An Introduction to Duck feet web design

Duck Feet are a multi-talented web design and development company that also offers an in-depth search engine optimisation service. We are based in Stockbridge near to Winchester in Hampshire in rural surroundings which we find ideal for creative thought.

As a company we offer the full web and print package: graphic design, web design, front-end development, back-end development and search engine optimisation. We work closely with our customers to ensure that their website develops and grows in keeping with the rest of their business.

Web Design

Web design is usually the first stage of a project. At this point, the project is not a web site but a pdf document. Our main goal at this point is to create a design which is appropriate and visually appealing. A recent study revealed that it takes as little as a 20th of a second for a visitor to decide whether or not they like a site. So if your site doesn't look good, the chances are it is not reaching its sales potential. For most web designers, once they have produced an appealing design their job is done. At Duck Feet, once we have created a design our job is only just beginning. A web site that is truly successful needs to meet all the following:

  • Shows what you have to offer instantly
  • The site's navigation(s) need to be intuitive to prevent visitors getting lost.
  • Points of contact need to be clearly visible
  • Points of sales need to be simplistic and intuitive
  • Site should not be cluttered
  • Text should be inviting to read, not unnecessarily long and boring

Few sites encompass all of these ideals while still having visual impact. To prevent lack of variation, we design sub pages that keep the viewer interested and to help your site from getting stale.

Web Development

We don’t like to blind with science, preferring to keep web jargon to a minimal but as an overview of a technical service we need to have a little. If you don't understand a few points or would like to know more about this service call 01962 761312

Web development is broken down into two areas: front-end development and back-end development. Front-end developers are a mix of a designer and a back-end developer. They are responsible for turning designs into web sites, user interface and JavaScript widgets. Back-end developers generally have absolutely no artistic ability - we’ve all seen those sites with black blue and red text (usually Times New Roman 16 pt) with absolutely no aesthetic qualities, that's a back-end developer attempting design! Back-end developers are responsible for programming into existence all the functions of your web site that it's users will experience but never see -, elaborate product databases, XML parsers, eCommerce integrations etc.

Front-end Development

The first stage of front-end development is to turn a design or set of designs into HTML and CSS. Once your site has been meticulously put into HTML, the next stage is to add more intricate features and facilities to the user interface. This consists of things like sophisticated and more advanced facilities like the quoting system, gallery or portfolio.

Back-end Development
Once the front end development is in place the project is handed over to a back-end developer. This is the stage where all the 'behind the scenes' work goes on - the front-end of the site is connected to programming functions and databases that will make the web site actually work.

We use the following following:
Markup Languages
  • SVG
  • XML
  • XUL
Query Languages
  • MS Access
  • MS Jet
  • MySQL
  • PostgreSQL
  • ADO
  • AJAX
  • JSON
  • mod_rewrite
  • POP3
  • SMTP
  • SOAP
  • SSH
  • TLS & SSL
Stylesheet Languages
  • CSS
  • XLST
Programming Languages
  • C
  • C++
  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • Pascal
  • PHP 4 & PHP 5
  • Perl
  • Python
  • Visual Basic
Programming Languages
  • C
  • C++
  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • DNS
  • FTP
  • IMAP
  • MIME

Our approach to programming is object-orientated and modular. All of our programming is created with flexibility and growth in mind. We have our own content management systems, which allow us to build any form on content management on strong foundations. We do not create anything that uses pre-built packages; because they lack flexibility are difficult to maintain and complex to manage.

Search Engine Optimisation

Submitting regularly to search engines and setting up reciprocal links are external methods of driving traffic to your web site. But there are many other internal techniques that should be applied in a quest to improve search engine ranking as google analyses around 100 aspects of your site before ranking you.

Web site optimisation, is in basic terms a commonsense fine tuning of the HTML source code that builds each page.

By making your web pages search engine-friendly we ensure you stand a far greater chance of climbing up the results ladder - and winning more traffic. If you consider that around 80 per cent of first time visitors to your site will come in from one of the major search you will understand how fundamentally important this is.

To start this web site tweaking process we put ourselves in the shoes of potential customers. How would they search for your company? What keywords would they enter into a search engine?

If we can anticipate every word or phrase that potential visitors are likely to use, we can ensure these terms appear regularly in the site's text. Search engines like AltaVista, Google and Hotbot rank their results according to the frequency and location of the keywords used in the search. So we place as many of these 'target words' in the opening paragraphs, and litter them throughout the rest of the text.

We don’t go too mad though as over use of key words will be considered spam and your site will suffer adversely for it.

With this in mind, we give careful thought to the text, and focus on your keywords in those vital opening sentences. Avoid generalisations, and concentrate on the specific ideas behind the keywords.The title meta tag, is the name of the web page. This shows up at the top of the page beside the browser branding and is what search engines home in on when compiling their results. Most search engines give the highest priority to sites whose titles include the ‘searched for words’. The lesson here is to make sure each and every page has a name that includes a keyword.

The description meta tag's role is to contain the brief summary of the page contents, so we fit as many key words and phrases in here.

The keywords meta tag is a straight-forward list of words or phrases that we think visitors may enter when searching for your site. Not all search engines index these keywords, but the ones that do give them a high priority in deciding where your site should appear in search results.

Getting your site ranked is the first part. Next, you must convince the searcher that your site more than any other is the one they need to visit

To entice the potential visitor to click through to your site, the description must be informative and enable the reader to make an instant judgement. The simplest way to do this is to come up with a description that is concise and clearly sets out the purpose of your site. Remember that anyone searching on the web is goal-driven, so be crystal clear on what your site is about - if you sell donkeys online, say so.

To monitor the success of our work we compare before searches with after searches and judge the results we achieve. The web is ever changing and while you may be at the top of the search results one week, you could find you’ve slid down a couple of weeks later, this is for 2 reasons, firstly the search engines often change their criteria, and what they may decide is favourable one minuet may not be the next. Secondly, there are new sites and new competitors joining the web constantly, which may also have an impact on your success. For this reason we do not do a one of optimisation and then ‘cut you adrift’, we continue to revisit your site and tweak and change as necessary to ensure your results are maintained or improved.

If you would like more information or a quote call us on 01962 761312

HAMPSHIRE web designers

Helping Businesses For Over 14 years!

Helping Businesses for over 14 years!

100% recommend Andrea Mainwaring of Duck Feet web design. I truly love my website. My website was also designed via email and dropbox. All my ideas were considered and increased to something I couldn't imagine before. My website is stylish and user friendly. My website paid for itself in no time. I can not recommend Andrea's abilities to turn your ideas into something more incredible than expected. If you are looking for a fast and professional approach I highly recommend Duck Feet. Emma Sian Pritchard