What is…

Graphic Design?

“The term graphic design can refer to a number of artistic and professional disciplines which focus on visual communication and presentation. Various methods are used to create and combine symbols, images and/or words to create a visual representation of ideas and messages. A graphic designer may use typography, visual arts and page layout techniques to produce the final result. Graphic design often refers to both the process (designing) by which the communication is created and the products (designs) which are generated.

Common uses of graphic design include magazines, advertisements, product packaging and web design. For example, a product package might include a logo or other artwork, organized text and pure design elements such as shapes and color which unify the piece. Composition is one of the most important features of graphic design especially when using pre-existing materials or diverse elements.”

Source: Wikipedia (March 26, 2009)

Desktop publishing?

“Desktop publishing (also known as DTP) combines a personal computer and WYSIWYG page layout software to create publication documents on a computer for either large scale publishing or small scale local multifunction peripheral output and distribution.

The term “desktop publishing” is commonly used to describe page layout skills. However, the skills and software are not limited to paper and book publishing. The same skills and software are often used to create graphics for point of sale displays, promotional items, trade show exhibits, retail package designs and outdoor signs.”

Source: Wikipedia

Web Content?

“Web content is the textual, visual or aural content that is encountered as part of the user experience on websites. It may include, among other things: text, images, sounds, videos and animations.”

Web content was defined as ‘the stuff in your website’ in “Information Architecture for the World Wide Web” (second edition, page 219). The authors include documents, data, applications, e-services, images, audio and video files.

Source Wikipedia (March 27, 2009)

If you need help with “stuff in your website” contact Kaz Design Works who can create a professional website for your business and add ‘your stuff’.

Website Design?

Conceptualization, planning, modelling and execution of electronic media content and its delivery via the internet using technologies (such as markup language) suitable for rendering and presentation by web browsers or other web-based graphical user interfaces (GUIs).

A website?

A collection of web pages, images, videos or other digital assets that is hosted on one or more web servers, usually accessible via the Internet.

A web page?

A document, typically written in (X)HTML, that is almost always accessible via HTTP, a protocol that transfers information from the web server to display in the user’s web browser.

What is the difference between static and dynamic websites?

Static websites don’t change content and layout with every request unless a human (web master or programmer) manually updates the page.

Dynamic websites adapt their content and/or appearance depending on the end-user’s input or interaction or changes in the computing environment (user, time, database modifications, etc.) Content can be changed on the client side (end-user’s computer) by using client-side scripting languages (JavaScript, JScript, Actionscript, media players and PDF reader plug-ins, etc.) to alter DOM elements (DHTML). Dynamic content is often compiled on the server utilizing server-side scripting languages (PHP, ASP, Perl, Coldfusion, JSP, Python, etc.). Both approaches are usually used in complex applications.

What is Web Development?

“Web development is a broad term for any activity related to developing a web site for the World Wide Web or an intranet. This can include e-commerce business development, web design, web content development, client-side/server-side scripting, and web server configuration. However, among web professionals, “web development” usually refers only to the non-design aspects of building web sites, e.g. writing markup and coding. Web development can range from developing the simplest static single page of plain text to the most complex web-based internet applications, electronic businesses, or social network services.

For larger businesses and organizations, web development teams can consist of hundreds of people (web developers). Smaller organizations may only require a single permanent or contracting webmaster, or secondary assignment to related job positions such as a graphic designer and/or Information systems technician. Web development may be a collaborative effort between departments rather than the domain of a designated department.”

Source: Wikipedia (March 26th, 2009)

Why does my website layout need to be spliced?
A website that consists of a large background graphic, as well as other photos and graphics in the content, will take a long time to load onto your visitor’s computer, particularly if they are using dial-up to connect to the internet. Splicing the graphic into smaller segments and incorporating the individual segments into different elements that make up the website design via HTML and CSS, will enable your website to load quicker and avoid potential customers becoming frustrated and leaving your site before they have a chance to read the content.
Why is a professional website design important?

Your website, and ultimately your business, will be taken more seriously if your website looks professsional. Like your business card, your website is often the first thing your potential clients see.

If your website looks cheap or home-made, what impression does it give your potential clients?

It is important to give potential clients, as well as your regular clients who’ve never seen your website, the right impression when they visit your website for the first time. If not, they may never revisit and, worse still, they won’t buy from you. Read the 8 reasons why your business needs a website.

What are Meta Descriptions and why are they important?

