Typography for the web has really come into its own in the past few years.

Unfortunately, many website designers lack the specific training and years of focus on typography that experts in other disciplines, like print publishing, have long had. However, that doesn't mean that you can't find fantastic web-safe fonts for your small business website.

The following four font elements necessary to convey your company message in an easy-to-read fashion:

Readability

The aesthetics of your website are useless if the content is illegible. When choosing a font for the copy on your site, simple is better. Keep things clean and avoid over-complicated type.

Save the creative efforts for headlines and pull-quotes. Your body copy should always be clear and easy to read.
Consider a medium-weight font, around 13px, in either a simple serif or sans-serif. Unless you are going for a very specific look, it is considered bad form to have more than three different font families on the same page.

Mood/Message

Your font is just as important as the images on the page.
Like any other page element, your fonts portray mood and emotion, just like your website's color scheme and graphics. For example, heavy fonts convey strength, while lightweight fonts give the impression of openness and space.
Coupled with scale and color choices, your font can become a powerful tool to convey feelings and attitudes.

Crossovers

It is important to remember that not everyone accesses the web in the same way. There are many combinations of device hardware, operating systems and screen resolutions, each of which will render fonts differently. This is another reason why it is important not to overcomplicate your typography.

Good web typography means knowing when to be flexible. That may mean choosing a different font for mobile devices or adjusting font sizes and contrasts for small screen displays.

In short, fonts can greatly affect the aesthetics of your site and can convey a lot of meaning.

Copyright 2011 dzine it, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Redesigning your existing website is something that your business should consider doing at least every three years. Internet trends and styles change and if you wait too long to update your website, it can end up looking dated and stale.

When it comes to redesigning your site, look at other existing websites, particularly those representing your competitors or peers, and take note of what you like and what seems to work best. However, it is important to consider the user and what they expect to gain from the site.

One way to ensure the customer satisfaction with your website is to use what's called a user-centered design. This proven process considers the requirements, expectations and skills of the end user at each stage of the design and development process.

By getting users to provide input into each step through the user-centered design (UCD) approach, businesses can avoid time and cost overruns.

Wireframes

When you analyze user needs, you will produce a list of content elements and consider the layout and the functionality of the design. Developing wireframes at this point is the way to go.

Wireframes should consider how users navigate the site. If you plan to adapt the website for mobile or tablet use, now is the time to look at that as well.

Information Architecture

Next, give careful consideration to your content by categorizing it into a coherent structure that people can understand quickly and easily. Information architecture will lead to the design of the site's navigation.

Aesthetics

Next, you can start thinking about the design. Start with simple aesthetics and do user testing.

This stage helps you to save time when you get feedback that something isn't quite right and you need to start again.

Finish

As with any creation, the final stage is to apply the finish. You should think carefully about accessibility in terms of colors, contrast and font sizes.

This approach will result in a better website than a cut and paste job through competitor analysis. However, you're not finished yet. Your website should continue to evolve through user feedback.

Copyright 2011 dzine it, Inc. web design All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Price is always a variable when it comes to developing a website for our clients. We do a lot of work for small businesses and all small businesses have budget constraints that make them sensitive to every dollar that they have to spend.

Because the cost of a website can vary so much, it is helpful to identify the items that can raise the price, before getting into the specifics. If your goal is to keep costs down, you need to consider the following:

Content Management Systems

A content management system (CMS) is software that allows you, the website owner, to make edits to your website without the help of a website development expert. A good CMS is important for websites that need a lot of updating. If your site will remain relatively static, you can do without a CMS. If that's the case, you might be able to save money by opting out of a CMS, but it may cost money down the road when you look to update your website.

Website Hosting

All websites need to be hosted, which simply means that you need to rent server space so that your website is visible online. Hosting is now cheaper than ever and a good mid-range, small website hosting plan can cost between $20 and $60 per month, depending on a few variables. You can go as cheap as $5 a month, but quality can suffer when you go that low. Take into account hosting costs before you move forward with the development of a website.

Software Integration

When you combine some operational elements of your business with your online presence, you can save a ton of money. For example, if you pay $100 a month for time-clock software and your website development team can add that feature to your website for $600, you have saved $600 for the year and you have consolidated your software so you only have to use one service instead of two.

These are not the only areas that can contribute to pricing. Don't be afraid to ask your website development team about other ways that they can help your business save money.

Copyright 2011 dzine it, Inc. website development All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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