Kudos to Marca, the premiere sports news source in Spain, which designed a superb calendar for 2010 FIFA World Cup fans. Beautiful, clean and functional — the Spaniards know a thing or two about soccer and good design.
‘Coming soon’ pages are a highly effective way to initiate online branding and presence. Yet, most businesses overlook this valuable marketing opportunity.
The popular online marketing slogan ‘content is king’ not only refers to the importance of writing engaging copy that also speaks to search engines. It also refers to the broader idea of understanding your medium and how your audience consumes content, including video, music, and images, within that medium.
This is especially the case when part of a new gadget’s hype is built around the groundbreaking ways it enhances our content consumption. After all, what is a nifty piece of technology without the amazing things that it can show us, customized for our specific interests?
Flash intros were once prevalent on the Web. They’re animations presented to visitors when they arrive at a website. Here’s an example. To help determine whether they’re a fad of the past, or provide website owners and visitors value, we asked web designers and developers:
Should businesses consider Flash intros for their websites?
Business owners looking to launch or overhaul their websites are often overwhelmed to learn about all the different platforms available on the market. You’ve got HTML, Content Management Systems (CMS), WordPress, and more. So we asked five web professionals:
What factors should businesses take into consideration when deciding on a website software solution?
We often come across and receive killer resources from web industry partners — and we like to share, too.
Here are several that are especially useful for web designers:
Telling Google about domain changes
Moved a client’s site? Tell the king of search about your domain change. Google tells you how.
Are your clients’ soles starting to wear?
Smashing Magazine examines what exactly makes for a good website footer. This insightful article discusses what to include in footers, the importance of sitemaps, usability practices, and styling ideas and trends. Plus, it showcases approximately 50 well-developed footers. Play footsies with Smash Mag.
Fixed or fluid layout?
This Smashing Magazine feature goes over the pros and cons of fixed, fluid, elastic and hybrid layout designs to help web designers head down the right path.
Web browser standards
Web Devout promotes the health of the Web by providing web developers both knowledge and tools. This section covers Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Opera web browsers, with focus on the HTML, CSS, DOM, and ECMAScript technologies. Get standardized.
Give me speed!
Useful Firefox plug-ins
Firefox is popular among web designers. Heck, almost 60 per cent of Webcoppylus’ visitors use Firefox. Web Design Booth brings you 35 useful Firefox extensions for web designers and developers alike. Plug away.
A client in the HR field asked this week about the value of a Flash intro on a website to set themselves apart from competitors.
I explained strategic positioning and good design is what effectively differentiates a business from its competitors. In fact, if you do a really good job, you can actually make your competition look dull and unimportant.
As I recently noted on Web Designer Wall, Flash intros were tolerated in the ’90s when the Web was a novelty. People were excited about this new thing called the World Wide Web, and many of us spent countless hours surfing it. Spinning images and assorted gimmicks were tolerated, and even considered cool.
Not today. Now people just want to get the information they’re looking for, and get things done quickly and easily.
Still, some business owners think they’ll “wow” people with Flash intros. In fact, a web designer recently told me about an architecture company that spent tens of thousands of dollars on a Flash intro.
Unfortunately, they wasted their money on something that will only get in the way of their visitors. They could have spent that money on search engine optimization, or a host of other marketing and sales tools and campaigns, which would actually generate leads and sales, and promote growth.
While it can take web designers and developers several weeks to design and develop a Flash intro, it takes visitors just a fraction of a second to click their way to the competition.
Dreamweaver is dying, or so suggested Tom Arah in a PC Pro blog.
He wrote: “The problem is that Dreamweaver is dying…to be fair it’s not Dreamweaver’s fault. Nor is the problem Adobe and its development team — the last Dreamweaver CS4 version was the most impressive release in years.
“The real problem for Dreamweaver and for its users is that the nature of the Web is changing dramatically. Dynamically-generated web applications, from Amazon right down to the humble blog, all offer much more — in-built commenting, voting, RSS feeds, etc. — than the best sites built on static HTML can ever hope to provide.
Planning to launch or overhaul your website, but can’t figure out what software to use? If you want to take control of your website and its content, a Content Management System (CMS) might be for you. But what then should you look for in a CMS?
Features are an important element of the CMS selection process, but per an informative CMS article in Smashing Magazine, you should also consider items such as licensing, support, accessibility, security and training.
“Don’t let your list of requirements become a wish list,” warns author Paul Boag. “Keep your requirements to a minimum, but at the same time keep an eye on the future.”
You can go with the most popular CMS systems, such as Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress. Or, you can hire programmers to build a special custom-made CMS that specifically caters to your business model. Web information authority Alexa reveals most of the top 100,000 websites use custom CMS solutions.
Many web developers snub the general one-size-fits-all CMS route, but when open source communities offer you free and powerful solutions, it can be alluring. Perhaps, in rare circumstances, businesses don’t have to ‘pay to play’.