What is Holistic Web Design?
Holistic can be defined as
Holistic web design integrates the spirit of the company with dynamic design while at the same time being functional and having clear navigation. It integrates the website with other marketing activities - on and offline.
Online activities include meta tags, search engine registration, domain name registration, web hosting and internet marketing.
Offline marketing activities include marketing materials such as business cards, corporate stationary and envelopes.
What is a URL?
URL is the acronym for Uniform Resource Locator. It is like your address on the Web. Think of your home address that has a street name and number. How will someone find you without that information? The URL is like your "virtual home" on the Internet. Name recognition might be a major factor on deciding exactly what "address" you choose for your new "home".
What domain name should I get?
The best domain name is memorable and makes sense. It should also be easy to spell, and easy to say, which is why abbreviations or hyphens are not recommended.
A generic product name, such as carrots.com may seem ideal, but be warned that these names are rarely available. According to some accounts, every word in the English dictionary has been registered as a .com.
YourCompany.com is always a good choice. Unfortunately, it might only be available with a different extension, such as .ca or .net. Generally, a .com name is always preferable over a .ca or .net domain. Old habits die hard, and people are simply used to the .com names. As with finding the right business name, choosing your domain name may take a little creativity and perseverance.
What is web hosting?
Hosting (also known as Web site hosting, Web hosting, and Webhosting) is the business of housing, serving, and maintaining files for one or more Web sites.
More important than the computer space that is provided for Web site files is the fast connection to the Internet. Most hosting services offer connections on T-carrier system lines. Typically, an individual business hosting its own site would require a similar connection and it would be expensive. Using a hosting service lets many companies share the cost of a fast Internet connection for serving files.
Need more information about choosing a web hosting company.
What is a search engine?
A search engine is a program that searches documents (i.e. web pages, which are HTML documents) for specified keywords and returns the list of documents. A search engine has 2 parts: a spider and an indexer. The spider is the program that fetches the documents, and the indexer reads the documents and creates an index based on words or ideas contained in each document. The search engine is like your very own personal dispatcher, yet classified by the advertisement you have given them, such as a newspaper. Some basic guidelines are:
Need more information about search engines. Read the article, Demystifying Search Engines to help clarify this confusing part of the Internet.
What Are Meta Tags And How Are They Best Used?
When the HTML language was first created, it was recognized that new tags would later be needed for specialized purposes. Since there wasn't any way to anticipate every possible need, the META tag was created as a sort of "catch-all." These tags allow Webmasters to issue an unlimited variety of commands, or to provide information to a browser, search engine, or automated program (i.e. robot).
The tags are ignored by default unless the browser or search engine specifically recognizes them. Meta tags are contained in the HEAD section near the top of the page. They're not displayed to the end user unless you view the source code of the page.
The two most common Meta tags are keyword and description tags.
The Meta keyword tag is designed to tell the search engine what
keywords are important to your page, and thereby how people should be
able to find you when they search. It should look something like the following:
META name="keywords" content="my keywords should be listed here"
Although you can list as many keywords as you like, most search engines will not read more than about 1000 characters. Include your most important keywords at the start of the tag.
The Meta description tag is primarily used for telling the search engine what description you want associated to the page in the search engine's results. It should look something like this:
META name="description" content="A short description of my Web site goes here."
It's essential that you create a compelling description for your page to entice people to click to your website from the search results. Each engine that supports the Meta description tag will truncate it down to 150 to 400 characters depending on the engine. Therefore, include the best portion of your description in the first 150 characters, but go ahead and add additional sentences to fill it out to about 400 characters.
It doesn't matter what order you place the tags in the HEAD area, although it's recommended that you include the TITLE tag first on the page, before listing any other tags.
Will Meta Tags Improve My Rankings?
Unfortunately, the majority of the major search engines do not recognize the Meta keyword tag at all. A larger number do recognize the Meta description tag for the purpose of creating a summary for the page. The prevailing philosophy is that search engines prefer to index text that is clearly VISIBLE to the user, although exceptions are certainly made.
