The Road to Resilient Web Design

posting right content, facebook

There is a lot to keep in mind when it comes to web design that will last the test of time. The biggest fear is that you will put together a great looking web site and then in the course of a year, you will discover that this will simply not be relevant any longer. Finding a great web design company will be one of the best steps that you can take to help you have a site that will be around long after you have decided to not need the web site any longer. There are also a few other things that you need to make sure that you look at while on the road to a website that is second to none.

Finding a Theme and Adding Content

Finding a theme that you can get behind will be the first tip that I give all of my clients. I tell them that you need a theme that is happening and current as to help keep more people to coming to your site from time to time. If you use a theme that is outdated and not that attention worthy, you will need to make sure that you update it on a regular basis. This will make sure that you are on your way to staying relevant and you will not fall into the trap of not being late and great.

Next make sure that you have content that people actually want to see. Everyone thinks that they know what the world wants to see. The truth of the matter is that often times, they have no real idea as to what is and is not wanted by the public. One way is to make sure that the content that you post is up to date and that it is what people are looking for and talking about. Don’t post something that is popular at the moment and then just let it linger without new content. That is a real good way to find you falling out of popularity on a lot of the search engines.

Links, Tags and Meta Data

Tags are your best friend as well as your meta data and anything else you can use to help and gain the attention of search engines. These are the things that are looked at and what is used to help determine if your site is worth being looked at or not. If you have links and tags that are pointing to relevant content, then you will be ranked a lot higher than you will if you just let it ride. Don’t just assume that you know it all when it comes to popular tactics for being relevant in the modern web era.

A little knowledge will go a long way for you in trying to get your site to be seen by the masses. If you seem to be struggling, then you need to make sure that you think about this article and take the needed steps to ensure that your site will not just be overlooked and ignored.

Quick Wins for Improving Performance and Security of Your Website

Web security, upgrade to HTTPS

We are all looking for that one or two things that will help us to improve the performance of our site as well as keeping it as secure as it can be. While this is not always an easy thing to accomplish, the surprising thing is that it is a lot easier than one might think that it is. The following things that are listed in this article are designed to help things run better all while increasing the security of your website. Taking a few of these suggestions into consideration will make for a lot easier flow to your website.

SSL and HTTP

The first suggestion is to encrypt SSL. This is something that should be common sense and yet it seems that it is not always the first couple of things that are thought about. This can increase your performance and will give you a natural sense of security when you need it the most. More and more sites are encrypting with SSL in an effort to help and increase their security with the threat of hacking and cyber threats being higher than they have ever in the past.

Use HTTP/2 as part of your design. This is the older and much wiser brother to HTTP/1 and has allowed for a number of features that make things a lot more streamlined and as a result a lot easier to proceed with on a regular basis. These performance improvements have led to many developers saying that their sites tend to load a lot faster than they did with the older version and that as a result has seen them have a lot more traffic to their site on a regular basis. So if you are still using HTTP/1, then you need to upgrade and do yourself a huge favor.

Safety and Compression of Data

The use of Brotli compression is an advantage in the fact that unlike Gzip, this results in the size of files being a lot smaller and as a result allows for there to be more files stored and taking up less space. Those that are stuck in the past will not want to let go of Gzip, but when they finally let it go and embrace Brotli compression they are a lot happier and forget about their ex as they have a better new girlfriend in regards to their compression needs.

Making sure that you are using web images instead of JPEG or PNG will lead to you seeing an increase in your load times on your website. This is a huge advantage and one that many people will want to run with when it comes to their images on their site. Since images are so vital to a good website, it is advised that you go with web images for your needs.
As you are able to see, there are a lot of advantages that you need to look at in using these wins for increasing your performance as well as increasing your security.

5 Ways to Improve Your UX Design

UX Design and SEO

When it comes to digital design, there are a lot of people that will think that they have to take the rule book and throw it out of the window. The truth of the matter is that sometimes you need to take a chance and trust your gut feeling in order to make a wise decision. This approach can also mean taking things back to the bare essentials and thus make your life a lot easier. So in the course of this article we will look at a few ways that you can improve your UX design and not lose what little hair you have left.

