Category Archives: Website Development

How to Use Established Standards to Create a Great Website


building a siteIgnoring standards in Web Development is like raising a child in the jungle. That child will not perform well in normal society when mature.

When you build anything, it must be adapted to the fundamental features of similar products. At least to some degree.

When I started building websites over 15 years ago, it was mostly by trial and error.

Like many Professional Web Developers who are self taught, I didn’t know much about conversion optimization, typography, vertical spacing, and the countless other ingredients that make a great website.

These are some of the standards that are critical to the success of a modern site or application.

Design and programming best practices were developed mostly through testing, experimentation, and analytic reviews. This is what gives it strength.

Industry tested approaches and techniques that are proven to work should be fairly reliable, right?

Most big companies didn’t know much about this as well, and many still don’t. Back then there were no major college level programs focusing on website development.

Don’t get me wrong, there Read more »

5 Downloadable Logo Creation Software


Great logos are like super talented people. Many will be loyal to the brand becuase of it, and this can equate to millions of additional revenue for a company.

That’s why this list of the best logo creation software was assembled. Crafting a top performing asset that represents your company is not always easy.

The Logo, is the most powerful and dynamic attribute of a business. It can be central, or foundational. If the company is lucky enough, their logo can even become a pop culture icon.

Everything must be considered when designing a logo. Everything! From the name of your company, the uniqueness of the logo, various media type compatibility, and the future use of the logo. It’s like a face.

People get it wrong all the time, including me.

Logos are not always good as Read more »

A Basic yet Essential Tutorial on Web Hosting


Web Hosting is a term for the service of storing and serving up the files of a website. The service provider is referred to as a Web Host. Godaddy, Blue Host, and Hostgator are examples of website hosting service providers.

So how exactly does web hosting work?

Well it’s very simple. A website is a collection of files. These files need to be stored on a computer’s hard drive.

Not only does it store the files, it must process and present the files after a request for those files has been made. In other words, they’re Read more »

How to Create a WordPress Template in 5 Minutes


To create a WordPress template (theme) in 5 minuets you will not start from scratch. There is no need for that when you want to quickly develop themes. The purpose of this article is to outline the fast track to theme creation (Not theme design, that is a different thing).

The benefit is a new theme ready for styling within minuets. It’s a jump start for designers and folks with low tech skills or interests. In other words, if you don’t want to deal with complex code. And you just want to spend time designing or making minor changes.

In many cases you are the developer for someone else, and a client wants something original. Or you want to sell templates to make some cash. This should be Read more »

How to use Gimp to Create Logos


logo example

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what do you think a good logo is worth? And if it’s going to be worth anything, you can bet it will cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars to create a logo.

This is a relatively small investment for something that may help catapult your business to success. But you don’t have to spend anything to make a good looking logo for your website. Gimp is the Freeway to a professional looking Logo where you can do it your self and it cost nothing but your time.

If you’re interested in creating logos using Gimp, let me first introduce you to this program then I will walk you through the basic steps. Gimp is a free image editing software that runs on almost any computer and operating system.

This software can be used to retouch photos. It can be used to crop, re-size or optimize images for use on the web. Best of all it can be used to create custom text or graphic art.

I’ve used it for a number of edits on my own and client projects and find it very effective in providing the features now considered standard for Graphic Software. If you don’t want to pay an outside person or company to do your logo, you will find this software very useful for creating professional looking artwork.

What kind of logo can you create?

In this guide I will show you how to create simple text logos using Gimp. You’ll learn how to Read more »

HTML5 Audio Tag Tutorial


Two SpeakersHTML5 is here and so is the long awaited Audio Tag. They said it would take a decade or more, but it’s quickly being adopted by popular browsers like Firefox, Chrome and Safari.

Although it’s not a W3C recommendation yet (at the time of this writing), there is enough support to start experimenting and developing websites and applications with the new elements. I’ll cover the HTML5 Audio Tag specifically in this article.

The plain Audio Tag looks like this: Read more »

How to Create a Draggable Sort List


One of my favorite features of a content management system is a drag to sort list. Something similar can be seen in systems like the widgets module in WordPress.

Before I realized it was there, a few clients have asked me to integrate these lists so they can better manage items for their website.

This is a relatively new dynamic web application feature that some sites may be using. I will show you how to implement one of these using simple techniques and tools.

First you will need Read more »

How to Pre Plan a Website Before Development


Too many people rush into the development of their website without any initial planning. It’s like expecting a business loan without a business plan.

But where do you begin? And especially when you have no previous experience setting up a website.

Well it’s very straight forward and not that complicated. It just like any other business. Planning is important. So I will offer some advice and insight on how to pre plan a website before development.

Demand

The first thing you need to consider is demand. What kind of demand is there for the product or service your website will be offering? This is called the market.

Rarely does a new company create a market for their product or service. Most enter an already established market where others have proven success. You will need to Read more »

5 Tested XML Sitemap Creation Tools


One of the most important things you can do for your websites is to add an XML Sitemap. The sitemap tools listed below are all free, online based, software independent and tested by me to make sure they all work.

Best of all there is no sign up required to use any of these tools. Their features do vary. Some provide details of the scan, others allow over 500 urls to be included.

Sitemap Tools Read more »

Why are You Not Using the Best WordPress Plugins?


You might be writing constantly, but are you using some of the best WordPress plugins? These plugins have been tried, approved and used by many bloggers.

These applications add very useful features that enhance your blog. They can help provide a far better experience for your websites community.

Implementing any of these will offer great benefits to your sites visibility, functionality and credibility.

All in One SEO Pack. Incredibly useful for SEO. It allows you to had a custom title, description and keywords to your posts and pages. I use this and it helps me fine tune my content for the search engines. It also gives Read more »

Top 10 Free Web Application Development Tools


I use all but one of the tools in this list for web application development. They help streamline most of my work as a web developer. This is PC based…so I’m not sure which will work on the Mac.

  1. jEdit
  2. Web Developer Tool Bar for FireFox
  3. FileZilla
  4. MySQL
  5. Gimp – read our article on Gimp Logo Design
  6. CodeIgniter
  7. Project Pier
  8. Subversion
  9. Open Office
  10. IE Tester

I’ve never really used subversion. I will try to explore it in the future.

I’ve built applications with Codignitor and it’s really easy to work with. The Web Developers tools bar is practically an extension of me, and the same for jEdit and FileZilla.

Use any of these tools? Please tell us about it.

How to Choose a Good IDE


Understanding IDE

When looking for a good IDE, some standard features demanded by other programmers must be considered.

But here’s the thing. You really don’t need an IDE. A regular notepad program can work fine for editing your codes.

An IDE offers advanced features to manage files and code. Use of an IDE is Read more »

5 UI Design Improvements You Need to Make on Your Website Today


User Interface Design refers to the production of the system Users will interact with. This can be a website, a content management system, applications, software, wireless devices and more.

I will cover 5 common mistakes website developers make when designing the user’s system.

Although this topic is extensive with many advance principles, I will try to cover these mistakes generally when related to website design.

Principles for software and physical gadgets will not be touched on in this guide. And after identifying problem areas I will outline several Read more »