The engines, in general, consider text found in the Meta tags as invisible or "untrustworthy" since an unethical Webmaster can easily abuse them. For example, someone could list many keywords that do not apply to their page's content, or they could repeat a keyword many times in hopes of boosting their rankings.
Of the engines that do support Meta tags, none are thought to give extra "relevance" to words appearing in Meta tags versus elsewhere on the page. In fact, most engines give words in these tags less weight than if they had appeared elsewhere on the page such as in the body area or the page title.
You might then conclude that Meta tags are useless. Well, not quite. You definitely want to include a Meta description tag on every page to avoid the search engine making up its own description from random excerpts on the page.
In regard to the Meta keyword tag, many experts believe that including a keyword in BOTH your Meta tags and in other areas of your page CAN help improve your rankings.
For example, let's say your keyword was "Star Wars collectibles" and it appeared in the body text that is visible to the user. If the keyword were also included in your meta keyword tag, then that would reinforce to the search engine that "Star Wars collectibles" was an important theme on this page. Although no extra relevancy boost is given for including the keyword solely in the Meta tag, some engines may look to the Meta tag as a way to reinforce their belief that a page is relevant if all the other more important factors "check out" too.
In any case, including the tags are unlikely to hurt your rankings if you follow a few simple rules. Be careful not to repeat the same keyword more than two or three times in the tag. Never repeat the same word twice in a row or you may trigger a search.
Why would I need a web site?
A web page isn't something people "read", it is something they "experience" through colour, symbols, images, words and images. A company's Internet site isn't just an online brochure, it's an interactive, and "hands-on" look at the many facets of a business. Visiting your Web site should be the electronic equivalent of visiting your company in person.
Reasons for a website
What makes a good brand?
Branding is creating a consistent image of yourself and your business, just like a thumb print. In a broad sense, brands are personalities understood on an emotional level. People react to the MacDonalds, Coca Cola and the Levi brands at an emotional level first before they make practical decisions on price, functionality, etc. But successful brands must work on both the functional and emotional levels.
Functional? Objective, logical, practical. Effective brands communicate. People can recognize and recall them. And they stand out from the crowd.
Emotional? The intangible benefits - subjective, emotive, creative - that are felt or anticipated when a brand is recognized. Effective brands have personality. Presence. They're attractive. They add value.
"Healthy... pure... chemical free... Age old... aromatic flavour... elite" are some of the emotional values people associate with Olive Oil. A successful olive brand may incorporate some or all of these values. Your customers should associate their desired values, with your brand. The aim is to create a brand that starts on an emotional level, moves to practical understanding and then to action. Remember - Customers are often buying a brand just as much as they are buying a product.
For example, wine given as a gift, has to look a million dollars and have perceived value. A hand painted sign on the side of the road may be great for selling eggs but terrible for selling discount airline tickets.
What are the characteristics of a good web site?
The key to successful marketing on the Internet is a professionally designed web site.
What is the process?
Susan is passionate about bringing your vision to life through a collaborative process. Sue begins with careful planning, in depth consultation and frank conversation to make sure that your vision becomes the web vision from the very start. You will be involved in the step-by-step design process and Sue is dedicated to using terminology that you will understand and helping to clarify the complexities of the Internet for you.
Through her experience working with clients Susan has also noticed that often the experience of designing the website is a learning process for her clients. Working with Sue to convey the idea or vision that they have for their websites forces the client to 'get clear' on what they're trying to say or the image they want to portray.
Through this process of "birthing the website" Sue has noticed that as clients create the content and/or design of the website that often their initial vision of what they want changes too.
The following is a general overview of Sue Studios' web site development process. This process is not set in stone, but is a good starting point for any project.
I already have a web site/partially built site, can you fix it/finish it?
Probably. Depending on the state of the site, we can either make the alterations you require and improve it, or finish building it. You may also choose to have the site redesigned and rebuilt, using as much of the existing content/work as possible.