Take Time to Focus on the Big Picture

If you have a big idea, then you need to make sure that you focus on that and tune out the rest of the noise that will distract you from getting your idea out to the rest of the world. This can be a make or break concept that if you forget it from the beginning, can lead to you not having nearly as much success in your design. Often times a person will lose perspective and will let other things get in the way of them succeeding.

Research is Not Always Your Friend

While it is important to get an idea of what people are looking for, you need to make sure that you go a little more to the side of not always relying on what it is that the public tells you. Take this as an example; had Henry Ford listened to the public, instead of cars, he would have had faster horses. You can always go back in the end and make any little adjustments that need to be made. It is important that from the beginning you trust your instincts and go with what you think people are looking for in regards to new ideas and not just making something that already exists better.

Keep it Simple Stupid

This sounds like it should be common sense, but a lot of people get too involved with what they are doing and do not keep their eyes focused on the bare essentials. While you may get the UX right from the beginning, you need to really make sure that you don’t get lost in regards to the content. This is again an area that seems to have a lot of people confused on a lot of occasions. Just remember that you need to keep the design simple and not get overwhelmed by the small details.

Look at Your Content from the Beginning

We all know that content is king and as such we need to make sure that we keep that in mind and are thinking about content from the start of our process. If you fail to accomplish this, you will look like you simply shoved something in as a secondary thought. When you do this, you are actually doing more harm than good.

Don’t Let Small Things Get in the Way

Don’t let small detail be what derails your ambitions. We often times let the small potatoes get to be much bigger than they really should be and as a result we tend to really throw our development off. As mentioned earlier in the article, keep yourself focused and not let things distract you.

How to Avoid Prototyping Pitfalls

Web developer doing prototyping

In web development prototypes seem to be over used on a regular basis. This has in the past led to an issue of prototyping and the pitfalls that are associated with this subject. There are ways that you can avoid this if you are careful and know what you are doing. The best way to do this is to take the advice contained in this article and to run with it and implement it in your everyday life. You will see that soon you will be avoiding the pitfalls and will be well on your way to getting web development that is out of this world. This will be looked at as your guide to avoiding pitfalls that commonly befall a person in their web design.

Use Good Plug-Ins

The biggest pitfall you will generally encounter is that of things not always going as they should in the process of development. When this happens, you will have side effects that will be generally very much on the negative side. This can be avoided if you use plug-ins that are reliable and that are proven to have been tested on a number of other platforms. Also if you over use plug-ins, then you will generally find yourself in a situation where the pitfalls will all but come to you.

I have seen a number of people that have taken their time to create an app or a web site and they think that will be almost perfect and when they went to go and implement it, they find out that it is anything but reliable. When this happens, you will find that all your efforts will have been for nothing. By using things that have been approved and tested, you will have a successful web development that will get you the needed results.

Remind Your Failures

If you have a failure, you need to make sure that you access what went wrong and how you can alter things in the future to avoid the same issues. Many people will not learn this lesson and as a result will generally keep falling for the same pitfalls time and time again.

As you can see, there is a great amount of advice that you can get when you take the time to look at the potential pitfalls and go out of your way to avoid them at all costs. Even something that may seem to not be a big deal can quickly turn into something that you will need to make sure that you go to great lengths to avoid these in the future.

The Developer Tools You Need to Know

Website building, programming

If you are a web developer, then you know there are a ton of tools out there that are designed to help you make the task a little easier. The problem is usually trying to find the right tools for the task at hand. It is for this reason that you have come to the point that you are reading this article and hoping that within it will be wise words that you can take into the world and make the task of developing a little easier for you to accomplish. I am happy to inform you that your wishes have been granted and there are a number of tools that are designed to help make your life easier.

