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Category Archive: Design

Web Design Tools

web-design-toolsThere are lots of web design tools out there for people to play with. They can help you design specific parts of your websites, like your graphic content and fonts, or they can help you design your website as a whole. If you are looking for a few tools to help you make your website stand out, then consider these tools the next time you are trying to give your site a new look.

Fontello

This tool allows you to customize the website’s fonts and graphics. You can download the font and graphic library for free, and only include the ones you want on your website. You can have specific fonts or graphics for each page, or use the same unique fonts for the entire site. It’s totally free to use as often as you would like, and can quickly bring your website up to the next level.

Trello

If you want a site that’s organized and easy to set up with multiple tasks, you may want to consider Trello. It’s free, easy to use, and can be customized for nearly any need. You can set it up for yourself or for others, share files, or just put up a list of tasks. How you want to use it is totally up to you, but it’s something that can help any site go from a mess to a structured success.

SquareSpace

This is a relatively new option that lets you build up a website from scratch. They have some templates available, and they can all be customized to meet your needs. The best part is you can even set up your website as part of a totally free trial. If you like how the website looks, you can buy their services, but if for some reason you don’t, you can simply walk away without any obligation.

IM Creator

IM Creator is a free to use website design tool that lets you start off with either a blank canvas or a professional template and customize it precisely how you want. You can get started building up your website in seconds, and you can have it live and ready for viewers in just a few minutes. The best part about this tool is that the templates that IM Creator offers are also mobile optimized, allowing your website to be instantly accessed by mobile phone users.

BrowserStack

When you are testing out a website for mobile users, sometimes it is difficult to be able to find all of the different mobile devices to be able to check which browsers are compatible with your site and which aren’t. Luckily for you, BrowserStack gives you access to all sorts of browsers for testing purposes, allowing you to check as many as you want all at the same time. This saves you time, money, and frustration if you find out down the line that a major browser does not give users access to your website.

This Is Responsive

This app allows you to figure out nearly anything about a responsive website you could ever want or need to know. People have been trying to learn about responsive web design for quite some time, but that task is difficult due to the fact that everything is consistently changing. Well, This Is Responsive keeps you totally up to date and fully stocked with resources that can help make your website perfect for any user that visits your site from a handheld device.

Compressive Images

When looking at a website, the quicker it loads, the better. This is especially true for those who have a lot of mobile visitors. Well, compressive images allows you to still have the images your site needs to catch a visitors attention, but at a smaller file size so that your website can still load effectively and quickly. The picture quality does not decrease, and your pictures will still show up with the crisp detail you want, but the file sizes will remain low to let your website work as efficiently as possible.

SOURCES:

http://www.creativebloq.com/design/20-best-new-tools-web-design-and-development-2012-5132776

http://www.creativebloq.com/web-design/best-website-builder-8133804

http://www.creativebloq.com/responsive-design-tools-8134180

 

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Good Web Design

There are millions of websites out there on the Internet – how do you get yours to stand out from everything else? Web design is every bit as important as finding the right Internet address or creating content that drives traffic to the page. One of the most common misconceptions about web design is that if it looks nice, it will become successful and while a nice-looking website is always a great way to start an online business or to boost the Internet presence of a traditional business, the usability of a website is the most important factor to consider.

Identify Your Users

When creating the look or feel of a website, you must keep your users in mind – if they don’t know how to navigate or utilize the features on the page then they serve no purpose. One way to stand out with good web design is to:

  • Understand the way in which users interact with websites

  • Figure out what users think about when they arrive on a website

  • Identify the behavior of Internet users

Once you have these three components down, you can move on to creating a page with ideal web design. Internet users are in a hurry, which means most of the time they land on a page they scan the words, browse around and click on a link that catches their eye. In most cases, a visitor to a website won’t even click on the different sections within the webpage! If the link doesn’t take a user where they need to go, they often use the ‘Back’ button to the previous page and try again. When it comes to a website, users want ease – using the Back button to retreat on a website is preferred and offers quick results. For this reason, it’s a good idea not to direct links to new browser windows as it creates difficulty to return to the previous page and reduces the likelihood that a user will go back to the website and continue browsing.

