The process of creating an Equestrian ID website
22nd February 2018 - Posted by Emma

Once Sarah has worked her magic in Photoshop and created the design of the website, she hands over the Photoshop files to me to turn into fully functional websites.

The first thing I’d do is code the sites using HTML, CSS and JavaScript, and use the popular framework Bootstrap to make the sites responsive.

What is HTML and CSS?
HTML is the standard markup language for creating websites, and it stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. Web browsers don’t display HTML tags, but use them to render the content of the page. CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheet, and it is a language that describes the style of a HTML document, and how HTML elements should be displayed. Basically they work together, the HTML is the structure of the website, whereas the CSS is the style.

What is JavaScript?
JavaScript is a language that allows you to implement complex things on websites. Instead of a website being static, JavaScript helps add image carousels, interactive maps, animated graphics and more. Whilst this isn’t a necessity when it comes to websites, it certainly helps give your website that something fancy. For example, on our own website we have an image carousel right on the homepage. Go on, take a look!

What is Bootstrap?
Bootstrap is a free front-end framework which helps make websites responsive. Having a responsive websites means your website will automatically adjust itself to look good on all devices, from small phones to large desktops. Most websites need to be responsive now a days as the majority of internet users use their phones or tablets to surf the internet. If your website isn’t responsive the likelihood is a potential customer will go to another website instead of staying on yours.

Getting the site ready for WordPress
Once I’ve created all of the HTML pages for the website, I will then start the WordPress Integration. WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System) which allows our clients to update and add content to their own websites easily and efficiently.

To turn the HTML pages into a WordPress theme I’d code them using PHP. PHP is what powers WordPress and it is used to generate dynamic page content. PHP can collect form data, send and receive cookies, it can add, delete, modify data in your database, it can be used to control user-access and it can be used to encrypt data.

It is quite a long process from start to finish, but the end result is a fully functioning editable website which I’m sure you’ll agree, is worth it. You will be able to add blog posts and pages, add photos, re-arrange menu items, update carousel images, social media links, contact information, and anything else that is bespoke to you. Your site will be yours to manage as you wish without paying extra for someone to add content for you.

SEO
Once the website is fully integrated with WordPress there’s only one more thing to do: SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). As standard with all sites we will add a SEO plugin which allows adding Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions to individual posts and pages.

What is the Meta Title and Meta Description?
The Meta Title is an important component of SEO. Adding a good meta title to your website can help raise its ranking in search engines. The Meta Description is a short paragraph of up to 320 characters that should summarise the content of your website. Search engines show the Meta Description in search results mostly when the searched for phrase is contained within the description. Optimising the Meta Description is a very important aspect of SEO and it goes hand in hand with the Meta Title.

Getting Google Love
What we would also do when the website is complete is create a sitemap.xml file which we can submit to Google. This is basically a file that lists all of your pages and posts on the website, which automatically updates when any changes are made. Because it’s submitted to Google, Google sporadically checks the sitemap and if it notices any changes it’ll increase your standing as they favour websites that are updated frequently.

Google Analytics will also be installed which are statistics to see how many visitors your website is getting, where they’re coming from, how they’re getting there etc. so we’re able to see how the site is faring and if any further optimisation is required.

Summary
If you’re interested in having a bespoke website from Equestrian ID, be sure to take a look at our Web Design page for an idea of cost. Although all bespoke websites are different so if you’re unsure, feel free to get in touch.

If you’d prefer, we have a selection of ready made themes available which we can install for you, adding your logo, colours and content.

You can get an idea of how your website will work in terms of being able to login and add/edit content by watching our user guide video on YouTube for our 4 page website theme.

No matter what your website needs are, feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll be more than happy to help!

Article by
I have been designing websites since the age of 14, and what started out as a hobby has now grown into full time career. Now a 30-something, I have gained more skills over the years and have become more of a developer than a designer, and it's still something I am very passionate about.
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