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Web Site Design

Every site I design:

Easy to Maintain

I show you how to add pages, or change the text. I use clean HTML and CSS style sheets, so any web developer can add to or maintain it (no special software needed). Once you know a few basic HTML commands and a tiny bit of CSS (and enough PHP to copy and paste it correctly), you can maintain the site.

Has minimal HTML

Since I have all formatting and layout done with CSS styles, simple HTML is all you need to understand (and all you need to type), instead of complex nested tables that so many web designers use, or complex "pixel-perfect" designs most other designers use. Either approach makes modifications so much more difficult! This approach is easier to modify, easier to type, easier to understand. And if something isn't displaying right, it's much easier to find and fix the problem, if you're using simple HTML!

Looks good on All Browsers

Widescreen monitors, web-enabled cell phones, iPads, etc., on Windows or OS/X or Android. Simple design lets the browser control displaying the web site well, while being easier for you. "Table based" or "pixel perfect" designs often look terrible at different text sizes — remember, you can't control what your visitors use. This is much simpler than the complex fixes needed to keep "pixel perfect" designs displaying well, especially on older browsers. About all you'll need to do is put an "optional hyphen" in an occasional long word!

Flexible Layout

Easily specify whether you want a page displaying in a 1-, 2-, or 3-column layout. Cell phone browsers will automatically see everything single column (less scrolling around for them). Your visitors can change the browser width and text size and the site adjusts effortlessly and still looks good. (For example, these points display as many across the screen as fit, whatever text size and browser width you have.) Your visitors use a menu item to pick the color scheme they like best. (See the Main menu, Site Colors.)

Search Engine Friendly

Search engines (and screen readers) can understand your site. Table-based layouts chop up your content so the order search engines read the page is not how you would read the page. Minimal HTML, with all formatting handled by CSS, makes pages much easier for search engines to understand, while being much easier for you to write. My sites are organized so your content is presented first.

Easy Site-Wide Changes

Several places in every page, including the page header, menu sidebar, and page footer, are set up so you can easily include new things without having to manually make changes to each page. (FaceBook buttons are an example I already include.) You can easily modify these files if you want to add another widget, or change the text. Put repeated information in one place so changes show throughout the site. (How many places would a business site display their phone number, normally?) Easy "quotation of the week" or "sale of the day" messages. Change your sign up forms. If you need individual pages to display display different menus, sign up forms, etc. do that simply by including a different file.

Easy for Multiple Web Sites

Since so many people and companies need to have multiple web sites, I design all the common elements (form processors, style sheets, auto-responders, social media buttons, affiliate product ads, etc.) so they can be re-used by each site, all on the same web hosting account. No needing to re-install programs every time you make a new site! No more making sure that each little change you make (to a style sheet, or your basic signup form, or...) gets uploaded to every site, every time. (Most hosting accounts can do this, even $8/month ones, yet few web designers know how.)

Professional Development

Server setup so you don't have to think about a lot of technical details. I develop and test on a separate location than what is published on the www, so you can approve all changes (and to avoid any glitches your visitors could see). I set up server security, so your web site and blog are less likely to be attacked by malware. I use spam-proof contact forms, can't be used to send phony "email" to your customers. Error messages never display on visitor's browsers yet do on yours (you specify, for example, your home and office computers). Custom "File Not Found" pages could show your best-selling products. Google Analytics on every page, automatically.

Legible Text Colors

I design style sheets so text is always highly legible, with good contrast against the background color. I also use artist color theory to pick colors that look great together. Or, I can take colors from a favorite photo.

No "Mobile Version" Needed

Single Version of your site. No need for multiple versions of the site for cell phones, or older browsers. Proper use of standards-compliant HTML and CSS makes that unnecessary. No wasting time keeping multiple versions of each page. (Of course, if you have something well suited to a custom app, you can include it, and I have simple-to-use device detection already in the site for you to use.)

Less Spam

I use a form processing program (e.g. for contacting you, or signing up for newsletters) that spammers can't use to send mail to others, and that do not reveal your email address to spammers.

Prints Well

Can be printed clearly, without printing items that don't make sense on paper (such as menus, ads, and social networking buttons). Link locations do get printed, so you can type them in from the page.

Have an Old Web Site?