Content Over Design

Keep this in mind when determining the design of a webpage – users prefer content over design, so don’t compromise the quality of content on the page in an attempt to attract visitors to the page with a sleek design. Internet users like to have control of what they see and how they get there, so make it as simple as possible to ensure traffic over time.

Good web design is about keeping it simple and user-friendly, so it should always be self-explanatory and easy to navigate. For this reason, including visual clues within the design makes it easy for visitors to a webpage to find what they are looking for in a timely fashion without frustration! The less a visitor has to do on a webpage, the happier they will be and it increases the chance that they will stick around and visit other pages or engage in marketing campaigns set forth throughout the website.

The actual design of the website should use patterns, words or design that capture the eye. This could range anywhere from a featured word or phrase against a simple background or a media-based component. Though some users might find an auto-playing video annoying, it does serve the purpose of capturing a user’s attention. The tone of content is also an important aspect in good web design. Use a tone that matches with your user demographics – keep it professional and informative without turning into a marketing pitch. Bold or italicized print is often overlooked and always be sure to break up blocks of writing with graphics or images – users don’t want to read large paragraphs on a website when they are searching for specific information.

Overall, a good web design is one that speaks to your users and keeps it simple – browsers are looking for information and want to find it quickly, so always choose clean and simple over complex!

 

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Social Media and its Effect on Search Engines Ranks

social-media2Social media has become one of the most important marketing tools out there. Businesses across the globe are utilizing it widely and so should you. It can significantly affect your rank on search engines, and if you can somehow use it the right way, you will be able to increase your online visibility. What makes us say this? Because social media is considered a vital part of search engine success factors and if you want a better rank, you will have to use them well.

Here we present some of the most fundamental ways in which social media is affecting your rank and contributing to your SEO purposes.

Social shares can be used for link building

Search engines consider link building to determine if your website is valuable and provides quality information. You would already have used it for acquiring a better rank. Traditionally, this was done through blogs and articles, but now things are turning towards a change. Link building is now based on developing content and then sharing it on social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. These links are then used by search engines to determine the credibility of your website and accordingly a rank is allotted.

As an example, if there is a link that has been tweeted a lot will be more visible than one which was never tweeted. The reason behind this is that the tweeted link contained valuable content and so was shared more.

So if want a better rank, share your content on social media and gain traffic from there and from search engines later on. And remember you content must be valuable and engaging.

Google Author Rank increases your website’s credibility

Google has a feature which allows you link your content with your bio and account. This integration is then used by search engines. Include the rel=”author” tag in the HTML code of your website and this will connect with the bio given on your Google page. The website will also appear on your profile then. Now when search engines receive relevant queries, your author listing is also displayed.

The Author Rank feature is important for building your website credibility. Implement it and you will gain a higher visibility.

Social media shares can increase indexing speed

As already mentioned, social shares are important. Thus if there are more links to your website, search engines will index this content in their rankings at a faster speed. When you use social media, it does not take much time for a link to become viral. This significantly improves the indexation speed. Factors such as the number of people who shared the content, the time period in which it achieved these shares and the influence of the sharers are also considered.

If your content is shared or retweeted extensively, you can decrease the indexation time by as much as 50%.  As for the time which Googlebot takes to find the content, that is reduced to just 2 seconds from 2 hours.

Social followers can improve your ranks directly

The number of followers and connections which you have on social media make another significant contribution to the rank. Just keep one thing in mind; it is not just this number that is important, there are other things as well. While you should have more connections, they should be characterized by quality. Having spam followers will not help your rank.

Generally, if your connection is another reputed company or some of their representatives, you will be able to benefit your rank more than if your followers are just ordinary people with hardly any connections.

Source:

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10 Web Design Terms You Need To Know

termsDesigning websites has become more commonplace over the last few years. It allows novices to come to a blank slate and make something that has the potential to be remarkable. The problem is that some terms are a bit complicated when a newcomer tries to break into the field. Here are some of the most common terms you should know and a basic definition of what they mean.

Back End:

This refers to the part of the website that makes it run. This is where the information goes up into the website, where all of the controls are, and where you go to change settings for your website. The front end, on the other hand, is what people see when they visit your site.

Crop:

This is when you trim down pictures to make them smaller and fit more readily into your website’s content. You can either shrink down the picture to make the whole image smaller, or you can crop an image, taking parts of the picture off to make the image that is left smaller.

