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Is Your Website Designer Making Mistakes Like This?

The Devil's in the Details!

I had a client today submit a design to us. Our job with this project is to take a pre-made design and code it for a Magento e-commerce website. They had a designer from another website firm create the design (for certain reasons) and I noticed some problems. There were problems that would have made the website not load quickly.

I'm so used to my design team doing things nearly perfect that I forgot about mistakes we've worked through and don't repeat anymore. Here's just a quick example and explanation that we had to deal with.

Fonts!

Believe it or not, this particular issue had to do with fonts.

Some quick background... the used to be a very limited amount of fonts that could be used. It was basically a group of fonts that everyone had on their computers and that's all we had. To get more fonts, you had to make image and use that font in that image. This makes things load slowly and render incorrectly because... well. for lots of reasons. Today, you can dynamically load fonts with websites, which is lighter (less data) than the old way of using a lot of images. Also, this works better on mobile devices. Heck, even things like Facebook logos are now in fonts, which makes websites load faster and things can be resized easier.

This client's designer used a premium font for a design. Ok, that's great but it creates a lot of problems.

The main problem is there are licenses for the font. That's fine - if you're a font designer, you should get paid for your work. The issue is how the licensing worked. You had to paste some JavaScript into the header of the website. That sounds innocent but here are the problems:

  • It's another domain name to resolve (DNS) - this takes time
  • If the server responsible for the logo licensing is down, the font needs to revert to another font - this could make your website look strange and your website is dependent on another server
  • When this rendering JavaScript is in the website header, your website loads much more slowly - there's a better way to do it

Instead, you want to use an Open Source font and load it from your website.

This is a Symptom of Something Bigger

That's a simple solution but you have to recognize that something like this is a symptom of something else - a bigger problem.

If your Design Team and your HTML/CSS Programming Team and not in sync and not working toward the same goal, you'll get these issues. You'll get designers coming up with things that don't practically work. They'll work with the client (you) and get you on board with a certain look but then when it goes to the programmers to code and "get it working" they'll come back with issues.

Instead, what you want is your designers and programmers working together - even in the design phase of a project. If not, then you've essentially got an architect (designer) coming up with thing that aren't structurally sound and your house will fall down!

Pff! Yeah, We Got This!

Webstix has worked through this problem and lots of others like it already. We're in our 15th year now - we got this!

Our designers work with our programmers and they all work with our SEO people. The result is a website that loads quickly and works right on all devices. You're not shown a design and then later find out that it's not possible or, worse yet - later find out that the design choices you unknowingly made caused your website to not load quickly or work right.

You don't want to end up in that situation. You're then fighting with the website designer to fix it, pointing fingers and going through all kinds of stress. Why go through that?

Conclusion

plan-aheadAgain, this is just one, quick example but believe that a small thing like fonts is merely a symptom of a bigger problem. If they're not looking at things as small as fonts, what about bigger things? What problems will you find there... some time down the road? Will you wish you chose a different website design company?

There are a lot more details with website design than there used to be. The thing is, Google is looking at every little detail now. If two websites are equal but one is doing A, B and C the right way, which one do you think will rank higher? Which website do you want to be? This stuff matters.

We have a Testing Department and we use lots of tools to make sure things work as best as they can. We have a team of experts that work together (yes, together) to make sure things work as planned.

Just be careful who you go with. You're spsending thousands of dollars. You spend thousands of dollars on a car - would you want a car that was built without designers really planning ahead?

-Tony

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