Website Design and Graphic Design FAQ's
First question everyone asks is... Do I need an on-line presence? The answer is simple. YES. Investing in constructing a website is an efficient use of your marketing funds. The benefits of a website are many:
- A website reaches a vast consumer market
- You can sell your products or services
- Provide information to your customers
- Generate new business
- Reinforce your Reputation
- Provide on-line registration or reservations
- Promote memberships
- Announce events
- Create client databases and mailing lists
- Your business information or product is accessible 24/7
- You can update or alter your marketing message or product quickly and efficiently within moments not hours, days, or weeks
Keep in mind that the internet is inexpensive rent and maintenance when it comes to receiving value for your advertising dollars.
Registering your domain name, also referred to as a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the first step. Ideally you would want your domain name to be the same as your business. There are many dot com designations to choose from .com, .net, .ca, .biz, .org. Hints: when selecting a name, make it short and simple to spell. Avoid words that are commonly misspelled in your domain name.
Ensure the domain name that you selected has not been registered. When you register online, ensure you take ownership of the domain name. Hallo Graphics doesn't recommend you using the numerous extension services only because if they go out of business, so does your domain name. All of your money you invested on marketing and establishing your website address is gone. Register your name as soon as possible as many good domain names go fast.
Don't worry if you don't have a website. Once you pay for the registration, the registration service will park your domain name until your website is ready. Expect to pay annually for your domain name. Our best suggestion is to register the name for several years, as it is more cost efficient in the long run.
Registration costs start at $29.95 and up. You can register your domain name with any one of the following companies: www.register.ca or www.register.com or www.networksolutions.com or www.domainscanada.ca
NOTE: If you don't have time or are uncomfortable in obtaining your domain name- Hallo Graphics will be happy to secure those services for you at a nominal fee.
You require a Internet Service Provider, better known as an ISP or host server. This is where your website is uploaded and hosted. The hosting cost varies depending on the host, site size and site requirements. Be careful to select an ISP who is stable in the market place.
Hallo Graphics will be happy to provide you with website hosting from $11.95 CAD per month.
Read More about Hosting Services.
Website content is the most important requirement. Before development starts on your website, we require all of your content.
- For Content: Compile your text for all of your web pages. Accepted File Format: .doc /. txt /.pdf
- Company Logo: Accepted File Format: .jpg /.gif /.eps /.png/.psd / .ai
- Photographs or other graphics: Accepted File Format: .jpg /.gif /.png /.pdf
If you don't have or require content, Hallo Graphics will be happy to help you for a nominal fee. If you have a color theme or design layout in mind let us know. It might also be helpful to list few website addresses that you like. Don't have photographs? You can purchase photos from this website. www.istockphoto.com
Meta Tags tells a search engine about your website. META Tags are invisible and part of your HTML code. Some search engines "Spiders" or "Robot" use the information contained within META Tags to index your Web page. In most cases a search engine Spider will grab only the first few words, sentences or paragraphs and use those words as the description and keywords for your web page. META Tags on the other hand tell the search engine Spider what information to use.
When properly constructed you can actually control how these robots display your Web page in their search engines. We're sure you have used a search engine in the past and found the description to be anything but informative. With META Tags you can have the robot display your Web page description the way you want it displayed (within reason of course).
You can also help people find your Web page by providing keywords that describe your page and help drive traffic to your website.
Cascading Style Sheet language is a computer language used to describe the presentation of structured documents. One modern style sheet language with widespread use is CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), which is used to style documents written in HTML, XHTML and other markup languages. Style Sheets allow you to control the rendering — e.g. fonts, colors, leading, margins, typefaces, and other aspects of style — of a Web document without compromising its structure.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are a simple style sheet mechanism that allows authors and readers to attach style to Web pages. It uses common desktop publishing terminology which should make it easy for professional as well as untrained designers to make use of its features. Visual design issues, such as page layout, can thus be addressed separately from the Web page logical structure.
One of the main purposes of CSS is to separate the content from the document's structure. CSS is used to style the content of the document while HTML/XHTML/XML is used to build the structure. That way, once the document is "built", any changes to the look of the page can be made in the style sheets. The changes are made once and then take effect throughout the entire site. This makes the site much easier to maintain and, if necessary, change a small part of it or its entire format. The concept of style sheets is actually quite simple. You take an element (h1, ul, img), apply attributes to it in the style sheet, and then just use the element in the HTML document.
All of its formatting and other aspects are detailed in the style sheet. However, it's not all that easy though. Its when we get into layouts, floats, margins, and other different formatting techniques that CSS begins to get a little complicated. But that's where we come in.
