Providing : Custom Website Design & Custom PHP Application Development.

Welcome to An Introduction to Website Design

Welcome

Choosing what you need for a website design does require a bit of information about your company or intended purpose for the website.

So on this page we will discuss the key concepts and give you an introduction to our Starter Packages. These are ideal if you have never had a website before and not sure exactly what you may need. As we only provide custom designed applications and website, this allows you to start off small and then build your website as you identify the need for new requirements.

If you have an existing website and want it redesigned then skip directly to the Website Design Section.

Sections on this Page

  Introduction

Starter Packages :
  Starter Package Details
  Additional Information

Website Design :
  Introduction
  Choosing layout

Website Features :
  Introduction



Introduction to Packages

If you have never had a website before, then you may not be aware of what is involved. So we have created Starter Packages that include all the key features you will need to get a website on the internet. The key features are:

A) Custom Website Design
B) Pages for your content
C) Website Hosting
D) Domain Name Registration
.

Each of these four areas will be discussed in more detail in the next section. You do not have to concern yourself with C and D at this stage, but A and B are important as they will both influence how much your website will cost to develop and what Starter Package you may need to select.

If you already have an existing website but need it updated or redesigned then the Starter Packages are not relevant as you would already have a domain name and website hosting, so please move directly to Website Design - Introduction

For customization, website applications or you are looking for other features not listed here or on our website, please contact us for a no obligation free quote.

If you know what features you are after, and want to design your own Quote, you can jump directly to our Online Ordering Which has all our packages and services listed, so you can simply choose which items and what quantities you require. It can then email the quote to you. Alternatively you can choose to browse our website and add applications to the shopping cart and then submit either a Request for a Quote or a Purchase Order. The website will not ask for payment and we will be in contact with you once your quote request, or purchase order request is received to discuss your selections.


Starter Package Details

A) What is a Customer Website Design ?

A Custom Website design, means that the website layout is designed specifically to your needs. You have control over what colours, font, style and layout you wish to use. However if you do not wish to have input on each stage we can use our creativity and design the web site layout based on the colours of your logo and the types of products or services that you provide.

All the graphic artwork is created specifically for your website and each website is unique. We do NOT sell templates, so you have complete freedom to design a website using any type of layout you desire. Most of the websites we are designing now use CMS Adaptive layout. This means that the one website will auto adapt the content displayed for any type of device, be it mobile, tablet, laptop or personal computer. However if you manage your own content then you will have to ensure what you enter can be adapted.

B) How does a Custom Website Design differ to free programs like Wordpress?

Wordpress is a Template based application. Yes it is free to use, but you will be confined to the limitations of the template. You can always download other templates which may be better suited to your requirements, but your ability to change the structure may be limited. You will also be restricted to the database and tables it pre-configures. The other main concern is that these applications are very HEAVY. By that we mean they rely heavily on 3rd party routines, such as GoogleAPI, JQuery, Lightbox and other plugins. These all contribute to making the website slow to load, and restricts accessibility (such as if someone visits with javascript off, or cookies blocked), wordpress will not display correctly.

A Custom Designed website is built to your specific needs. All Custom Designed websites we built do not rely on any 3rd party routines or applications. This means less security issues, faster loading and a lighter application. The routines included for your website will be only those needed to perform the required tasks. (Unlike JQuery which is a heavy routine even though your website may only use 1% of its features, it has to be loaded completely.). Any databases and tables you require will be structured to just the required fields, making them smaller and faster.

You also have the ability for us to make advancements to your website, by adding (or creating) new applications that fit perfectly.

B) Type of Content

There are two main ways content can be added to your web pages.

Dynamic is when the content is stored in a database. This allows you to be able to change the content for each page from an administration section. The key advantage with this is an application would be written to display the content as you require (such as products, news articles etc). This means you don't have to do much formatting of the content in order to have it displayed nice on the screen.

Static (or Hard Coded) is when the content is added directly to the HTML file. This content is formatted and structured to be part of the page. This makes the page load very fast as it requires no database access, but it does mean that if you require changes to the page you would need to contact us and we will edit the page and then upload it to your website. It also means that any content you wish to add directly to the page must be formatted specifically so that it keeps continuity with any existing content and all other pages of content, so this is a bit more time consuming.

