Open Source Web Design's Blog!

Monthly Archives: August 2016

Differentiate Web Designing

What differentiate web designing from web development?

A considerable number of people wrongfully identify web designing and web development to be identical aspects. Making things more complicated, most of them use these two terms interchangeably. The truth is, however, web designing and web development are different aspects that help to form a website. The appearance and the feel of a website are looked after under web designing while the functionality of the website is decided under web development.

 

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The aspect of a website can be put into four main categories;

Appearance and feel     –              Graphics, color themes, navigation elements, buttons etc

Functionality                     –              How the website functions including interactions

Usability                              –              User-friendliness of the website

Content                               –              The textual contents that provide information

 

  • Appearance and feel of the website

The appearance of the website is looked after under web designing. The main intention of this aspect is to create a strong first impression on the user. Regardless of the usefulness, your website will find it difficult to attract users if it doesn’t have a presentable appearance. Creativity, patience, innovation and exceptional aesthetic sense are key elements to build a great appearance.

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  • Functionality

One of the main parts looked after under web development is the functionality of a website. There are various languages to improve the functionality nowadays; Perl, PHP and JAVA are some of the popular examples. The developer determines whether the pages work independently or linked to a database. Interactive aspects including various animations are notable aspects of functionality. Developers use various effects to provide a better functionality and increase the effectiveness of the website. However, modern trends demand simplified functionalities from websites.

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  • Usability

Usability of a website can be measured by assessing it from a user’s point of view. The ease of navigation, the time it takes to be loaded, gadgets included and other elements pertaining to both the appearance and functionality should be perfectly assessed to assure a smooth usability.

 

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  • Content

Your website becomes meaningless if it doesn’t have contents. The contents should be effective enough to provide a strong impression about the company, services and products, contact information and other relevant areas. The way you approach visitors via contents is highly instrumental to convince them. A friendly addressing inside a professional approach is essential. The content must be relevant, accurate, meaningful and up-to-date. You should update the contents always with SEO friendly texts.

 

Although website development and website designing are independent aspects, they have a strong interconnection.  This is why web designers and developers have to work closely for a better end result.

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Basically, a web designer must have a proficiency in tools like Adobe Photoshop and HTML. He or she should know how to edit the contents too. Meanwhile, the web developer should have strong command in technologies like PHP, Shopping carts, JQuery, JavaScript, Java and Payment Integrations. Unless there is a unique requirement, however, most of the modern web designers and developers use templates in order to build websites faster.

 

 

Ideal CSS template

Selecting the ideal CSS template for your website

It is not a surprise to see the webmaster’s preference on Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) over conventional HTML table designs.  CSS technology offers you various features to uplift the functionality and the appearance of a website. That is why even the World Wide Web Consortium has recommended websites owners to use CSS whenever it is possible.

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Despite the plethora of benefits your can experience with the use of CSS, this article emphasizes the ways you can select a good CSS template for your website. Truth to be told, the abilities and skills are different from designer to designer and hence not all the designs are good as templates. Here is some food for thought when selecting the perfectly matching CSS template for your website.

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The main reason for a website owner to select CSS is its ease of maintenance. There are some designers who misuse the enormous strength of CSS techniques and such templates may not deliver what you expect. Therefore, when selecting a CSS template, you need to refer to the codes properly and see if they are perfectly commented. A well structured, easy to use CSS template should have every block commented, so that the modification process is easier. Also, you need to make sure that all the blocks are logically named for convenient management. With such approach, you will be able to locate all the blocks perfectly within the entire layout.

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No matter what the programming language used, naming convention is a highly critical aspect, particularly to ensure a highly customized output. If it is within your capability, make sure to check and choose a design that uses external style sheet linking. Such strategy would be highly useful if you expect a flexible CSS template.

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The next important aspect to consider is the amount of images that the developers have used the la layout. Any user may easily be attracted to a template that comes with beautiful images (particularly when it comes to elements like header banners).  However, the truth is, that you shouldn’t such layout that uses large amounts of images; such design will make it harder for you to create a unique design. The more the images, the harder it is to make it unique. So, in simplest terms, you should select a CSS template that has minimal number of images.

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Then, try to avoid CSS templates that have Flash or JavaScript enabled. Generally, flash animations and JavaScript are hard to amend particularly if you don’t have a sound knowledge in programming languages.

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CSS templates are capable of helping your website to get the perfect start it deserves. However, thy key is to select the right kind of template. It is a cost effective way to download a CSS template and use it for a website other than hiring a professional to do it. There are some sources to offer free CSS templates. If you wish more professionalism, however, you may download a paid template which is still a lot affordable than hiring a professional to develop CSS contents for you.

Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons of using website templates

In laymen’s term, website template is basically a pre-designed website that is available to purchase and customize with own content. Images, colors and textual contents of these web sites can be easily customized and used as an own, unique website. Like with any other product in the real world, website templates too have both advantages and disadvantages. Mentioned below are some of the most noticeable pros and cons of using website templates.

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Pros

  • They are ready to use

A website template comes with all the features, layouts and effects; all you need to do is to replace the contents. You don’t want to go behind a professional web designer and explain your requirement; just select the best matching template from the preferred store and you are ready to go! By adding copyrighted contents and images, you can convert the template into a unique website.

 

  • Helps you to save time

Time is money. Technically, it is a ‘crime’ to spend months on designing your website. The best way to remarkably reduce the time you spend on developing a website is using a template. Technically, you will be able to have your website up and running in couple of days; it is a matter of preparing your contents and uploading them.

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  • Affordable

By using a website template to design a website, you can save a considerable amount of money. This is a very attractive option especially for startups considering the limited budget they possess. Hiring a professional website designer will cost you thousands of dollars in most of the cases.

 

  • Versatile options

Website templates come with a high versatility. There is large number of websites available – it is a matter of selecting the perfect match from the gallery. All of these websites are made to be compatible with the latest technological trends and software programs.

 

  • Great functionality

Companied release website templates after testing the functions. This functionality can vary from basic level website to high-end ecommerce platform. Photo galleries, chat functions, online polls, different payment processes etc. are offered with these templates for your convenience.

 

Cons

Like with any other product, despite all the good characteristics, web templates have some cons too.

  • You cannot expect complete exclusiveness

Web templates are available to download by any person by paying the respective price. The same template can be downloaded by hundreds, if not thousands, of users besides you. These sites may appear similar in layouts unless you do in-depth modification.

 

  • It may be hard to execute complete customization

As we already know, templates come with pre-built space allocations (for text and images). It can be hard or impossible for users to change these spaces. In case of changing the pre-allocated size, the entire setup will be messed up.

 

Conclusion

Having considered all the facts, using templates is a wise option, particularly for startups. Affordability, quick setup and ease of use are great benefits for a business that looks for an impressive kickoff.

Responsive web Design

What you must know about responsive web designing

Devices like smartphones, tablets, phablets and net-books have become exceptionally popular among the modern society. As a result of this enormous popularity, modern people use mobile devices for web browsing more than ever. Prior to the introduction of responsive web designing, websites were designed to be solely compatible with PC displays. These websites were barely readable on mobile devices. After mobile devices took the market by storm, web designers took all the measures to design all-device-compatible websites and responsive web designing is the end result of that effort.

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What is the specialty of responsive web designs?

The main visible specialty of responsive web designs is fluidity. This awesome characteristic is powered by fluid grid technology. Thanks to this innovation, the entire design of a responsive website automatically scales to the size of the screen. Because of this auto-adapting feature, responsive web sites are perfectly viewable via all the screens from Smartphone screens to massive monitors. This is a wonderful way to popularize a website among the mobile device users without getting rejected.

 

In responsive web designs, fluid grids perform collaboratively with CSS3 media queries. Almost all the browsers support the media queries and these queries allow the website owner to collect necessary information from the user pretty easily.

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Benefits of responsive web design for a business

If you don’t use responsive web design and still wish to approach different visitors who use different types of devices, you may have to give them alternative URLs for each device. This option is a highly time consuming, inconvenient method in this fast paced environment. Such approach is a major aspect to hinder your SEO campaigns too. However, with responsive web design, you can approach all the devices with a single designing process; responsive designs include option to format the site to be compatible on any platform. Flexible layouts, fluid grids and media queries are the key elements behind this hi-end technology.

 

Providing multiple URLs for your visitors is a huge burden for you to perform your SEO strategies. Multiple URLS means multiple websites; you will have to apply your SEO strategies on all these sites separately. It can multiply the cost and the time you have to spend promoting your website. Moreover, maintaining multiple websites for a single purpose is a very inefficient way. So, if you expect the best ROI (Return On Investment) from a website, the smartest decision is to go for a responsive website.

 

Limitations

Like any other product, responsive design has some limitations. The most noticeable limitation of responsive web design is that it will require you to download unnecessary markup. Due to this reason, your website may require additional server space.

 

Conclusion

Overall, selecting responsive web design is a great investment for a business owner. Attractive appearance, fluid navigations, user-friendliness and the SEO compatibleness are major plus points that create positive impacts in terms of the popularity. A perfectly designed responsive website can draw customers and increase the conversion rates remarkably.

simplify Web Design

How to simplify your Web Design?

