Author Archives: Miranda28

Common Mistakes in Web Design

7-website-mistakes-700x300There are millions of websites out on the World Wide Web, but for every well-designed page, there are countless websites with poor layout or mistakes. So how do you keep your websites from falling under the category of ‘poorly designed?’ It could be difficult to know what classifies as a mistake when designing a page, but there are some common blunders that even the best website developers make when it comes to professional or personal pages. Here are some of the most common mistakes in web design to avoid when you are getting ready to launch your business online:

  • Too much text

    – If you have a lot to say, it could be difficult knowing how to pare it down to the essentials. For those who are used to writing printed content, understanding that online content is much different is the key to appealing to visitors. You want to keep the content simple, easy to read and even scan-friendly. Simple ways to do this within the design of a website includes adding bullet lists, subheadings and shorter paragraphs. Break up text with graphics to keep the page even easier to read.

  • Hard to read font

    – One way to quickly get your readers to leave a website is to use hard to read fonts. Use simple, sans serif fonts to keep it simple for all readers – and never use overly scripted font! Sans serif fonts, such as Helvetica or Arial, are two of the most popular options on the Internet for their simplicity and ease. Always use a dark font on a light background – using a dark background and light font is very hard on the eyes. When designing a website, it’s important to keep all readers in mind!

  • Keep advertisements to a minimum

    adventure– While advertisements are a great way to drive income from the website, they often get in the way of a user’s navigation. That being said, using design elements in the website that imitate an advertisement could prove to be futile, as Internet users have become accustomed to avoiding anything that looks like an advertisement. If you implement banners or pop-ups in your web design, the average user might mistake it for an advertisement and avoid it all together.

  • Don’t disable the ‘Back’ button

    – When you prompt links to open up in new windows on the browser, there are varieties of issues to consider. First, an Internet user now has to deal with countless open browser windows when navigating around the website. Next, by prompting the user to interact with a new browser, they are unable to find their way back to the previous page by clicking the ‘back’ button – this means once they leave your website, chances are they won’t return.

  • Implementing different colors for links

    – Have you ever been on a website with countless links that take you off into different aspects of a website? When you return to the list, do you remember where you’ve been and which links you haven’t used? Make it easy for readers to navigate around a website by creating an accent color for visited links – making visited links visible prevents browsers from clicking the same links and becoming frustrated.

  • Add a search box

    – If you have a lot of content on your website, make it easier for visitors to find what they are looking for by adding a search box. When a user can’t easily navigate around the website, incorporatng a search box as a backup provides the next best solution.

These are just a few of the common mistakes in web design. The bottom line is: keep it simple and user-friendly so you don’t have to worry about confusing or frustrating visitors.

Important Web Design Terms – 10 Words You Need to Know

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????When it comes to web design, there are dozens of terms that are used to refer to certain aspects of the design process – and some are important to know so you can quickly and efficiently create websites and understand the various components of them. While there are countless words a web developer or designer should know, some are essential and basic enough that every designer should be able to identify the concept. Here are ten of the most important web design words you need to know:

  • Accessibility

    – This refers to a website being accessible for those managing a range of disabilities. Visitors with hearing or visual impairment, color blindness or other disabilities should be taken into consideration when creating a website.

  • Back End

    – The back end of a website is much like the back of a store, whereas it is not accessible to visitors but is there to house the vital information for a website, such as the content management system.

  • Bad Neighborhood

    – When shopping around for a website host, try to avoid hosts referred to as ‘bad neighborhoods.’ Always read the terms of service before signing up to avoid being hit with penalties down the line.

  • Bounce Rates

    – You always want your visitors to stay on the page, but the bounce rate indicated the percentage of users who arrive at the site and leave without navigating to other pages.

  • Content Management System

    content-management-systems– This system allows you to create the look and content for a website, using platforms such as Joomla, Drupal or WordPress. The CMS provides a range of tools to customize the layout or design.

