T: 07913398254


York Web Design and Development

How I design a website


The web development process all starts with keywords. These are the words that you expect a viewer to key into a search engine  to find your site and the web design process starts off with trying to evaluate what those keywords might be.

No-one builds a house without a plan and the same should be true of websites. We need a plan, in this case of what keywords are relevant. So my first step is always to do an analysis by using Google's own tools, of what keywords, relevant to your site are people actually searching for. The results of the research may not be surprising but in some cases the results may point to needing more pages built to address some keywords that are relevant but unexpected.

Ideally you will need to supply the text for each page or we agree a way of getting suitable content. Either way I will be looking to include a set of agreed keywords into the text several times (allowing for the fact that the text still needs to make sense and be readable to humans). The use of headings and bold text for keywords can be useful. Each keyword may be a single word, or more likely a string of two or three words in a phrase. 

Website images

Good quality images can make a website great. It may be stating the obvious but it is true. The text must work at a certain level and must be easy to understand but great images will draw a viewer in to browse the site in the first place. 

So how do you get great images? Here are some ways:

  • Buy relevant images from a stock photography site such as Adobe Stock or Shutterstock
  • Use free images from Unsplash
  • Employ a photographer to take professional quality images for your project 
  • Take your own images. 

Photos are important because: 

  • They may be used to create a mood for the page 
  • Behind the scenes the tags that can be assigned to them can be keyword phrases that search engines can find. You can supply your own images,  I can suggest them for you, or if necessary take some appropriate photographs myself.

Responsive Design

As the site has to work on many different screen sizes it becomes relevant to the nature of the images as to which ones will work on different devices. I will always do my best to make your chosen image work as a banner on the Home page but sometimes it is tricky working with photos that have to work on different sized devices in both portrait mode and landscape mode. Some images give a better user experience than others and are therefore easier to work with. I will help guide you through these considerations. 

The benefits of a mobile first, responsive website development

A responsive website comes with many benefits. It is easier to manage changes and is preferred in Google ranking algorythms.



Google policy is increasingly prioritising mobile first when ranking for SEO, following the trend in device usage online.



Mobile usage has overtaken desktop usage and now represents over 50% of all browsing activity.



Just one website to manage. Update on your desktop website (or your mobile) and both change.


Video is even more helpful both because it attracts the reader's attention and because Google loves sites with video. For Google, you don't even need to worry too much about the quality of the footage recorded - just having any video helps. Obviously, for the reader, the quality of the video does matter. If you don't personally have the equipment or skills to produce your own short videos then I can provide that too. I have professional equipment including audio equipment and editing software to make a really polished-looking piece of film.

To view an example of my video work please take a look at this website.

My toolset for website development

I now use Rapidweaver on a MAC for all my new website development work. I use Rapidweaver because as the name suggests, the build time it allows is very fast and it constructs a well-designed site that can then usually be tailored to your needs. 

The tool has the flexibility to allow for a completely bespoke site if a client wants something similar to a site that they have already seen on the web, although usually it is quicker to pick and mix from elements that I have already used and proven before. 

By using Rapidweaver I know that menus, headers, footers, fonts and colours will be consistent across pages and that the code produced will be of an inherently good quality that is designed to be supported by multiple browsers including mobile ones. 

I use a tool called Website Auditor to check every site once it is published. The audit will tell me if I have missed any part of the process or missed a chance to optimise for keywords on a given page or loaded images which are far too large for the web for example. 

Do you use WordPress?

In my website development work I have been frequently asked if I can repair or optimise an existing WordPress site. In each case I have been asked, the previous web designer is no longer contactable, leaving their client with a broken site with symptoms such as: 

  • Images that do not load properly on certain browsers 
  • Images that when the client loads them are not formatted properly and fill the page 
  • Odd items shown on the screen that are in fact small code extracts that shouldn't be there. 

I have no experience with WordPress although in my role as an SEO consultant I have talked to people who are experts and from what they tell me WordPress is: 

  • Prone to being hacked 
  • Has to be regularly maintained with the latest versions of all the modules, otherwise, it can start to malfunction 

Given these issues and also the fact that a lot of WordPress sites I see start to look very similar I have steered well clear of WordPress. I can always take a WordPress site and design something better, of course, using the same text and images you have already! 