Each type has its own advantages and dis-advantages, so it depends on if you wish to manage your own content, or if you wish someone else to manage the content for you. Often customers choose Dynamic content, but then still ask us to manage it for them. In this situation the maintenance costs for them is cheaper than if they were paying maintenance fees for changes made to a Static or Hardcoded page. Dynamic content is easier to edit and manage, irrespective of who is doing the managing.

B) How Much Content ?

Once you have worked out the type of content you have, then you have to identify how much content do you want on your website. Content is defined as all information and pictures that need to be displayed. If you are just looking for a website that briefly lists the services you offer and your contact details, then that can be done on a single page, so you can choose our Starter Package 1 and simply have a Static (Hardcoded) page.

If you have numerous services and/or products then it would be advisable to place each one of these on its own web page, so depending on how many pages you require, may influence what Starter Package you may want to choose, or if you wish to manage your own content then choosing a Starter Package which supports Dynamic Content may be the best option for you.

The number of pages required is important because that will help you identify which package you should choose and how much your website will cost to develop. The cost of a website is proportional to the number of pages you need created, or the type of applications you need developed or installed..

Having more pages also means you will require a more complex menu system, or category pages to group certain product types. These have to be taken into consideration as well.

So the first thing you must do is work out how many pages your website will require. The best starting point is to simply count how many products / services and/or news articles you wish to include on your website. The more pages of content you require, then it would be advisable to use Dynamic content as it will be much easier for that data to be managed.

C) Website Hosting & Domain Name

Once your web site has been created, it needs to be stored somewhere on the internet so people can see it. This is called Web Site Hosting. This is an ongoing fee, and is required to be paid each year. Each Starter Package includes the first 12 months of website hosting for free. After the first year you will be invoiced for webhosting. The cost involved in this is based on the size of your website.

The more content you have and the more hits (visitors) you recieve each month, will influence how much it will cost for hosting.

D) Domain Name Registration

A Domain Name has to be registered in order for people to be able to find your web site. You can register your own domain name, or we can do that for you. The Domain Name registration is an ongoing fee, and will be due every one or two years depending on the type of domain name you use.

Each Starter Package includes the cost of registration for one domain name for a period of two years and we will register it on your behalf, but we can not make any guarantees that the Domain Name you wish to use is available. If you select a .COM.AU domain name please note that you will be required to provide your ABN or ACN .

After the first two years, for us to register your domain name, you will be invoiced at the following rates: Registration of Domain Names includes a small management fee.


Additional Information


You can at any time purchase additional pages or features. There is no need to *upgrade* from one package to another. If you have purchased a package and you wish to add new features, you can simply purchase those new features. All Purchasing can be done through our Purchase Order Request Form, or from using our shopping cart if you are browsing our categories.

The only small issue that may arise is if you start with Package 1 and then wish to add 10 more pages. That would require a slight redesign to the layout as Package 1 does not include a menu. The web hosting fee is fixed for 12 months, so even if you purchase package 2 with 5 pages and then later purchase 10 more pages, there will be no additional fee for website hosting in the first 12 months. After that you will be charged the standard hosting fee for a website of your size.



Web Design Introduction


A) How Much Content ?

The first and most important aspect when redesigning an existing website is how much content do you have. Is everything on your existing website required on your new website? You will need to provide us with how much content (how many pages or how many products) you need to include on your new website so we can generate an accurate quote.

If you know exactly what you are after then you can always generate your own quote with our Purchase Order Request Form.

Also please ensure that you have all product information available. This includes photos, descriptions and specifications.

There are two methods of adding content to a website. First way is to simply create each page and upload it to the website (this is Hard Coded). Each page page you need created has to be accessible via the menu or product category pages.

The second way is to have the pages Dynamically Generated. This means the page content is actually stored in a database and then the page is generated and displayed at the same time This has a few advantages in that it is easier to change the page and cheaper to create each page. But you will have to purchase our Product Manager as this is what is used to manage the database containing the pages. For additional information you can click on one of the following links which will take you to our Frequently Asked Questions Section.

Adding Content - What does Hard Coded Mean
Adding Content - What does Dynamically Generated Mean


Choosing Layout


Menu Type and Location

Once you know how much content you have to add, the next question is where to position the menu. There are two traditional choices, and a few different types. Horizontal Menu that appears at the top of the page is the most traditional. It provides easy access and leaves most of the page available for content.
Vertical Menu that appears either on the left or right side of the page. They are slightly more cumbersome to use because if they need to expand it can require scrolling up/down in order to see all the menu options.

