WordPress Tips

WordPress is one of the best website and blog builders in the world, here are some beginner tips

Wordpress Tuition GloucesterPermalinks

WordPress can create silly url’s for your posts and pages that include @ and % signs. A little tip is to change the permalinks. Go to Settings -> Permalinks and then click post name. This change the url to the name of your post or page.

Yoast

SEO is really important for obvious reasons, Yoast is a easy to use plugin that can transform your website/blog SEO. It will guide you in changing your Focus Keywords, SEO title and Meta description. Yoast will even tell you if the SEO for your website is bad/good/okay.

Sidebars

Sidebars are used a lot in WordPress, sometimes they can become cluttered and too busy. Its important that you keep them tidy and fresh to not scare your visitors away. You can edit your sidebars by going to the following path Appearence -> Widgets.

Great Plugins to try

  • WP-SpamShield By Scott Allen
  • Advanced Access Manager By Vasyl Martyniuk
  • TinyMCE Advanced / for extra menu items (Visual Editor)
  • Black Studio TinyMCE Widget / for a bespoke widget
  • WordPress SEO by Yoast
  • Google XML Sitemaps
  • NK Google Analytics
  • Contact Form 7
  • Floating Social Media Icon

Thanks for reading….

2015 Design Trends

2015 has brought about a few new design trends

Flat Design

new design trendsNo doubt if your a graphic designer you have probably heard of this design trend, it has many influences from the swiss style and bauhaus. Flat design has become more increasingly popular this year and this is mainly due to apple releasing ios7.

Blurred full screen backgrounds.

This design trend is mainly been on websites, it features a full screen background that is blurred to make the look of buttons and text a lot clearer. By applying this to a website you can immerse your visitors in a visually stimulating adventure.

Grid Layouts

Grid layouts have become especially popular on portfolio websites, it allows the creator of the website to show their work in a easy to see grid which can be any size. Some people even opt for grid layouts that show different size squares and shapes but make up one big grid.

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Designing Mobile Friendly Websites

Here is a few tips for Designing Mobile Friendly Websites

The Design must be simple!

Mobile Responsive Website Design Services GloucesterThe screen of a mobile is a lot smaller than the screen of a laptop, make sure you have a lot of space between links to avoid users ‘tapping’ the wrong link. On mobile sites its much more important to consider how well the user can navigate more than the overall design.

Content is King

Study’s prove that people are more likely to read something if it has been split up into small sentences rather than big clumps of text. Users are interested in your contact information so have it ready for them, make it easy for them to get too.

Single column layouts rule!

On a desktop site you have lots of options in regards to layout but on a mobile Its much easier for touch screen users to navigate through one single column rather than trying to navigate through multiple columns.

Use Social Media

Most mobile users are more likely to follow and ‘like’ your social media pages, so make sure that you have this in your site, make it easy for the user to share content from your social media feeds.

Building Website Trust

When building website trust you will need to have authority and a good reputation. Here are a few good ways to achieve this and gain the rust of your website visitors.

Customer Logo’s

customer website trustHaving logo’s from other company’s on your website is a great way for potential clients to put their trust in you, they see other businesses using you in a successful way doesn’t only speak a lot for your work but shows that you are an experienced professional.

Blog/News

News about your company is not only a novel way to interact and build a relationship with your clients, its also a good way to show off your company’s skill set, awards and case studies on customers, this in my opinion will make you look more trustworthy and adept.

Showing a strong personal page.

Amazingly a thorough and detailed about page will show your potential customers that you are a great professional, not only that its again a great way to show off the accomplishments your business has achieved.

Social Media

A strong following on social social media shows your visitors that you are trusted and backed. A good tip to show off your social media following is to have widgets on your site from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Hope this was helpful, Thanks for reading…

Understanding FTP

Understanding FTP File Transfer Protocol

Understanding FTP File Transfer ProtocolFTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. It is one of the earliest and best methods of transferring information around the Internet. Most FTP files are stored in “anonymous FTP” directories where anyone has access to them without needing to log in with a username and password.

A protocol is a language that enables computers to speak to one another.

FTP is used to make files and folders publicly available for transfer over the Internet. In some cases you may need to get permission from the network computer’s administrator to log on and gain access to files on the computer. But often you’ll find that you can use FTP to gain access to certain networks or servers without having an account, or being an official password holder, with that computer.

These “anonymous” FTP servers can contain a broad range of data that is publicly available through FTP.