Many businesses have outdated web sites, perhaps written in FrontPage, that do not look modern, are difficult to maintain, and do not include anything for marketing in today's social networking age. Convert an Old Web Site to Modern Design

Want your web site in WordPress instead? I can install WordPress in Multi-Site mode, with domain name mapping so you can access each of your blogs with the domain names you want. I can migrate existing stand-alone WordPress blogs into WordPress Multi-Site keeping All Settings intact (Very rare, most people just migrate the text, leaving you to re-do all your blog/widget/page settings. Takes a Lot of Time!)

Here are some sites I have developed, in addition to this one:

  • Mountain Valley Center I converted the 300 page site from a "tables within tables" FrontPage layout to a modern responsive CSS layout.
    • Designed a great-looking layout, and taught the site owner how to write new pages the easy way.
    • Developed a method to reliably strip out the FrontPage header, menus, footer, font and color formatting, etc. so CSS layout and styles could work.
    • Eliminated all the page errors that even had some pages displaying black on black, completely illegible. (The FrontPage HTML was so cluttered that finding how to fix those errors was much too hard for anyone to solve without professional site tools.)
    • Made a site menu so hundreds of products could be easily found. Each page had its sub-menu open up, so visitors could see related pages.
    • Improved the look of product order forms.
    • Set up site security (even facing some non-standard server configuration). Much less likely to get malware attacks.
    • Told search engines about all the new names for pages so they didn't lose any traffic
    • Added FaceBook buttons so visitors could Like the site; with colored background so it matches the site.
  • Center for Responsible Nanotechnology (Still being updated before republishing, I redid the layout and made the site easier to maintain. Converted over 150 pages from FrontPage table-based layout to flexible CSS style sheets. Old layout:
  • Alternative to Meds Center (Made site easier to modify and added many pages, and improved search engine ranking. Set up blog, with search engine enhancements.)
  • A video conferencing sales site. The original web designer used special layout software that made the site extremely difficult to add pages or even display enough information to properly present all a product's features. I re-designed the layout, added products and re-wrote the text to present products well.

I have full web site development software, including DreamWeaver and a development web server on my laptop, for developing and testing web sites off the Internet. But I show people how to make web sites using free tools, easily.

Let's discuss what you want on your web site, and what having people see your web site will do for you and your business. Contact me

Click on the thumbnails to see full size. Many browsers will shrink large pictures to fit on screen, try clicking the image to see full size

Mountain Valley Center main page

Mountain Valley Center's original look

new Mountain Valley Center main page

Mountain Valley Center new look

Mountain Valley Center product page, original

Mountain Valley Center product page, original look

Mountain Valley Center product page, new look

Mountain Valley Center product page, new look

Mountain Valley Center viewers pick colors

Mountain Valley Center viewers pick colors

Mountain Valley Center adjusts layout to browser width

Mountain Valley Center adjusts layout to browser width

Alternative to Meds Center main page

Alternative to Meds Center main page. Even the rounded corners for the main portion of the page and the sidebars are done in CSS (no corner images to build).

Center for Responsible Nanotechnology - Basics page

Center for Responsible Nanotechnology site, Basics page (new design)

Center for Responsible Nanotechnology map page

Center for Responsible Nanotechnology site, Basics page (original design, FrontPage tables embedded within tables to control layout).

Face Painting site

Face Painting site. All the colors in the site are taken from the big picture.

Technology sales site

Technology Sales Site. Very easy to add products, success stories, or additional product details.

Technology product page

Technology Sales Site, product page

Hosting Accounts

I wanted more than most people would think of, from a web site host. Things that would make websites easier to write, maintain, test:

  • Host multiple web sites on one account, sharing the same code for all my style sheets and widgets. (So when I change a style sheet, I only upload it to a single place, saves a lot of tedious work. Saves me making a change or fixing a bug "that I thought I'd fixed", only to find I had fixed but not uploaded it to that one site.)
  • Install WordPress Multi-Site, including being able to map domain names to sites, so I could have numerous WordPress sites while only updating plugins and themes once.
  • Have full error reporting, that only I see, to keep my sites running properly. Automatically email me error reports, so I get notified of "missing" files ("hey, I know I'm good, I never make typing errors") — sometimes when I only made a "small" change I don't verify it worked. I have found hosts that block this.

Most technical support people at web hosting companies would cringe, and give a feeble excuse such as "we don't support 3rd party scripts".

The best web hosting companies also make it easy for me to do everyday things without contacting them. I left a host when renewing my hosting required me contacting them, instead of online forms working; before that their FTP connection information changed (without notifying me) and the new info wasn't available on their help site, so I had to call them.

I'm sticking with a host that makes professional-quality web site development easy, and worked with me on all my technical questions, and did an excellent job. Lunar Pages.

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