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Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

Web Design Sponsor – LaunchPad SC – Clemson University

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Web Design Sponsor Mojoe.net

LaunchPad SC

LaunchPadSC Logo

Do you have a new business concept?
Do you dream of starting your own business?
This competition is for you!

Rules

Simply prepare a six-slide PowerPoint presentation of your new business concept and submit it to spiro@clemson.edu.

Entry Deadline

Oct. 31, 2012

Applicants

The competition is divided into two sections:

  • Section 1 is open to all full-time undergraduate and graduate students from Clemson University
  • Section 2 is open to all residents of South Carolina or students attending a South Carolina school of higher education.

Applicants can be solo individuals or teams of up to four members.

Judges

A team of business leaders will select 5 finalists from each section to present their business concepts at Clemson at the Falls in Greenville on Dec. 7, 2012 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Each finalist will have 5 minutes to present their concept and 5 minutes of question time.

Winner(s)

$20,000 in prizes!

  • Section 1 (Clemson University students) 1st place: $5,000
  • Section 2 (South Carolina residents) 1st place: $5,000
  • BrightStart™ Bundle of Services (valued at $5,000 per enterprise) for each winner including incorporation docs, business cards, legal, marketing and IT advice for start-up executives
  • Introduction to Angel Capital investors (UCAN) and SC Launch funding

Don’t wait to apply

No application forms.

Simply follow the PowerPoint guidelines and e-mail your six-slide PowerPoint to spiro@clemson.edu.

Sponsors for LaunchPad

You can check out additional information about the the following companies by visiting their links below.

Mojoe.net
Clemson University Spiro Insitute
McNair Attorneys
Greenville Marketing Lab
InnoVision
CertusBank 

HTML5 and CSS3 Class

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

I recently taught a class for www.cctbusiness.com on HTML5 and CSS3 level 1 the class was exceptional. I discussed the basics and foundation of building your site with the correct markup and structure. I also covered basic foundation of CSS3. The students where great.  I could not have been more impressed with how quickly they picked up the foundation of the web development.

I have included a list of the resources that I provided during the class below. Also if anyone has any questions in regards to the class or information discussed please do not hesitate to email me at dwerne@mojoe.net.

Also if you would like to continue reading additional information about web development. Here are some suggested blog post: Step by Step Checklist you should be using when developing a web site. and The 10 Best Web Site Background Pattern Sites

Links to HTML5 and CSS3 Resources:

HTML 5 Resources
Here are some links to HTML5 Tags
http://www.w3schools.com/html5/html5_reference.asp
http://dev.w3.org/html5/markup/elements.html
http://html5doctor.com
http://html5rocks.com
http://html5weekly.com/
http://www.remysharp.com
http://www.script-tutorials.com

Source Code Editor Resource
Here are some source code editors that you can use when developing a website. Some are free and some cost to purchase

http://notepad-plus-plus.org/ (Free)
http://www.sublimetext.com/2 (Free)
http://panic.com/coda/ (Cost, for Mac)
http://macromates.com/ (Cost for Mac)
http://www.adobe.com/products/dreamweaver.html (Cost both Mac and PC)

Font Resources
Here are some resources where you can look at different type fonts and include @fontface in your site.
www.dafont.com (Free)
http://www.google.com/webfonts/ (Free and easy to include in your site)
https://typekit.com/ (Subscription but very affordable)

Browser Support
HTML5 and CSS3 Supported Browsers Charts
http://html5test.com/ – This site will rate each browser
http://www.findmebyip.com/litmus/ – Nice comparison Chart

Site Using HTML5
Here are some sites that are using the new attributes for HTML5 and CSS3
http://www.lastchart.com/
http://smalltalkapp.com/#all
http://hakim.se/experiments – Great Collection of Experiments

Resources for @Font-Face
Here are some sites that you can vist that can convert your font to an @font-face
http://www.fontsquirrel.com/fontface/generator/
http://css-tricks.com/snippets/css/using-font-face/ – How to use

Background Pattern Resources
When creating a background it is best to use a pattern that is seemless. Here are some links to some great resources for seemless backgrounds.
http://www.colourlovers.com/patterns – Background Pattern Maker
http://subtlepatterns.com
http://bgpatterns.com/ – Background Pattern Maker

Tables to DIVs
Tables are not being used as much any more. Most developers are using divs instead of tables. Here are some resources for using div instead of tables.
http://www.vanseodesign.com/css/fluid-layout-code/
http://www.csstablegenerator.com/
http://compareninja.com/

Color Charts
Here is a list of sites that can assist you with picking out your color charts.
http://www.colorpicker.com/
http://colorschemedesigner.com/
http://kuler.adobe.com/

HTML5 Test Sites
These are sites that will show you the Markup as well as how it works
http://www.w3schools.com/html5/html5_form_input_types.asp
http://html5demo.momac.net/
http://www.html5rocks.com/en/

Web Design Resources – Color Web Sites

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Designing a web site can be a challenging task but the process can be very smooth and rewarding if you have the right web design resources. So I have decided to start posting some of the tools and web design resources that I use when developing a web site.

Okay So here goes my favorite Color Sites:

Color Scheme Designer
 

Web Site: http://colorschemedesigner.com/

They are also currently looking for support via Kickstarter because they are developing a new app for color palettes. The site is extremely easy to use and it will allow you to export your color choices via; HTML and CSS, Text, XML, and Gimp Palette. “I personally use this site when looking for combination of choices in different variations.”

