The web design tips are continuing this week on the web design Staffordshire twitter feed and we still have loads of great web design information to offer next week and beyond. Although a quick web design win via twitter is really useful the 160 character limit can make writing the web design tip that much more of a challenge than needs be.
So the purpose of the blog follow up is to be able to fill in some of the gaps left.
The first web design tips article was expected to cover the first ten web design tweets but hit the word count max about half way through, so we’ll mop up the next five tweets here and then go to the ten tweets at a time format, with about two tweets per day and a web design blog about once per week.
So from your friendly neighbourhood Staffordshire web design firm, here’s the next five tweets
Web Design Tip 6: Consider the font and size of text on your web site. A common sans serif font works best, like Arial.
Web Design Tip 7: Check that your text scales well (view -> Text Size in Internet Explorer) Also Changing the text size and allowing page zoom makes your web page accessible and usable by people of all abilities and disabilities. It’s important that your web pages are available to all your users. Spending some time changing the text size and zooming to check what your web page looks like is time well spent. what does your page look like when it’s zoomed
Some web browsers allow both text resizing and zooming, others just zoom. To zoom the web pages on your website, press control (ctrl) and the plus key on your keyboard.
Web Design Considerations for Web Browsers
Web Design Tip 8: Check your website in a the most popular browsers. See how it looks in both Internet Explorer and Mozilla. Chrome is getting popular, so check this one too
Web Design Tip 9: Even though its a bit old now, Windows XP users are stuck with Internet Explorer 8, so make sure your website still works in IE8
Web Design Tip 10: You may not know this but a lot of government and NHS organisations are still using Internet Explorer 6. So you do still need to check your site works in this browser
Making sure your website works well in different browsers is called cross browser compatibility. At the start of last year there were only really two important web browsers you needed to worry about, Internet Explorer by Microsoft and Firefox by the Mozilla foundation.
Since then the Chrome web browser by Google has really taken off and is fast becoming a first choice for many users. Also, with the explosion of the iPad many more users are browsing with Apple’s web browser, Safari. At least looking at your website through these browsers might well be worth the time.
Once you are happy that your website design works well in the latest version of all the main web browsers you have to turn your attention to the legacy browsers. Most web browsers update incrementally and automatically. Microsoft Internet Explorer releases security packs but also has very distinct versions which will display your website differently from one version to the next. Windows XP users are not able to install any version of IE above version 8.
Many government institutions and the NHS still use Internet Explorer version 6 (IE6). The reasons for this come down to security and the costs of maintaining these very high levels of security in updated versions. Whether this is good or bad is up for debate, what you have to live with is that they are using these old browsers and your website needs to display properly in all of them.
To test websites web designers use emulators to see what the web page will look like in the older versions of the web browser, or sometimes we keep old machines and use them purely for their old versions of web browsers. The emulators can be found and downloaded easily enough.
Another consideration is of course making sure that your website displays well on mobile devices, but this is another area to cover and would probably need to be a web design blog in its own right.
Quick 5 Web Design Tips, More Design Tips to Follow
A shorter article this time around, but fear not as the tweets on the web design Staffordshire twitter feed will be running for this week and next at the very least with more web design blogs to flush them out.
So until the next web design tips blog, this is web design staffordshire signing off.
A new survey out this week indicates that web design and web developers may be looking towards Google products over Facebook for future social media development, but also that Android is set to lose out to Apple’s iOS.
These possibly conflicting findings are interesting Philip Brassington, director at and technical lead Rake Mark Web Design Staffordshire. As a web developer with over 10 years experience, he takes an interest in such matters for Rake Mark.
“The report seems to be offering two different perspectives to where the web developer community is heading” he said.
According to a new report by mobile platform company Appcelerator and analyst firm International Data Corporation (IDC), more developers are looking at using the Google products over Facebook. Apps like Google+, search, Gmail and developing for Android, Google’s mobile operating system are becoming the focus for future social media development.
With 2,173 respondents from developers across the world the survey found that 39% said the network effects of Google’s initiatives are more important to their social strategies in 2012 than Facebook’s social graph.
