- Visual Concepts
- Whether your organisation has an established brand, or you’re starting from scratch, I can work with you to create the ideal look for your website. From full websites, to basic wire-frames or Photoshop (PSD) files you can ‘slice’ up yourself, I can help.
- Photo Retouching
- You thought you’d taken the perfect picture, but then you realise you left your wallet in your pocket, your shirt was un-tucked, and someone was walking their dog in the background…
Don’t worry, help is at hand! You’d be amazed at what’s possible with Photoshop – from simple things like brightening up a photo taken on a dull day, to removing a large parked car, I have the skills and the tools to fix it for you.
- Image Optimisation
- Your website could have the most beautiful pictures in the world, but if the image files are too large – or there’s too many of them – people will get bored of waiting for your site to load, and they’ll never see them!
Whether it’s reducing the size of your photos, combining your icons into CSS sprites, or converting some of your background images to CSS3 gradients, it’s usually possible to find some way of making your website’s images load faster.
- When they’re implemented tastefully, animated elements – such as slideshows, expanding menus, or fading-in images – can really help to bring your website to life.
On the other hand, if you have something that really needs to be done in Flash, I have the software and experience of building Flash-based websites for clients in the past.
- HTML (or XHTML) & CSS
- I create web pages that conform to modern W3C standards, with clean, valid & neatly-formatted code. This ensures your website will be easy to update in the future, the pages download quickly, and helps search engines to index your site easily.
- I have several years’ experience in creating websites in PHP, and producing clean, efficient code.
- ASP.Net VB
- I’ve worked on a variety projects in ASP.NET, including building and maintaining a large e-commerce site with thousands of product lines, so I’m familiar with the workings of the .NET web framework and the VB.NET programming language.
Content Management Systems (CMS)
- WordPress is my normal weapon of choice for creating smaller websites (including this one). Once your website has been set up, WordPress’s content management system makes it fairly easy to update your basic content such as text, links and images – so you can make many simple changes yourself, without relying on a web designer.
- Through my work for a leading UK University, I’m familiar with using the Contensis CMS – if your website uses this system, and you want an experienced web professional to help lay out your web pages, I can help.
Making Your Website Work
- Information Architecture
- In layman’s terms, information architecture (IA) just means “organising your website”. However, there’s much more to IA than meets the eye. What titles do you give your web pages? How should you group them into categories? What’s the best way to arange your navigation menu?
Sometimes the answer to these questions will be obvious, but often you’ll find that it’s not as simple as you first thought. If people are struggling to find things on your website, or you can’t decide which headings to use on your menu, your information architecture may need some improvement. As an experienced web designer, I can work with you on your website’s IA to help your customers find the information they need.
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the dark art of getting your website to appear higher up in the Google results (or those of other search engines such as Yahoo! or Bing). From a web designer’s point of view, SEO can be roughly divided into two categories:
- Structural SEO – all the technical aspects that a web designer ought to consider when your website is being built, to help it to get indexed by search engines. This includes, for example, what the URLs of your pages look like, whether you’re using the right header tags, and other technical aspect that help a search engine to index your site. If I build your website, I’ll make sure all the structural SEO is in place, to give you the best possible head start.
- Search Engine Marketing – this covers things such as finding out what your customers are actually typing into search engines, and adjusting the text (and other factors) on your website to reflect the words that they use. Although search engine marketing works best when it’s part of a long-term strategy to improve your website, I can help you to get started and plan your strategy.
- Usability is the art of making your website easy to use – after all, if people find it difficult to use, they’re likely leave and go somewhere else. If you think the usability of your website could be improved, contact me to see what can be done.
- Not everyone who uses the web can use a mouse, can see colours properly, or can even see at all. Accessibility means making your website available to the widest possible number of people. If I build your website, I’ll try and ensure that – where possible – it conforms to the international Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) at least to level A. If you have more stringent accessibilty requirements, if your site provides vital services to disabled people, or if you’re just concerned that your website may be leaving some people out, contact me for an accessibility review.