Looking at web industry from a business angle, Ars Technica muses upon six big stories that stood out last year. Of those six, we’ll peg BitCoins as the story we’re most likely to look back on in a decade and wonder “what were they thinking?” Like Microsoft Bob, Pets.com, and the CueCat, BitCoins still have that cachet of “naive pre-web-bubble idea”. The article goes into several ways where BitCoin has had trouble already, which we predict is the shape of its doom, arrising like a Grim Reaper in the West.
Web Designer Depot has a post up about the gems you can find in creative commons images on Flickr. “Creative Commons” basically means “free to use” – sometimes technically for non-profit purposes, but really, does the 0.0005 of a penny you get from ad clicks count as “profit” anyway? While we’re at it, here’s a bunch more royalty-free image sources every web designer should have bookmarked:
Briefly, the point is that users avoid signing up to become a member of a site unless they absolutely have to. Call it, if you will, “social media fatigue“. Ten years ago, the web was yours just like your TV set, and the only time you had to sign up for anything was if you were buying something. Now you can’t click a mouse button without logging in with a nick and password. Who can remember them all? Why does it feel like getting married every time you just want to leave a quick note somewhere?
We work in the web development industry, and so we love our shiny new stuff! Don’t we? We love our chrome-plated glowy neon high-tech toys, because they make us feel like the hero in a Tron movie.
Ohhh, it’s exhausting keeping that up. But anyway, as painful as it will be to live through, we’re starting to see lots of enthusiastic hype for HTML5, which means that it will come to pass. It works this way because the life-cycle of all new web tech runs like this:
Initial spec. Somebody like Tim Berners-Lee or Paul Graham makes a blog post about it; everybody laughs.
First implementation. Some bright little start-up implements it before its time and it falls over. All the big companies sniff over it and turn their nose up at it.
A handful of bright bloggers keep yammering about it and why we should give it a chance.
Why do web designers get so worked up over fonts? A decision on whether to use one font or another for a logo may embroil an entire office, waging cubicle-to-cubicle warfare (imagine stapler-cannons, binder-clip mortars, and waste-paper-basket helmets here) that shoots down an entire day’s productivity. A non-designer will look on all this and wonder what on earth gets into people.
Let’s try to explain the rationale behind the most-dreaded fonts and why designers feel that way. On top of all these, the thing that makes a font the least popular is when it’s been overused.
Comic Sans – The thing is, this font was only intended as a joke/ novelty font. Think “party invitations.” Instead, a whole generation of novice web users latched onto this font for dear life and use it for everything, be it funeral notices, dear John letters, or results coming back from an AIDS test. There are tombstones chiseled in Comic-Sans out there.
Vivaldi – If Comic Sans is in trouble for people who don’t take themselves seriously enough, Vivaldi is the font for people who take themselves too seriously. Vivaldi is appropriate for snooty French restaurants and symphony programs. Anything else just makes it scream “pretentious snob!”
Hey, it’s refreshing to see somebody acknowledge that web workers have stress, isn’t it? Most of the time our acquaintances will be all, “What are you complaining about, all you do is sit around and type all day?” So this list of tips for reducing the stress of web work really hits home.
Some particularly strong points that need emphasizing here:
Exercise One of the things they don’t warn you about is that a life of sitting in a chair staring at a computer screen will make you fat. There’s no way around this; it doesn’t matter what you eat, if you never burn calories, you will gain weight. So yes, taking a walk will also help burn some pounds off your chunky waistline. Continue reading
I say, isn’t it about time you updated that website you had your nephew build for you back in 1998? Outdated web pages look older every year, and now that the World Wide Web is pushing on into the 2010s, even some of the hot trends of the 2000s are beginning to show their age.
If your website’s outdated, it says bad things about you. Visitors might think you must have gone out of business, have no taste, only care about an older audience, or are just too technically incompetent to keep your website up to date. If your website is sporting any of these long-gone elements, perhaps it’s time to think about an update just to keep up with the passing decades.
1. Photoshop design / Image slicing – This used to be the default method of design, even by the pro shops. But not only is slicing an image to fit into tables now outdated, but the whole “design it in Photoshop” thing is an anachronism. Modern-day sites, relying more on CSS than tables, fare far better if laid out in Fireworks, Illustrator, or Inkscape.