  • Elastic Layout

    – The elastic layout is essential when it comes to adjusting the font size and width. Ems and percentages are used to accommodate the stretching of the page with hampering the look of the website.

  • Ems

    – An ‘em’ is a unit of measurement used to describe the size of a font. The larger the font, the greater the ‘em’.

  • Fixed Width Layout

    – Just as it sounds, the width of a layout stays consistent no matter what the page is viewed on – such as browsing window or screen resolution. By maintaining a fixed width layout, a website developer can implement more control over what the page will look out on computers or mobile devices.

  • Focal Point

    – Wherever the eye is naturally drawn on a website, that is called the focal point. This could be anything on a page – from a text block to an image or advertisement.

  • Template

    – The look and layout of a website can be determined by the layout. When using a content management system, developers or designers often have a range of templates to choose from depending on the needs or specifications of a business. The template not only features the stylistic elements of a website, but also the structural data.

These are just some of the important terms to know when creating a website – there are dozens of terms that describe the technical aspect of web design, as well as the layout and style. Spend time before creating a website to become familiar with some of the terms – begin with the basic words, such as URL or some of the above mentioned words and build upon them for a deeper understanding of web design. Comprehending many of the important terms of design will allow you to create an exceptional website, accessible and user-friendly for all visitors. Familiarize yourself with a range of designs to get a feel for what works, and what doesn’t.

Link Building and its Effect on Search Engines’ Ranks

linkbuildingLink building refers to the process of posting your links on other websites so as to improve your SEO strategy. The more links you have, the better your SEO will be and the higher the rank you can achieve. So how does link building help you in achieving this? Actually, when you have many links pointing to your website, search engines find your website to be Monroe authentic and credible. As such, they allot you a higher rank. In other words, you can regard link building as referrals, and you will need to acquire them if you want to be top or at least close to it on the search engine’s results pages.

Now that we have presented a quick review, let us consider link building in detail.

The Importance of Link Building

Link building increases your visibility

When you have more links, you are increasing your visibility. More people can view your content. If you can be appealing, they may even want to avail your product or services.

Link building can help you in branding efforts

Like we said, link building increases your exposure and provides you access to a larger audience, which increases awareness about your company. As long as your content is valuable, you will be able to entice quite a lot of people.

Link building can help you in building traffic

When more people view you links, more of them will access your website. As such, you will be catering to increased web traffic, and if you use the right strategies, you can easily tap into this. Do this in the right way, and a lot of leads will convert to sales.

Link building improves your rank

This is the most important benefit of link building. It can help you in achieving a better rank; the more links you pots, the more towards the top your website can be.

Link Factors that Can Affect Your Website Ranking

As already mentioned, link building helps you achieve a higher rank on the search engines results pages. Obviously, other factors also affect your rank, but link building makes a really notable contribution, which you should cash into.  While at this, there are three main factors which you should consider.

Link Quality

Generally, it is thought that the more links you have, the better your rank will be. However, the actual rule is slightly modified.  It goes as the more quality links you have, the better the rank will be.

The main point here is that you should not just have links; you should have links that are of a high quality, meaning that you post them on reputed websites. If this is not so, your link building tactics will fail to bring you the results you want.

Number of Links

Other than the quality of links, Google also considers the number of links. If this number is higher, Google will regard your website as more valuable, and assign it a higher rank.

Anchor Text

anchor-textAnchor text is the process of embedding text with a link. Search engines regard these as a manner in which websites describe one another. As such, if you point a link at your website in this manner, search engines will think that you are an expert in that niche. So along with links, you should also make use of anchor text.

Strategies

Now that you know what link building is and the way in which can affect your rank, let us come across another important factor. How can you set up links for yourself? There are plenty of ways with which this can be done, but only the most effective ones are viewed here.

  • Social media is the best way to share you links. Speak out and provide your followers the latest updates.
  • Blogging can help you in building links, but you will have to share your content. You can use social media for this or a link building tool, but for the latter option, you will have to pay an amount.
  • If your website contains images, you can embed them with links. Search engines will be able to catch this and increase your number of links.

