Web Design Home > Custom Web Design > Faq Apr 16, 2024, 8:21 AM in Los Angeles

Web Design FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

Below are questions we're regularly asked. If you have a question not listed here, ask us!

Get a Free Website Design Estimate• What's the difference between a Web Designer, Web Developer and Webmaster? Read more »

• Web Designer
Web designers are often (fine!) graphic or print designers who, because of the decreasing demand for their trade, now create "websites" by slicing up their full page graphical designs in Photoshop, importing them into a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) HTML editor like FrontPage or Dreamweaver and calling it a website.

We've seen (and redesigned) some amazingly cool Flash motion graphic "websites" too. These (often beautiful!) graphics can be accessed via the Web but unfortunately, are still just graphics - not real websites. Not websites that can ever be found on Google that is ...

Check out the "Ecommerce Know-How: Selecting a Web Designer or Developer" blog post and video on Practical Ecommerce for even more information.

Bottom line: If it's important that your website have the best chance to compete and win in the race against your online competition, you'll need it built by website racing mechanics, not the paint shop.

NOTE: A good paint shop can normally work with the racing mechanics if needed.

• Web Developer or Webmaster
These two titles are often used interchangeably. But in addition to creating concise, clean web designs, Web Developers and Webmasters understand the importance of and have expertise in creating effective, interactive CSS based web interfaces, user-friendly site-wide navigation, and know how to write search engine friendly content. Successful website ingredients. Real Webmasters also have experience with UNIX web servers themselves.

Web 2.0 coding, scripting, incorporating eCommerce and databases, as well as working with UNIX Web servers are also in a Web Developer or Webmaster's skillset. Studying modern website promotional techniques like SEO, social media, Email marketing and blogging are also among the many hats that good Web Developers and Webmasters wear. More successful website ingredients. These folks are the website racing mechanics mentioned above and are often the paint shop too. (us!)

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• Why doesn't every Web designer use Google basic Webmaster coding techniques? Read more »

Many Web designers use WYSIWYG HTML editors so they don't have to know HTML code at all to build websites. We're not knocking Dreamweaver or any WYSIWYG HTML editors - great search engine friendly websites can be created using them if one knows how to do so.

But since the HTML code is important, it doesn't make much sense to choose a Web designer who doesn't even look at the HTML code behind their designs. We code by hand using BBEdit.

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• Why are you stressing clean, lean, green code so much when I see many high ranking Google websites that have many coding errors? Read more »

Clean, valid HTML code is important for the underlying website structure foundation but it is not the end-all solution in itself. It's logical that the less code there is in each page, the faster it will load. The more code in a page, the harder it is for Google to index ALL the content.

(IE) If your website was created by slicing up a full page print design and putting all the content on the pages as graphics, ANY coding that will separate the text content and the graphics will make a big difference in Google indexing your site. If your site already has text content on its pages, recoding them with cleaner code may not improve Google indexing much, if at all.

Valid HTML code is not reguired to SEO web pages. But invalid HTML code throws the web browser into "Quirks Mode" which may or may not present your site's design the same in all web browsers and platforms.

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• I have an expensive print catalog. Can I use the same exact design for my website? Read more »

Maybe. Some elements from print designs (i.e. logos) can normally be incorporated into Web designs. But with the interactive nature of websites, many times static sized print designs don't translate well to Web designs.

Large big-budgeted, branded companies and shopping portals choose to present their company images online as they do for well calculated reasons, not because they lack the creative talent to design something more "Artsy!"

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• How do I Email website text to you? Read more »

The easiest way for us to transfer the text you send into HTML code is by sending it in an Email as plain ASCII text. Plain text attachments are also acceptable. (i.e. Notepad .txt document)

If you are sending copy for several Web pages at the same time, please send the text in separate Emails with the respective Email's subject referencing the Web page that the text is to go on. And please make sure that all your text has been spellchecked before sending!

MS Word and Word Perfect NOTE:
MS Word and Word Perfect are Word processing / print programs and use code that is not ASCII compliant. This means that some characters do not translate well from Word or Word Perfect to HTML and additional time will be required to sort out the code errors.