Colour Lovers


Web Site:
http://www.colourlovers.com/

Okay, so here is my new favorite web site. There are literally over 2 million color palette combinations made by other designers which is a great collaboration tool and gives you exposure to what other designers are doing. You can also make your own palette, and then give the palette its own name. Once it is named you then easily share it with your client by downloading an image or a specific file format. Also a great place for Web Background Patterns. Check out my post on Patterns.

Kuler

Of course you can not forget about Adobe’s color tool. It has been around quite some time and has millions of color combinations as well but the whole site is in Flash(It almost sounds like a bad word to say Flash because the way that web development is headed right now. And that is very sad because I love designing sites in Flash). So it will not work on iPad or iPhone. The controls that are available to change the RGB, CYMK and so on are over the top. So for the desktop environment it is another great choice when trying to pick the best color palette that represents your clients brand.

http://kuler.adobe.com/

Well, that about sums up my color web design resources. I like to be able to quickly design a color palette for a customer so their site is original from the ground up. If you start designing the base elements of a web site with original colors, fonts, and pictures then in the end the entire site will be a one-of-a-kind web site.

The 10 Best Web Site Background Pattern Sites

Monday, May 28th, 2012

Who does not like a great web site background pattern for their web site? I believe it can make the difference between an okay web site and a web site that has some class and style.There are hundreds of sites available on the web that show you how to make background patterns. There are even sites that will allow you to download the pre-made patterns that you can just drop in to Photoshop Presets folder. There are some classical background patterns that are used quite a lot; such as, TV line pattern, diagonal line pattern, and dotted pattern. These patterns have been over-used. I think if you are going to design a web site then an original background pattern is a must. There are definitely some exotic pattern creators out there as well. I personally like the subtle patterns they can be added to your Photoshop very easily and can be altered without much effort.

Background patterns for web sites can be that little extra design element that makes your site stand out from the rest. I have included some links to sites that I use for background patterns check them out below.

STRIPE GENERATOR (This is a generator that will make the patterns for you)

Stripe Generator for Web Site Backgrounds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUBTLE PATTERNS (This is one of my favorites, love how subtle the patterns are and they even have a plugin for WordPress)

Subtle Patterns for Web Site Backgrounds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COLOR LOVERS (This site not only has patterns, but color palettes as well and it is a site that allows you to create your own custom pattern)

Color Lovers Web Site Background Patterns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DOTTER PATTERN (This site is a dotted background pattern generator, pretty useful if you are in a hurry and don’t want to do it yourself)

Dotted Patterns for Web Site Backgrounds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BG PATTERN CREATOR (This site allows you to basically create your pattern on the site, then you can download the image)

Pattern Creator for Web Site Backgrounds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BRUSHEEZY PATTERNS (This site as a wide variety of downloadable images for Patterns everything from Wood Background to Snowflake Patterns)

Brusheezy Patterns for Web Site Backgrounds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIN PATTERNS (You want to talk about Exotic Pattern Creation this site definitely fits that description but it has some class and style in the patterns)

Din Patterns for Web Site Backgrounds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BG MAKER (Wow, now this site is the KING of Patterns over 1685 Pages for a total of 246,633 Patterns as of this Post May 2012. This site not only has this many patterns but also allows to make your own pattern on the site. Another Personal Favorite)

BG Pattern Maker and Gallery for Web Site Backgrounds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TARTAN DESIGNER (Now, if you’re feeling a little scottish and want a tartan for your web site background then this is the web site for you. As of May 2012 the site has over 123 pages with a  total of 615 Tartan designs. You can also make your own custom tartan as well)

Tartan Designer for Web Site Backgrounds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALICE GRAFIXX (Once again this site has plenty to look at just like the others over 64 pages for a current total of 1024 pattern backgrounds as of May 2012.)

Alice Grafixx Patterns for Web Site Backgrounds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In conclusion, no matter the design, style, color, or feel of web site you are going for the 10web sites above offer a wide-variety of patterns and textures. Please feel free to post a comment or suggest another pattern site for this post. Stay connected till next week, when we talk about color and give you some very useful links that every designer should have when choosing a color palette.

 

Responsive Images and Web Standards at the Turning Point

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Responsive Images and Web Standards at the Turning Point

by MAT MARQUIS

The goal of a “responsive images” solution is to deliver images optimized for the end user’s context, rather than serving the largest potentially necessary image to everyone. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been quite so simple in practice as it is in theory.

Recently, all of the ongoing discussion around responsive images just got real: a solution is currently being discussed with the WHATWG. And we’re in the thick of it now: we’re throwing around references to picture and img set; making vague references to polyfills and hinting at “use cases” as though developers everywhere are following every missive on the topic. That’s a lot to parse through, especially if you’re only tuning in now—during the final seconds of the game.

The markup pattern that gets selected stands to have a tremendous influence on how developers build websites in the future. Not just responsive or adaptive websites, either. All websites.

What a long, strange, etc.

Let’s go over the path that led us here one more time, with feeling:

The earliest discussion of responsive images came about—predictably enough—framed in the context of responsive web design. A full-bleed image in a flexible container requires an image large enough to cover the widest possible display size. An image designed to span a container two thousand pixels wide at its largest means serving an image at least two thousand pixels wide. Scaling that image down to suit a smaller display is a trivial matter in CSS, but the requested image size remains the same—and the smaller the screen, the better the chance that bandwidth is at a premium.

