Web site design and development
Definition of a Website
• A website is a collection of Web pages, images,
videos or other digital assets that is hosted on one or
several Web server(s), usually accessible via the
Internet, cell phone or a LAN.
• The definition of web page is a document, typically
written in HTML(HyperText Markup Language (html) is the main markup language for
creating web pages ), which is almost always accessible via
HTTP,(hypertext transfer protocol: the standard protocol for transferring hypertext
documents on ) a protocol that transfers information from
the Web server to display in the user's Web browser.
• Domain Names
• A Domain Name is a unique 'web address name'
that is used to direct people to your website
across the World Wide Web. You can obtain a
domain name thru company that specializes in
registering web addresses which are called
• Domain names and IP addresses are linked in a
computer that carries domain information called
the domain name system (DNS).
• A web host is the computer that has the
ability to display the website on the World
Wide Web so that everyone can see it
worldwide. The web host is a computer, just
like you have at home, except that all it does is
display websites on the World Wide
Web. Web hosting is the service that provides
you with the ability to display your website.
Three main elements of website
Structure of your website
– The form of your website and its method of navigation go hand in hand.
This is the framework that will support your website like your skeleton
supports your body. Don't confuse structure with layout
Content and body of your website
The body and substance of your website is its content. What do you want to sell,
say or present? That should be the focus of your website's content.
Layout and presentation of your website
The method of presenting your website theme or message is
determined by your webpage construction and layout of
your individual web pages.
Basic website structure
• As the diagram below shows a website is
composed of three main website sections: The
homepage, the main sections and the
Typically, a web site falls under one of
the following broad categories;
• Non-editable brochure web site (often referred to as static
• Editable brochure web site (requiring a content
• Editable, dynamic web site, with more user engagement
(login areas etc) and self managed through a content
• E-commerce site – integrated with a payment gateway such
as Paypal, Worldpay or banks like Barclays or HSBC.
• A web application – when a web site requires lots of
bespoke functionality or processes it generally falls under
the web application category
• The on-line promotion of a website is often overlooked when considering
the website brief. The promotion of your website on the internet, both in
terms of getting it on the search engines and also building links with other
websites, is vitally important to the continued success of the site.
• You should consider:
• Building link partners.
• Search engine optimization and submission.
• Search engine paid listings (the sponsored links you see on the side of
your search results – Google Adwords).
• Email marketing – commonly HTML emails that are branded inline with
the web site.
• Social media
• Banner advertising on related web sites.
• - See more at: http://www.methodandclass.com/article/how-to-write-a-
• A couple of paragraphs about your company
• The products your sell or services you provide
• The size of the company – e.g. the number of
employees, a rough turnover figure (if you want
to provide it – there is a lot of difference between
how a £100,000 company and a £100,000,000
company should look!)
• Are you an international company? If so, which
countries?How long have you been established?
• Describe the company using five or ten words
(e.g. young, vibrant, technology based etc.)-
Question to be asked for old Websites:
• What is good about the web site?
• What is bad about the web site? (i.e. old colour schemes,
out-dated design)How long ago was it built? and who built
• What levels of traffic is it currently receiving?What
percentage of the traffic is from smart phones & tablets?
• Which countries are you visitors from?What are the top 5
web browsers and platforms (Mac/PC/Android/iOS) visiting
your web site?
• How often do you get a genuine sales lead through the web
• Who is responsible for updating the site?
• Outline the aims of the web site ( e.g. to increase traffic, increase product
awareness, generate more sales, offer e-commerce, advertise a new product or
• Who is the target audience?
• Has this changed from the old site?
• What are the demographics (e.g. children, adults, social class, income levels,
location, etc.)How will your target audience be accessing your site – via their
phones, tablets or desktops?
• Is the new web site part of a re-brand, or a new product launch?
• Is there other advertising taking place that the new web site should tie in
with?What are the unique selling points for your company, your products or your
• What industry are you aiming the web site at?
• Is the market already saturated with competitors?
• List a few competitors’ web sites.For e-commerce web sites, you should detail who
you bank with – this will be important for deciding on which payment gateway you
• What is the budget for design and
development of the web site?
• Is there a budget for ongoing support and
• What is the online marketing budget for the
next 6 months
5 Basic Rules of Web Design
• You should choose your text and background colours very carefully. You don't want
to use backgrounds that obscure your text or use colours that are hard to read.
Dark-coloured text on a light-coloured background is easier to read than light-
coloured text on a dark background.
• You also don't want to set your text size too small (hard to read) or too large (it will
appear to shout at your visitors). All capitalised letters give the appearance of
shouting at your visitors.
• Keep the alignment of your main text to the left, not cantered. Centre-aligned text
is best used in headlines. You want your visitors to be comfortable with what they
are reading, and most text is left aligned.
• Your web site should be easy to navigate
• All of your hyperlinks should be clear to your visitors. Graphic images, such as
buttons or tabs, should be clearly labelled and easy to read. Your web graphic
designer should select the colours, backgrounds, textures, and special effects on
your web graphics very carefully.