2. Background music / autoplaying media – Probably there are no .MIDI sound files playing any more (we hope! those got old even in 1998!), but today’s equivalent is media such as video or Flash ad content that starts playing sound as soon as the visitor arrives. At least let the visitor mouse over the element or give them a way to pause it. Continue reading
A nice little round-up of 53 CSS-Techniques You Couldn’t Live Without, over at 9tricks. These represent the leading edge in everything CSS is capable of lately. It’s surprising that we don’t have more of it deployed.
A few observations on the list:
We’ve seen 1001 rounded corners tutorials, but none of them will compare with the one-line ‘border-radius’ feature… when all web browsers support them.
Wrapping text around an image – every hack for this we’ve seen deployed so far works in two browsers and breaks in all the others.
The dynamic piechart looks like one of those painfully-obvious image-sprite hacks, but you have to admit you never thought of it until you saw it.
The adaptive layout technique – this is the next feature we’re going to be crying for better solutions for, in HTML6 and CSS4. The massive array of screen widths we now have to deal with, from pocket-mobile devices to ridiculous monitors the size of a swimming pool, is a mark that it’s high time the device took care of more of this for us.
Colour us “jumping to conclusions”, but we’d have to guess that Photoshop is the best-known graphic design tool out there. but it’s not an optimal solution for everybody – the price tag is high, it has a steep learning curve such that you could spend years studying it and not know all of it, and it’s also aimed more for print graphics than web graphics.
For those of you looking for a more compact and economical solution, here’s a list of tools you might want to look into. These are all less costly (all but one is free!) to download and use, and are geared more towards smaller solution sets as well.
If you are a web designer, then there are scores of things that you need to know, so that your websites will be successful. The website that you design must be able to create a rapport between the site and the visitor for a common good. This is one of the many definitions of a successful website.
In addition, your website must be interesting enough to gain the attention of a visitor who may or may not continue on to your site. Thus, there are many things that you need to take heed of in order to achieve a successful website. Here are some useful tips that can help you to become a better web designer.
1. You must be very patient in order to be successful as a web designer. One of the greatest problems that web designers face is the fact that many web designers will try to rush through their work and thus they will often make mistakes. Don’t forget that your website will serve millions of people on the Internet and you need to be patient and meticulous in your efforts, so that you can satisfy a majority of them.
5. A good web designer must be able to balance the use of graphics and Audio – Video files with website viewing efficiency. Using graphics can make your website interesting and pleasing to look at; but overdoing it can cause your web viewing times to slow down. Thus as a website designer, you will have to balance this equation for that particular website.
6. A good web designer must be able to balance out the content of the web site into numerous web pages. This will be better for the visitors and it will also be better for SEO purposes.
7. It is essential for a web designer to know the driving force behind SEO (Search Engine Optimization). It is important for the web designer to be familiar with Search Engine algorithms. This way the web designer will be able to adjust keyword densities and other relevant SEO related criteria.
8. A good web designer will seek professional help and opinion whenever needed.
Good web page design is vital if you are planning on optimising your page for the search engines – and why wouldn’t you?
You should plan the design to suit search engines and your customers.
Some of the things that you need to keep in mind are:
Maintaining a consistent theme for your website plays an important role in how effective your natural website rankings will develop. A properly developed website theme will reinforce the users understanding of exactly what your company is offering. Continue reading
Regular readers on Earth Movin’ Media would know that along with web design, I quite often write about search engine marketing techniques on this blog.
However, for more in-depth search engine marketing strategies – then I also write another blog covering internet marketing strategies and search engine ranking factors for web design and development. You will find it here – internet marketing blog
Writing articles is an art, and something that has long been used as an option to build relevant links to websites for the purpose of Internet marketing. The idea is to write good articles to create great content for search engines.
If you write and submit good quality articles with content that is relevant to your product or service, it can be seen as highly useful and therefore generate lots of relevant, high quality links to your website
So how does this fit in with web design?
You will no doubt be asked along the way by clients to assist in their web marketing. Maybe not in a big design firm where you operate as a designer only. But, if you choose to go out on your own, you will find that you are requested to fulfill multiple tasks that you may not have expected to do.
So here we go.
Using good content, you can create good articles (& blogs) which can then create direct links to the website. This is done in the article BIO that you will be asked to include when submitting articles to directories such as Ezine Articles or Slinky Directory.