It’s clear that developers’ best efforts to mitigate these wasteful requests were all doomed to fall short—and not for lack of talent or effort. Some of the greatest minds in the mobile web—and web development in general, really—had come together in an effort to solve this problem. I was also there, for some reason.

I covered early efforts in my previous ALA article, so I’ll spare everyone the gruesome details here. The bottom line is that we can’t hack our way out of this one. The problem remains clear, however, and it needs to be solved—but we can’t do it with the technologies at our disposal now. We need something new.

Those of us working on the issue formed the Responsive Images Community Group (RICG) to facilitate conversations with standards bodies and browser representatives.

“W3C has created Community Groups and Business Groups so that developers, designers, and anyone passionate about the Web has a place to have discussions and publish documents.”
http://www.w3.org/community/

Unfortunately, we were laboring under the impression that Community Groups shared a deeper inherent connection with the standards bodies than it actually does. When the WHATWG proposed a solution last week, many of the people involved in that discussion hadn’t participated in the RICG. In fact, some key decision makers hadn’t so much as heard of it.

Proposed markup patterns

The pattern currently proposed by the WHATWG is a new set attribute on the img element. As best I can tell from the description, this markup is intended to solve two very specific issues: an equivalent to ‘min-width’ media queries in the ‘600w 200h’ parts of the string, and pixel density in the ‘1x’/’2x’ parts of the string.

The proposed syntax is:

 

<img src="face-600-200@1.jpg" alt="" set="face-600-200@1.jpg 600w 200h 1x, 
face-600-200@2.jpg 600w 200h 2x, face-icon.png 200w 200h"> 

 

I have some concerns around this new syntax, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

The markup pattern proposed earlier by the RICG (the community group I’m part of) aims to use the inherent flexibility of media queries to determine the most appropriate asset for a user’s browsing context. It also uses behavior already specced for use on the video element—in the way of mediaattributes—so that conditional loading of media sources follows a predictable and consistent pattern.

That markup is as follows:

 

<picture alt=""> <source src="mobile.jpg" /> <source src="large.jpg" media="min-width: 600px" /> 
<source src="large_1.5x-res.jpg" media="min-width: 600px, » min-device-pixel-ratio: 1.5" /> 
<img src="mobile.jpg" /> </picture> 

 

Via Github, this pattern has been codified in something as close to a specas I could manage, for the sake of having all the key implementation details in one place.

Polyfills

So far, two polyfills exist to bring the RICG’s proposed picture functionality to older browsers: Scott Jehl’s Picturefill and Abban Dunne’s jQuery Picture.

To my knowledge, there are currently no polyfills for the WHATWG’s newly proposed img set pattern. It’s worth noting that a polyfill for any solution relying on the img tag will likely suffer from the same issues we encountered when we tried to implement a custom ”responsive images” solution in the past.

Fortunately, both patterns provide a reliable fallback if the new functionality isn’t natively supported and no polyfill has been applied: img set using the image’s original src, and picture using the same fallback pattern proven by the video tag. When the new element is recognized, the fallback content provided within the element is ignored—for example, a Flash-based video in the case of the video tag, and an img tag in the above picture example.

Differing proposals

Participants in the WHATWG have stated on the public mailing list and via the #WHATWG IRC channel that browser representatives prefer the img set pattern, which is an important consideration during these conversations. Most members of the WHATWG are representatives of major browsers, so they understand the browser side better than anyone.

On the other hand, the web developer community has strongly advocatedfor the picture markup pattern. Many developers familiar with this subject have stated—in no uncertain terms that the img set syntax is at best unfamiliar—and at worst completely indecipherable. I can’t recall seeing this kind of unity among the community around any web standards discussion in the past—and in a conversation about markup semantics, no less!

We’re on the same team

While the WHATWG’s preferences, and the web developer community’s differing preferences, certainly should be considered as we finalize a standard solution to the problem of responsive images, our highest priority must remain providing a clear benefit to our users: the needs of the user trump convenience for web developers and browser developers alike.

For that reason (for the sake of those who use the web), it’s critical not to cast these discussions as “us vs. them.” Standards representatives, browser representatives, and developers are all partners in this endeavor. We all serve a higher goal: to make the web accessible, usable, and delightful for all. Whatever their stance on img set or picture, I’m certain everyone involved is working toward a common goal, and we all agree that a ”highest common denominator” approach is indefensible. We simply cannot serve massive, high-resolution images indiscriminately. Their potential cost to our users is too great—especially considering the tens of thousands of users in developing countries who pay for every additional kilobyte they consume, but will see no benefit to the huge file they’ve downloaded.

That said, I have some major issues with the img set syntax, at least in its present incarnation:

1. USE CASES

Use cases are a list of potential applications for the markup patterns, the problems that they stand to solve, and the benefits.

I’ve published a list of use cases for the picture element on the WHATWG wiki. It is by no means exhaustive, as picture can deliver an image source based on any combination of media queries. The most common use cases are screen size and resolution, for certain, but it could extend as far as serving a layout-appropriate image source for display on screen, but a high-resolution version for printing—all on the same page, without any additional scripting.

At present, no list of use cases has been published for img set. We’ve been working under the assumption, based on conversations on the WHATWG list and in the WHATWG IRC channel, that img set covers two uses specifically: serving high-resolution images to high-resolution screens, and functionality similar to min-width media queries in the way of the 600wstrings.

