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If you're wondering whether or not you should be looking for a 'template website' with a one-time fee that seems awfully-tidily predicated on the number of webpages, or whether there might be a little more to the decision that will mark the beginning of your journey into the murky world of web presence, read this and decide for yourself what option makes the best sense.

Why bespoke professional web design makes long-term sense
Ice Cool Code provides highly-tailored and well-priced bespoke solutions to a wide range of web presence needs. In fact, 'bespoke' means that our range of solutions will extend exactly as far as your requirements do.

Finding out what makes your site special

The key to our approach toward web design is simply involvement. We don't offer catch-all solutions when your requirements are specific to your website. That makes no sense for you, and it makes no sense for us either, because we are devoted to producing a high-quality, functional product that will work, and last, and grow.

Template-based websites (those '$199 deals' you see littering the internet) can't expand: they are designed to accept the bootprint of a quickly HTML-converted slab of text, a sneaky title-change (if you're lucky), and then the page is effectively set in stone, unless you want to hire the web designer again (for more money) to do it right — or realise that you need a bespoke designer to go back in, retrieve your data, and make it usable and extendable in the long-term. We are that bespoke designer, and yes, we can fix your broken template website. But why not approach us in the first place? We will not steal the clothes off your back, and you will be more than remunerated for the additional initial expense as your website comes to serve an increasingly meaningful and powerful purpose online.

Uncluttered, and it works

Part of our bespoke approach is a willingness to take on specific web design problems, problems that require a sense of nuance and appropriateness. For example, it's no use spending all of your budget on a flashy sliding menu system when your website is simple and already compartmentalised. Some web design companies would put that menu system on your website simply because they have already coded it (let's call this 'templates, take 2'), and so they can charge you bespoke fees for a product that isn't actually tailored to your needs. That pre-programmed product might not even work on all the browsers now in use. It could have been coded a few years ago and put in the open-source community, where it was pinched and laid into a template and never examined. Did the template-designer bother to test it when he stuck it haphazardly into the code? Is there even a real designer handling the template, or are you simply feeding text to a blind computer program? Because we handle all of the details ourselves, we know when something doesn't quite work, or doesn't quite fit. We design it, now, for you. All of our long-term code libraries were created by ourselves, and are up-to-date.

Content is what counts: don't throw a needle into a haystack!

Other hallmarks of our design approach are efficiency and simplicity. Look at the Google website. How simple is it? How quickly does it load? What colour is the background? And the end of this pop quiz is simple: whose website handles the majority of the world's search queries? We apply the sensible design principle that the content is what matters, and getting to it should be as simple as possible. We believe in learning from what works, and applying those principles to new websites, so that they too can enjoy some success.

When you need complexity

Because we put all of our websites together from our own hand-coded codebase, when you really do need dynamic elements, moving menus, sound, e-commerce solutions, password protections, contact facilities and other template-isable gadgets, you can be sure that the elements you get will be the right ones. We also avoid the unpleasant tricks that 'DIY' or 'WYSWYG' (What You See is What You Get) applications such as Dreamweaver employ, like tiling a white one-pixel image 478 times, just to space an element 478px into the page; or rewriting the same custom font and style information for every single paragraph on your site, when a simple modifiable stylesheet would do. Computers are getting smart: but at Ice Cool Code, we still have the edge. So we avoid the bloat, the load delays, the reduction in meaningful data for search engines to index, by writing concise code that frames your content instead of dominating it.

Designers are writers, too — or, they should be...

Finally, how many web designers have spelling mistakes or grammatical errors prominently displayed in their promotional materials? Do you really want to entrust your web presence to a designer who can't write? Content is why people come. We know that, and so our design makes content prominent and accessible. We can even spell.

Don't settle for less.

Everyone can, and should, pursue a more meaningful place on the web. Look through our portfolio and see what you think.

Written by David Midgley, Senior Designer, Ice Cool Code Ltd

[ Web Design Articles ]
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