So you are thinking, the reason I’m hiring a web design company is because I don’t want to have to learn all this! Well, you don’t have to! We will explain everything that you need to know in simple terms. However if you would like to learn a little about web site nomenclature for your own satisfaction, read on…
SPLASH PAGE GRAPHICS– A “splash page” is the first page you see when you come to a site which is made for the express purpose of looking impressive. You can think of it as the cover of a magazine with lots of photos and a little text. A word to the wise: A splash page is not needed or advisable for every business. For some types of businesses it is better to let your user go straight to content. Once you enter the site you come to the
MAIN PAGE GRAPHICS – the graphic layout such as the banner and left side navigation bar and any other repeated images on the content section of the site (where you read pages of text and see the information about products and services)
GUI – stands for Graphic User Interface. A fancy way of describing the layout of the page including the navigation, which the user navigates to get to where he wants to go.
NAVIGATION SYSTEMS– A set of text links / graphics buttons /drop down boxes etc. which visitors to the website can click on to view different pages. The location of the navigation system is usually along the left hand side or on the top of the page under the company name.
ANIMATION – Images or text that move on a website. Best used very sparingly for particular purposes and to save bandwidth for modem users. Good animation used sparingly can add interest and beauty to your website. Animation used without discretion distracts from the content, is annoying to the viewer and takes away from the style and quality of your website. Mostly animation is done in FLASH (see Flash later on this page)
FOOTER – text and/or links at the bottom of a page of a website which is usually repeated on every page of the site. It may be a repetition of the navigation, your address & telephone number, and/or a copyright notice.
COLOR SCHEME – A combination of colors that go together using the principles of color and design. A monochromatic color scheme uses all colors that are variants of the same color, and a high contrast color scheme often uses opposing colors to add drama to the site.
FONTS – The main font for the website needs to be chosen very carefully as it sets the style for the entire site. This is another area where the old adage “less is more” comes into play. A maximum of three fonts should be used on a page to keep it looking cohesive.
FLASH – The expression “If all someone has in the tool belt is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail” perfectly expresses some web designers’ usage of Flash, who make things bounce, squeak, jiggle and, well, flash just because it is possible. We believe that Flash used in moderation can add to your site, however without distracting from the feeling and content being presented.
3D TOUR – A photo that you can rotate with your mouse to get the impression that you are in the center of a scene and turning around 360 degrees to see everything.
STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY – Using professional quality photos is essential to achieving a professional look for your website. We license (buy permission to use) photos from companies who keep huge numbers of photos in stock for this purpose. Our clients have a choice of thousands of professional stock photos at no extra charge through an arrangement with our stock photography vendor.
SERVER/ HOST – For a website to always be visible on the Internet, it has to be located on a special computer running special software that is always connected to the net. The software on this computer works with the way the Internet is set up to show people anywhere in the world your website whenever they want to see it.
(You can think of this as being an apartment in a building… you have a key to the apartment and your site files live there, but you pay rent to have that space). The companies that specialize in providing space for hire on these computers are called Hosting companies or ISP’s (Internet Service Providers), and they charge a fee every month for the space that you rent. We offer quality hosting for our clients including a content management system (CMS for short) that allows you to update your site without needing to know HTML.
DOMAIN NAME – To have a website that people can access by typing in a domain name, you need to buy (acually lease) a domain name through a provider such as Domains at Cost. This costs a small fee each year to retain this domain name, a portion of which is paid to the central domain registration authority on your behalf.
The domain functions as a “Street Sign” to your “apartment” on the hosting company’s server. When someone types in your domain name, their computer looks up this domain in the central database maintained by the domain registration authority. They then tell the computer which server the files are located on, and off the computer goes to visit your site!
INTERNET ACCESS– The ability to connect through a telephone line or ADSL cable to the internet. There is a monthly fee associated with this from $8 – $45 depending how fast you want to access information and how many hours you would like to spend connected to the internet each month. You need internet access along with a website if you wish to receive email. If you do not have internet access at the moment, we can recommend several companies who offer this service.