It’s vital that we have a way to take advantage of new techniques for detecting client-side capabilities as they become available to us, and thepicture element gives us a solid foundation to build upon—as media queries evolve over time, we could find ourselves with countless ways to tailor asset delivery.

We may have that same foundation in the img tag as well, but in a inevitably fragmented way.

2. MARGIN FOR ERROR

I don’t mind saying that the img set markup is inscrutable. It’s a markup pattern unlike anything seen before in either HTML or CSS. This goes well beyond author preference. An unfamiliar syntax will inevitably lead to authorship errors, in which our end users will be the losers.

As I said on the WHATWG mailing list, however, given a completely foreign and somewhat puzzling new syntax, I think it’s far more likely we’ll see the following:

 

 <img src="face-600-200@1.jpeg" alt="" set="face-600-200@1.jpeg 600w 1x, 
face-600-200@2.jpeg 600w 2x, face-icon.png 200w"> 

 

Become:

 <img src="face-600-200@1.jpeg" alt="" set="face-600-200@1.jpeg 600 1x, 
face-600-200@2.jpeg 600 2x, face-icon.png 200"> 

Or:

 <img src="face-600-200@1.jpeg" alt="" set="face-600-200@1.jpeg, 
600w 1x face-600-200@2.jpeg 600w 2x, face-icon.png 200w"> 

 

Regardless of how gracefully these errors should fail, I’m confident this is a “spot the differences” game very few developers will be excited to play.

I don’t claim to be any smarter than the average developer, but I am speaking as a core contributor to jQuery Mobile and from my experiences working on the responsive BostonGlobe.com site: tailoring assets for client capabilities is kind of my thing. To be perfectly honest, I still don’t understand the proposed behavior fully.

I would hate to think that we could be paving the way for countless errors just because img set is easier to implement in browsers. Implementation on the browser side takes place once; authoring will take place thousands of times. And according to the design principles of HTML5 itself, author needs must take precedence over browser maker needs. Not to mention those other HTML5 design principles: solve real problems, pave the cowpaths, support existing content, and avoid needless complexity.

Avoid needless complexity

Authors should not be burdened with additional complexity. If implemented,img set stands to introduce countless points of failure—and, at worst, something so indecipherable that authors will simply avoid it.

I’m sure no one is going to defend to the death the idea that the video andaudio tags are paragons of efficient markup, but they work. For better or worse: the precedents they’ve set are here to stay. Pave the cowpaths.This is how HTML5 handles rich media with conditional sources, and authors are already familiar with these markup patterns. The potential costs of deviation far outweigh the immediate benefit to implementors.

Any improvements to client-side asset delivery should apply universally. By introducing a completely disparate system to determine which assets should be delivered to the client, improvements may well have to be made twice to suit two systems: once to suit the familiar media attribute used by videotags, and once to suit the img tag alone. This could leave implementors maintaining two codebases that effectively serve the same purpose, while authors learn two different methods for every advancement made. That sounds like the world before web standards, not the new, rational world standards are supposed to support.

The rationale that dare not speak its name

It’s hard to imagine why there’s been such a vehement defense of the img set markup. The picture element provides a wider number of potential use cases, has two functional polyfills today (while an efficient polyfill may not even be possible with the ‘img set’ pattern), and has seen an unprecedented level of support from the developer community.

img set is the pattern preferred by implementors on the browser side, and while that is certainly a key factor, it doesn’t justify a deficient solution. My concern is that the unspoken argument against picture on the WHATWG mailing list has been that it wasn’t invented there. My fear is that the consequences of that entrenched philosophy may fall to our users. It is they who will suffer when our sites fail (or when developers, unable to understand the WHATWG’s challenging syntax, simply force all users to download huge image files).

WE THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE WEBSITES

I’ll be honest: for me, no small part of this is about ensuring that we designers and developers have a voice in the standards process. The work that the developer community has put into the picture element solution is unprecedented, and I can only hope that it marks the start of a long and mutually beneficial relationship between we authors and the standards bodies—tumultuous though that start may be.

If you feel strongly about this topic, I encourage all designers and developers to join the WHATWG mailing list and IRC channel to participate in the ongoing conversation.

We developers should—and can—be partners in the creation of new standards. Lend your voices to this discussion, and to others like it in the future. The web will be better for it.

Follow up to Lunch and Learn with Greenville Marketing Lab – Blogging, SEO, and Learning Greenville, SC

Thursday, April 12th, 2012
Deveren WerneJay Spivey and Kamran Popkin offered great advise on blogging and using digital magazines at yesterday’s Lunch & Learn! Thanks!!

www.greenvillemarketinglab.com

Thanks to all who attended and presented at our Lunch & Learn at Ford’s Oyster House! I’m following the advice of Kamran Popkin, one of our speakers, who recommended blogging each morning while the coffee is brewing. Make blogging a habit, find your voice! Looking forward to our upcoming You Tub…
Useful links for Search Engine Optimization
  • Use Google Keyword Tool to create check your keywords and see how popular they are.
  •  Use Web Site Grader to analyze your site; its a free tool and if you search you can find other ones for analyzing your site
  • Check Link Popularity – If you are being linked to or are linking to other companies check their page rank to see how popular their site may be. The higher the page rank the potential for more of that traffic to visit your web site. You can check your page rank at Google Page Rank
  • Add Google Analytic s or Re-Invigorate – At Mojoe we use both of these tools Google is free and re-invigorate it $10.00 dollars a month. We do this so we can have cross comparison of analytical data for your web site.
  • SEO by Yoast This is a great plugin for WordPress
  • You can also check out one of our Blog posts that gives you a Step by Step checklist when designing and developing a web site

If you would like additional information on designing and developing your web site please check out our Blog.