UKit Website Builder

This is by far one of the easiest tools that I have used in quite some time as it makes the chore of doing the development a snap and allows me to produce a top of the line website in a fraction of the time that it used to take me and as a result I now have a lot more free time on my hands. One of the things that I really love about this is the drag and drop interface that is presented to you. I have seen people out there that were new at web development and as a result they would not know what to do. I often suggest that they use this tool as it is one of the most intuitive ones for a person to use on a regular basis even if they have never developed a website in the past before.

Usersnap

Here is another example of a development tool that is a breeze to use in helping to develop a website. While it does have a few minor things that an experienced developer might find annoying, it is worth using for a person that is not as experienced as they won’t notice the little minor issues that will pop up from time to time. This also offers the option for java script errors to be reported to you so it can make things a lot easier for you to look at and figure out where the issue is. This is the one feature that many of the advanced users tend to like when talking about why this should be considered for web development.

Goodbarber.com

Looking for an awesome web developer tool that is amazing and will not be a hindrance in you trying to get your website developed, then you need to make sure that you go with Goodbarber.com to create a website that is second to none and will not be difficult to use unlike a lot of the sites that are out there on a regular basis. This is an amazing platform that is great for developing mobile apps that will be used for a number of purposes. There is almost nothing that you can’t do when you use this site to help and develop a mobile app for your business purposes. Their support is easy to get in touch with and will allow you the chance to get some amazing experience under your belt for you.

How to Use Markdown in Web Development

Web development, Html coding

If you have never used Markdown in your web development then you have not been getting the most out of your web site development. There are several ways that you can use Markdown in the process of your web development. After one time of doing this, you will be asking yourself why you had not done this sooner in your web development. We will look at a few things that you need to make sure that you keep in mind when you get ready to use this in the process of developing a website.

First Steps

You first need to make sure that you choose a Markdown editor that you can use for your developing process. Making sure that you have an editor and an interpreter for the site will be crucial as if you don’t have these things, you will need to make sure that you convert before you publish the Markdown. Having an editor will make your life a lot more easy and will make the process of working with Markdowns that much more smooth.

The next thing you need to be aware of is that of headings. Setting up your headings in the right manner will make a ton of difference in the way that the entire operation will run. Many people go into this and have little to no idea what a heading is and how exactly it relates to them, the simple truth heading can make or break what you are trying to accomplish if they are not done properly. The way that these headings are done will differ between if you are going with incoming or outgoing. The way that they are laid out will be crucial in helping you to have titles that will work for what you are trying to accomplish on the web development.

HTML coding and Paragraphs

It is important that you markup your paragraphs. Often times this will get overlooked and will not be given the importance that it really should be given. Marking up a paragraph is a very easy thing to accomplish and can get you some amazing results that you might not have known were possible. The process is actually quite easy as you will want to make sure that it is laid out in a manner that the whitespace will be ignored when using the right HTML coding. This is another example of how using markdown in your web development can greatly assist you in your development needs.

As you can see the connection between web development and markdown is something that can make a difference in the ease it will be to get a quality result from your efforts as well as it will make sure that your website will have a very easy and professional layout for your efforts. This is not nearly as hard of a task to accomplish as it once was as there have been a number of tricks and methods that have been used to make this process a lot easier than it used to be.

Web Design Tools You Need

Adobe fireworks for Mac and Windows

We all know that at times web design can be a bit of a problem especially when it comes to finding tools that you need and will want to have for your design. It seems like every day we are hearing about a new web design tool that has come out that is supposed to make a person’s life that much easier. The truth there are a lot of tools out there that you need to just ignore and instead look at a large number of the ones that are on this list to help you get the most from your web design efforts.

Adobe Fireworks

Unlike Photoshop, this is a tool that really gives the user a ton of tools for them to use on their website. This program works on both Mac and Windows and allows a person to take their web design to the next level. While this program is not going to change the world as you know it, there is a good chance that it will lead you to be able to do more with your web design than you had ever thought was possible. While you may think there are better alternatives out there, for the price you are going to pay, you are not going to find anything better.