The Internet address (URL) for an FTP server looks slightly different from the URL you use for a typical Web page. For example, Microsoft has an “anonymous” FTP server at ftp://ftp.microsoft.com, where you can download files ranging from product fixes, updated drivers, and utilities, to Microsoft Knowledge Base articles and other documentation.

How much access you have to files and folders on FTP servers depends on whether you gain access to the servers through a CERN proxy server or directly, and what kind of permissions you have with the FTP server.

For the Website Designer the FTP software is a great way to manage your Website. Some FTP software is free and some can be purchased on the web its self. Most of the software products do exactly the same, simply because the ftp action for computers is very simple.
Once you have obtained your software and installed it you will be able to log in to your website upload and download files and web pages and then log out.

Thanks for reading…

Website Design Tips – Part Two

Credibility is Crucial

Website Design TipsThe most professionally designed Website won’t sell if your customers don’t believe in you. The impersonal nature of the Internet breeds a certain level of mistrust. For your site to be successful you must overcome this tendency.

A clear privacy statement is one way to build your credibility. Every Website should have a privacy statement posted on-line. Provide a prominent link to your statement from every page on the site as well as from any location that you asking your visitors for personal information.

Provide legitimate contact information on-line. Your contact information should include an e-mail address, mailing address, phone number and a fax number, if applicable. If you are unwilling to provide this information to your customers, how can they trust you (or buy from) you?

Graphics, Photo’s and Images

Graphics are in a category by themselves and will most likely take up the biggest amount of time when designing and putting together your Website.

To use photo’s on a Website you will first need to import them onto your computer hard drive. This is normally done by using a scanner. With this operation you will need to have a graphics editing software product so you can edit the image. This means with the software you will be able to edit the size, change colours, add text and do special effects to get the finished look that you require.

Site Meters, Traffic counters and Trackers

It is always a good idea to install a site meter of some kind into your Website. The point of these Website tools is to monitor your traffic. (Your visitors)

The following information can be gained from your traffic meter

  • How visitors find you i.e. which search engines, directories and links?
  • What pages your visitor’s look at?
  • How long does your visitor stay?
  • And what page did they exit on?

There is also information recorded about what operating system they use, what colour settings they have, what screen resolution the use, what kind of web browser they choose to view the Internet, what country they are in and so on. If you want to run a successful business on the Internet you will need marketing information like this.

Thanks for reading…

Website & Internet Jargon Buster

Website & Internet Jargon Buster

Website & Internet Jargon BusterAbsolute Link

This link shows the full URL of the page being linked to.

Accessibility

Used to describe, in general terms, the degree to which a system is of use to as many people as possible.

AdWords

The advertisement and link auction network provided by Google. Keyword targeted, sold on a cost-per-click basis in an auction, which takes into account the ad click through rate and the maximum bid, it works on most of Google’s ads.

AJAX

Asynchronous JavaScript and XML – helps websites appear quicker and more responsive. The technique allows a web page to request additional data from a server without requiring a new page to load.

Alt Attribute

Visually impaired people and most major search engines are not able to easily distinguish what is in an image. Often referred to as ‘alt tags’, the image alt attribute allows you to help screen readers and search engines understand the function of an image by providing a text equivalent for the object.

Analytics

User paths, page views and conversion statistics can be tracked using this software.

Broken Link

A non-functioning hyperlink, or a link which does not lead to the desired location.

Browser

Application used to view the world wide web, the most commonly used being Internet Explorer; Firefox; Safari; and Opera.

Cache

Copy of a web page stored by either a search engine or browser.

CGI

Common Gateway Interface (cgi). The interface software between a web server and other machines. Can also be used to describe software running on that server. Many ‘cgi’ programs are used to add interactivity to a web site.

CMS

Content Management System – an application that makes it easy to update and add information to a website, allowing anyone (even those who do not have coding or website building experience) to edit their website, usually just using their browser.

Cookie

Cookies are small data files written to your computer which are used to help websites customise your user experience.

CPC – Cost Per Click

Many search ads, and contextually targeted ads, are sold in auctions where the advertiser is charged a certain ‘price per click’. For instance, Google AdWords’ pay per click ad program, allows you to buy search and contextual ads.

Crawl

Search engines such as Google have a Bot (see also ‘GoogleBot’) which ‘crawls’ web pages, following links and recording content, maintaining a searchable database of the internet.

Crawl Depth

How deeply a website is ‘crawled’ and indexed.

Crawl Frequency

How often a website is crawled.

CSS

Cascading Style Sheets. A method for adding styles to a web page, controlling how a web page looks visually. Using a style sheet instead of inline formatting greatly speeds up the website and helps to make it more accessible and search engine friendly.

