BE SURE YOU GET FULL VALUE FROM YOUR WEBSITE DESIGNER


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You Want an Example of  the issue?

Look at our older website.  Click Here!  (After you've finished, close the new window to return here!)

If you see the main design full screen, you have an older display, and won't see the problem.   It should look like this:



If it doesn't look this way, go to a newer computer - like one bought in the last three years.  On a modern machine, you will see a lot of white background, with the main design looking tiny in the middle.  See the problem - lots of waste screen space.  We need to upgrade this site, and that's slated for the next few months.

Now go to a newer website.  Click Here!  (After you've finished, close the new window to return here!)

See how this site always fills the entire screen?



What's happening?
Computer monitors are constantly evolving, and a few years ago they reached very fine resolution - good enough to watch movies.  These modern monitors need to be fed much more data to display properly, even if you're not showing movies!  If you put that extra data into an old monitor, the picture will overfill the screen.

Properly designed web pages can handle this, and will adjust to suit each situation.  But that requires close working between the graphic designer and the coder.  That's harder,  takes more time, and costs more.

How does it happen?
You saw a wonderful design at the presentation, and after you approved it, the design went to a "coder" to write the software code necessary to turn the design into a web page.  This can be very complex, and complex designs are costly in any medium.  To be quick (to keep you happy) and inexpensive (to be competitive), a standard template where the code has been used before, is applied to the design.

It's easier to give you a smaller page that fills on old monitor, and colour the background on a current monitor to fill the gaps.  Low price, no problems.  Limited impact!

Is there any alternative?
Of course.  Most websites for quality companies have full screen pages throughout their sites.  Full screen pages on every monitor.  Find a designer who provides "variable width pages" - they will adjust to suit the monitor you are using.  Of course, this does mean a whole new site.

Watch out - here's the trap!  A truly variable width site adjusts the whole image to suit the screen.  The shortcut we're describing here gives you a fixed width image with a variable "spacer" each side.  As you can see , that's not a truly variable width page.

But they told me I had to accept this!
Years ago, the newer monitors were in the minority. It made sense to focus on the majority, and you could get away with a cheaper alternative.  By convincing you to use their existing software, web design providers presented a plausible argument.

Better monitors have been with us since the beginning of internet banking, and the older monitors are now disappearing fast.  They will go even faster in the next eighteen months, as the 2006 version of "Windows" ("Windows Vista")  comes on stream and demands more powerful computers.  If you are commissioning a new website now, you probably expect it to be around for longer than eighteen months.  Why optimise your design for monitors that were "mainstream" five years ago?

What can I do to get a full screen display on my new website?
As always, "that depends"!  The options range from rejigging the existing site to suit current monitors, as a quick and inexpensive approach, to re-doing the whole site - and that costs lots more.  Some existing pages may be uneconomical to revise.  Others will handsomely repay the effort with high impact on site visitors.  The key thing is to talk to your webmaster or site designer.  Then get a second opinion before deciding to accept anything you are told.

One option is to "renovate" your site.  This process puts new material into the old basic form, and can sometimes overcome the problem quite economically.  Click Here for an example of a renovated site.   (After you've finished, close the new window to return here!)




Look closely and you will see the old, limited width, material lower on the home page, but the banner and the top material all gives full screen display.  This job took three hours all up, so a similar renovation should not cost you the earth!

And the price?
We have heard about companies getting a six page website for $500.  No wonder it's loaded with compromise.

A good website will cost at least ten times that.  Carefully evaluate whether you want a website that really works to create the image you want, and what new business it will generate for you.  If you can't see your way clear to spend the right amount of money to get a good website, think carefully about whether you will be satisfied with a second rater.


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