In this industry, there’s a definite need for consumer education. We hope this article will help new customers understand what they are, and aren’t, getting into when they pay for website design and hosting services.
What is Website Design?
This seems like a silly and obvious question, at first – but once we get into what website design isn’t, you’ll understand why it bears definition.
Website design is the process of taking a visual concept, and turning it into a live website template. The service often includes taking text copy and a planned site structure, implementing it with graphic design and HTML layouts, and producing a finished product.
However, just as often, the text and implementation aren’t included. Instead, you pay only for the web design template itself. In those cases, the customer hires a copy editor or a programmer to put the design into a content management system, where any text and site structure work, will be automatically injected into the professional website design files upon entry into the site or system.
5 Shades Media offers all the services you need to get a professional web design template, and inject it into a content management system (CMS) so that you or your copy editor can build it out into a live site. In short, we can do this any way you want.
What Website Design Isn’t
The confusion tends to come from the fact that many professional website design firms will offer additional services. However, even when those services are available, they aren’t really part of “website design” per se. Here are a few things that don’t typically fall under the category of web design services:
- Deep Interactivity. Some basics, such as flashy interface doodads, are often available as a pure design service. However, even those simple kinds of interactivity do require some programming work, which is not a required skill set for a professional website designer.
Deep interactivity means additional functionality that can be used for forums, comments, voting and ratings systems, and customized systems like databases, intranets, and the like.
For example, a website design service won’t get you a Youtube clone, or a Facebook clone, or the next hot Flash-based video game. Those kinds of projects require more programming effort, than website design effort.
- Copywriting and Implementation. You’d be surprised how often this misconception arises. Like with programming, you will find some corporate website design companies that offer this service, but it’s not really a part of the design service proper.
What this means is that customers who expect their website designer to produce a finished, ready-to-advertise website, can be disappointed. The typical end result of business web design is merely a template, filled with junk text to show how the website will look when completed.
- Web Hosting. Not all design companies offer web hosting, which brings us to…
What is Web Hosting?
In order for your website designers’ output to become a live website, you need a domain name, and web hosting. Think of a web hosting service as the hall that you rent when you throw an event. Your website is like a permanent event, and the web hosting service is a space in the hall, complete with a box office that allows your visitors access.
Web hosting services are a highly technical set of services, but the best web hosting companies will hide the technical side from the uninitiated client.
There are many things to bear in mind when you buy web hosting, because not all hosting plans are made equally – and for good reason.
Let’s return to the analogy of the rented hall: If you’re going to sell lemonade and hot dogs, you don’t want to pay for a space that’s capable of high speed electronic banking, a dance floor for 50,000 people, and concert-quality sound systems!
So, each hosting plan is tailored for the expected use you’ll put into it.
Conclusion on Website Design and Hosting Services
As we said at the beginning, this is a pair of topics that customers would do well to educate themselves about before they buy. An informed buyer is an empowered buyer, but there’s more to it than that. Buying website design and hosting services without understanding those services, very often leads to a perception problem.
A client can easily enter into a deal expecting they’ve dealt with the entire execution of their website design services from A-Z at the stroke of a single check – but that’s not always the case.
5 Shades Media offers website design and hosting services, plus SEO, content management system implementation, and much more.
Depending on the project, we can handle the entire building of a website for your company from A-Z with the stroke of that single check.
In any case, we hope this information has helped you become a more informed, and empowered buyer of web design services.