Database

A collection of information stored in a computer in a systematic way. Often used on websites to support, amongst other things, photo galleries, inventory listings, catalogues, and message forums.

Dedicated Server

Limited to serving one website, or small collection of websites, this server is owned by a single person.

Description Metatag

In search engine results a short description near each listing is used to give the user more information about a website. (See also: ‘SEO – Search Engine Optimisation’.)

DNS

Domain Name Server or Domain Name System. An Internet service which translates domain names into IP addresses, which makes them easier to remember as domain names are alphabetic. However, the Internet is really based on IP addresses. Every time you use a domain name, therefore, a DNS service must translate the name into the corresponding IP address. So, the domain name www.forinstance.com might translate to 192.135.852.2.

Domain Names

Used in URLs to identify particular web pages. This is our domain name for example: www.themaxdp.co.uk. If you are interested in getting a domain name, please contact us.

Dynamic Content

Content which changes over time or uses a dynamic language such as PHP to help render the page.

Dynamic Languages

Programming languages such as PHP and ASP which build web pages on the fly upon request.

eCommerce

Known commonly as ‘e-commerce’ or ‘eCommerce’, it consists of the buying and selling of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks.

Entry Page

The page via which a user enters your website.

External Link

A link which references another domain/website.

Favicon

A small ‘Favourites Icon’ which appears next to URLs in a web browser.

Firefox

A popular standards-based, free download, web browser.

Flash

Vector, graphics-based, animation software. Makes it easier to make websites look rich and interactive. Websites which contain ‘Flash’ content are difficult for search engines to index and rank because they contain relatively small content.

FTP

File Transfer Protocol. This protocol is for transferring data between computers, so many content management systems include a FTP capability.

Google

The world’s leading search engine.

Google Analytics

Offered by Google, this service records information about visitors to your website and illustrate how well your website is performing. We use this service to provide comprehensive reports on your website.

GoogleBot

Google’s search engine spider. This spider program automatically fetches web pages – Spiders are used to send pages to search engines.

Google Maps

maps.google.co.uk – detailed maps which you can add your business to, and integrate into your website, thus allowing clients to access directions to your business.

Hidden Text

SEO techniques used to show search engine spiders text that human visitors do not see. While some sites may get away with it for a while, generally the risk to reward ratio is inadequate for most legitimate sites to consider using hidden text.

Home Page

The main page on your website. Largely responsible for helping develop your brand and setting up the navigational schemes that will be used to help users and search engines navigate your website.

Hosting

The process of storing your website pages on a computer (a web server) and making them available, by means of the Internet, to the world.

htaccess

Apache directory-level configuration file which can be used to password protect or redirect files.

HTML

HyperText Markup Language. The language in which pages on the World Wide Web are created.

HTTP

HyperText Transfer Protocol. The means by which data is transferred from its residing location on a server to an active browser.

Inbound Link

This link points from one website to another. By using the ‘link:’ function, most search engines allow you to see sample links pointing to a document.

Internal Link

An internal link from one page on a site to another page on the same site. It is preferential to use descriptive internal linking to make it easy for search engines to understand what your website is about. Internet – The worldwide web – a network of computers connected via TCP/IP.

Internet Explorer

Microsoft’s web browser.

IP Address

Internet Protocol Address. Each and every computer connected to the Internet has an IP address.

ISP

Internet Service Provider. Companies which provide access to the Internet.

JavaScript

Client-side scripting language that can be embedded into HTML documents to add dynamic features. If not done correctly however, using Javascript for navigation and content can damage your visibility in search engines. In AJAX, JavaScript has been combined with other technologies to make web pages even more interactive.

Keyword

A word or phrase which people use to search the Internet.

Keyword Density

In search engine optimisation (see also: SEO), keyword density is the measurement in percentage of the number of times a particular keyword or phrase appears, compared to the total number of words in a page.

Link

A reference from one web document to another web document or another position in the same document. A link is seen as a vote of trust by most popular search engines.

Link Building

The process of building high quality links with other websites. Link campaigns are a major piece of the jigsaw when it comes to getting your website listed successfully with search engines.

Link Popularity

The number of links pointing at a website. Simply put, ‘link popularity’ is the total number of links your website has coming from other websites. The more links your website has, the higher your link popularity, so as a consequence your website will be looked upon more favourably by all major search engines. The sites must have complimentary and related content to your own website – links from relevant sites are considered to be “more relevant” by search engines and will help to improve your rankings.

Meta Description

The meta description tag – a sentence or two of text which describes the content of the page, sometimes used to describe the page in a ‘Search Engine Results Page’ – can be very important.

