From Design to Maintenance: Your Guide to Making a Website

Frequently, when small business owners come and meet with one of our web design specialists for the first time, they are unaware of how many steps actually go into the process between having a vision for a website and making it “go live.” While the term “web design” refers to the actual layout of your site’s content (includes: text, image, video, logo and menu placement) as well as the amount of pages a given site will house, “web development” defines the coding that will be used (i.e.: flash, javascript, html) and whether the site has built into its backbone user-friendly software for the client, such as a “content management system” (CMS). Beyond these fundamentals however, in order to launch an online presence, one must also purchase and maintain a “domain name” (i.e.: .ca, .com) via a domain registry such as Domain names typically need to be renewed on an annual or biannual basis, depending upon one’s purchasing agreement. Generally speaking, buying years in bulk is more cost-effective and also better protects you from having someone else scoop up your domain because you’ve missed your expiration notice. The purchasing of a direct domain versus having a website hosted by a free server also provides you with the benefit of being able to create email addresses associated with your domain (i.e.:; something that makes your business look that much more professional. The final piece of the equation is “web hosting”. Without getting into any unnecessary technical jargon, in a nutshell, in order for a website to be active, online and accessed remotely, it must be hosted by a server that has an uninterrupted internet connection. Ideally, the server that hosts your site will have a fast and reliable internet connection and is stored in a secure location. There are two common types of web hosting available for most consumers: “shared hosting” and “dedicated hosting”. Shared hosting involves putting a large number of websites on a single server, while dedicated hosting or “semi-dedicated hosting” involves putting a small number of websites on a single server. It’s important to note that the more websites that are hosted by a given server, the higher the likelihood of slowed speeds and poorer performance for users accessing one of the hosted sites. Like domain registration, web hosting is an ongoing expense (packages are typically monthly or annual) that requires monitoring. Depending upon the complexity of your website (i.e.: the amount of pages as well as media content) and your security preferences, prices vary for this service. again offers affordable web hosting rates for small businesses and has been voted one of the best in London, Ontario for its services. From start to finish, approving your final design and development considerations all the way to electing the right web hosting package, we pride ourselves on our ability to complete our clients’ projects within a month long timeframe, on average. Once a business’ online vision has been brought to life, it’s important to keep it current and on trend. Content management software, such as that designed by our technical experts at Inspiratica, allows even clients who have limited computer proficiencies to be able to easily update news feeds and more. Complete website re-designs are recommended approximately every two years (or in conjunction with new campaign launches) to maximize your site’s functionality, marketability and security features.