Often, web site developers are told to "do what they think will look best". The only problem with that, is that everyone has differing taste - and no-one knows how you feel about the image of your business better than you. The chances are that your business cards in some way reflect a certain style that your letter heads do. Quite possibly your compliment slips and your promotional material all have similar features that combine to make a "Company image" - or style. Although the Internet is different from any of these examples - it would look strange if everything about your business was traditionally done with brown ink on a parchment coloured paper - only to have a bright yellow web site with red ink. It may stand out from the crowd - but perhaps not in the way you had hoped for.
If you really do not have the time or inclination to choose how your web site will look, we would ask that you send us a business card, letter head and - if you have them - one of your sales leaflets. We can then try to match the overall image of your Company so it is reflected faithfully on the Internet.
What we would like to suggest however, is that you spend a little time browsing the Internet and - with your own Company image and style in mind - make a note of some web sites designs that you feel would compliment your business. Perhaps even make a note of the address of the page so we could see exactly what you are referring to. Once you have chosen a "theme" or a "look", we can talk about page colours, text colours and if you want a background image anywhere. An example of a background image is the parchment background found on the residential part of the Lineisp web site. It's soft, light coloured and easy on the eye. It also can be more visually appealing than "white space" when used carefully.
As a personal choice, we decided to make the business side of Lineisp very "clean" and chose a coffee / cream coloured combination for our pages, rather than use background images. One possibility on large web sites is to have some pages in one style and other pages with a different appearance. If you do this though, it is important to try and establish some sort of pattern to it. For example, you might choose a plain neutral colour to all pages featuring photographs of your product and a parchment background for the pages containing details about the Companies trade terms and conditions. It would not normally be a good idea to have colours and images changing from page to page in what might appear a rather haphazard manner. Obvious perhaps, but you will soon find sites on the Internet where the designer has seemed to include every colour and design combination possible on one web site, each page bearing a stark contrast to the last.
One very important aspect of web pages, is the method in which people can navigate around your site - from one page to the next. This is done by using Hyper links (or just "links" for short). On this page all of the links are at the top in the dark border. On some peoples' pages, the links may appear on the left, the right or the bottom of the screen. Providing the link is clear, the navigation will work - but the appearance can be dramatically different. When using a borderless page, the links need very careful planning to ensure that they stand out from the rest of the text - and to make navigation easy for the person visiting your site.
If you are considering having a one page site (enough to give an overview of what your company does, contact details, your logo, another image etc) then a Borderless page might make sense. If you are planning on having more than five pages on your site we would suggest you have at least one border for navigational purposes (links to other pages etc). Ultimately however the choice is yours. An example of a borderless page with six links is shown here - please return to this page afterwards by using the Back button on your browser, all links on the demo page are non-functional.
When using more than one border, it needs to be decided which "roles" they are both to perform. You might keep the top border as a place for links and the other border as a place for small comments, stop press items and so on. You could also have "internal" links to your own pages in one border and "external" links in the other border. There is no right or wrong way of doing this, it is about making whatever you choose look right and perform well. We have made a few comments however about some of the more common border combinations that people use.
If you have any specific questions in mind, please ask us through the feedback page. Thank you.