Creating good content requires writing on topical issues relevant to the website you want to link to.
Designing a new website or making alterations to an existing one is fraught with the possibility of mistakes and sometimes even blunders. Therefore it is important that you take certain precautions before plunging into your web designing. Failure to do so may land you in delays rather than in quick success. The following guidelines would help you avoid the unnecessary fuss and frustration!
Know your prospective site user: Acquire a good understanding of the expectations of your prospective site visitors. Analyze their needs. What do visitors of such websites look out for? What kind of websites do your prospective customers expect to see? What should be the layout and design of your website copy? Does it need photographs and graphics? Will you need to alter the content from time to time? A thorough customer research will answer all these questions
Keep the search engines in your focus: All web surfers use search engines. Therefore, make sure your site is duly listed in a couple of popular search engines. It is also important that your site links up well internally, and all important pages open with a simple click of the mouse. Your website must be search-engine-friendly for which you must use keywords clearly not only in your website title but also repeatedly in the first paragraph of your web content and text. Remember your key words are the words that Internet users are expected to type in the search bar while looking out for your type of website.
Give usability top priority: Make sure that your web design projects your brand very well. Your site’s usability is of vital importance. If it is not very user-friendly then web surfers will go elsewhere. It is the correct use of key words that makes your website user-friendly. Your texts should be clearly visible and site navigation smooth. Your fonts and colors should look pleasing to the eyes. Your link structure should help people find information quickly.
Remember that the usual top-level menu items are: Home, About Us, Products, Services, and Contact Information.
Simple rather than flashy: The use of multimedia can help you provide all kinds of features making your web pages lifelike and interesting. However, it is advisable to avoid its use if you really want your prospective visitors to gain quick access to your website and obtain the relevant information. It is a good idea to limit flash navigation, which can confuse users if over used. Always make access to your Home page direct from any page.
Focus on speed: Files with graphic formats should never give users long download times or they will be driven away. Remember search engines find it hard to decipher text embedded in graphics and these features take longer to download. Avoid such things as far as possible. Have a look here for more technical tips on website loading and page design.
The total size of your images should be under 30K. Consider optimising your images for size, combining them, and replacing graphic rollovers with CSS.
The total size of external scripts ideally should not be over 8K. Consider optimising your scripts for size, combining them, and using compression where appropriate for any scripts placed in the HEAD of your documents.
The total size of your external CSS should be under 8K. Optimise your CSS for size by eliminating white space in the code, using shorthand notation, and combining multiple CSS files where appropriate.
Below are few tips which can help to guide you if you plan to design a website.
Be organized: one of the greatest flaws, which many novice designers are prone to, is organization. Your web site must be well organized and not just for you but for visitors. Make the navigation tools convenient so that the user can search for information easily. Don’t let your visitor get lost under several layers of pages without a clear way out.
Don’t write too much text: don’t over stuff your website with too much text. You can break up the content and put bullets, bold words or make short paragraphs. This will help the reader understand text easily.
There are many things you would like to do for your website but you should not do.
Here are a few tips that you should do and should not do for a better website design.
So, you are a music lover and would like to have some light background music for your website to set the mood right?
Music should always be kept to a minimum for websites. Files can be heavy and thus increase response times for your visitors. If you feel like you need to use music, then make sure you include an on/off button and try not to use music that may be offensive to other musical tastes. Continue reading
Internet is a great platform for online business. There are numerous websites on the World Wide Web, however, only few manage to do good business. An unappealing and poor quality website is a big failure, as it will have less or no browsers at all. To propel your website towards success you need to know ways to do so. This article will give you some useful tips that can help you design your website well, and generate huge traffic.
It is important to make your website appealing and attractive by adding graphics and visuals. However, these visuals or effects won’t be of any use if the website takes too long to load. A website should not take more than 10 seconds to load or you certainly will lose the browser.
Have quality content on your website. The words you use should be search engine optimized so that the engine finds it easy to locate your website and display it on the first page of Google. You can use tools like word tracker or keyword discovery to find out words that are less frequently used and can help in generating huge traffic.
It is better to use HTML, as it is reliable and a versatile language, that can help you code your web pages. It is easy to learn HTML and is very effective in designing the colour, font, and style of the content on the website.