Meta descriptions are added to the background coding in the head section of each page of your website. They primarily serve three purposes:

  • An accurate descriptive summary of your web page content
  • A concise text advertisement for your page in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages)
  • Emphasis of targeted keywords used by searchers to display the contents of your site

Meta descriptions help drive traffic to your website, and like your web content may ultimately determine the success of your website as a marketing tool for your business.

Good meta descriptions are, however, just as difficult to write as the content of your website or the text for a good ad, but because they help generate traffic to your web site it is important to include them on your website.
Google recommends the following:

  • Unique descriptions for each page on your site
  • Give facts about the content on the page that are not represented in the title
  • Make sure they are easy to read
  • Make sure your descriptions are quality and represent the content on the page
  • Dynamic sites can dynamically generate descriptive meta descriptions easily

You can improve your site’s ranking, branding & click through rates. Just follow the recommendations given by Google

  • Use different descriptions for different pages
  • Include clearly tagged facts in your descriptions
  • Programmatically generate descriptions
  • Use quality descriptions
What is A.I.D.A.?

AIDA stands for attention, interest, desire and action. It is a step by step procedure used to get a customer to purchase a product. It is a technique used by marketers in their advertising and promotional campaigns. The concept is to first get the attention of the customer; this is not as easy as it sounds because the customer is bombarded by hundreds of messages everyday.

After getting the attention of a potential customer, his/her interest in the product should be stimulated. This is very difficult to do. In order to stimulate interest the targeting of the ad has to be perfect. A good ad that has been targeted at the wrong audience will fall flat. If he is interested he might come to the store to take a look at the product. The product must be packaged and priced right in order to evoke desire in the mind of the customer. If everything fits into place he will act on his desire and purchase the product.

Use A.I.D.A. to help with your web content writing »

What is the difference between HTML and XHTML?

There are a few subtle differences between HTML and XHTML. From a layman’s perspective, if you were to compare the source code of an HTML web page with the source code from an XHTML web page, the most noticeable difference would be that all elements (tags) are written in lowercase. Three more subtle, but equally important, differences are that all elements are properly nested, all elements are closed and one root element must be included.

Other differences include:

  • Attribute names must be in lower case
  • Attribute values must be quoted
  • Attribute minimization is forbidden
  • The id attribute replaces the name attribute
  • The XHTML DTD defines mandatory elements

An XHTML document must also include:

  • the DOCTYPE declaration
  • the <head> section
  • the <body> section
Why use XHTML and why does it need validating?

XHTML is a combination of XML (EXtensible Markup Language) and HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language). XML is used to define data, while HTML is used to display data. Badly written HTML will often still look fine in a browser. However, to produce a well-formed document in XML, it must be marked up correctly.

Today’s market makes it possible to view web pages in a variety of browsers that run on computers, such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome and Opera. By
using a markup language that combines the strengths of XML and HTML and by validating each web page to ensure it is correctly marked up, as well as checking for browser compatibility, we ensure that your website renders correctly in all browsers.

In addition to computer browsers, with today’s advances in technology, websites can now be viewed on browsers that run on other gadgets such as mobile phones and other handheld devices. On their own, these smaller devices do not have the resources or power to understand “bad” markup. Most also only recognize the strict version of XHTML coding while computer browsers work well with the Transitional version.

If you wish your website to be viewed by mobile device users, you need to advise your website designer, so that they choose the strict version and avoid design elements that do not render well on mobie devices.

What is a site map?

A site map is like the contents page of a book: it lists the title of each section and sub-section (the pages) of your website. Unlike a book, however, each item listed in the site map contains a hyperlink to the corresponding page.

Site maps are therefore particularly useful on websites with several sections and pages as they give visitors an idea of the content as well as enabling them to navigate to pages that are not listed in the main navigation menu bars. A sitemap that includes the full URL to each page also enables search engines to index your website’s content which is important for search engine optimization.

What is CMS and why do I need my template customized?

CMS is the abbreviation for content managed system and is software that has been developed to enable website owners to easily and quickly update their content without having to know html or needing to contact their website designer to do it for them.

Most web hosting companies with hosting packages that include CMS also offer low cost or free templates that you can to use with your CMS package. Open Source websites also offer a variety of CMS templates, add-ons and plug-ins that you can easily upload and install to your current CMS package at no extra cost.

You don’t need to customize these templates before adding your content, but if you want your website to be unique, to stand out from the crowd and/or to match your print material, you will need it customized.

Haven’t had your CMS template customized? Contact Kaz Design Works now!