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gatePlanning, building, arranging — there is much to do to make a web site both appealing and functional. In fact, creating a web site is much like mapping a garden. A site needs to be carefully planned to make sure that colors schemes are compatible, navigation is inviting, and architechtural elements are appropriate in size and scope.

If you'd like me to design your web site, we will look over previously printed materials about your company or organization, study your logo and photos, and discuss the purpose and audience for your site. Together we will decide a color scheme and "style" for your pages, and determine which points will be highlighted.

Next, we will determine the "pathways" that will help people navigate your site — how many pages the site should have and which links will make the journey effortless. No one wants to look for the rose garden and end up in the cabbage patch!

path

My job then will be to set up the actual design. A successful home page should be like a garden gate; whether it be wrought iron or wooden pickets, it should set the tone for what lies beyond. After developing a template for page titles and links, I'll plant your "perennial" contents--historic and profile information that generally won't change much over time. You may also want a few "annuals" on your site — newsletters, calendars, or seasonal specials that encourage people to come back for another visit to see what's new.

Architechtural elements will add interest to your site as well as enhance your image. Photos and graphics are obvious points of interest, but equally important will be choices about "plain or pattern" backgrounds, "square or round" buttons, "black or green" text. As your designer, I'll make sure your pages have a theme that is consistent with your image, without letting the elements obstruct the view.

Finally, having a web site is only great if people know where to find it. After loading your pages, I'll submit your web address to several select search engines, and we'll discuss ways to inform your target audience about your site's existence.

A well-planned site will invite people in, encourage them to look around, and give them the feeling that their time was worthwhile. Even if you don't consider yourself a "gardener," you undoubtedly know how to appreciate an appealing design. So . . . you bring your logo and wish list, and I'll bring my design skills; let's work for a while together and see what grows!