Designing an attractive website requires a great amount of skill. In fact, it requires some artistic skills and hence web designing is considered to be an art. Without innovative ideas, it is hard for a person to become a good web designer. Your business website is your online presence. A well-arranged, elegant website helps to create a strong impression on the visitors; it helps branding strategies too. That is why modern businesses are heavily focused on maintaining presentable websites.

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Your website doesn’t want to be complicated; such websites will confuse customers and make them frustrated. This is one of the major reasons for very high bounce rates. When the majority of visitors tend to leave your website immediately, you can hardly think of maximizing the conversion rate. Therefore, keeping your website as simple as possible is vital in terms of increasing the popularity. Mentioned below are some tips to use and simplify your website.

 

  • Determine what the essentials are

One of the most important aspects you must remember when designing a webpage is to determine the essential components. In other words, you should put all the efforts to make your website a “beyond-good” design. First, take some time and assess the requirement of essentials; don’t go for too fancy options just because you can or for the sake of the availability.

 

  • Limit the page number

Another effective way of simplifying the design of the webpage is to reduce the number of pages. Too many pages will confuse the navigation process and avoid customers from keep browsing. Moreover, reduced number of pages helps your website to load pretty quickly. Focus on the essential contents and distribute them among a couple of pages. Such simplified process will maximize the curiosity of the visitor and increase the conversion rate.

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  • Use a simple color scheme

If you expect to simplify the website design, you should utilize a simple color scheme. Think of the purpose of your site and the type of your business before selecting a color scheme. Use an appealing smooth color scheme that doesn’t frustrate the viewers. Be sure to avoid too fancy colors. The simpler the color scheme, the better the design is.

 

  • Make it compatible with the browsers

Regardless all the other measures you take to simplify the design, everything becomes useless if your website is incompatible with browsers. Therefore, it is a must-do thing to check the browser compatibility of the website before finalizing the work. Try your website in various browsers and see is all the gadgets work perfectly. See if it appears on mobile devices and PC screens seamlessly before you launch it.

 

If you find it difficult to design your website from the scratch and make it simple, you are left with two options. Hire a professional or download a professionally simplified website template and modify it. The second option of course, is going to be highly cost effective compared to the first option though. These templates are SEO friendly too.

Mobile Website

How to make your website mobile friendly?

Due to the recent developments in the technology, the number of mobile users has dramatically increased. As a result of the increased mobile usage, accessing internet via mobile devices is becoming a norm. Majority of us are now connected to internet 24/7. This is a serious fact businesses should consider when approaching potential clients. Each and every business should confirm if their website is mobile friendly, however, a surprising amount of websites don’t fulfill this requirement. Mentioned below are some essential things to verify if you expect your website to be mobile friendly.

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  1. Increase the loading speed

Generally, mobile users need to access information pretty quickly. If your website takes too long to be loaded on mobile devices, you should redesign your website at your earliest. In fact, your page should be loaded within 3 seconds or less, so your visitors don’t leave your site quickly. You may check the speed of your website using a free tool like Google PageSpeed Tester.

 

If your website takes too much of time to get loaded, you may have to optimize your images or do other tweaks like compressing the files using HTML, JS or CSS codes.

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  1. User-friendly navigation

You should remember that you cater for a crowd that is on the move. You should make navigation process easier so they continue to visit your site. Confusing navigations are easily rejected by visitors nowadays; they prefer simplicity. Make sure that you avoid image buttons and complex drop down navigations as they don’t work perfectly with mobiles. Make the navigation bars as simple as possible.

 

  1. Prominent call-to-action buttons

Mobile users look for rapid answers as they want to make a decision quickly and perform an action. If you make them wonder around on the page to perform an action like “order”, “book”, “buy”, “download” etc. you are way behind the competition. Place these buttons prominently and let the users find them easily.

 

  1. Use concise contents

Short, concise contents attract readers easily. Emphasize the key points and avoid unnecessary paragraphs. Don’t let the visitors scroll down just to see the contents; let them read it within few seconds. However, usage of friendly tone is important in this case.

 

First, have a good idea about what the users are searching for. Open hours, directions, contact details etc. should be easily readable. Be sure to shorten the product descriptions.

 

  1. Use a simple design

Don’t use popup ads; they are annoying. Avoid Flash contents too. Instead you can use smaller images that perfectly fit mobile screens. If your visitors have to zoom in and out to navigate, your website needs a redesign.

 

  1. Clean, simple fonts

Be sure to use a simple and clean font so it appears perfectly on the smaller screens. Arial, Calibri, Trebuchet MS, Georgia and Times New Roman are some great fonts.