Dreamweaver

If you have done anything that relates to web design, then you are aware of Dreamweaver and all of the amazing things that you can do with this piece of software. There is not a lot that you can’t do when it comes to using this software it is also one of the only pieces of software that can work hand in hand with all of the other Adobe products including Photoshop. Hands down is still one of the best things going for web design. The next tool is a little more restrictive in the things that you can and can’t do when developing a website.

Panic Coda

One thing that is amazing about this piece of software is the fact that it is shareware which allows you the chance to use this and share it with others that you know in the same industry. The features are basic which allows good things and makes things a lot more difficult in the fact that you are limited. If you are new to web development, then you will want to use Panic Coda as it is very easy to learn how to use. This will in the end be the tradeoff that you will have to decide if it is worth it or not.

All of these in the end along with Firefox Developer as well as Photoshop will be tools that you will want to make sure that you have at your disposal when you are looking to develop a website. It is a known thing that if you have the right tools at your disposal, you are able to accomplish almost anything in the world of web design. You will need to make sure you get the right tool for your particular job.

Get Started With Web Accessibility

Visual impairment, Web accessibility

When talking about the subject of web accessibility, we are talking about the ability for a person with disabilities to be able to access your website. Many people think of every little detail and often times forget to even put any consideration into this subject. The following article will make this topic a little easier for you to understand and will put a lot of concepts in front of you for you to give consideration to. Let’s get started by looking at what this entire subject involves.

The Type of Assistive Technology

The first thing that needs to be addressed is the concept of screen readers. As you might expect from the name, this is talking about the type of assistive technology that takes the text on your website and puts it in either braille or will read the text to the person. It is important that your site is developed in a way that allows for this technology to be used and for the person to know what is being displayed on the screen.

One thing you need to make sure is that the site is easy to see. If a person has a visual impairment, then they will need to have a site that is easy for them to see without too much trouble. This should be considered when developing your site as to avoid any issues and a person that is visually impaired not being able to actually see. So make the site easy to see, that moves things onto to the audio side of things that we will discuss next.

Easy Access Increases the Traffic

If a person is having a hard time to hear, then they will not come to your site and will tell others in the same situation that they need to avoid your site as well. A few simple little tricks will help to make sure that this issue is avoided and that those that go to your site have easy access to audio assistance and that it is easy for them to use and hear. Keeping this in mind will increase the amount of traffic you get from people with audio needs.

Make sure that the site is easy to interact with as we have advanced in our technology, we have got to the point that people that have issues typing or with touch screens are finding it harder and harder on a regular basis to use a number of the newer sites that are popping up on a regular basis. Take time to make sure that your site is taking this concern into account and that it is easy for a person to interact with on a regular basis. All of these little things can make the use of your site a lot more appealing to those who are coming to your site on a regular basis and who are dealing with an issue that may make your site being accessible that much more difficult. A little effort on your part will make this a lot more enjoyable for everyone that comes to your site.

The Importance of Good Web Design

importantce_of_design_web_on_pointy

A bad web design can date you, as easily as avocado green tiles date an old-fashioned bathroom. Home buyers, like website customers, look for the most current designs when they are looking to purchase a home, and for online visitors to your website looking to make a purchase, each page on your website is like a new room they are entering in the tour of that home. It needs to be tastefully decorated and modern enough to wow them. To take a look at what makes a good web design, you might want to check out some award winners at webaward.org. The WebAwards is given out by the Web Marketing Association based on seven design criteria, which include design, content, copywriting, use of technology, innovation, interactivity, and ease of use.

What Makes a Good Design?

From a personal point of view, a good web design is one that your particular audience finds appealing. However, from a structural point of view, a good web design is one that looks good no matter what device is being used to browse it. There are a few elements that are common in today’s designs that meet both a personal appeal while paying attention to structural requirements. They are:

Large, Unique, Fonts – Larger fonts are easier to read on smaller screens, like those on smartphones and tablets. If they are also unique, they become more memorable and can be associated with your specific brand. Thus, having a unique, large, font can be a stylistic choice that helps your business and is part of good website design.