Meta Keywords

The meta keywords tag – a tag which can be used to highlight keywords and keyword phrases which are relevant to the specific web page. Trust issues can result in most search engines ignoring keywords, just taking content from the website for ranking.

Meta Tags

People generally refer to Meta Descriptions and Meta Keywords as meta tags. Some people also group the page title in with these.

MySQL

A database that uses a language called SQL (Structured Query Language) for adding, accessing, and processing data in a database. ‘MySQL’ typically runs on Linux/Unix servers in conjunction with PHP. MySQL, and is noted for its speed, reliability, and flexibility.

Navigation

Often appearing on the left, or top of a page, this set of links is designed to help website users move from page to page around a website.

Opera

Fast, standards based, web browser – Opera is popular now for its mobile web browser and browser on the Nintendo DS and Wii.

Outbound Link

A link from one website pointing at another external website. Linking out to useful relevant related documents is an easy way to help search engines understand what your website is about.

PageRank

PageRank – a numeric value that represents how important a page is on the web. PageRank is Google’s way of deciding a page’s importance. It matters because it is one of the factors that determines a page’s ranking in the search results. This is not the only factor Google uses to rank pages, but it is an important one. Google figures that when one page links to another page, it is effectively casting a vote for the other page. The more votes that are cast for a page, the more important the page must be.

PHP

PHP Hypertext Preprocessor – an open source server side scripting language used to render web pages or add interactivity to them.

PDF

Portable Document Format. A universal file format developed by Adobe Systems allowing files to be stored and viewed in the original printer-friendly context. The Max Design & Print Co. uses PDFs in many stages of its workflow, from design proofs to print production.

PPC

Pay Per Click ads only charge advertisers if a potential customer clicks on an ad. An example of which would be Google AdSense.

Quality Link

Search engines count links as a vote of trust. Quality links count more than low quality links.

Reciprocal Links

A reciprocal link goes in both directions between two websites.

Redirect

A method of alerting browsers and search engines that a page location has moved. Users will not notice they are being redirected if done correctly and search engines only index the resulting page.

Registrar

A company which allows you to register domain names.

Referrer

The source from which a website visitor came from.

Robots.txt

A file which sits in the root of a site and tells search engines which files not to crawl. Some search engines will still list your URLs as URL only listings even if you block them using a robots.txt file.

RSS

Rich Site Summary or Real Simple Syndication. A method of syndicating information to a feed reader or other software, allowing people to subscribe to a channel they are interested in.

Safari

A popular standards-based web browser made by Apple, included on all Macs, iPhones and iPod Touch. (Now available for PCs also.)

Search Engine

A tool or device used to find relevant information. Google and Yahoo are the most commonly used search engines.

Secure Server

A Web server that is capable of establishing encrypted communications to protect sensitive information being transmitted over the Internet.

SEO

Search Engine Optimisation. The art and science of publishing information and marketing it in a manner that helps search engines understand that your information is applicable to relevant search queries. SEO consists largely of keyword research, SEO copy writing, and link building.

Server

A computer used to store/host files and serve them to the web.

Site Map

A page which can be used to help give search engines a secondary route to navigate through your site.

SMTP

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. A protocol used to transfer email between servers, normally associated with sending mail.

Spam

Unsolicited and sometimes malicious email messages.

Spider

A program that automatically fetches Web pages. Spiders are used to send pages to search engines.

Spyware

Software programs which spy on web users. This is often used to collect consumer research and behaviourally target ads.

Static Content

Content which does not change very often.

Submission

Adding your Web site URL and details to search engines.

Title

The title element is used to describe the contents of a document, making it one of the most important aspects to doing SEO on a web page. Such page titles appear in search results.

Tracking

Provides detailed and accurate counting and behaviour information about the visitors to your website.

Traffic

The amount of visitors and visits received by a website.

Uptimes

The time during which a computer (such as a Web server) is functioning without failure.

URI

Uniform Resource Identifier – the unique address of any web document.

URL

Uniform Resource Locator – a variation on URI.

W3C

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is the main international standards organisation for the World Wide Web (abbreviated WWW or W3). It is arranged as a consortium where member organisations maintain full-time staff for the purpose of working together in the development of standards for the World Wide Web. As of February 2008, the W3C had 434 members. The W3C DOM, on the other hand, is about document structure and the changing of document structure, allowing you to add or remove XHTML tags, or even entirely rewrite the page, if you so wish.

Whois

Each domain has an owner on record. Ownership data is stored in the Whois record for that domain. Some domain registrars also allow you to hide the ownership data of your sites.

