Frequently asked questions about graphic design and website design

Below you will find answers to some of the graphic and website design questions our clients have asked in the past as well as some questions you may need answers to. We hope you find them useful.

What is graphic design?

Graphic Design is the process and art of combining text and graphics to communicate an effective message in the design of logos, graphics, brochures, newsletters, posters, signs, and any other type of visual communication. Today's graphic designers use desktop publishing software, such as the Adobe Creative Suite and a variety of digital techniques to achieve their goals.

Also Known As:

  • graphic arts
  • graphics design
  • visual communications
  • desktop publishing

What is website design?

Conceptualization, planning, modelling and execution of electronic media content and its delivery via the internet using technologies (such as markup language) suitable for rendering and presentation by web browsers or other web-based graphical user interfaces (GUIs).

What is a website?

A collection of web pages, images, videos or other digital assets that is hosted on one or more web servers, usually accessible via the Internet.

What is a web page?

A document (or file), usually written in HTML, that is almost always accessible via HTTP, a protocol that transfers information from the web server to display in the user's web browser.

What's the difference between static websites & dynamic websites?

Static (or HTML) websites are generally hard coded by a web designer or web developer and have "stationary" pages that don't change everytime they are visited. Most content (unless third party script is included) remains "static" until it is manually updated by a web designer or coder.

Static websites tend to be cheaper to design and develop but more costly to update as owners who do not know HTML code will need to hire a web designer every time they need to make changes. Static websites often become dormant if their owners cannot afford to pay for updates.

Dynamic websites are compiled of various components, scripting languages (such as PHP, ASP, JSP) and a database, and can be modified by the end user (the client) on their own computer. Dynamic websites usually have a lot more functionality than a static website and are interactive.

Dynamic websites are more costly to develop, especially for proprietary content management systems, but after the initial development fees, they are usually cheaper to update.

What is CMS and why should I get my theme customized?

CMS is the abbreviation for content managed system and is software that has been developed to enable website owners to easily and quickly update their content without having to know HTML code or needing to contact their website designer to do it for them. CMSs are used to run dynamic websites.

Most web hosting companies offer CMS applications, such as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal, OpenCart, osCommerce and ZenCart (for online stores), with their economy hosting packages, making dynamic websites much more affordable. Many also offer low cost or free templates that you can use with your CMS package.

Third party websites also offer a variety of Open Source CMS templates, add-ons and plug-ins that you can easily upload and install to your current CMS package at no extra cost, and hundreds of premium themes are available for a small fee.

You don't need to customize these templates before adding your content, but if you want your website to be unique, to stand out from the crowd and/or to match your print material, you will need it customized.

Haven't had your CMS template customized? Contact Kaz Design Works now!

What is responsive web design?

Responsive web design is a method of designing websites that enables optimal viewing in multiple devices and at various screen resolutions, from desktop computers to the smallest smart phones. RWD uses flexible images and a fluid layout with percentages or proportional grids which adapt to the device on which the responsive website is viewed. Media queries are used to define different style rules in the CSS (cascading style sheet).

A responsive website takes longer and costs more to develop than a fixed width website, especially those with complex layouts and design elements, but with today's ever increasing use of mobile devices, a responsive website will be available to a much wider audience and is well worth the initial investment.

See the benefits of a responsive website here »

What is web development?

"Web development is a broad term for any activity related to developing a web site for the World Wide Web or an intranet. This can include e-commerce business development, web design, web content development, client-side/server-side scripting, and web server configuration. However, among web professionals, "web development" usually refers only to the non-design aspects of building web sites, e.g. writing markup and coding. Web development can range from developing the simplest static single page of plain text to the most complex web-based internet applications, electronic businesses, or social network services.

For larger businesses and organizations, web development teams can consist of hundreds of people (web developers). Smaller organizations may only require a single permanent or contracting webmaster, or secondary assignment to related job positions such as a graphic designer and/or Information systems technician. Web development may be a collaborative effort between departments rather than the domain of a designated department."

Source: Wikipedia (March 26th, 2009)

Why is a professional website design important?

Your website, and ultimately your business, will be taken more seriously if your website looks professsional. Like your business card, your website is often the first thing your potential clients see.

If your website looks cheap or home-made, what impression does it give your potential clients?

It is important to give potential clients, as well as your regular clients who've never seen your website, the right impression when they visit your website for the first time. If not, they may never revisit and, worse still, they won't buy from you. Read the 8 reasons why your business needs a website.

What are meta descriptions and why are they important?

Meta descriptions are added to the background coding in the head section of each page of your website. They primarily serve three purposes:

  • An accurate descriptive summary of your web page content
  • A concise text advertisement for your page in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages)
  • Emphasis of targeted keywords used by searchers to display the contents of your site

Meta descriptions help drive traffic to your website, and like your web content may ultimately determine the success of your website as a marketing tool for your business.

Good meta descriptions are, however, just as difficult to write as the content of your website or the text for a good ad, but because they help generate traffic to your web site it is important to include them on your website. Google recommends the following:

  • Unique descriptions for each page on your site
  • Give facts about the content on the page that are not represented in the title
  • Make sure they are easy to read
  • Make sure your descriptions are quality and represent the content on the page
  • Dynamic sites can dynamically generate descriptive meta descriptions easily

You can improve your site's ranking, branding & click through rates. Just follow the recommendations given by Google

  • Use different descriptions for different pages
  • Include clearly tagged facts in your descriptions
  • Programmatically generate descriptions
  • Use quality descriptions

What is a site map and why do I need one?

A site map is like the contents page of a book: it lists the title of each section and sub-section (the pages) of your website. Unlike a book, however, each item listed in the site map contains a hyperlink to the corresponding page.

Site maps are therefore particularly useful on websites with several sections and pages as they give visitors an idea of the content as well as enabling them to navigate to pages that are not listed in the main navigation menu bars. A sitemap that includes the full URL to each page also enables search engines to index your website's content which is important for search engine optimization.

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