At FreshySites, we love learning about our clients and the different industries they work in. We realize that most industries don’t cross paths with the world of website design on a daily basis like we do.
We’ve put together some insights on how the web industry works in hopes that we can bridge any communication gaps and help people understand our process – because understanding each other’s industries builds greater relationships and lets us serve our clients better!
“Why do those changes take a week to finish?”
The tough part in understanding web design is that it doesn’t work like print graphic design. Creating for print and creating for web have different processes. Website design consists of two parts: the design itself, and the build/framework.
Let’s take something as simple as a bold, pink title.
To design a flyer with this title on it, someone might go into a program like Google Docs. They would type out the sentence, choose a font from a drop down menu, click on the color pink, and click the Bold button. Boom, done in less than 30 seconds.
But to put this on a web page, it’s a bit more complex.
The sentence itself has to be coded with a language called HTML. Then the color and styling attributes have to be coded with another language, CSS. This requires some extra steps on our end.
Web design user interfaces are improving, so we have incorporated templates and shortcuts to eliminate this more tedious work. One of the reasons why we use WordPress is that it allows us to utilize themes and plugins that save us time building websites. Nonetheless, some coding needs to be manually done once in a while for more complex layouts.
Ultimately, making changes on the web can take longer than for print. Despite this, we continually strive to design websites in a quick yet conscientious manner!
“Why do you have to wait until Monday to launch my site?”
As much as we want to publish websites at the single push of a button, the web requires us to take more steps to ensure a proper launch.
A website requires two things to be published: hosting and a domain. We typically take care of the hosting so that from the start of the project the site stays on our servers.
When a website is launched, we update all themes/plugins, run backups, add security, and add a plugin to help ensure a fast loading speed.
The site then needs to be pointed to the domain. This requires the changing of DNS records. DNS record changes need time to take effect across the entire internet. After 5 minutes since the change, the site could be live in California, but not in New York yet. We take time to monitor this process and ensure the site launches without any issues.
This is also why we don’t typically launch a site on a Friday. We want to make sure we are in the office and actively monitoring the site should any errors arise.
“Why should I have my site re-designed? I just did it five years ago.”
Web design themes, techniques, and technologies change FAST. Five years in web design could be compared to a 60 year age difference in humans.
Sometimes, there are limits as to what we can fix on older websites because plugins are no longer compatible and themes are outdated. We understand that this can be frustrating when people make a large investment into their old site. However, investing in updates results in easier access of information, greater recognition on search engines, and overall more business for a company.
So while those brochures printed 10 years ago are still going strong, a website doesn’t have that same shelf life.
“Why doesn’t that look quite the same in Internet Explorer?”
There are multiple things to consider when completing a design for web versus print.
When a painter wants to paint a picture, they choose a medium, canvas size, and grab the tools they need. If a painter wants to use acrylic on canvas, they are going to choose brushes and materials that work best with that medium.
The web design process is like if we told that artist to create a landscape, but create it so that it will look good in charcoal, acrylic, or pencil, and so that it will look good on a desk or on a multi-story building.
This adds a bit of complication to things, doesn’t it? Different web devices and browsers show code and content differently. Older versions of browsers like Internet Explorer are known for not keeping up as well with modern code, so that is why some modern designs don’t display the same/well on this browser.
We take extra precautions to ensure a website looks great on all devices, browsers, and screen sizes. Sometimes there are complications out of our control that make it tougher, and a more flexible design is required.
Like other industries, web design comes with its obstacles that people outside of the industry might not realize. Despite this, FreshySites is always here to help resolve any issues preventing a site from looking its best.
The web is a pretty magical place, but it takes time for us to defeat the occasional villains and give a website its happily ever after.