Please do not send the copy for your Website in a Word, Word Perfect oe RTF document or paste text from a Word or Word Perfect document into an email. If your text is in Word or Word Perfect, save the document as TEXT and paste that into an Email to us. Easy!

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• How do I Email multiple website images to you? Read more »

Attaching multiple images to an email is like sending a multi-page letter via snail mail, except with a stamp on each page with no envelope. You'd hope that all the pages arrive and they're not torn (corrupted).

Please send multiple images to us in an archive (.zip, .sit, .sitx, .tar, .gz or any archive format you choose) instead of attaching individual images to emails. It's Easy!

We also use the free Dropbox to automatically transfer large files if needed.

To create an archive on a PC:

1. Put the images you want to email into a folder.
2. Right click on your images folder and select "Send To Compressed (zipped) folder." (The zip archive will be created with the same name in the same location as the folder)
3. Once you've created your images zip archive, simply attach your archive file to an email to us. Easy!

To create an archive on a Mac:
1. Put the images you want to email into a folder.
2. Select your images folder, go to "File" and select "Create archive of 'your folder'". (The archive will be created with the same name in the same location as the folder)
3. Once you've created your images archive, simply attach your archive file to an email to us. Easy!

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• Why can't I see the changes you've made to my website? Read more »

Back in the old days of slow dial-up Internet connections, the Web Browser Cache was invented to store visited web pages and images on your hard drive. It still exists. When web page content has changed since your previous visit, you don't see the changes because the cached or saved files on your local hard drive are being seen instead of the fresh, updated content from Web server.

To force reload a web page without setting the cache to 0, hold down the [shift] key and click 'reload' or 'refresh' on your web browser to see updated web content. (View/Reload)

In Internet Explorer on PC, simply hit [F5] to force reload your browser.
In Firefox or Chrome on PC, simply hit [Ctrl+R] to force reload your browser.
In Netscape on PC, simply hit [Ctrl+R] to force reload your browser.
In AOL on PC, simply hold down the [Ctrl] key and click the AOL browser Reload icon to force reload your browser.

On Macs, simply hit [Cmd+R] to force reload any Mac browser. ([Cmd] is the Apple key located on either side of the keyboard space bar)

As broadband Internet access (DSL, cable, etc.) becomes available to everyone, the browser cache becomes more useless every day. And not only do Web browsers still have a cache, the default setting is to save many MB of files to your hard drive! Set your Web browser cache to 0 or as low as possible on your PC!

If we are building a website for you and you can't see new changes, set your Web browser cache low by selecting Tools/Internet Options/Temporary Internet Files/Settings in your web browser's settings. Set the 'Amount of disk space to use' as low as possible and click OK.

Also, in the field that says "Check for newer versions of stored pages", check "Every visit to the page." Now you'll always see fresh content when visiting any website, including the changes we make to your site.

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• If you create a Miva Merchant Shopping Cart for me, can it look exactly like my current website? Read more »

Probably. This varies depending on the original design of your website. Custom Miva Merchant designs can be incorporated, accomplished through the Miva Merchant admin using HTML coding.

If your website was originally well designed, we can probably carry that design through in your cart design as well. If we design your website from the ground up, we can make your Miva Merchant shopping cart look exactly like your website.

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• How easy is it to create a Miva Merchant Shopping Cart? Can I design it myself? Read more »

Yes if you know HTML and how to create images. Miva Merchant shopping carts will work right out of the box without any custom designing. You could just add your logo through your Miva Merchant store admin and start selling!

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• Are all the updates I'll ever need included in your "free website updates" policy? Read more »

Maybe. If we design your website, it will be created in a way that wil be easy to update.

"We need to add something about Fred to the website" would not be a free update since it's not specific.

"Update (paste in URL to the page to be updated) with the following text (exact spellchecked text pasted into the email) right before the paragraph about Wilma" would be a free update.

Free updates are determined by Webwest - we would let you know ahead of time if the update would not be free.

NOTE: Updates sent as Word or other Microsoft document attachments require additional formatting before they can go on a web page and thus will not be a free update. See "How do I Email website text to you?" above.

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• Where do I pay a web development Invoice? Pay an Invoice »

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