Web Resources – Greenville South Carolina

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Developing or Designing a web site can be a challenging task. Having the right resources and knowledge available can increase productivity and insure that your site will be developed properly and efficiently. Mojoe.net provides their clients with educational material and links to invaluable resources. Here is a list of some of Mojoe.net’s web resources:

Mojoe.net Web Resources 

Cascading Style Sheet Resources

http://webdesignerwall.com/tutorials/css-social-buttons

http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2012/03/how-to-optimize-your-css/

Font Resources

http://www.google.com/webfonts

http://cssfontstack.com/

Web Site Grader

http://hubshout.com/?p=WebGrader

http://www.prchecker.info/check_page_rank.php

Web Magazines

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/

http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/

Tips & Tricks
http://css-tricks.com/video-screencasts/ (Great Resource of Video Tutorials)

Overall Resource of Information
http://www.sitepoint.com

If you would like further information or would like to discuss  your web site or web application. You can schedule a Free consultation with Mojoe.net. Please do not hesitate to call us at 864-859-9848 or you can visit our home page and fill out the form. Next Week WordPress Tips and Plugins.

Whats your Function Junction | Web Design Greenville, SC

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

So is it okay to have a web site that may look great but does not work?

Well, my answer as a designer and developer would actually surprise most people. YES, it is okay to have a great design with no function, but for your client it is probably a big fat NO. Your web site should not only look amazing and be original; it should also function correctly and perform call to action to get your clients their desired results. There are great deal of developers out in the web community that are not designers and vice-a-versa.

We recently, had a client decide to use another web development company and the design of the site is nice. Unfortunately for our client the web development company was not experienced with shopping carts, so even though they have a nice looking site. The clients customers can no longer order online and the site basically no longer works. So what should you do if you experience this issue.

Ask questions, Ask questions, Ask questions, and educate yourself for the benefit of your company and its web site. Now, I am sure you are wondering what questions to ask? Well, here is a small list of questions that should help inform you if the company that you are about to work with is capable of performing not only the design but also the functions to your web site.

Questions to Ask:

Question: How long have you been developing web site?
Answer: If the answer with 1 year or we are just starting out, this can be a potential red flag if you are looking for a web site to do specific actions that may be complicated.

Question: Who is your developer/programmer?
Answer: We outsource our development to India, or  we know a guy. RUN, the reason is very simple. The person you are talking to most likely has no knowledge of the programming for a website and if this person is your point of contact then transferring your idea to them and then to someone else and so on. Well, you get the idea, your function will get lost in translation both literally and figuratively.

Question: What programming language do you use?
Answer: The answer should be immediate and they should be able to show you examples. If not then this is another red flag.

Question: Do you comment all of your code?
Answer: If they say no, or unfamiliar with what comment your code means then you need to find the nearest exit and leave the building. Commenting code is a practice that all developers should do when coding a web site. It is basically cliff notes to each section of code on the web site. The reason this is important is because the comments will assist another web developer if the site has to be moved or another web developer has to take over the project.

Question: We would like a self contained web site that we manage ourselves (CMS), can you develop something like that?
Answer: Once again the answer should be yes. But they should start out by evaluating your project and seeing if you would be better served with having an out of the box solution; such as, WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, or DNN. The reason being that if they develop something that only they understand then you are stuck with them and can never move your site. Having a foundation in one of frameworks mentioned before will make your site easier to move and most of these frameworks have a large selection of plugins to quickly add function to your web site. Now, there are some cases where custom programming is warranted and is very necessary, but remember if the programmer comments there code and also the web company agrees the coding belongs to you then there is no problem. Custom programming can be very beneficial in the development of your web site. This answer actually leads us into our next question

Question: Do you write code from scratch?
Answer: The answer should be yes. If it is no or they are unsure then you have an issue. Having a web company that can actually write code from scratch especially for a complicated and very involved web site is extremely important and can be critical to the operation of your web site. Your site need to have the ability to grow and expand over time…as I have said before, ” A web site is a ever evolving and growing means of communication.”

Remember, interview your potential web development company, spend time with them, ask questions, make a plan, and be sure to ask for examples.

I will be writing some more in-depth blog post that will deal with Planning, Development, Design and Maintenance so please be sure to check back often and feel free to contact me at 864-859-9848 or you can email me at dwerne@mojoe.net

Thank you,

Deveren Werne  – Developer, Designer – Lover of the Web.

Web Design Greenville

 

Step by Step Checklist you should be using when developing a web site.

Monday, December 26th, 2011

Developing Web Site – Make sure that you have  the following: A Plan, Development, Design, and Maintenance of a web site.

I’ve blogged a lot about web site development and I want to make sure I stress a few important items, a web site is a constant ever changing and growing marketing tool for your business, before beginning a web site or web development please consult with an expert, and most of all PLAN your web site. To help you make your plan, here is a simplified checklist for the planning, development, design and maintenance of a website ($ indicates potential additional fees that may be incurred).

