and maintain an effective website.
How Do You Recognize a Professional Web Design?
- It is visually enhancing
- It has beautiful typography
- It has a clear, logical structure
- It has intuitive navigation
- Its code validates with w3c validators
- It is cross-browser compatible
- It uses tables only to present tabular data, not for the layout
- It is styled with cascading style sheets (CSS)
- It doesn’t use deprecated html attributes
- Last, but not least, it is moderate when it comes to the bells and whistles – flashy gif animations, animated blinking elements, funny scripts and flash toys.
Of course, the quality of the graphics and the aesthetic side of web design is dependant upon your and your designer’s taste. Still, there is a set of website characteristics that can be easily verified and below you will find a list of questions that you should ask the web designer before hiring (my answers are in brackets):
- Do you provide design only or do you code as well? (I do both)
- How many initial designs do you provide? (2 – 3, or more if agreed)
- How many revisions on the design do you allow?(unlimited – until you are happy!)
- Will you suggest website structure? (yes, unless you don’t want to)
- Do you use tables to create website layout? (no, my layouts are tableless, though I do use them to present tabular data)
- With which browsers will the code be compatible? (IE6, IE7, Mozilla Firefox 2, Mozilla Firefox 3, Opera 9, Safari, which represents approximately 98.8% of the browsers used by internauts – you can check the statistics here. Of course, upon request, I can make the website compatible with other browsers as well)
- Will your code be valid (yes of course, validators are here)
- Will you comply with w3c accessibility guidelines? (of course, guidelines are here, and here you can roughly test it. Roughly, because automatic testing will never allow testing of all of the features.)
I hope these few remarks regarding website development will help you build a great website or hire a competent developer. If you have any thoughts on the topic, please feel free to contact me or add your comment below.