Website Design

Updating old designs – Easy upgrades

The web is an ever-evolving medium – it never stays the same for more than a moment!  That is why your website needs to be updated frequently – not just in content, but in design.  Your website should be updated to stay current with the newest design practices as well as the newest tech tools and functionality.

This article discusses some simple things you can change on an old website without much effort or re-working of the HTML coding – ideal for situations where you don’t want to go for a full re-design but want to make some minor changes to improve your website’s appeal.

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Save time with PHP! Create photo galleries automatically.

Large photo galleries can be a pain to set up and manage. When you are dealing with 100 or more images, you are in for some serious HTML data entry – tons of lines of code with only a few differences in each line.

In this article, I’ll provide a sample script that I have used and adapted for several galleries and other similar tasks. This article is meant for developers, but I will do my best to take as much of the “lingo” out of it as I can, and explain and document it well. Even if you don’t know programming or PHP at all, this should be a useful tool for you. I developed this with only a basic knowledge of PHP syntax and a bit of guess and check.

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Web Designer Tools

We have searched and found some great free tools for web designers.  Below are descriptions and where to find some great tools we have stumbled upon:

Free clipart

Web Generator

Free Photo Gallery Generator

There are several programs to choose from at this link

Free CSS templates (Which we do not use)

Maximizing Your Website’s Full Potential

Whether your website is for business or personal use its important to follow certain guidelines to ensure users have a good experience .

Theme/Color – This is the first impression the user gets when visiting your site and can be the determining factor if they stay or leave.  When creating a theme for your site keep it simple.  The easiest way to do this is by designating areas for your header (logo/banner), navigation, content, and footer (copyright, contact info, etc) that fit together to create a square/rectangle on the page.  When picking colors try picking ones that flow together and are easy on the users eyes.  There are many tools on the web that can assist with this such as a color wheel which help with getting lighter/darker shades and colors that compliment each other.

Navigation/Menu – This is another crucial part to your site and should be visible on all pages near the top or in a sidebar for easy access.  A menu may also be placed at the bottom for your users convenience if your site content is long or you have a flash (elderly users or older browsers may not recognize this) navigation.  However the bottom of your page shouldn’t  be the primary source of navigation.  Another thing to remember is to never have broken links because they look unprofessional and can frustrate the user.  Even if a page is not up yet you should still never leave the link broken.  Simply create a page letting the user know the page is currently under construction and to check back.

Content – This can also make or break your website.  When adding content be sure to break it up with line breaks, bullets, images, different alignment, etc.  A user does not want to sit and read a wall of text, they want to get the key information easily.  If a page is really long there may be a chance that you could take a section and place it on its own page.  You also want to make sure you keep related information together and unrelated information apart to avoid confusion from the user.

Footer – The final thing in maximizing your sites potential is creating a footer for the bottom of your pages.  A footer should contain copyright information and your contact information such as address, phone, e-mail, etc for quick access to the user.   The footer should not however replace a contact page.

9 Reasons Your Business Should Have a Web Site

1.  Your web site provides customers with basic contact information.

2.  Many people research products and services on the internet prior to their purchase.

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Website Navigation Tips

One of the basic and fundamental features of any quality website is navigation or usability. Once you get visitors to your site, you cannot allow them sit around staring at a page attempting to figure out what to do. It’s your task to make it easy for visitors to quickly, with little or no thinking, see what information is available and where to go to find what they’re looking for.

Before you go blasting NAV links all over the place you should first consider the style and placement location on the page. There are two primary possibilities for link style – Buttons & Text links.

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Design Outside the Grid

Recently I have noticed many trends with Web sites. It is usually the same old layouts with strict columns and a box style grid. It is time for a change and to have some more thought out layouts than just columns with a header and footer.

The future of Web sites involves using a background image along with the layout in conjunction. For many years we have put patterns and one color backgrounds in our sites. It is time to  evolve into large background images and integrating those images into the layout of Web sites.

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