 

Source:

Popular Web Fonts – 10 Fonts to Consider for a Website

Fonts_by_Mr_LaysHave you ever come across a website with a font style that you could just not read? Believe it or not, some professional – as well as personal – websites utilize hard to read fonts that should never be used in web design. While there are plenty of fonts that look nice for different projects, there are some popular web fonts to keep in mind when creating a page. These popular web fonts are easy to read and complement a range of websites:

  • Helvetica
  • PT Serif
  • Georgia
  • Arial
  • Verdana
  • Tahoma
  • Times New Roman
  • Fedra Sans
  • Adobe Caslon
  • Courier

Choosing a Font

When it comes to selecting a font for a website, there are some things to take into consideration. Readability should be the number one concern when selecting a font type – in fact, choosing one that is too hard to read will prompt many visitors to leave a website! There is more that goes into choosing a font than the style of the typography alone – how does the font look when it’s minimized or maximized? If your visitor needs to increase or decrease the font for readability, it needs to be easy to scan and be gentle on the eyes.

Another thing to consider when choosing a font for a website is a complementary style – using the same font for all the text on a page ends up looking boring and basic. For this reason, many web designers use two typefaces – one for the body copy and another one for headlines. Keeping the body copy simple and easy to read is essential, but there is a bit more freedom when it comes to the headlines. Use the headlines or eye-catching words to get creative or use a fancier font. No matter which fonts style you select, they should always pair together well on the website.

The size of the font is also important. The default size of body copy is 12px – so be sure to use 14px or 16px for the accenting or headline copy, just so they are different enough in size to be noticeable. It’s up to the web designer on what size font to use, but it’s vital that it’s easy to read and shouldn’t be any larger than it needs to be – unless that’s what you want on your website!

Top 10 Mobile Design Mistakes

build-or-make-a-mobile-websiteWhen creating a mobile website design, you want to follow a few simple rules. Avoiding these simple mistakes can help your design not only stand out, but also bring in new customers on a regular basis. Here are the ten most common mistakes and how to avoid them. Also, read our other article about webdesign mistakes

Mistake #1: Forgetting Devices Come In All Sizes

Some websites work well on screens that are only 1.5-2″ wide, while others need a screen that is 4-6″ to be able to see everything. Remember when designing your website that mobile phones come in all sizes, so you have to allow for a responsive design that can accommodate nearly any size mobile screen.

Mistake #2: Forgetting Fingers Come In All Sizes

_65166775_65166774If your website has a lot of little spaces, some fingers may not be able to access those spaces. This seems to be especially true for mobile sites that are geared toward male users, as their fingers tend to be larger. Make the part of your website that require interaction large enough for everyone to use equally.

Mistake #3: You Tried to Make an Old Website Responsive

Using an old website and converting it just means flipping the old files into a converted form. This leaves the file sizes very large, making the website slow for mobile users. You are better off starting your website over when updating if you want mobile users to use your site regularly.

Mistake #4: Expecting People to Fill In Small Forms

Small forms are hard to work with on large websites, but when the size of the site is small, it’s next to impossible. Keep forms short and to the point if you want all of your visitors to fill in the blanks.

Mistake #5: Not Using a Responsive Design

Even the best website will not work for mobile users if the design of the website is not responsive. Use a theme that changes depending on screen size, and this mistake can be avoided entirely.

Mistake #6: Too Much Fluff in Content

Mobile users often prefer to skim the content to find only what they need. When websites have a lot of fluff, it makes skimming more difficult. Keep your content to the point and keep your visitors happy.

Mistake #7: Forgetting a Home Icon

home-icon-jpgWhen mobile users enter a new page, they like having the freedom of going back to the home page so they can navigate around your website. If you forget a home button, they have no way of getting back, which may cause them to leave your site for good.