PLAN YOUR WEB SITE

  • Make a plan for your site.
  • Consult with several companies and make the right decision for you and your budget.
  • Plan a budget for the development of your web site as well as the maintaining of your web site
  • Decide on if you need a Content Management System (CMS) and if so which one should you use. Drupal, DotNetNuke, Joomla, or WordPress
  • Set a Launch Date – Before you officially launch your site and during the plan phase set a date to launch your site, be sure to make note of that date with the developer but be mindful if you ask for additional pages, functions, or any changes this can and will extend your launch date please decide what is most important to you and your business. Getting the site launched  with the initial content or adding additional content and changes and delaying the launch of your site. This is the most common problem when developing a site. Also remember you can always continue to add to a site very quickly if you have a CMS.
  • VERY IMPORTANT – Once you have chosen a CMS make sure the developer you choose can not only develop in it but support it after the launch of the site. Also make sure that the code is not proprietary and you are allowed to move your site to another company once the contract is completed. This is a common issue with a lot of web developer they either do not tell you that your site has been developed in a proprietary system or that only they can maintain it because no one else in the area supports the CMS they used.

DEVELOPMENT

  • Gather information relative to your site before meeting with web companies. The gathering of information; such as, Pictures, Text, Keywords, Video, Social Links, Phone Numbers, and Address can give you a big head start in the development of your web site.
  • Website Name (Domain Name) – Make sure to choose a name that complements your company, service or product that you are introducing on the web. Tying in your primary keyword into your domain name can be extremely helpful.
  • Competition Researched – Make sure you see what your compettion’s web site looks like, do some research check out their sites. See what you like and don’t like, make a list of things you do and the things you don’t like.
  • Visit other web sites and pick out sites that you like and have function and features you like
  • Make a list of keywords 1 to 25 about your business, Ex: (Web Design Greenville SC, is considered one keyword or phrase)
  • Use Google Keyword Tool to create check your keywords and see how popular they are.
  • Website Title Chosen( Use your number 1 keyword / Key phrase in your title)
  • Website Host Research, if your developer does not have a hosting solution for you. Check around the area for other companies that do not only develop but host the site as well. Having one point of contact is critical. Especially when your site goes down and your web developer has no reason why, then you are calling someone else whom may answer the phone or may not answer the phone.
  • Website Host Chosen and Registered $
  • Website Name Chosen – Make sure once you have chosen a name that when producing collateral pieces like business card, letterhead, envelopes, brochures, invoices, receipt, billboards, mailers, flyers, or any printed piece for your business that your www. is plastered all over the place.
  • Website Name Purchase $ Typically we use Godaddy to register all of our names and we charge exactly what Godaddy charges us.
  • Website Structure and Organization Established – Here is a great resource for structure of a web site – Web Style Structure
  • Link Exchange Researched – Check with your vendors, suppliers or anyone that you do business with and ask about putting a link to your web site on their web site and vice-a-verse.
  • Link Exchange Page Set Up – Make sure if you are going to be exchanging quite a few links that you setup a page to handle your policy and make it easy for other sites to grab your logo and a link to your site. The more in-bound and out-bound links you have the better your site is received as an information hub than just a site selling a product or service.
  • Articles/Resources Provided/Researched – Search the internet, publications, in-house material, collateral pieces and other media for articles / content that you can add o your web site which in turn will add value to your site as a resource of information and will assist with improving your search engine registration.
  • Articles/Resources Chosen – Link to other related articles that are relative to your service or product. Make sure to give credit to the person or company that wrote the article or content that you are linking too.
  • Advertising Inclusion Implemented – Decide wether or not you would like to include advertising on your site, and if so then choose rates and rate sheet that a potential customer can easily download.
  • Search Engine Submission Prepared – Set a goal for your search engine submission. This does not happen over night and it takes several elements to make this successful. Make sure there is a plan from your web developer or SEO specialist and that they plan to analyze the results after a certain period.
  • Search Engine Submission Implemented $ – Even with having a plan and a goal set, this process is not a one time process. It is a constant under-taking. You will always need to be mindful of your web site placement in the search engines because your competition is always trying to get ahead of you and will try the same tactics that you have done.
  • Review Search Engine Submission Results (1-4 months after public release) – Set a date and time to review your search engine placement with your web developer or SEO specialist after about 4 months, so you can find out your placement as well as improve your placement if the goal that was set was not reached.
  • Setup Social Accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Blog, and make sure to have someone whom can update them on a regular basis. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT, this must be done on a regular basis it can be the difference between getting a sales or perspective customer. The more you update your site, blog and social accounts the better your chances of bringing someone to your site. “It is like putting hundreds and hundreds of fishing hooks in the water, the more you put in the greater your chances are a landing a big fish.”
  • Add Google Analytic s or Re-Invigorate – At Mojoe we use both of these tools Google is free and re-invigorate it $10.00 dollars a month. We do this so we can have cross comparison of analytical data for your web site.