 

It is all about simplicity when it comes to a mobile friendly website. Don’t try to use all the effects available just because you know them.

 

Characteristics Web Page

Characteristics of a Great Webpage

If you expect your website to function perfectly and draw more attention, you should make sure that its basic elements are in order without fail. This article emphasizes the characteristics you should determine when designing a webpage that actually works.

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  1. Usage of good keywords

If you don’t use good keywords, forget about the success of your webpage. Usage of appropriate keywords or key phrases is the most important aspect if you expect search engines to recognize your website prominently. Proper keyword search is essential in this matter.  In fact, this is the single most essential element in terms of popularizing the website. There are various tools to facilitate keyword research process. However, you should be very careful when using keywords and phrases in your website; don’t over use them!

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  1. Rely on simplicity

Simple web page designs always do better. Studies have shown that simple websites designs are capable of attracting and retaining visitors. Make your text easily readable. Apply a beautiful color scheme and make everything presentable for your visitors. Do not place annoying banner ads on the page. Apply an easy navigation strategy, so the users will not get confused. Do not forget to check the browser compatibility before officially launching it. Keep concise textual contents as people don’t like to read lengthy paragraphs.

 

  1. Update contents frequently

Always keep your website’s contents updated. Outdated contents may create a bad impression about your website and visitors may lose their confident on you.  Always maintain relevant, informative, interesting and fresh content. If you don’t have enough time to update contents, find a professional writer. This becomes useful in terms of achieving better SERP rankings too.

 

  1. Make it SEO optimized

In addition to the usage of keywords and phrases, you need to consider the structure of the website if you need to achieve better SERP. Google gives prominence to your website if it is easy to use and simple in design. Maintain a simple hierarchy; let your visitors gain access necessary contents within two to three clicks. Use CSS wisely and avoid clumsy appearance. There are plenty of beautiful website templates to download nowadays; most of them are perfectly optimized for search engines. Make the best use of such templates if you don’t want to start designing from the scratch.

 

  1. Facilitate easy navigation

Don’t confuse your visitors with too many options. They visit your website to acquire information easily; don’t disappoint them. Too many pages, form filling and ads will make navigation process a difficult one. So, be sure to avoid such mistakes. Double check if all the links work perfectly before the launching. A single broken link will spoil the reliability of the website.

 

If you find it difficult to start a web page from the scratch, the most affordable move is to download a template and modify it. Usually these template come SEO optimized and tested to work on all the browsers. More importantly, using a template is more affordable than hiring a professional web designer.

Build an inexpensive website

Build an inexpensive website with a website template

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Starting to build a website from the scratch can be a time consuming task even with the help of the latest web designing tools. This is when you should look for the assistance of a website template. Interestingly, even the professional web designers rely on web templates to save their time and build websites easier. There are web templates build based on various formats; you can pick the most appropriate format for you.

 

Reasons to use web templates

The obvious reason to use web templates is to save a lot of time. Other than starting the design from the scratch, website templates allow you to take shortcuts and apply simple modifications to fir your requirements. If you hire someone to design your website, you need to make sure that your designer is flexible with each and every adjustment you request. However, when you use a web template and ensure build the site by own, the adjustments are technically unlimited. You can play with the template as far as you feel perfect with the design.

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Website templates allow you to save a substantial amount of money. No matter if you use a free template or a premium template; you might be able to get done your website at a significantly lower cost than hiring a web designer. Outsourcing your website design work can be an ongoing cost when you need to go for timely updates for the site(s).

 

It is an easier task to rely on a well structured template rather than coding or designing each and every aspect of the website. By relying on a reputed template seller, your will be able to get a clean and beautiful design that helps you to avoid confusing coding work. Before download a particular template, it is always better to read the reviews other than just relying on the appearance.

 

By using a SEO friendly template, you can eliminate the hassle of using confusing coding. Modern templates are built to be SEO friendly, so you don’t necessarily have to worry much about if the search engines are going to recognize your website and index it.

 

Once you purchase a template, you can use it for multiple sites. In fact, you can make a website pretty unique just by making simple tweaks. Obviously, it is going to be a very convenient option for you other than starting multiple websites from the scratch.

 

At the bottom line, if you expect to build a professional looking website faster and at a very affordable rate, you should go for a website template. Especially, this is a great option for a startup considering the limited budget most of them possess. Website templates offer a great freedom for the user to work on it and deliver a great end result. More importantly, you don’t need expertise knowledge to manipulate these templates; they are made to be user-friendly. So, it is a wise website owner’s move to download a website template and eliminate unnecessary expenditure.

