Tips on How to Find a Good Web Designer

Relevant EducationWhen choosing a web designer / developer to work with on your project, it is recommended that they have relevant education in web design / development. This ensures that they learned how to put together and “code” a website properly. I have seen all too many times freelance web designers that have taught themselves how to “code” etc., and they are not following best practices procedures. This can make it much more difficult to later make changes to your website (due to poor coding), and it can also affect the way search engines (like Google) rank your website.Semantic Mark-upAnother very important attribute for a web designer / developer to have, is the ability to “code” websites using “semantic mark-up”. This involves the proper use of h1 through to h6 tags, utilizing the paragraph tag properly and also using the list tags ol and ul efficiently etc. Below are a few advantages to using semantic mark-up:- It will be more accessible to people seeing the document where CSS cannot be applied.- It will be understandable to people having it read to them with the help of a screen reader.- It will help to get a better search engine ranking, since search engines can easier distinguish the importance level of the documents different parts.- It will be much easier for web developers to maintain the code, and to separate content (HTML) from presentation (CSS).- In most cases, there will be less code, meaning that the web page will be faster to load.Using CSS instead of tablesUsing CSS is now the preferred method when coding a website as opposed to using table. You may want to avoid a web designer / developer who still uses “tables” to code the websites he builds. CSS has many advantages over its dated counterpart (tables). Below are a few advantages to using CSS- CSS saves a lot of time. Using HTML and CSS together separates the “data” section (HTML) from the “presentation” section (CSS) of the site. For instance, if you wanted to change the font and the color of the title that is wrapped in h1 tags on all 40 pages of your website, you simply go and edit the h1 class in the CSS style sheet and it will automatically make the changes to the title on all 40 pages at once. CSS allows you to make “global” changes to the presentation of your site.- Pages load faster in browsers. There is typically less code when using CSS, which results in faster page loading times.- Easy maintenance. As stated in point #1, you only have to make a presentation change once within the CSS and it will be applied globally throughout your site.- Better styles to HTML. Using CSS gives you a greater array of attributes over using tables.Cross Browser CompatibilitySince there are many different browsers and operating systems out there, it is imperative that the web designer / developer is educated in ensuring that the website displays correctly in all browsers. Different browsers sometimes render the same website in different ways, so if not done correctly, your website may look like a mess in certain browsers. Using a “conditional comment” is often required for Internet Explorer 6, due to the way it renders code. This basically means that another CSS stylesheet written specifically for IE6 is sometimes required.SEO (search engine optimization) KnowledgeIf the web designer / developer has knowledge of SEO, that is definitely a bonus. This way, he or she can implement good SEO strategies when “coding” your website. This will in turn give you a better ranking in the search engines. There are also many things the designer / developer can do after the site is created to boost your site higher up the search rankings.

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