GIF:

This is a picture file type that is small and easy to put up on websites. They often use just a couple colors and simplistic designs, plus they can also be animated.

CMS—Content Management System:

This talks about the part of your website that you put the content into. Normally, the type of platform you use will dictate the type of CMS you use. Each different CMS you have available will offer you different ways of displaying your content to your visitors, so try using different styles and see how it looks.

Saturation:

This is the intensity of colors that you use on your website. The higher the saturation, the more intense the colors are. If something has a low saturation, the colors are more subdued.

HTML:

This is the language computers use to convert all of your graphics and text into a readable format on a website. It converts everything you decide to put onto your website into a language that other computers can read.

Content:

This is the part of your website that helps give information of some type to your viewers. This is often the words you place on the website for people to read, but it can also be your pictures or graphics that are put on the site to help make your site valuable.

Embed Codes:

These are codes you can put into your content that let the people visiting your website look at items from other sources without ever having to leave your website to do it. Many people use embed codes to put video links into their content that allows their viewers to watch a specific YouTube video without having to leave the site first.

Below the Fold:

This is referring to any content that your viewers would have to scroll down to see. The content you have at the bottom part of your page or your footer often have to be scrolled down to see, making them appear below the fold. This term dates back to what was below the folded mark of a newspaper and has since carried over to the world of websites.

Favicon:

This is the little graphic that represents your website on the tabs of your web browsers. They can also be used elsewhere in your site, but they are always small in size. They are only 16×16 for the small pictures, or 32×32 for the larger ones. They can also be miniature versions of your website’s logo, making it easier for your visitors to recognize your website.

 

SOURCES:

http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/non-designers-web-design-glossary

http://www.therustypixel.com/web_site_design/website_design_technical_terms.php

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/05/21/web-design-industry-jargon-glossary-and-resources/

 

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10 Most Popular Web Fonts

fontsChoosing the right font can make your website perfect. However, choosing the wrong font can also cost you customers. There are many different fonts that are quite popular all over the internet. When it comes to deciding which is the best for your site, take a look around and find a font you like. Here are some real solid places to start, in no particular order.

Fontin

If you want a simple to read font with a little bit of personality, check out Fontin. It is very easy to read, but it isn’t so plain that it looks like you typed it out on an old fashioned typewriter.

Lato

This font is increasingly popular all over the internet. It is easy to read when plain, italicized, and bold, and it helps your website stand out from those only using the standard serif font.

Montserrat

This font is quite round, but very simplistic in its styling. There are some curvy characteristics to the letters, but none of them are so scripted that they become difficult to read. This is one of the fonts that is growing in popularity the quickest.

Ubuntu

If you want a font that is easy to read but has a unique personality, Ubuntu may be the perfect font to turn to. It cuts off the tails of many of its letters, but still remains simplistic in style and clear to read.

Lobster

For those seeking out a slightly scripted font that gives both personality and style, Lobster is a route to consider. It curls around to show off, but stays simple enough to be easily read through all parts of a website’s content.

Franchise

When your website needs to have all of the items in caps, you may want to consider Franchise. It’s simplistic, but elegant, and keeps everything on your website looking structured and organized.

Apercu

This font is very simple in its styling, but very elegant when used in a website’s content. It can be hard to read if the font is left small or not bolded, but if the font is left larger, it is simple for many different uses.

Skolar

This font is very popular on many websites currently due to its ease of use and personalized style. It looks pretty on most backgrounds, but is not so feminine that it’s not universally applicable.

Gotham

Gotham is a font that can easily be customized on many different websites. It has different looks for italics, which makes it appear almost like a new font, without having to change the font originally chosen. This versatile font can be placed on almost any type of current website.

Open Sans

If you happen to prefer the typewriter look, or your site has something to do with writing, then there is no better font to go with than open sans. This font is easy to read under any circumstance, and it gives a very plain look to sites that could otherwise appear cluttered.

SOURCES:

http://www.typeandgrids.com/blog/the-ten-most-popular-web-fonts-of-2013

http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/top-10-fonts-designers-love/

http://www.awwwards.com/20-best-web-fonts-from-google-web-fonts-and-font-face.html

 

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