Mistake #8: Large Graphic Use

Websites, whether mobile or standard, will slow down with large graphics. The more pictures or animations you have on your website, the slower it will load. This is especially true on mobile devices, as they need sites to load as quickly as possible. They have smaller processors, so they require the smallest file sizes possible.

Mistake #9: Redirects that Go Nowhere

This is not only confusing for mobile users, this can also freeze up their devices. You always need to make sure your links work properly on as many devices as you can test them on. When in doubt, ask friends with different phones or devices than what you have access to for help.

Mistake #10: Forgetting to Ask for Input

People are often ready and willing to help out when they come across something that doesn’t work on a site they otherwise like. If you give them a location to offer suggestions or point out problems you may not have noticed, they most likely will give you feedback. Forgetting to leave a place for this can leave you in the dark about your website when people come across problems that you haven’t yet noticed. Just remember, if you are giving people the option of giving feedback, take it seriously and make the fixes as people point them out.

SOURCES:

http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2012/02/common-mobile-web-design-mistakes/

https://developers.google.com/webmasters/smartphone-sites/common-mistakes

http://venturebeat.com/2013/04/01/make-the-mobile-web-better-by-not-making-these-4-responsive-design-mistakes/

What are the Top 7 Content Management Systems?

Best-CMS-Platforms-for-WebsitesDespite the complicated term, the idea of a content management system is simple – it’s a web application that accommodates HTML content. By featuring HTML material on a website, owners can control the look and feel of the page in addition to creating or editing the basic functions of a website. There are countless content management systems out there – some more popular than others – but they all offer website creators a variety of tools and functions. In addition to a range of options, these managements systems are free to try out and create webpages, with the option of paying a nominal fee for domain names or other upgrades. Here are the top seven content managements systems currently available:

WordPress

– This is one of the most popular and easy to use content management systems. This publishing platform provides users with an extensive collection of free website templates and an ample assortment of customized templates for an additional charge. Bloggers and businesses alike use WordPress for its clean layout, easy widget applications and HTML functions – those just starting out might find this platform to be fairly valuable.

Joomla


– As an open source solution, Joomla is free and offers users thousands of custom designs and features. Easy to use and mobile friendly, Joomla allows users to upload a range of content including documents, videos, photos and text in a matter of minutes. Many established businesses around the world, including Ikea, Ebay and the United National Regional Information Centre all utilize the features and extensions provided through Joomla.

Drupal

– Similar to Joomla and WordPress, Drupal is another content management system that allows users to efficiently organize and customize content on a website. The extensive selection of modules and designs make it appealing to those with personal blogs or websites, in addition to major organizations and corporations.

SilverStripe CMS

– As an open source platform, SilverStripe simplifies the process of creating a website. Though not as popular as Joomla or Drupal, this content management system is fairly new and growing rapidly in number of members. Website developers have an assortment of widgets, themes and modules to create a professional or personal page.

Cushy CMS

– For those who aren’t really sure what they want and appreciate the ability to make unlimited changes or create a number of websites, Cushy CMS is idea. Simple editing tools are implemented into the management system that allows users to select or define aspects of the page to change without the need for any programming.

Frog CMS

frog– Need a professional website? Creating one in Frog CMS is simple and provides users with a sleek design and range of templates. Frog CMS also features an essential assortment of file management tools – ideal for those who want to create a website for a business or organization.

MODx

– Developers who want 100 percent control over the look and feel of a website will be pleased with the management system through MODx. Templates are easily customized through HTML and there aren’t any design restrictions to worry about – quick and simple!

These are just a few of the top recommendations for content management systems – some of which are popular and widely used, as well as those up-and-coming platforms that offer ease and custom designs to build pages in a matter of minutes. Depending on the needs for a page or desire of the developer, any number of these management systems can create the website needed for personal or professional use. Not sure which one will suit your needs the most? Since most of them are free to try, it’s always a good idea to play around with the different features and options of each of the content management systems to get a feel for which platform works best for your needs.