 

Great Webpage

Characteristics of a Great Webpage

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If you expect your website to function perfectly and draw more attention, you should make sure that its basic elements are in order without fail. This article emphasizes the characteristics you should determine when designing a webpage that actually works.

 

  1. Usage of good keywords

If you don’t use good keywords, forget about the success of your webpage. Usage of appropriate keywords or key phrases is the most important aspect if you expect search engines to recognize your website prominently. Proper keyword search is essential in this matter.  In fact, this is the single most essential element in terms of popularizing the website. There are various tools to facilitate keyword research process. However, you should be very careful when using keywords and phrases in your website; don’t over use them!

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  1. Rely on simplicity

Simple web page designs always do better. Studies have shown that simple websites designs are capable of attracting and retaining visitors. Make your text easily readable. Apply a beautiful color scheme and make everything presentable for your visitors. Do not place annoying banner ads on the page. Apply an easy navigation strategy, so the users will not get confused. Do not forget to check the browser compatibility before officially launching it. Keep concise textual contents as people don’t like to read lengthy paragraphs.

 

  1. Update contents frequently

Always keep your website’s contents updated. Outdated contents may create a bad impression about your website and visitors may lose their confident on you.  Always maintain relevant, informative, interesting and fresh content. If you don’t have enough time to update contents, find a professional writer. This becomes useful in terms of achieving better SERP rankings too.

 

  1. Make it SEO optimized

In addition to the usage of keywords and phrases, you need to consider the structure of the website if you need to achieve better SERP. Google gives prominence to your website if it is easy to use and simple in design. Maintain a simple hierarchy; let your visitors gain access necessary contents within two to three clicks. Use CSS wisely and avoid clumsy appearance. There are plenty of beautiful website templates to download nowadays; most of them are perfectly optimized for search engines. Make the best use of such templates if you don’t want to start designing from the scratch.

 

  1. Facilitate easy navigation

Don’t confuse your visitors with too many options. They visit your website to acquire information easily; don’t disappoint them. Too many pages, form filling and ads will make navigation process a difficult one. So, be sure to avoid such mistakes. Double check if all the links work perfectly before the launching. A single broken link will spoil the reliability of the website.

 

If you find it difficult to start a web page from the scratch, the most affordable move is to download a template and modify it. Usually these template come SEO optimized and tested to work on all the browsers. More importantly, using a template is more affordable than hiring a professional web designer.

Website Templates

Advantages of website templates web-template-4452-lrg

Gone are the days that you had to solely rely on a website designer to get a website done. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of templates in internet for you to download, make few adjustments and use as a unique website. Technically, a website template is a pre-designed website layout. Some templates contain single web pages while others have multiple web pages. These templates come with all the necessary features including replaceable images, dummy text, banners, and various other effects. Premium templates have better effects than the free templates.

 

This article stresses the advantages of using website templates instead of designing the own website from the beginning.

 

  • Website templates are ready made templete 2

When you choose a website template, you get a readymade website. You will download it from the desired source as you expected; it is all about making the necessary adjustments and converting the template into a unique website. Replacing images, dummy text and other contents with the originals is a very easy task. By doing some additional tweaks, you will be able to do some changes to the layout too.

 

  • They are time savers

Getting a website done pretty quickly in this modern fast-paced environment is a real bonus for any business owner. Web templates allow you to save a considerable amount of time as most of the work is already done for you. Having your site up and running within a quick period is not hard anymore. This is a real luxury for both designers and website owners alike.

 

  • They don’t cost fortunes

When you start a business, it is important to work inside a strict budget. A pre-designed web template can save a large amount of money as you don’t want to hire a professional designer to do everything from scratch. Most of the web templates are exceptionally reasonable. In fact, the cost of a web template is almost negligible compared to the huge sums you have to spend on professional web designers.

 

  • Variety of designs to select from

Web templates come with a large amount of variety. Such variety allows you to select the most appropriate design from the lot. Moreover, these sites allow you to preview your website even before you download it. All of these websites are designed to be compatible with the latest technological trends and software. Finding the perfect design is exceptionally easy, therefore.

 

  • They don’t need a professional knowledge

After the website template is downloaded, you will find it exceptionally easy to make the necessary changes and improvements even without an expensive professional. What you need is only a fair knowledge about the respective tool but not in-depth knowledge in coding. Playing with images, text and other contents is a very easy task.

 

It is always better to give preference to simple web designs. Too much of clumsiness may discourage the visitors. Pleasing colors and sleek designs are capable of keeping your visitors attracted to the website. The simpler the better!