26

Aug

How to start a blog: Best practices
How to start a blog: Best practices

The need of learning has made us to find the best way to transmit and preserve information, at the beginning it was transmitted in an oral way, then people started to draw on wall (an image worths a thousand words), and one of the most amazing inventions of mankind appeared; written language, since then we have been able to transmit information in a concise, accurate and effective way.

 

Spreading written information

In order to spread the information we have used several methods along of our entire history, writing on walls, on parchments, and on the king of information transmission until some years ago, the paper, this last have been the media for excellence used to store and transmit the knowledge, but in the 20th century appeared a very innovative invention that changes or world in so many ways, the computer and with it, the word processors, which allowed to write using a keyboard as an input method and a screen (monitor) or printer as output.

 

Following computer’s appearance into the world, came to us the miraculous internet, and smart devices, and so, a brand new form of info transmission was born, we can see, hear or read things happening in very far places, the sharing of information happens in seconds and books and newspapers, naming a very few examples, can be read digitally. You can find information for things like tow trucks!

 

Blogs, the heirs of websites

When internet arrived to our lives appeared new forms to spread information, the websites is one of them, a site that can be viewed online that show a lot of information about a theme websites are interactive, a blog is an informational website, created and maintained by one individual or a small group of them, with a chronological structure, displaying information about a subject (text entries called posts) in the reverse chronological order.

 

How to start a blog

  • First find out the information you want to share with the world, choose a subject.
  • Second, choose a blogging platform, there are several platforms that allow you  to create a blog easily like WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, among many others, you will have to take some decisions,like if you want Self-hosting or a free alternative for example.
  • Third design your blog.

Best practices for blogging

There are some tips you should have in mind when you have a blog, take in count these advices:

 

1- The content is the core of your blog, therefore the quality is extremely important, more than quantity, be informative and be consistent with your post.

 

2- The frequency is a critical aspect, you have to post as frequents as you get new information, and you should get new information frequently, your blog must have current information all the time.

 

3- Don’t be afraid to use pictures, remember the value of images in communication and learning.

 

4- Treat others like you want to be treated, take in count the people who writes in your blog’s chat and answer quickly.

 

5- Keep everything organized.

 

01

Apr

What CMS to choose? – Pros and Cons
What CMS to choose? – Pros and Cons

If you manage a website, you might find that a Content Management System is one of the most useful tools that can help you create the content you’re going to publish.

It doesn’t matter if you’re managing a website dedicated to post about the works done by some American brands or a South American travel agency, these apps will ease your job of creation and modification of digital content by offering collaborative environments, format management, history editing and embedding different kinds of media such as photos, videos, graphics, audio, maps and more. But how can someone choose the best CMS when there are so many? Follow the read to see a brief review of the most used CMS and see which suits you better.

WordPress

It’s one of the most popular CMS around the web. Collects among its pros we might find that it doesn’t require PHP or HTML knowledge to create content which makes friendly with beginners, it counts with a vast community willing support and an amazing amount of free plugins and templates to choose from while building your site.

Nevertheless, its simplicity carries some cons. Minor modifications require PHP knowledge, and you need to know about HTML or CSS to create original templates since the available ones are pretty much alike. Apart, you need to install an immense amount of plugins (that harm the script efficiency) in order to have great functionality.

Drupal

Comprehensive and often seen as a programming platform, Drupal has many advantages such as great functionality that allows you to manage polls, menus, graphics and users; create a lot of content types like videos, texts and blogs; and a lot of plugins and support that can make your experience a little bit easier.

On the other hand, Drupal is not as user-friendly as other CMS as it is difficult to install and modify. Its offering of new solutions makes it hard to use if you’re used to older systems and it generates huge server loads when it comes to large websites.

Joomla!

It’s a great balance between complex functionality and simplicity and it’s easy to download and install. It counts with a great amount of plugins, that makes it even more functional and dozens of tutorials to ease the experience. This script allows you to manage a site with many subpages because of its comprehensive navigation system and it generates nice URLs in order to improve SEO positioning.

Sadly, the amount of functions provided by Joomla! is intimidating for rookie users, some of the plugins that might be free in other CMS are paid in this one and the compatibility of the plugins might cause some headaches if you don’t know about PHP.

There you saw a quick description of the pros and cons of the three most popular CMS. There are plenty more out there like Quick.Cms or Typo3, all of them have exploitable advantages, so think of what do you want on your site and pick the CMS that adapts better.

11

Mar

What is Retina Ready Web Design?
What is Retina Ready Web Design?

Time passes, society evolves and technology finds a new way to influence our lives each day that passes. Each aspect of our life has been made easier or more enjoyable thanks to devices that form part of our routine and one of those aspects is our perception of life. This is a literal thing; the quality of the images that we see with our own eyes is improving as well as the devices that display them, for this reason, Apple developed Retina Displays.

Retina displays are a trademark that Apple uses to refer to a display which counts with a high density of pixels per unit of area. The most noticeable advantage of these displays is quality. As pixels are smaller and more abundant than in normal displays, the detail is outstanding and the images look sharp and clean like they were printed instead of appearing pixelated.

Is there a disadvantage? Yes. Not every display has the same pixel density that a Retina display has, and a great amount of websites have programmed their layouts considering the number of pixels the images will occupy, that means this kind of devices will portray small images. This disadvantage can be defeated by working on Retina Ready Web Design.