DESIGN

  • Artwork Compiled – Laying out the colors, fonts, and spacing you like, so that your designer or branding specialist can speed your design time up greatly as well as provide you a more effective brand that you are looking for in your business or service.
  • Color Scheme Research / Presented – Check out these links for Color: KulerColor Scheme Designer or Color Schemer
  • Typography Research / Presented – There are some really helpful web sites available that will make it very easy to choose which fonts to use for your web site. Your Type can send a message an convey meaning just like a picture or logo. So choosing the right font style, color and spacing can be very effective in -conjunction with the rest of your site to present the correct message. Here are some useful resources for researching fonts: Google Fonts, Smashing Magazine, Inspiration Bit, and 1st Web
  • Pictures Research / Presented – “A picture is worth a thousand words” this statement as has more meaning on the web than any where else on the planet. Having a picture that is of quality and meaning can impart so much information about your business that it leaves the words behind. Be mindful of your photography make sure it sends the right message to your viewers when presented on your site. If you use stock photography and photography from a local photographer make sure they compliment each other. The worst thing that can happen is having two different styles of photography on a web site. It sends the wrong message to your viewers but this is a common practice because high-end quality photography cost money. So make a decision wether to use all stock photography for your web site or use all photography you have shot with your digital camera. Pick one quality stand-point for your photography and stay with it, if you are going to mix them then be sure to hire a professional photographer. Here are some helpful stock sites and professional photographers. PABPhoto.com, Patrick Cox, iStock Photo, and Big Stock Photo
  • Creation of a Mood Board – The creation of a mood board for your site and the over all theme of your company is not only a resource to be utilized with the development of your site but with all the collateral pieces that are created for your business. By doing this you will keep a constant brand so your company or service is always recognizable, and this is paramount to the success of your business. Note: “Not every company can design brands as well as develop web sites correctly be careful when choosing a one size fits all company. They are usually great at one aspect but are lacking in other areas.” If you would like more information on the creation of Mood Board, Check out this article at Web Designer Depot.
  • Logo Designed or Prepared as Digital Art – The designing of your logo should incorporate your overall theme for your company. The logo should be made available in several formats for you; such as, black and white and color. Your logo should be able to be scaled from a favicon to a billboard. Which means your logo should be done as an EPS file or what is also know as a vector file so it will scale easily and without having to be re-created.
  • Layout Design Research and Presented – When laying out and designing your site be mindful of how your customers will be viewing your site. Will they be viewing your site via there desktop, laptop, mobile phone, iPad, iPhone, or even their TV. If so you need to make sure that your site is an adaptive web site or a fully responsive web site($ A fully responsive site can cost a great deal of extra money). Web sites that are presented on other devices looks and acts differently make sure your web developer discusses the pros and cons of developing a site for only one device and if they are using Flash on any of the site. How limited your site will become to certain parts of your viewing audience. When we develop a design we present it in all formats that we will be developing for, so if we are doing an adaptive site we will present you with a Desktop version of your site, Laptop version of your site, Tablet version of your site, and a mobile version of your web site.
  • Color Scheme Chosen – Once you and your developer have choose the color scheme make sure he supplies you with a CYMK version which is a printer version of your colors so when you print collateral pieces all of your colors will match. It is best to pick out your printer color first for your collateral pieces and work from that to create the web colors you will need for your web site.
  • Layout/Design Chosen – Once you and your developer have made a decision on the layout and design make sure that once the site is completed and the contract finished get the creation files, font files, color scheme, and any and all other related files. The reason is because this is your web site you want to make sure you have a full and complete version of your site in-case you ever have to take these files to someone else. Also you will see how well organized your developer and his/her team his which will give you some insight to the development of your project.
  • HTML and CSS Coding Design – This part of the process is the structure and the layout of your site. HTML which stands for Hyper Text Markup Language and CSS which stands for Cascading Style Sheets control the look and feel of your site in the browser. Make sure that your code is commented by your developer this can be essential when having multiple developers work on your site. The comments basically are a road map to the construction of your web site and will make it easy for another developer or team to come in and assist or take-over for another company or developer.
  • What is the Function – The function of your site is how your site interacts with potential customers and viewers. This is usually accomplished by javascript, Jquery, or flash. Now there are pros and cons to each make sure they’re explained to you and your understand the benefits and draw backs. So if you want a rotating banner of pictures at the top of your site discuss with your developer how that will be  achieved and will it be visible for all of your audience. Also if you are going to have a form on the site will it be functional for everyone and whom will the form go to?
  • Content and Articles Added – If you are going to be adding additional content or articles to your site on a regular basis make sure they are displayed noteabley on your site so viewers can get to the information as fast as possible.
  • Review Web Standards – So once your site is completed review the web standards that are available. Is your site up to the standards of the target audience you are trying to reach? You can have your developer check and make sure by going to W3C
  • Validate Code – Has all of your HTML and CSS been validated and are there any errors and if so are the errors acceptable based on functions you are using? You can check those out at the following links: Markup Validation or CSS Validation
  • Check Website with Other Browsers – Test your web site in all browsers; such as, FireFox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome, Opera, and Avant. Also be mindful of the version of each browser. Each browser has different versions and your site depending upon the HTML and CSS will render differently in each browser unless your developer has taken that into consideration. So be sure to ask will my site work in all browser and version of those browser. NOTE: IF you ask for your site to work in all of these and all there version you most likely will get charged additional monies for providing this service. For Example: Internet Explorer has the following version on the web IE9, IE8, IE7,and IE6 the last two are barely even used any more but some people still have them as there browser of choice. You can go to Browser Stats and see current statistics for which browser people are using for their browser you can also see other stats on this site.
  • Check Website with different OS (Operating Systems) – Checking your site in different browsers is very important but be sure to check your site on both Mac and PC for each of the browsers above, or make sure that your developer offers this service when developing your site.
  • Check Website with Various Screen Resolutions – During the layout phase of the construction of you’re site your developer should be discussing the dimension of the site is designing and if he  is designing an adaptive site then this will not matter because he will have taken in the most common resolutions into consideration and this will not be a factor to check. You can see the most common screen resolutions for computer by visiting: Browser Display Statistics
  • Edit and Review Website Presentation – Having one final review and presentation from your developer / development company can b e vital to how your site is recieved when the site is launched, check, check, check and check again for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and how your site is presented to the viewer. Have a meeting to discuss the aspects you are completely satisfied with and be sure to let them know which ones you are not satisfied with, most developer will try and work it out. Remember the site is not only for your business but a representation of the developers work and ability. He wants to be just as proud of the site as you do and will strive to do everything possible to make this happen.
  • Test Website (typically 2-4 weeks) – Test, Test, Test, and test some more. Have your friends, family, and long time customers test your site before doing the official launch of your site. This will make your site error proof as much as possible. Because your friends and family will give the unbiased opinion and this will assist you and the developer with in-valuable feedback. For small web site this is not as big a priority as larger site, database driven sites or e-commerce sites.
  • Test Links – Check your links on all pages. Especially if your site is a large site when links to articles, blog, resources, or shopping cart. If you have a site map on your site(and you should) then check all of the links on there as well.

