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Laser Sharp Images - Website Design

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Professional Web Designers : Whether you need a brochure style web site, a simple single page online presence, an online shopping system (e-commerce), your current web site redesign, or a website maintenance for your existing web site, Laser Sharp Images - Pasco Graphic and Website Design can help you.

We provide Professional Web Site Design, Logo Design, Graphic Design, Search Engine Optimization & Promotion, eCommerce, Internet Databases, Web Marketing, Domain Name Registration and Reliable Web Hosting Services.

We can create a Professional Level Web Site for your business fast and efficiently. Get your business online now with Laser Sharp Images - Pasco Graphic and Website Design.

Web site design tips

1 Designing for the audience

The most important point to remember when developing a web site is that it HAS to be designed for its audience. Therefore, it is necessary that you try to glean as much information as possible about the audience - their browsing patterns, color preferences, design preferences etc. Such statistics can be found for free on the Internet or you might consider purchasing them from known sources such as StatMarket.

2 Fast loading

Most web surfers use a dial-up connection, which is slow, and hence it is imperative that your web site loads fast - in 20 seconds or less. You should optimize each web page so that the file size, including all graphics and images on the page, is less than 50kb. The size of a web page is decreased by optimizing the HTML and JavaScript code and the images.

3 Optimizing HTML and JavaScript code

The best way to optimize the code is to enter it manually using a text editor, such as NotePad under Windows or vi under Unix and for this, you should be well-versed with HTML and JavaScript. WYSIWYG editors generate a lot of superfluous code that makes the page bulky and we do not advise the use of such programs for serious web developers.

4 Optimizing images and graphics

There are mainly three image formats on the web - .gifs, .jpgs and .pngs. For more information on these image formats, please visit our web development portal Gifs can contain a maximum of 256 colors and are used for images that have large areas of single color such as line-art. JPGs on the other hand are suited more for photo-quality images. PNG is a newer format and is picking up well on the web. It employs good compression algorithms for both low color and photo-realistic images. Large graphics/images It is sometimes important to put high-resolution or large sized images on web pages. In such cases, it is advisable to inform the visitor that the particular page is graphics intensive and might take time to load.

5 Easy navigation

Visitors come to your site either searching for information or solutions to problems they are facing. Hence it is only natural that you help them locate the information quickly by providing easy navigation throughout the web site. A rule of thumb is that each page should be accessible from another in three mouse-clicks or less. Make sure that the main links are placed at the top or the left on each page and they also appear at the bottom, especially if the page is long. Additionally, you should provide links to pages that have related content.

6 Layout and design

Make sure that there is consistency in the design and layout of different web pages on your site. It is best to create a single style sheet and employ it for all pages.

7 Colors and fonts

You should also take care that the colors and fonts compliment your business. For example, it's a bad idea to use red as the major color for financial sites or if it's a technology company site, it's advisable to use a sans-serif font.

8 Flash

Macromedia Flash technology delivers high quality multimedia content over the Web. Being a vector-based program, Flash can help create stunning animations at small file sizes and the in-built language, ActionScript helps in adding interactivity. Flash movies are used primarily in three forms on the web - web site intros, web banner ads, or as full-fledged web sites. To view flash movies the visitor needs to have a plugin, which they can get from the Macromedia site. Presently, more than 90% web surfers have the plugin. However, you need to decide whether all the pretty animation and interactivity of Flash is required for your site and adds value because there is always an overhead of download time.

Flash intros larger than 50kb need to have a "Skip" (or equivalent) button on the very first frame; and this button should take the visitor to the HTML coded pages. Also, while all the Flash symbols are preloading, it is advisable to display the loading status as a percentage value. Flash web sites need to have an HTML version so that visitors who don't have the plugin can view the pages too!

9 Organization address

Ensure that your organization address with some other contact details appear on all web pages. This helps in building trust and puts your organization in good light.

10 Privacy policy

Create a privacy statement that correctly describes your organizations' policies and provide a link to it from each web page; especially pages that gather visitor inputs such as name, email etc.

11 Image preloading

If you've the nifty looking mouse rollover image changes for the main buttons on your web site, remember to preload all the images.

12 Contact Us page

Almost all web sites have a Contact Us or equivalent page. The page should contain the full postal address of the organization, the telephone and fax number, email address and other contact details. To make the page look professional, you should also include an HTML form that the visitor can submit. Finally, it would be ideal if you can validate this form using both client-side JavaScript and server-side script.

13 Opening new browser windows

Web surfers generally do not appreciate when links on a web page open new browser windows. It can be forgiven if there are only a couple of such links on a web page, but if there is a list of links that open new browser windows, it would be good web development practice to inform the visitor that clicking the link would start a new browser window. Though it's only fair on your part to open new browser windows to external URLs, avoid doing the same for pages on the same site.

14 Search Engine Optimization

It is imperative that all web pages are search engine friendly so that the prospects can locate your site easily. Remember, different search engines have different indexing algorithms; hence you might want to check each of them individually. In any case, you should make a list of keywords/key phrases you feel prospects would use for searching and then develop each web page around these keywords and phrases. The TITLE, META KEYWORDS, H1, BODY TEXT etc. are some important places in which you should use the keywords.

15 Things to avoid

Here is a short list of things you need to avoid:

Recurrent spelling errors

Nothing puts off a visitor more that an abundance of spelling errors. Make sure you check the page for these as well as grammatical errors.

Background music

Music files are not only large and take time to load but might put off a visitor if they don't server any purpose, which is usually the case. Background music is a novice item and should be avoided on professional sites.

The "Looks best in Internet Explorer on 800x600 screen resolution" phrase

Shows that the web developer did not take pains to test the web site on different platforms, browsers and screen resolutions.

The dreaded 404 error

Make sure all the links on your site work and the visitor is not displayed the 404 Page Not Found error. Several hosting companies have provision for creating a custom 404 error page. Make sure the design and layout of this page is consistent with that of the web site and remember to include a link to the webmasters' email.

Please contact Laser Sharp Images - Pasco Graphic and Website Design today and schedule a free website consultation!

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Website Design

Every great website starts with a great design. At Laser Sharp Images - Pasco Graphic and Website Design, we don't just design a website for you, we design your website, capturing the essence of who you are as a company.

E-Commerce Design

A website with an appealing design is good, but a website that goes to work for you is even better. Create a cost-effective platform to sell your products anywhere in the world.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

You have a website, you like how it looks, and you like what it does, but how do you get your potential customers to find it? Successful search engine optimization ensures your site is in the right place at the right time.

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