Menu:




Helpful Tips:

Highlight the expertise in your organization and in the content and services you provide.

Get Started


The Process

Identity and design solutions for business...

Explore, Design, & Deliver (E.D.D) is a three step process we've developed to help us give our clients the most effective products for their business. The purpose of E.D.D. is simple, to gain a complete understanding of our clients needs for any given project, and to give us the information we need to create a lasting design every time. Our process gives us the edge you need as a growing business. To learn how we can help your business please contact us today for a free estimate.

design researchExplore

We begin each project with the exploration phase. In this phase we gain an understanding of your company by researching your market, and competitors. We set goals based on facts that will be illustrated into a storyboard and become the beginning of phase 2, the design phase.

graphic designDesign

In the design phase our ideas and exploration data become visual elements. We carefully select the colors and fonts to support the overall theme. The design phase usually comprises of 2 or 3 initial concepts before the third and final phase begins, the delivery phase.

project deliveryDeliver

Last, but not least is the delivery phase. In the delivery phase the design becomes a commodity. Web sites are coded to 100% functionality and launched on live web servers. Print media design is manufactured into the finest quality printed product and delivered or distributed

What it Takes

Introduction

There are many components that are required to deploy and maintain a profitable, reliable, and engaging website for your business. These include physical hardware, software, technical personnel, and other various professional services. Selecting the correct parts, personnel, and services can be a rather daunting and confusing task especially if you are not even sure where to begin.

Example content image - aligned to the rightHopefully with the aide of this article we are able to help you identify and define the role of these parts and how they work together. The Internet and website design can be a mystifying and complicated world, we welcome your comments, suggestions, or questions regarding this article or any other service that Parkwood Terrace Technologies provides. We would be delighted to provide any additional information. We hope you find this article both informative and educational.

Hardware

Most of the confusion about how the Internet and/or a website works is because people don't understand how everything is connected. Figure 1 shows a typical connection.

Simple Internet Connection

Here you can see that a visitor connects to the Internet via their ISP. Their ISP then sends the visitors request out to the Internet, the requested website responds to the visitors request, and the web page is displayed on to the visitors screen.

So from Figure 1 you see that the only piece of hardware that is required to have website is a server that has an Internet connection, a power source and is ready to receive requests from visitors.

Simple enough, but what happens if the website that the visitor requested takes too long to respond to the request or does not respond at all?

The visitor receives an error message that states something to the affect that the requested website was unavailable or was not able to be found. How does this translate into business terms? It means that you just lost a potential customer!

Software

Software in this context falls into two categories, either server software or development software.

Server software is software that resides on the server. This software's job is to, in some shape or form, help the website perform as expected. Some server software simply responds to the requests of visitors, other software aides in the rendering of the actual web pages, while others add some functionality to the website that enhances the visitor's stay.

Development software is what programmers and designers use to construct your website.

Programmers will typically use an IDE to aide in the code generation of your website. Programmers can also use an IDE to write server software themselves.

Designers primarily use graphic editing software to generate the aesthetic aspects of your website.

Technical Expertise

Thus far we have only mentioned two types of people that are involved in the process of developing your website, programmers and designers. Although these are two very important roles in the development life cycle, these individuals require the support from various other technical personnel in order to perform their duties.

The following is a list of the unsung heroes that are working diligently in the background to ensure the operational integrity and high availability of your website:

  • Webmaster
  • Database Administrator
  • Hardware Technician
  • Network Engineer
  • Security Officer

Professional Services

While the aforementioned personnel are taking care of the nuts and bolts to ensure that your website is always ready to serve your visitors, there are still others that aide in the development of your website.

These people are equally important in developing and maintaining a successful website. After all, creating a website that is dependable, stable, and reliable is only half the battle. The website still needs to appeal to your visitors.