Summary of functionality offered when developing a website:

  • Gallery of Images 

I can offer various styles of gallery pages including simple thumbnail images that are clickable and expand into a larger image and various styles of scrolling slideshows. 

  • Video 

I have all the professional-grade equipment to produce a short video introduction to you and your product or service, hosted on Youtube or Vimeo. If you have a large selection of videos to display these can be shown in a gallery. 

  • Content Management System (CMS) 

Content (text and images) is maintainable by you the client.   This is particularly useful for content such as pricing where you want to have complete control over what is shown.

  • Blogging 

A blog is a great way to ensure that you have fresh content on your site which is a strong positive help for SEO 

  • Logo Design 

Logo and Icon design to enhance the look of your site. I crafted this icon and used it recently here: 


  • Security 

SSL secured sites with a padlock as standard 

  • Forms

Detailed forms with checkboxes and multiple selection boxes to capture customer details and requirements

  • Email obfuscation to prevent unwanted emails from becoming an issue. 

Hosting and domain name

For web development, every website needs both a domain name (also known as a URL) and a hosting package. A hosting package is where the data files containing your text, images and the code for the site etc are stored and the website is served from. The computer that your website sits on is sometimes referred to as the server. 

As a web developer, I generally ask my clients to purchase both of these items themselves. That way the account is in your name and you will get the bill for domain and hosting when it falls due, not me. There is no benefit for either of us if I pay for your hosting package and then collect this sum from you.

I prefer this approach also because if anything happens to me, you are not left high and dry. The website will still work as long as you carry on paying the hosting charges. 

This is different to some web design agencies charging models where they arrange the hosting and domain and then charge you a monthly fee for the website. I prefer to charge for my time only as I feel this is a much more honest approach. If I am asked to make changes to the site and they are significant, I will bill you at my hourly rate for that piece of work.

Please talk to me first about where to purchase your hosting package from. 

Not all hosts provide the same level of technical infrastructure and operational software. For example, to provide you with Blogging and Content Management I need access to be able to run level 7.4 of something called PHP and that will soon change to level 8.0 

Historically I have found that many hosting companies fail to keep their infrastructure up to date with this software. If you already have a hosting package that you purchased some time ago then we will need to ascertain whether your existing package will support the required level of PHP. If you have already purchased a domain name then that is OK but I will probably want to transfer it to my preferred hosting provider so that the domain and hosting are together in the same place.

Martin Waring - Web Designer

Martin Waring

Web Designer York

Tel: 07913398254

© Designing websites in York since 2010 - WEBSITES YORK, 6, NORFOLK STREET, YORK, YO23 1JY

Data Privacy

This privacy policy sets out how Websites York uses and protects any information that you give Websites York when you use this website.

Websites York is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should I ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified when using this website, then you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.

Websites York may change this policy from time to time by updating this page. You should check this page from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes. This policy is effective from 30th April 2018.

What I collect

If you use the contact form, email me or ring to make an inquiry, I may collect the following information by email:

  • name
  • contact information including email address and phone number
  • your requirements in connection with the proposed website offering

What I do with the information I gather

I require this information to understand your requirements and provide you with a great service, and in particular for the following reasons:

  • Internal record keeping e.g. accounting records
  • I may use the information to improve my services.
  • I may contact you by email, phone, or mail for further clarification of requirements.
  • I may use the information to customise the website according to your interests.


I am committed to ensuring that your information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, I have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information I collect online.


Cookies are not enabled on any customer-facing pages on this website.

Links to other websites

The website may contain links to other websites of interest. However, once you have used these links to leave my site, you should note that I do not have any control over that other website. Therefore, I cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide whilst visiting such sites and such sites are not governed by this privacy statement. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.

Controlling your personal information

I will not share, sell, distribute or lease your personal information to third parties.

You may request details of personal information which I hold about you under the Data Protection Act 1998. A small fee will be payable. If you would like a copy of the information held on you please write to Martin Waring, 6 Norfolk Street, York, YO23 1JY.

If you believe that any information I am holding on you is incorrect or incomplete, please write to or email me as soon as possible, at the above address. I will promptly correct any information found to be incorrect. You may also ask me to delete any emails that you have sent me. I do not store data that you have given me on any other system other than in emails.