Web design and consultancy services for current and prospective web site owners
On this page: Find out how Lois Wakeman can help you with your web or intranet project: providing professional friendly web design services, and practical web design tips to help you.
Web site audit and tuning
If your site has been around a while and is getting a bit jaded (or if this is your first attempt and you aren't sure you're getting it right), I can audit it and suggest improvements. Since my experience takes in information, navigation and access design, I won't try to sell you some flashy new graphics that take ages to download; instead, I can suggest some simple improvements to make the site more effective for your intended users.
If you have an embryonic site, or an existing one that you feel doesn't work well, I can do a short workshop with you. This typically covers determining the audience for your site and its needs, analysing your existing information, finding out what is missing, and suggesting a practical model for the site. I can also cover topics like helping users to find information on the site, reducing page display times, how to design a site for future expansion, how to integrate database information, how to make the site accessible to everyone, and so on.
Web site design
If you already know what you want to put on your site, I can suggest:
- a structure that will enable users to find what they want easily,
- a coherent page design that reflects the identity and tone you want to project,
- some simple graphics based on your existing marketing material,
- ways to add dynamic information to the site, and keep it up-to-date
Web site creation
If you want to do it yourself, I can provide page templates for use in your favourite web page creation software. If you don't, I can provide the finished site from your source information, or do copywriting for you.
Hosting and domain registration
If you need help with finding a suitable place to host your site, choosing and registering your domain name etc., just ask. I can provide reasonable cost hosting on my own web space too.
Web marketing and search engine optimisation
I can advise you how to improve the chances of your site succeeding, by use of more traditional marketing aids, as well as improving your chances of showing up in the search engines. If you want, I can tailor your site and submit it to the big search engines and directories for you, or recommend a specialist to help you with a paid-for campaign.
If you don't feel any of the above categories fit your needs, I am willing to discuss other more specialised requirements. If I can't help you myself, I can probably recommend someone who can.
Intranets and web sites
I have experience of both intranet and internet sites.
- For most intranets, the client already has a body of information that it wants to put on the site. I can tell you how best to organise your site so the information is easy to use and locate. And as importantly, I can suggest simple and appropriate update mechanisms, so your site remains useful. If you need heavy-duty programming or graphic design, I will sub-contract this to an expert in the field.
- For an internet site, the problem may be deciding what to put on the site, and possibly getting it down on paper. I can tell you how to organise your internet site, and present it so it will be accessible to your chosen audience. Within that framework, I can help you create clear and simple content if required.
I'm used to working with a team of specialists, so if you want me to work with your graphic designer, database designer or application developer, no problems.
You can see a portfolio of some small business sites I designed.
Over the years, I've accumulated a lot of practical knowledge of how to make and run web sites. Some of it I've written down for others to use, so I hope you'll find it useful.
- Articles index: a list of all the technical articles on the site: accessibility, usability, and practical hints for webmasters
- Web tool kit - some useful tools for webmasters.
- Links - some of my online favourites.
- Getting started with your first web site I: hints on choosing what should go on your site and how to organise it
- Getting started with your first web site II: technical considerations
- Costs for setting up a web site: DIY or get help?
- Visit the Terracotta Rabbit: a trivial demonstration of a very simple dynamic web page: just for fun!
- Case studies: some examples of real-life web design, using this site as the example.