The two main types we can offer are Javscript based expanding menus. These can allow numerous sub categories to appear (expand out) from the main category. A Horizontal menu would expand downwards and then to the right if required. A Vertical menu would expand down and / or to the right.

The next menu option is what we have used on our website. This is more traditional where you click on the menu option to visit that page. There are no expanding selections. These are the easiest menus to use and usually yield the least frustration with website viewers.

Colours and Fonts

The last aspect to consider are the colours and fonts to use. The types of fonts are limited to ensure the website displays on all types of computers. The standard type fonts are demonstrated below in Table 1. If you do not have one of those fonts installed it will simply default to Arial.

The second section of this table shows a few fonts that are available with Vista. You can use any fonts that are installed on the computer, but the concern is always that someone viewing your website may not be using that same Operating system, such as they could be using an Apple Mac, but you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7. Someone may even still be using Windows 98. So you should only choose fonts that exist on all computers as standard.

You can use any colours you wish and the text can be any size you want plus you can have any style of page layout. We do NOT sell templates, so you are not fixed into having to place your company logo top left of the page, or have the menu at the top or on the left. You can be as creative as you wish. It is worth pointing out here that we DO NOT use Shockwave content. All the websites we create are HTML and CSS based. If you wish to know more about why, please feel free to contact us or use our Feedback Form.

Table 1A - Font Types

Font NameSample using 14px text
ArialABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 0123456789
Comic Sans MSABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 0123456789
CourierABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 0123456789
ms serifABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 0123456789
ms sans serifABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 0123456789
TahomaABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 0123456789
Times New RomanABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 0123456789
Trebuchet MSABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 0123456789
VerdanaABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 0123456789
Table 1B - Non Standard Font Types

Font NameFonts with Vista, Sample using 14px text
MoonbeamABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 0123456789
NotramABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 0123456789
OnyxABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 0123456789
TarzanABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 0123456789
Table 2 - Font Size

8px10px12px14px18px20px22px24px26px
ABCDEF
abcdef
123456
ABCDEF
abcdef
123456
ABCDEF
abcdef
123456
ABCDEF
abcdef
123456
ABCDEF
abcdef
123456
ABCDEF
abcdef
123456
ABCDEF
abcdef
123456
ABCDEF
abcdef
123456
ABCDEF
abcdef
123456

You can choose to have the font any size you like. Have a look at this comparison of font size using Tahoma. All you need to do is let us know what size font you wish to use for the standard text and for the headings. Normally we would select 12px for the web page text, 18px for Headings and 20px for Main Headings. An alternative to being fixed is we can offer an application to allow people to choose their own font size. So you can set your website to 12px, but a visitor may choose to change that to 14px if that suits them better.


Website Features & Custom Applications.


Introduction

A website feature adds some functionality to your website. A good example of some basic ones would be a search box, so that people can search your website for a particular word or phrase. Another example would be a Feedback (or contact) Form, where people can submit questions or requests directly from the website.

How about a News Bulletin page on your website, where you can add information about specials, or showcase new products?

To see a more comprehensive list and description of features, please click on the Demonstration menu Option. Or you can use our Product / Features Search Page.

Product Manager

Gives you the ability to manage and control what products are displayed on the website and on the Purchase Order Request Form (if you choose to purchase that feature). You can manage product prices, descriptions and even edit the actual web page itself.
Purchase Order Request Form

Provide the option for your customer to submit purchase orders. This is not an official online ordering feature as it does not accept payment details and does not generate invoices, but it is perfect for people purchasing on account, or for wholesale and dealer bulk ordering. Also provides the ability for your customers to generate their OWN quote.
News Bulletin Manager

Websites are constantly changing and so are companies product range, so this News Bulleting feature allows you to quickly and easily add News Articles to your website, so your customers can be constantly kept up to date with new product releases or any other changes you wish to notify them about.

This is just a few examples. To see a more comprehensive list and description of features on offer, please visit This Link.


That concludes this article. For additional information on website design, you can view our Philosophy on Website Design.

Thank you for reading



 
This Page last updated on 25th of August 2016

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