The following people aide in the front-end development of your website:

  • Proofreaders
  • Copywriters
  • Photographers
  • Graphic Designers
  • Internet Marketer
  • Project Manager

Summary

Hopefully, to some degree, we have cleared the murky water surrounding website design and development. Websites are not created in a vacuum but rather by a collaboration of professionals all relying on each other in order to complete your website project.

Get your website project under way and schedule a free consultation with us today.

Simple Requests

KISS, (aka. Keep It Simple Silly)

The single most requested type of website that small business owners ask us to build is a "simple website". Although this request may define the owner's short term and long term on-line goals, it does not define their customer's expectations. It is important for small business owners to understand that, for the most part, their website is an extension of their customer service. Not having a website or having a website that lacks pertinent information is not only a disservice to both their existing clients and potential clients, it also translates into loss revenue.

Consumers expect certain features and information when visiting your website. When your website lacks the information that the visitor is looking for, it demonstrates to them that you have not given much thought to their needs. Having said that, this does not mean that you need to move your entire business operation on-line but you do need to satisfy your clients minimal expectations.

For example, if you were looking at a mortgage company's website, you would expect to see some financial calculators, the current rates for various loans, and some way for you to either schedule an appointment with one of their loan officers or to start filling out the required paperwork.

Another example, if you are visiting a retailers website you would minimally expect to see some of the products that they sell and whether or not if the item is available. Displaying anything less than the aforementioned results in the potential client moving on to the next retailer that does provide this information.

Most people will surf the web later in the evening. Once they have come home from work, had dinner with their family, and maybe not even until they have put their kids to bed. By this time, your store/office is closed and you are most likely home yourself. This is the time when your website delivers your customer service the most and your website needs to be up to snuff to handle the demands of your visitors. Your visitors have limited time to surf around and they want to be able to find the information that they are looking for as quickly as possible. Simply stating on your website that you sell/offer widgets and that they should call you or visit your store/office for further information is not enough. The more information and tools that you provide for your customers to utilize, increases the probability that they will purchase from you and not your competitor across the street.

Characteristics

Characteristics of a Successful Website

As part of Parkwood Terrace Technologies' dynamic development life cycle, we identify the following ingredients that make a successful website. We believe these basic characteristics should be incorporated into every web page and website to satisfy your visitor's expectations and encourage usage.

Example content image - aligned to the right

Fast Loading

When a visitor views your your website, your website needs to appear on their computer screen as quickly as possible. Delays in your website loading discourages your visitors from viewing your web pages, which translates into loss revenue for your business. When creating websites, we design them around the premise of loading as quickly as possible. To achieve this Parkwood Terrace Technologies will ensure a strong text base for your web pages (text loads very, very quickly). When photographs and images are used on your website, we tailor them to be the appropriate size and structure to ensure that they appear on your web pages within an appropriate time frame.

Look and Feel

More and more often, a website represents the first contact that consumers have with a company. Your website should extend the ambiance of your office or store on-line and should be consistent with your company's logo, stationary and business cards. Users should get the same feeling about your company from your website as if they had just stepped into your office or store. In full consultation with you, Parkwood Terrace Technologies will discuss the interface and layout of your website with you, to ensure that your website is attractive, appealing and reflects the appropriate image.

Precise Information

Along with having an appealing and attractive look and feel to your website, the content of your website must be precisely what the visitor needs to see. Your website should answer more than the questions that customers would normally inquire about if they were to visit your office or store. Providing your prospective customers with additional information at their finger tips, if they care to read it, is exactly how you extend customer service and build credibility on-line.

Information Architecture

A clear, crisp view of the information available on your website is paramount for customers to quickly and easily find the specific information that they are looking for. Your website should have significant amounts of information available to your visitors. This information must be well organized, easily found and presented in such a way as to encourage use.

Scalable

Your website should be developed around a system that caters to expansion and flexibility in allowing the content and functionality of your website to grow. Your website also needs to be developed in such a manner that maintenance and updates can be performed quickly and easily.