Why Do You Want a Website?
This is the first and most important question. The answers drive all of the decisions to come. Do you want to attract new customers? Do you want to provide a means for customers to keep in touch with you? Do you want to help clients to find information or make requests?
It is also important to take a hard look at your existing website on a regular basis to incorporate feedback from users and make sure that it accurately reflects your services and values.
“The most important part of design is redesign.”
— Paul Graham
WindyRidge Design collaborates closely with you to ensure that your site presents exactly what you want. We do not use templates or design engines; we design the entire site to your specifications. That way, your site will reflect your organization and not a generic image created for mass distribution. We work hard to make sure that each image or graphic on your site enhances your message, rather than causing distraction or confusion. Navigation paths are designed from the beginning to be simple and intuitive and to coordinate with the rest of your layout.
When your site goes “live,” we ensure that everything works properly in all common browser/computer environments. After the initial launch of your site, we can continue to maintain it for you or turn it over to you. Or something in between, depending on your preferences.
“Thanks for working so patiently with me! You made the whole process painless.”
All of our website designs comply with the standards of web page coding published by the World Wide Web Consortium. We explicitly verify each page to ensure the most proper page rendering in any modern web browser. Rather than using problematic frames and tables to create specific page layouts, we design each site’s layout using Cascading Style Sheets.
There is nothing that shouts “amateur” louder than a misspelled word or poor grammar. Either can turn a powerful, snappy presentation into far less than what was intended. We actively edit your page text, working hard to make the words convey just the right meaning. We work to make your texts flow smoothly, yet concisely, and that your images enhance rather than detract from your message.
One sure sign of a neglected site is out-of-date information. We work with you to ensure that your site is current and accurate at all times.
Dead links are another sign of neglect on a website. At least monthly, we validate each embedded link on your website to ensure that it still points to a valid web page. We can also ascertain that your links still point to the data you intend, if you desire that maintenance feature.
“You explain things so that I can really understand and make good decisions.”
In response to the desires of several customers, we now can offer our clients a complete web package, including domain registration and hosting. We can handle all the details of creating your domain name, and launching your web presence. We have partnered with iCompute.com to host your domain, providing domain hosting and domain-based email addresses in one package at a very reasonable cost.
iCompute.com hosts all of its internet operations on Macintoshes running a UNIX operating system, insulating your site from the vulnerabilities present on a Windows-based platform. iCompute provides redundant backup of your website data, ensuring the safety of your website. WindyRidge also provides a full backup of website data for all continuing clients, including full version archives.
Of course, we can also work with your current internet provider. All it takes is an authorization from you to your provider for us to handle your website data.
In most small business offices today (and in many homes), one computer isn’t enough. But your technology problem multiplies as you add computers. Do you need to share a common calendar or database, an internet connection or an expensive multi-function printer? Are you going to use a wireless network? How do you make sure that computers have access to the necessary data and programs? How do you protect your valuable data?
We can help you answer these and other questions with respect to your unique situation. We can set up your network, pulling cable or securing your wireless connection from outside snooping. We can help you allocate tasks among your computing resources.
How valuable is your data? Most likely, far more valuable than your computers. Most small businesses protect their computers from theft or accident. Yet, small businesses often rely on manual data backups, done only when no other pressing tasks are waiting. But that’s just the time you’d rather take an early evening, or catch up on family time. And then disaster strikes, the computer dies, or gets a bad virus infection. Then you find out the data didn’t end up on your last backup disk, or worse, the disk is infected.
We can set up a backup system for you that protects your precious data on a daily basis without your having to remember where you’ve saved it, or what computer has sufficient new data in it to warrant the time and effort of creating a new backup.
An automatic, daily backup system can cost as little as $200, depending on the number of computers, the size of the hard drives to be protected, and whether laptop computers will be part of the protected network.
“The back-up system saved me from my own big mistake.”
One request: Don’t ask us to use Microsoft Access. It brings to mind another old adage, “Don’t try to teach a pig to sing; it only frustrates you and annoys the pig.”
We can help you train your staff in computer use on your site. We can conduct classroom-based sessions or work one-on-one with your staff (or you). We use a minimum of technical jargon, prefering to find helpful, meaningful analogies to explain concepts.
Our trainees have included junior and senior high students, employees of large and small businesses, and military officers and contractors from four continents.
“Thanks for all your help with my PowerPoint presentation. Your patience and gentle coaching are most appreciated.”
another WindyRidge design!