The website Mashable reports that Appcelerator principal analyst Michael King has said “Google is learning some good lessons from Facebook about what not to do and what to do better,”
“We didn’t expect Google to expect to do so well against Facebook, but it puts them at an advantage. Many developers now see Google as offering more opportunities for growth than Facebook.” he said.
Oddly, Mashable reports that the survey found that developers have expressed less interest in developing Android apps this year and are more likely to develop apps for iOS. This seems to be a slight contradiction in the report’s main findings of developers looking towards the android platform.
The report also stated that HTML5 is set to take a prominent position in 2012, playing a bigger role in the mobile app market in this time.
Further, around 79% of mobile developers indicated they plan to integrate HTML5 into their apps in 2012. 53.5% said they are focusing on mobile strategies. Only 27.4% said this in 2010.
The Web Design Market in 2012
Rake Mark Web Design has already noted some interesting trends this year and this new report offers interesting insights into the web design market in 2012.
What does this report mean to staffordshire web designers and firms employing web designers in Staffordshire in 2012? Philip Brassington believes that the key takeaway is the need for mobile web.
“We have seen a huge uptake in 2012 for mobile compatible websites and mobile web design and this report adds the concrete foundations to our previous findings.”
It seems that the Staffordshire Web Design firm’s previous findings are firmly being held up.
Rake Mark Web Design has been tweeting out interesting web design information, web design articles and company information for some time now and we’ve gained nearly 1000 followers in the process, but during a meeting a couple of weeks ago we talked about adding real value to our tweets to give a genuine benefit to our twitter followers.
The web design tips series of tweets was one of the ideas that we thought of and one we have started with. Everyone loves a quick win, and a quick win that can increase your website’s effectiveness and your profits is good for everyone.
Although twitter is perfect for quick web design tips popped out through the day, it is easy to miss one, so here is a summary of the first ten web design tips, with a bit more information to help you get the most out of your website.
Web Design Tip 1: Always allow at least 250 words of text on the homepage in your design. Google Loves Text & your readers want info
This is primarily an SEO tip, if you have very little text on the homepage of your website then there is less for Google to crawl and index. The other side to this coin is that your visitors came for a reason and if they can’t find the answer to their query in a few minutes then they will leave. You can’t really give them much of a reason to stay in less than 250 words.
Web Design Tip 2: Make your phone number prominent on your homepage. Customers gain confidence, even if they don’t need you now.
There’s nothing worse than visiting a business, loving the website design and wanting to contact the business in question and having to search for their contact details. Even if your visitors aren’t trying to get in touch right now, your landline in a prominent position on your website will give confidence that you are a legitimate enterprise and here to stay.
Web Design Tip 3: Make sure you have a bold, unique logo that expresses your brand. Your logo is one of the most visible images associated with your business and your website.
Having a memorable logo will help casual observers remember your business and your website over your competitors. Firstly people will associate the image with your business, but ideally in time they will associate your logo with your industry. If you consider the Michelin Man, when you see that prominent logo, either the full detail or just an outline, you probably think tyres before you think of the brand.
Web Design Tip 4: Take your logo and make a ‘favicon’ from it. Your favicon is the little logo that is seen in the web browser when visitors are browsing your site.
The teeny logo that is shown on the web browser when someone visits your webpage is just another string to your branding bow. They can be tricky to design, but Rake Mark or your web designer should be able to help you out.
Web Design Tip 5: If possible, trademark your business name and your logo. It’s not as complicated as you might think.
Rake Mark Web Design trademarked our business name and logo a couple of years ago to protect our brand. It isn’t really a specific web design tip, but it is a good design and branding tip and the process really wasn’t all that difficult. We filled in all the papers ourselves and filed them with the modest fee.
More Web Design Tip And Web Design Tweets to Come
So that’s the first 5 tweets and I’ve also hit my self imposed ‘approaching boredom’ word count. The web design tip tweets are ongoing on a daily basis, so follow along by joining twitter and following the Rake Mark web design twitter feed.
Rake Mark Solutions have this week launched the new website for Staffordshire arborist trainer, Ian Morgan. The new promotional website www.ianmorganarb.com provides a wealth of information regarding the wide range of tree care and arboriculture courses that the new arb training company provides.
