What a Web Designer Does

A web designer's job is to use his/her knowledge about the web, web design, graphic design, and programming in order to present your business as well as possible to the world. You know your business better than the designer, so it is your job to convey what your business is about, who your customers are, and what you hope to get from your site.

One of the biggest jobs of a web designer, outside of the scope of the actual web design is talking with you to determine what will work out best for you and come up with a fair price. Once the designer has everything they need from you, and an agreed upon price, then they can begin the process of creating your site.


Aside from a web designer, what else do I need to get a site online?

A web designers job is to create your actual site. Your actual site is a combination of HTML files, CSS files, What a server looks likeimages, and other content. Aside from that, you only need a place to put it and a way for your customers to easily find it (a domain name). Usually the web designer can help you set both up, but the cost of each is usually separate from what the designer is paid for. Once you have the domain name, a hosting plan, and a web designer, you are ready to go.

A domain name is simply a .com, .net, .org address that people can use to get to your site. When a person types in your domain name, they have to be brought somewhere that your actual site is stored.

The place where your actual website is stored is called a host. A host is a company that has large number of fast computers that are used to store and display customer's websites.


The start of the design of your site

The first step is for the designer to create a basic mock-up or template of your site in a graphics program (Photoshop, Fireworks, and GIMP are common choices). We usually create more than one variation for the you to choose from to help the process along, this takes longer, but believe clients prefer it. One or more of these images of drafts of your site are sent to you, and you can choose from them or make changes.

At this point, your site is simply an image. It can't be used on the web as is, it needs to be converted into what is called HTML, CSS, and smaller images that make up your site. Modern web design splits the content of your site (the raw information) and the design into two separate parts; HTML for the content, and CSS for the design. Both of these will be created in order to take what you see in the image, and make it viewable on the web. The HTML will be the core of what your site is presenting, any text you write for your website will be placed inside these HTML files. Each page you visit on a site, is an individual HTML file. Each of these pages is connected with a link, so if you have 10 links within your site there are 10 corresponding HTML pages. There is usually only one CSS file that all the HTML pages on your site use.

This CSS file contains the look and feel, the colors, the spacing, and everything else relating to how your content and information is presented to the user. Most sites have the same core template used on each page, this is all contained in the CSS file. All the images and everything that were created for your basic design, or template, are now in the CSS file that makes up the design of your site.

Once all the HTML files are created, and the CSS file(s) are finished, your site is done. The only other component of your site that this point would be any custom programming that you need, this includes contact forms, database systems, or anything else that cannot be done in just HTML & CSS. Once the site is finished, it needs to be uploaded to the web.


The site is finished, now what?

What a basic FTP client looks likeOnce the site is done, it needs to be uploaded to the your hosting company's server. Just think of the server as a big, and very fast computer that when a user goes to your site it takes what the web designer created and sends it to the user requesting your site as fast as possible.

In order to upload the site, the designer needs to send your files to that server, and this is done using what is called FTP. In order to do this, the designer needs the FTP username, password, and server address. This can all be obtained from your hosting company.

After the site is uploaded, is on your server, and everything is set up properly, it is now online and ready for business. Now when you type in youraddress.com, you will see everything the designer created for you.

Once online, the only thing left to do is market your website to your customers.


We hope to here from you soon, please contact us for a free consultation.