Web Site Design
Web site design is the second component of our eCommerce Harmony strategy. We never undertake a web site design or redesign without in-depth planning. A good web site design adds profitability to a client's business and achieves the goals set out in the planning phase.
Effective web site design
A fine violin can produce wondrous music in the right hands and the violin itself can be a considered a work of art. The rhythmic notes are produced by more than the parts you see, the true nature of a violin lies in the parts you don't see. The finest wood is selected, bent, layered, cut, carved, sanded, honed, polished and more. Effective websites are an artistic blending of the components you don't see with those you do:
- Search Engine Optimized - SEO takes precedence over all other components of good design. If prospects can't find your site, it is unlikely your web venture will be successful. We understand search engine optimization and and routinely employ that knowledge in our designs. Before you select any firm for web site design, be sure they know SEO. Ask them to prove it.
- Creative design is of prime consideration. Design and structure are so closely tied that designers must have a very clear understanding of HTML coding best practices. Originality counts! You should never use pre-defined templates.
- Simple both in structure and navigation. Confusing sites don't produce results. A prospect needs to get to the information they need and make the decision to choose a good or service within 3 clicks.
- Consistent look and feel is also important to presenting a coherent brand and familiar navigation. Page structure and the location of navigation should remain consistent throughout the site.
- Standards compliant - Web pages should be HTML standards compliant when possible. Standards compliant HTML will have extended longevity and is readily indexed by search engines. See the w3c for info on standards.
- Interactivity (aka Flash) is an important component of contemporary web site design, but it does not take the place of good fundamentals. Overuse of Flash animations and graphics can bring many browsers to a crashing halt and seriously degrade user experience. As a rule, we do not build full flash sites primarily due to the difficulty in achieving very high search position and maintaining SEO. 100% Flash sites can be search engine optimized but management is clumsy and difficult.
Our web site design process
- The skinning phase of project planning provides good direction to the design. This leads to the development of sample pages and navigation scheme. This is also the kick-off phase for application development. Upon client approval and comments we move to the next phase.
- Working proof of site - All pages are completed and application integration is finalized. Client interaction along the way is crucial. As each section of the web site is completed, client review and revisions are undertaken in preparation for the final review.
- Final Review - Once client revisions are implemented and final application integration is completed, a final review is undertaken prior to going live.
Web Applications and Hosting
We administrate multiple Linux servers redundantly tied to a tier 1 backbone with 99.9% uptime, hardware firewalls and daily backups. Our applications are specifically tuned to on our servers to provide peak performance. Fast page loads and seamless integration are among our top priorities.. The server hardware is managed by one of the highest rated data centers in the country. Our application language of choice is mod_perl for its speed and robust architecture while MySQL is our favored database.