Need More Information? Visit: W3C- Style Sheets
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) develops interoperable technologies (specifications, guidelines, software, and tools) to lead the Web to its full potential. W3C is a forum for information, commerce, communication, and collective understanding.
W3C primarily pursues its mission through the creation of Web standards and guidelines. Since 1994, W3C has published more than 110 such standards, called W3C Recommendations. W3C also engages in education and outreach, develops software, and serves as an open forum for discussion about the Web.
In order for the Web to reach its full potential, the most fundamental Web technologies must be compatible with one another and allow any hardware and software used to access the Web to work together. W3C refers to this goal as “Web interoperability.” By publishing open (non-proprietary) standards for Web languages and protocols, W3C seeks to avoid market fragmentation and thus Web fragmentation.
"So what!" you say to yourself... "means nothing to me!" Yes- it does, these standards makes your website compatible with all the different web browsers on the market.
We do not recommend entire sites in Flash as the search engines cannot read the sites content and meta tags which defeats having a website in the first place. But they do look GOOD and well, Flashy!!!!
Web search engine is designed to search for information on the World Wide Web and FTP servers. The search results are generally presented in a list of results and are often called hits. The information may consist of web pages, images, information and other types of files. Some search engines also mine data available in databases or open directories to create more exposure and traffic for your site.
Hallo Graphics will work with you to select a company to register your website to hundreds of search engines. Hallo Graphics will be happy to register you with a search engine company at additional cost. These prices vary on services required so we will shop for the best price that suits your needs.
Hallo Graphics is unable to guarantee the timing, listing or the ranking of your registration on any search engine. Hallo Graphics will endeavor to optimize your listing with meta tags, which includes a brief description of your business and keywords. These meta tags will help maximize the exposure of your company on the search engines we register you with.
Basic site structure includes:
- graphic design
- cascading style sheet
- meta tags
- site navigation links
- e-mail address link
- 1 form and form validation script
- scanning of images
- uploading and testing of your site.
- Hallo Graphics complies to the standards of W3C. We are happy to support W3C by producing valid websites.
Hallo Graphics will register* your site with 10 major search engines. *Registration is to search engines NOT charging registration fees. We can also provide you with a copy of your website on CD.
NOTE: A small site will price different than a large complex site supporting e-commerce. graphic requirements, site size, information supplied, scanning, digital imaging, database requirements, Flash animation, Java Scripts, E-commerce and shopping carts will determine the overall cost of your website.
Once you have complied and submitted all of your website content (i.e. text, logo, photos), construction of your site can start right away with a 50% deposit. Website development process time varies.
On average 3 to 4 working days for a small business site and up to 2-4 weeks for more complex sites. All sites will be quoted on project requirements unless a website package.
Please contact your hosting company directly – maybe you forgot to renew your hosting plan?
You will also want to check that you renewed your domain name with your registrar. If you domain name has expired, your website will be down.
Maintenance / Support / Upgrades of Your website. It is very important to update and maintain your website, at least annually. Product and services change frequently so if there is nothing new to draw attention back to your site, you are letting the full potential of your website go to waste. By keeping your site current you maintain your client's interest. Content is not just the only maintenance required for a site. Your HTML code must be considered. Hallo Graphics can stream line and clean up your HTML, DHTML code, enhance meta tags, or add cascading style sheets to your existing site.
Making your site compatible to the standards set by the WWW Consortium keeps your site current and supported by the web browsers. Hallo Graphics website complies to the W3C standards and we are happy to support W3C by producing such sites. The various web browsers: Internet Explore, Firefox and Opera are constantly producing new versions of their product to support the fastest technology and programming. Should your website not do the same?
If you wish to maintain your own site and require the knowledge, Hallo Graphics is able to provide you either phone or on-site support for an additional fee. We can also refer you to an accredited teacher or institution. Hallo Graphics will be happy to provide you with website maintenance, support and upgrade services.
Graphic files for the Internet are saved at a low resolution (72 DPI- dots per inch) for quick loading and are commonly saved as .jpg, .gif documents. Web graphics do not reproduce well in a print environment due to the low DPI.
Print graphics are created in a CYMK format (cyan, yellow, magenta, black). CYMK is a four color print process that print shops use. The DPI requirements varies from shop to shop. Most graphic print files start at 300 DPI and go higher.
Print documents are saved in .esp or .psd and are very large. These documents reproduce well in a print environment but are too large to use on the Internet.