The navigation buttons used on the website should have fewer words written on it, or it will make the content area crowded and not pleasant to the eye.
If you find some problems in loading your website do not give up but look for professional help. At times your website may have a problem to open up in Netscape due to complex designs, however, you can seek a solution by looking out for an expert in web designing.
A website needs a lot of planning and preparation before you actually work on it. Poor planning can lead to a poor website. Have a rough plan ready about the graphics and visuals to be used, the content, font, style, and color. You should also be sure about the number of pages you need to upload, where and how to place the navigation button and so on.
Before you upload your site you need to register for a domain name. It is an address given to your website which can be easily identified among various websites on the Internet. You may not be able to purchase it but can get it on lease for a period of two years.
It is true that pictures are attractive and speak about the product. However, visitors to your website are more interested in your content and do not waste time in uploading pictures that take time to load. Instead, use quality and unique content that will be useful to the reader.
Taking care of these things will help you catch hold of many browsers. However, update your website often, and revamp the website once in a while, to keep the visitors coming back for more.
Are you going crazy because you have tried an unending list of ideas and options to increase the traffic for your website but nothing has really clicked? Well, then here are a few suggestions to make your website viewable and appealing for most web surfers and increase the traffic for your site.
People like to visit pages that are not linked in a confusing manner. It would be great for you to include a site map of your website for the same purpose.
A site map is a simple web page that includes all the sub pages of your website in an organized fashion. This makes it very convenient for the visitor to navigate to the required page and also increases his/her chances of visiting your website again simply because of its user friendliness.
A web page can contain text, image files, multimedia clips and so on. When the size of all these elements present on a web page is added you get the total number of kilobytes a visitor will have to download to open that particular page of your website. Simply, it is known as page size.
If a person has to wait for more than 10 seconds to download your page then chances are that he/she will move on to the next option he/she has. Though high speed Internet is gaining popularity steadily, yet there are many users who still use orthodox 56-k dial up modems. Thus, it is advisable that you keep your web page under 60 K in size to make it downloadable by maximum number of visitors.
Again, there are many people around the world who still use the old 800 x 600 resolution and you will amazed to know that they comprise around 40% of the net surfers! Thus, even if you have a high-resolution setup, you should still try to design your pages according to 800 x 600 resolution. Otherwise, the visitor will have to scroll though your page horizontally, which can be very frustrating.
Many times while trying to open up a page you have seen the 404 page. These pages have very little information, which states that due to some fault you are not able to view that page. Users do not like to view such pages. However, a good idea would be to make your own custom 404 ‘page not found’ page.
It can have information for the visitor that they have come to the right website but not the right page. It can also have links to redirect the visitor to the home page or the site map. If your website has a search engine, then you can also include the search in your custom 404 page. After this has been done, all you need to do is to ask your web host to set it up so that you can use your own 404 page.
To boost the speed required to open your page, you can add a forward slash (/) at the end of the URL of that page. This is done to remove one of the steps that the web browser would have to perform. This way the speed is enhanced and your page can open up faster. However, if the link points towards a particular file (a PHP/ASP page or an html page) then do not use the trailing slash.
These are a few tips that will make your website a pleasant search for the surfers and a user friendly- site for the visitors.
Have you ever wondered why some Websites look and perform better than others? It is because many web designers are caught in a web of myths, and cannot manage to produce the desired effects and results. Here are some common web design myths that can have an adverse effect on your Website.
Myth – Only Good Content Can Determine A Good Website: While good content does indicate a high quality website, it is not the only criteria. Your visitors need not only to be educated, but also entertained at the same time. No one would like to look at endless pages of high quality content if it is does not contain presentable graphics, images and interactive menus. The key is to find the right combination of content, graphics, and images that enable your Website to run at optimum speed as well as provide the information required to your visitors. If your Website targets mainly the younger generation, then they are not be attracted by good content but will instead, be more impressed by high quality graphics, video and images.
The business web site is there for the customer. Keep your customer in mind at all times. Don’t become so enchanted with showcasing your company that you lose sight of the reason your visitor came to your site. If you lose him once, you are not likely to get him back for a second chance.