Simple Navigation Menus – Embedded menu structures can make it hard to find a specific page of interest. Search functionality also is available for someone who doesn’t want to deal with menus. Complicated menus are particularly hard to navigate with a fat thumb on a smartphone. That’s why simpler menu structures are more functional as well.

Flat or Semi-Flat Design – Design elements like shadows or embossing can be distracting for users who prefer a more minimalistic approach. A flat design can also refer to a layout that scrolls rather than navigates via navigation buttons, as swiping is far easier than clicking on small devices. Not only is this more visually simple, but the pages tend to load faster using a flat design.

Large Visual Elements – Images and videos are important in modern design as people prefer to listen to a video on their devices that try to read tiny text. A video can take the place of a homepage to provide an instant introduction in a dynamic way that text cannot do. Pictures can grab more attention and are easily sharable on places like Pinterest and Instagram, as well as Facebook and Twitter.

Good Web Design Draws Attention and Traffic

Good web designs don’t just win awards, they also draw tons of traffic. That traffic is the lifeblood of any business and can be converted to dollars at the end of the sales funnel. When the content on your site is attractive as well as compelling, it becomes easy to attract more customers and gives your business long-range stability.

Design Vs. Function

Design_vs_function_meeting_on_pointydesign2

In the same manner that you make judgments based upon someone’s appearance when you first meet them, your website visitors are also developing first impressions of your website design alone. Unless your website takes an inordinate amount of time to load in their browser, design typically trumps functionality for the user’s experience. However, the same is not true from a marketing perspective. Functionality then trumps website design as the end goal of all business on the Internet is to close that deal. Sales are impacted at different stages via either design or website functionality.

Why Design Matters Most for Customers

To gain traffic, businesses need to focus on the design of their website. You want to create a favorable first impression so that those visitors return again and again. Some of the biggest design factors that impact traffic are:

Responsive Web Design – Since April 2015, Google began to boost the rankings for mobile-friendly pages on all sites. That also effectively means that those that aren’t mobile-friendly are downgraded in comparison. Responsive web design is a layout that makes it easy for people on mobile devices to scroll through and search your site on smaller screens. Simple layouts, flat design and color choices, and easy-to-read fonts are characteristic of these types of designs. If a customer with a mobile device visits a site that is not mobile-friendly, it can be burdensome to try to navigate the site and search it easily.

Look and Feel – Layouts that are too complex, garish use of colors, intrusive popups, print too tiny to read, and more will turn off a first time visitor. Even before a customer reads a single line on the website they are making judgments based on the look and feel of the site. If they don’t feel comfortable with the layout, they are less likely to trust the brand. The look and feel should be designed with the ideal customer demographic in mind. Elderly users need larger print. Younger users prefer less corporate styles. Find out what your ideal shopper wants and then deliver that design.

Why Functionality Matters Most for Businesses

Once you know how to attract traffic, the next goal for businesses is to convert it into paying customers. This requires a website with high functionality, particularly if it is an e-commerce site. Functionality isn’t just about the mechanics of the site, although that’s a large part of it. It’s also about how the content management strategy meshes with search engines to attract the target demographic. It can break down as follows:

Site Functionality – Are there broken links keeping people from going to your offers? Is the shopping cart easy to add and delete items? How many payment options are available? Do the pages take too long to load? These are all important factors when trying to keep people on the site long enough to complete an order.

Content Managment System (CMS) Functionality – Does your company have a regular publishing schedule? Fresh content is important to give your site a dynamic presence. It also must be content that is optimized for search engines via Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Without these techniques, your website may not function as well to drive the right traffic to the right offers, reducing the potential for closing a sale.

Both Design and Functionality Impact Sales in Different Manners

Thus, while it is crucial to put out that good image to attract new visitors, it’s also important to pay attention to functionality if you want to make that shopping experience smooth and seamless. Companies, like Apples, know that it takes more than a beautiful image to attract attention. It also takes expert functionality to make sure your customers are delighted even after the sale. Their flat, sleek, menu designs with no shadows or extra visual elements to distract the user, make it easy for their customers to navigate and search Apple devices. Such minimal design also gives the company it’s futuristic image.