WEB SITE MAINTENANCE $ (This can cost additional money, please check when developing your site)

  • Frequently Update – Updating your social feeds is one thing but not updating your actual web site can hurt your search listing. Be sure to set a schedule for both your  social feeds and your web site. If you do not want to be responsible for this, then hire the development company to take care of it and plan a schedule with them.
  • Check for Errors – Always check for errors, you or the development company you contract with should check for errors on a regular basis.
  • Add Link Exchanges – Having a link exchange policy in place on your site can be very helpful for driving traffic to your site and increasing your over all page rank.
  • Check for Bad Links – If you link to other web sites for articles, resources, or other forms of information be sure to check those links on a schedule as well because over time links will get broken and if no one fixes them on your site then your site looks like it is not begin managed properly and this will send the wrong message to your audience.
  • Keyword Review and Update – After about 4 to 6 months review your keywords that you have used in your text and in your meta-tags. Check and see if these are working for you and your web site if they are not, then speak with your SEO specialist or your developer. You can also analyze you’re  site at Web Site Grader
  • Check Link Popularity – If you are being linked to or are linking to other companies check their page rank to see how popular their site may be. The higher the page rank the potential for more some of that traffic to visit your web site. You can check your page rank at Google Page Rank
  • Review New Technology – Be on the look out for new and developing technology. Make sure that the developer that you engage is aware of these technologies and how they can better assist you in the development and design of your web site. There are currently emerging technologies like HTML5 and CSS 3 which make the web experience even better and less dependent on images and other older web technologies.
  • Review Web Standards – If you add additional content to your site or make changes to your site make sure your site is still meeting the web standards.
  • Check Site Statistics – Be mindful of your marketing strategies and how its affects the statistics on your site. Having your statistics sent to you weekly will help you keep an eye on how your site is progressing and if your marketing campaign as made an impact on your site visitors.
  • Add New Content – I can not say this enough, please add more content to your site on a regular basis a stagnate web site will not preform give you the desired results for new business. ” A web site is a constantly ever-changing and evolving form of communication fro your business.
  • Check Links – Keep checking your links every time your site is updated.
  • Validate Code – Make Sure to keep validating your code on a regular basis, make sure it is added to the routine or schedule.
  • Re-Submit Site to Search Engines – If you hire a company to do your Search Engine Registration and Optimization for your web site then ask them what is there schedule of submission. How often will they submit your site to the search engines and for how long. Will they generate you a report of the submission which will show you whom they are submitting to and if your submission was received or not.
  • Check Web Page Descriptions – Make sure that your web page descriptions are unique and correlate to the page that they’re on and that the description is not generic.
  • Check Web Page Titles – Your page title should also correlate to the page that the viewer is on and should be unique to that page. Do not use your companies name in the front of the title. Use a unique identifier for that page then add your company name into the title as well.
  • Review Meta Tag Standards and Update – If you are not at the top of the search engines for a particular keyword or key phrase then see what is missing from your site. You may also need to create new content that re-use that keyword or key phrase more frequently.
  • Review Top Searches from Search Engines (potential new content ideas) – Check your search terms and see what is being pulled up by your keywords and key phrases see if you are listed and if not see what your competition is doing so you can better your site and its performance in the search engine.

Just like maintenance, search engine registration and optimization is an ongoing ever-expanding and changing service and will require additional money and time. Search Engine Optimization and Registration is a whole another separate service just like branding, logo creation and developing a web site. So when having a company provide SEO Services be sure of the cost and the amount of time involved with the project.

I will be writing some more in-depth blog post that will deal with Planning, Development, Design and Maintenance so please be sure to check back often and feel free to contact me at 864-859-9848 or you can email me at dwerne@mojoe.net

Thank you,

Deveren Werne  – Developer, Designer – Lover of the Web.

Launch of Sites

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Launch of Sites – Web Design Greenville

We have currently launched the following sites:

www.thepalmettomortuary.com - our first new design which is WordPress web site and that is adaptive to mobile devices, iPads, and Computers. Located in Greenville off of Woodruff Road.

www.staff1plus.com - A fully customized WordPress with its own custom theme. Located in Easley off of Hwy 123

www.mysolor.com - A fully customized WordPress with a custom theme and added full search engine registration and analytics. Located in several states but primarily in Greenville

www.kempgrp.com - We created a WordPress site with a custom theme.

 

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