As text is able to adapt to higher resolutions but images tend to stay stationary, the main goal of the developer by using this kind of design is to fill it with flexible content like images on SVG format or duplicate ones for two different versions of the website. Luckily, fellow designer, there are many ways to make a website retina ready. Here, a few ones:

  • Scalable Vector Graphics: This format that is often used to create logos can be used with other sections of your website as well. These have the information to display the features that shape an image like colors, segments and shadows. Using scripts such as SVGeezy will allow your website to render nicely in older browsers. Nevertheless, creating a SVG isn’t piece of cake; you might want to ask for help from a skilled designer or become one yourself in order to make one that you can include on your website.
  • JavaScript: Implementation of JavaScript can avoid some headaches as some browsers don’t support CSS3. There are some libraries able to detect if a website is Retina Ready, like retina.js and foresight.js that will give you the tools to modify your code in order to replace normal images with counterparts that count with higher resolution.
  • CSS3: This follows the premise of media queries to check if your visitor is browsing through a retina display. The image is replaceable with a background URL setting that will only show for this kind of visitors. Newer browsers react quickly as they support this implementation.
  • Fonts: As said before, fonts are able to adjust their size to whichever display, so you might want to replace your icons with these ones. You need to be aware fonts lose detail, though.

 

04

Mar

Responsive Web Design – What is it?
Responsive Web Design – What is it?

Living in the era of internet represents an almost uncountable amount of advantages, and as technology is constantly evolving, new ways to access the net are going to keep appearing. This evolution of technology includes new devices that will allow us to search for whatever we need no matter where we are as long as our data provider signal reaches us.

Nevertheless, every coin has two sides, which means anything that could ease visitor experience is probably giving some web designers some sort of headache. Most of time, designers take a time of designing an entire website that suits the device from which is being visited and take the risk of being labeled as content duplication.

Fortunately, Responsive Web Design exists. This kind of design, also known as adaptive web design, employs a series of stylesheets in CSS3 and media queries that transform a normal website in one able to adapt to any platform and every existent size. This is an improvement for visitors that use various platforms, because they no longer have to zoom in and scroll uncomfortably on websites designed for desktop devices while browsing on a tablet or a smartphone.

But, “is it really necessary to change a website in order to make it responsive?” Even when it’s not actually necessary, fellow designer, responsive web design comes with some advantages that will wake your interest up, such as:

  • Maintenance and development get cheaper and easier: You are using the same template for all your platforms, the smallest change in one of them will also be seen in the other, so the costs of development and maintenance go low.
  • No more duplicates: Having a mobile version of your website in order to share your content adapted to the device could harm your SEO because that means that your content is duplicated and Google penalized your web. Having a Responsive web instead makes your content adapt to any kind of resolution and size allowed by the device, so there won’t be any duplicates.
  • Your visitors will thank you: The opinions of your visitors will get better and better and use it more. This is something you will see on statistics such as rises in the time spent on each visit and the bounce rate between pages that shape your web.
  • Virality will go up: Among the 70% of social network browsing is made through mobile devices, meaning that if your content is good enough and enjoyable by the visitors, they will share it on their networks easily.

Responsive web design is not just advantages, though. It requires a greater investment on first development because they’re more difficult to make. Images will load slower because they first adapt to the resolution and size. But don’t worry; there are good people like Foundation 3 and Bootstrap developing preconfigured frameworks so you don’t have to design from scratch.

Make your websites friendlier and start using responsive web design on your projects. The improvements will be almost immediate!

22

Feb

Website Redesign Best Practices For 2018
Website Redesign Best Practices For 2018

Last decade has been marked by how web traffic has surpassed any other kind of engagement between brands and users. As trends change, many of the brand owners feel the need to revamp their websites and that opens up the possibility to ruin a great domain that had nothing bad on it. But there are some ways to reduce that chance of wrecking a previous job that was well done and it consists in having knowledge of what to avoid when the time to redesign comes.

What to avoid…

  • It’s important to avert the redesigns caused by outdated aesthetics.

The vast majority of website redesign attempts that fail have started with owners complaining about how awful the website is looking right now, maybe the brand needs some refreshment that can be achieved with just a change of fonts and colors and not a complete makeover since aesthetics are mostly owners’ desires and the visitors are not considered at all.

  • Other important thing that is better to avoid is to leave fundamental considerations to the end.

It’s quite harmful to not predict what can happen when a major change is implemented. There might be direct repercussions over navigation bounces or engagement time during the visit that could harm SEO and even ad revenues.

  • Last, but not least, you need to test everything while implementing some changes.

Most people do not collect all available data while changing vital stuff such as layout, backgrounds or ad location.

What to do…

One of the best techniques that will guarantee you success this year is tracking engagement metrics. It’s not just about how many visitors go to the website, their behavior and what they do is quite important. This way, you can learn how to affect this statistics in a positive way. For example, designing a content strategy around the content that is producing the sessions with the greatest quantity of engagement is going to guarantee you a major traffic on your website without having to touch the code of your website.

Other great practice that will help you is adjusting your layout to each type of visitor. Here lies the importance of keeping track of engagement and experience metrics like bounce rates and page views. One of the easiest ways to do it is testing different layouts and seeing how these metrics behave with the kind of visitor you want to attract to your page. Once you get the best layout, your organic traffic will grow bit by bit.

Finally, get even more mobile friendly. There are new development techniques such as PWAs that allows a mobile website have all the functionality of an app such as pre-caching, push notifications, compatibility with all devices and more. It’s also known that people is browsing the web through their phones and tablets more than they do with desktop computers or laptops.

Now you have knowledge of some dos and don’ts that will help you redesign websites in a productive way this 2018. Apply them and you’ll have success!