Wiki

A Wiki lets users create, edit and modify entire pages. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, but sites like Wikipedia.org prove that it is a powerful tool for generating large bodies of work quickly, with the added benefit of peer review to consistently improve it.

XHTML

Extensible HyperText Markup Language is a class of specifications designed to move HTML to conform to XML formatting.

XML

Extensible Markup Language – a simple, very flexible, text format derived from SGML. Used to make it easy to syndicate or format information using technologies such as RSS.

Yahoo!

A popular search engine.

Zip

A process of compressing a file or number of files into one compact archive. ZIP files take up less storage, making it ideal for archiving and backup, as well as more efficient and quicker for a user to email or download.

Thanks for reading…

Website Design Tips – Part One

Website Design Tips – Part One

Website Design Tips - Part OneWhat are the secrets of super sites? Why do some sites succeed and others fail?

More and more Internet business owners are asking themselves these questions. The answers are frequently more obvious than you may think.

Below are some helpful tips for better, more successful Websites.

Build it for speed.

It’s a fact of modern life – people are in a hurry. Nowhere is that more true than on the Internet. Its seems that no matter how much the technology improves, nothing is ever fast enough. In fact, several studies indicate that the faster technology advances, the faster people expect things to be.
So what does this mean for your Website design? It means that you have between 10 and 30 seconds to capture your potential customers attention. It they cannot at least begin to read about your products in that much time, they will be clicking elsewhere.
To minimize your load time, keep graphics small. Compress them where possible. Use flashy technology (JavaScript, Flash, Streaming Audio/Video Animation) sparingly and only if it is important to your presentation.

Target your market

Make sure you Know who your customers are, and make certain that the content for the Website caters for their needs. Your content must be focused on the goal of selling your products or services. i.e. If your product is aimed mostly teenagers and young adults, then your site could be more informal and relaxed. The key here is to know your market and build the site for their preferences.

If you are looking for a website – please click HERE >>

What is JavaScript?

What is JavaScript?

What is JavaScriptJavaScript was developed by Netscape and was first released in 1996 with Navigator 2 . JavaScript was the first Web scripting language to be released and is still one of the the most popular scripting languages around. It is designed to work closely with HTML. At it’s most basic, you can simply stick a couple of extra commands into an HTML tag and suddenly your writing JavaScript. Taken to it’s limits, JavaScript has almost as much functionality as full blown programming languages like C. The basics of JavaScript are easy to learn. With this tutorial you will be writing your own basic scripts by page 3!

What’s the difference between JavaScript & Java?

Java is a programming language developed by Sun Microsystems. It is used for building Java Applets, which are programs that can be run inside a web browser. Javascript, on the other hand, is simply designed to add interactivity to a web page. Java and JavaScript are two entirely different products. Remember that when you are out shopping for books!

What can JavaScript do?

  • With JavaScript we can…
  • Add Rollover Buttons to our web pages.
  • Control and rotate Banner Adverts.
  • Stick annoying scrolling messages in the status bar.
  • Detect what browser your visitor is using and automatically redirect them to suitable pages.
  • Build shopping carts and validate the contents of forms.
  • Scare the Hell out of your visitors with spurious pop up alert boxes.
  • Create great navigation systems using drop down menu’s and the like.
  • Greet your visitors by name (if they have registered at your site previously), time of day etc.
  • Build all sorts of clocks, calendars and countdown devices.
    …….and much, much more.

Thanks for reading…

The Importance of a Mobile Responsive Website

Over the years mobiles have completely revolutionized the way we live, talk and work.

So does having a Mobile Responsive Website make a difference?

Mobile Responsive Websites / Google Friendly! Website Design GloucesterAlmost everyone has a smart phone today and these devices allow us to take photos, view social media and surf the web. Nowadays most of us google things, trying to find a answer to a question or just simply looking for a service in our area. In January 2013 22% of total website visits were made on a mobile or tablet device. In December 2013 that statistic increased to around 37%.

So this means that nearly over 40% of potential clients or customers are visiting websites on a mobile.

How can my website be mobile responsive?

There are 2 different ways that you can make your website more mobile responsive, the first is to create a mobile web app, this technique requires a small piece of script in the head of your desktop website which then will redirect the people visiting your website on a mobile to a separate page, this page you can now create to be fully mobile compatible and let mobile users navigate much easier than your original website.

The second technique is to have a fully responsive website, by choosing this technique your website will automatically shrink itself according to the screen size, just like our website.

For more information on responsive websites, or to get a quote on a responsive website please click HERE >>

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