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Websites are there for two reasons. One of them is to inform and the second is to sell you something. In either case, one of our prime objectives is to keep people there as long as possible and to also get them to follow through and do what you want them to do. With current technology and the codes available, the ability to create a phenomenal website is accessible to everyone who really takes the time and effort to find the necessary codes or right designer. Classy well formatted websites with clear well signposted directions to get the user to follow should have a better response than a brash in your face objective. We have probably all seen those straight up and down sites that …

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All websites are basically trying for an objective of some description. You are there to inform about a company and what it has to offer or a club and what its fixtures and news are. The third kind of website is one that both offers and sells you something. The carrot and the stick kind of website, this kind is the most prevalent on the web, the commercial website in some sort of form. Making it clear to your users how your website works need to be the first priority once they have landed and started to read. The basic information to enlighten your public of what kind they find where and how the website works is important and usually consists of your menu as …

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Visitors should always be encouraged to stay on your site. Leading them off your site is in my eyes just plain silly.  You don’t want them wandering off and having to click a back button to find your site again. If they are on your site and following a certain topic and there is an off site link to an article it really needs to be in a new window. Many of the websites nowadays are making it impossible to use a back button to leave their site, and you will have lost your customer completely. While I certainly agree internal links should always be within your site and not in a new window or tab it is also very important to make sure that …

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Google and Google Chrome have a great many extensions available which are there to help you in your work as a designer. There is a drawback to many of them that I see and this is something I do not like on my own computer no matter how good they might be. Too many of these applications require access to your computer. If you download an application you can at least check it for Trojans and hijackers, etc. However, when someone has access to your computer from afar, even if they say they don’t take advantage of it, it provides a hole in your security, I cannot like. The first application I am looking at is Awesome Screenshot. This application does access your computer, and …

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Nowadays, with the advent of smart phones we have websites just set up for them. It can take the form of a stripped down version of the main site but for these cell phone browsers we need to have a special way for them to see the current important aspects of the website. Once we have the website up, and it is ready to roll, we do need to test it before we make it public. There are many phone types out there and we need to make sure that each type is compatible. This is a tiresome task for someone with only one phone which I am sure is most of us. Hence it is time to look for a few internet tools. The …

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Most of the WordPress fundis are already using All in One SEO but now we have Joost de Valk’s Yoast. This is said to be “the most complete SEO solution” available anywhere.  It certainly seems to fit the bill. There is, however, one little problem.  The Yoast is not that easy to install and get working. Because of this we did a few experiments and will be attempting to lead you through the installation. Once you have uploaded Yoast to your admin Panel you will find a tab with the Yoast logo on it which you have activated. Now let us set about making it work for us. We will need data transfer. Make sure all your data is transferred here. The best way is …

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Drupal is an open source platform that has many modules that you can use as add-ons. There are so many, in fact, it will be hard to pick my favorites. All of them add their bit to the overall usefulness of the platform. This is a good alternative to WordPress. Yes you heard me use that word. I am prejudiced and I admit it. The first add on module I collected for you is Menu Block. With this instead of only having a top level menu you can create a multi navigation feature and have them as either fly outs or as the drop downs. This module enables you to pull the navigation together and place them where you want them. The next I liked …

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Anyone who is collaborating with a number of different people on a project could find this plug-in extremely useful. This comes from WebDevStudios and it means that you have a place where you can do several projects in one place.  This is a very useful feature.  Brad Williams has thought this through very well, and I foresee a great future for this tool. I know I will definitely be using it myself. Collabpress allows you to have all your items in one place with emails, tasks, projects, and a calendar as will as user accounts. The overall effect of this is it acts as a command post. Once you have downloaded and installed the plug-in you will need to activate it. This you will find …

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For those of you out in the freelance or web design business there is nothing more important than giving yourself a good brand. I have recently been looking for people to help me for a project on a freelance basis, and I am going to share with you some of my findings and how in all probability good designers and graphics artists didn’t even make the short list. It might well give you pause to think about things from a perspective of a prospective employer. Now admittedly I know a fair amount both about web design and branding and also about graphic design so maybe I am a little more discerning when I look. I logged into various sites that I know of that have …

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Many times we have fonts that we show decided preference for. Learning to experiment with fonts is important although you have to keep in mind usability on the web. Too often we tend to get restricted by the fact that certain browsers change fonts to what they consider the nearest available which can result in a hideous mess. There are ways around this but right now we will go with the type of fonts that mix and match and whether we can use more than one or two types. The fundi’s are always telling us that the maximum should be two, and they need to be well matches, however, I have seen sites with up to five or more fonts that really looked great. Of …

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