Good web sites have changing content and changing design. If your site looks like it has not been updated lately, can your customer actually depend on the information he finds there? Well designed web sites allow for easy updating within the structure of the site. The best designs offer a dynamic site which has something different each time the visitor returns. Talk to your designer about options for automating your web site content.
• Navigation should always be simple and easy. Websites with unfriendly navigation miss the traffic. A navigation key should help you easily browse through web pages without any difficulty. If your navigation system is vague, the visitor will get frustrated and leaves the site never to come back. All successful websites use simple navigation keys.
• A web layout helps you decide what content comes from the first page until the end page. It lets you know where exactly you want to use graphics and where and how many pictures you want to insert. It will also help you decide on which font color, background color and the text color to use.
• You can make use of templates as well, and edit it to upload on your website. However if you do not wish to be a part of the herd make sure you go for less popular templates.
• There are many layout tools that help you look at the website before you can upload it, so that you can amend the required things.
• There has to be a flow in your website. You just cannot place any content or text anywhere. The content and the graphics used should have a meaning and it should in connection to the previous content.
• Make sure that the content you use is correct and beneficial to the readers. The language should be simple and words easily understood. Always use pleasing fonts and colors.
• Always use limited file size that makes the website easy to be viewed.
A well-planned layout is a foundation of every website and thus should be careful in drafting it. A simple and easy to understand layout will help you generate a better website. Seek a professional web design help so you know you are on the right track.
Web-designers use CSS or Cascading Style Sheets for separating page content like paragraphs or images from the stylistic elements of the page. These stylistic elements may comprise of colour, fonts, layout etc.
The term generally used for this is ‘Separation of Content from presentation.’
CSS represents a breakthrough in web designing as it equips web developers with the ability to control styling and layout of multiple pages all at once. Web designers can choose a style for every HTML element and apply it to multiple web pages at per their requirement. To effect changes globally, the style needs to automatically update all elements in the web.
However, many people refrain from using CSS just because they lack a proper understanding of it. It nevertheless is worth investing time to learn CSS, as the advantages gained through its use are tremendous.
Network marketing provides wide opportunities selling at substantial profits. When you plan to use Internet marketing for your MLM business you have to ensure that you come across as a professional. Your website should describe your business and your professionalism perfectly.
Equally important is to ensure that your website is content rich, so that visitors find it quickly in their search engine listing. You get good traffic by ensuring that you use appropriate content and keywords that best describe your business.
A very important aspect of an Internet marketing business is seller’s reliability. Even before you sell or introduce your products, you have to come across as someone trustworthy and reliable. Once people start to place their trust in you, you will be able to put forth your product to them. Continue reading
If you have designed your own Website or have hired professionals to design it for you, then there are some essential steps to be taken before, during and after the Website is up and running. Failure to do so could result in a monetary loss. Here are some vital tips to avoid losing money on your Website design.
Plan In Advance
Even before touching your keyboard or your mouse, make sure that you have a well-documented plan in your hand. You should conduct a detailed research on your target audience, their needs, their software and hardware capabilities and the amount of money that they might be ready to shell out, once they have access to your site. This survey will enable you to place the right design and the right products in front of your target audience. Just designing a Website and waiting for visitors to arrive and provide business is like shooting in the dark. You just might find a bullet ricocheting off a wall and striking you. A geographical, cultural and financial profile of your target audience is thus necessary, before you start designing your website. Continue reading
Search engine robots recognize text only and thus your Website should also be injected with high-quality content that is totally relevant to your business format. You should hire Search Engine Optimization experts to research and inject keywords and Meta Tags into your Website, so that all search engines display your Website at the top of all related searches.
This will greatly increase your site exposure and thus result in higher traffic and hence more business. High-quality text should be placed within the borders of eye-catching headers, footers and background graphics, in order to present an attractive looking Website.
One of the biggest mistakes a website owner makes is – they envisage a website that is all ‘looks’ with little thought put into Internet marketing.
They spend thousands of dollars on a ‘pretty’ website full of flashy effects which brings in $0 in revenue. You have to ask yourself, what good is a flashy website without any visitors?
Sure major companies spend a lot of money on making their website extravagant, flashy, and interactive, but they already have traffic because of their name. The last thing a smart business owner should do is copy the idea of having an expensive flashy website like those large corporations.
A smart business owner understands that for a website to sell it’s main focus needs to be copywriting and marketing, and will put design second.