The Stafford Web Design company, Rake Mark, were contacted to provide the new website in the last quarter of 2012. During the initial web design consultation, business owner Ian Morgan, was keen to keep the design emphasis on the natural colours and shapes of the arborist industry without being too obvious.
Lead designer, Sarah Brassington, felt that the colours and bold but natural shapes were important for the overall look and feel of the site. She believed that it was important to provide the correct visual clues without being in the face of the website visitor.
“We wanted customers to arrive on the site and feel that they were in the right place, but Ian was determined that this wouldn’t be done by slapping a big tree on the logo and homepage.”
The brand was developed using natural autumn browns and deep summer greens blended on simple leaf shape to provide the bold ‘Morgan Leaf’ Logo for the arborist training firm. The natural brown and green shades were continued throughout the website and have been adopted as the corporate colours of the company.
The site is specified to be content managed to allow the Ian Morgan Arb team to update their website themselves. This has been incorporated in the project to provide the Ian Morgan Arb team an easy to use web interface allowing them to add and update pages and leep the information on their website fresh without the need for specialist web designers to be employed.
“Ian needs to be able to add and update course information” Sarah Brassington told us. “The web interface means that any of the team with the correct security clearance can update the site from anywhere in the world.”
Although the team members are used to using computers and are highly computer literate some training was provided by the Rake Mark web design team to help them understand some simple HTML code and to better understand the content management system.
Staffordshire arborist trainer, Ian Morgan is well known within the arb industry for his high quality training ability and has been training students to climb and care for trees for a good number of years now. Ian and all of his trainers are experienced in the industry and have a wealth of knowledge and tips to pass on to candidates to make their job safer and more efficient
You can book any of the wide range of arborist and forestry training courses or find out more by telephoning 01785 330377 or you can find out more by visiting the brand new website, http://www.ianmorganarb.com. The team are happy to help you find the right course for you, today.
Rake Mark Web Design provided Ian Morgan Arb with a website that was designed to their own specification and was developed to allow them to update and manage their own website. Training was provided to make sure that the website was usable from day one and Rake Mark support Ian and his team through any difficulties they may face in the day to day management of their website.
Find out how Sarah Brassington and the Stafford Web Design Firm, Rake Mark can help your business get a personally designed yet affordable web design today on 01785 256 222 or go to the Rake Mark website at www.RakeMark.com.
A number of SEO consultants are up in arms this week after reading a new report conducted by Intelligent Positioning. The report discusses the positioning of the website Wikipedia in Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS). According to the report by author Sam Silverwood-Cope the Wikipedia web pages are featured on first page for 99% of Google searches.
The concern is multipied by the apparent low quality of many of the pages that some of the very general searches take you to. SEO consultants across the industry have been blogging and tweeting about ‘poorly written content ranking higher-quality websites on the same subject’ ever since a story relating to the report apeared on Search Engine Watch.
According to the Search Engine Watch story, ‘Wikipedia is the No. 1 result on Google for 56 percent of searches, while 96 percent of searches saw Wikipedia in one of the top five positions.’
Mr Silverwood-Cope found that Wikipedia did “extremely well” on geographic and scientific searches, as well as food and clothing.
“If there was one place taken up in every search by Wikipedia, then that would mean there is one place in the Top Ten for possible PPC paying corporations.” He said, adding that this was ‘just a thought, not a fact.’
Google Scam or Quality Website Aptly Rewarded?
Although the SEO world is up in arms, is the outcry justified? Philip Brassington, a Director at Rake Mark Web Design, Staffordshire thinks that the SEO world has maybe over reacted. The main critisism seem to be that the searches lead to very poor web content or low quality web pages.
“At first glance you might think that Wikipedia is being unfairly favoured by Google but when you look a little deeper you find that the very general single word keyphrases used often lead to excellent content.” He said
Other members of the internet community have added their own support to Google and the findings of the report.
Stuart Duncan said “Google helps you to find answers. Wikipedia gives you answers. You do the math.”
Steve Da Cunha commented, “Gotta love Wikipedia I’ve learned a lot from that site”
In repsonse to the 99% claim made in the report Jochen Wiedmann said, “And rightly so…. cause. at least for me, it’s the link I am most likely to follow”
Is this a website unjustly promoted by Google or a raft of relevent web pages with simple effective web design served up by a search Engine to the public.