Saturday, August 31, 2013

Working Web Design on a Budget

By M. Patrick Quinn

Among the many challenges faced by web designers is dealing with clients' fluctuating budgets, particularly when they don't know what they want and have demands inconsistent with their budget. It is not always easy to decide what to charge for a job. Consider the time needed to complete the project, deadlines, and copyright use, balanced with the client's expected budget to estimate a quote that's not too low that it devalues your skills and not too high that it loses the job. The importance of fact-finding before starting any project can't be underestimated.

Many designers make use of long questionnaires to identify client requests but shorter surveys with more in-depth questions are likely better to focus intentions. These can help determine what it is clients want their websites to achieve, considering realistic benefits rather than superfluous bells and whistles. You'll also want a clear idea about what the organization is, their core differentiation features, prospective visitors and what desired action will come from interacting with the site. Identify short-term and long-term expectations for both the company and its website, with a realistic completion date. It may be easier for them to describe what it is they do not want on their website. This will help in dealing with infamous lines like "I'll know what I want when I see it", as it can rule out many possibilities while potentially comparing unwanted features with preferred alternatives.

As for determining the all important budget, the most simple and straightforward approach is to ask the client what they plan to spend. Asking this early in the negotiation process will ensure you don't waste time and effort. Some business owners have never taken computer courses and have no idea how much a website generally costs so may need to be guided with examples, but it is best if they can talk directly about money as this will establish effective communication for other matters as well. You may present the client with budget options and the various pros, cons and outcomes of each, while explaining why disclosing the budget can benefit both parties. Know the lowest you can go before suggesting a price range. If necessary, negotiate by dropping parts of the project and explaining why these are the prices but don't be afraid to lose a client if their request is unreasonable.

Provide details to explain your pricing, breaking the work down into chunks to describe necessary tasks with accompanying time and money required. Be ready to justify this cost with a rational explanation and consider offering pricing options to spread out payments for price-sensitive clients. Get an agreement in writing with the scope of the project, deadlines and deliverables, a detailed description of your services, revisions and fees for additional work and terms of payment. Consider which skills you are most comfortable with from your web design courses and if the project doesn't feel right for you it is OK to say no.

Visit Oulton College for more information about IT training.

Patrick Quinn is a Copywriter at Higher Education Marketing, a leading web marketing firm specializing in Google Analytics, Education Lead Generation, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing, and Pay Per Click Marketing, among other web marketing services and tools.

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Cutting Edge Web Design Trends

By M. Patrick Quinn

Web design is among the fastest growing and most versatile careers in the world of computers. The internet has become such an essential and integrated part of our daily lives, from smart phones to tablets to traditional PCs, everyone from individuals to businesses uses the internet for everything. As the way we access and use the internet changes, so too does web design. The graphics, content, layout, and interface of websites has to stay current with the demands of its users so web design trends are always changing and adapting to new technologies and market demand. Here are some of the current and ongoing trends in web design to stay abreast of as you plan your computer courses and particularly if you're looking into web design courses.

The World Wide Web has been showing a trend towards ever more responsive and intuitive layouts. This is especially important for mobile users who need the pertinent information on a website to be easy to view and manipulate even on a small screen. There is also a push to make the layout and interface universal among platforms so that website designers don't have to create multiple lines of code, and can instead use one set of programming that is uniform across multiple platforms and also easily adaptable to new technologies that will come out in the future.

Another emerging trend is retina support. With Apple's newest iPad and other devices clamoring to add their finely tuned Retina Displays, this means that online design courses now frequently include sections on how to code and create a retina friendly layout. This means twice as many pixels in a given space, since retina displays require dense layouts to maintain a crispy and sharp image. Computer courses will focus on building sites that streamline seamlessly with these new technologies so users will always report the best experience.

Both of these design trends show the tremendous influence of mobile devices on web layout, and other emerging trends are no different. The fixed header bar that is frequently seen on multiple web sites from businesses to social media has been around for a while, but has definitely seen a surge in the last year. This makes site navigation seamless from any platform, and creating dynamic and eye-catching header bars will be an important part of web design courses.

These are the latest and most powerful trends in web design to watch and adapt to your career or study plans if you are looking into computer courses to enhance your career plans. There are few computer-related careers with as much versatility and overlap as web design that also offer niches for all kinds of talents from creative and artistic to analytic and practical.

Visit Oulton College for more sources on web design trends from a cutting edge computer college.

Patrick Quinn is a Copywriter at Higher Education Marketing, a leading web marketing firm specializing in Google Analytics, Education Lead Generation, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing, and Pay Per Click Marketing, among other web marketing services and tools.

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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Budget-Friendly Website With CMS Web Design Services

By Alfie E Ethan

Don't let the word budget turn you off. Not all things priced low are inferior. Despite common-place disappointments in many "budget" services today, you can still get quality deliveries for costs lower than what you may be accustomed to.

In terms of business technology solutions, Content Management System (CMS) is the budget-friendly alternative to traditional expensive web design and development services. Traditional services often require developers to build websites from scratch. When pre-made components are available, they may have to be purchased which could consequently inflate development fees.

Furthermore, once the website is deployed, a professional developer or a technically skilled webmaster would have to be hired in order to do updates or content editing.

CMS's take away most of the development time and costs because components come already pre-made and the systems themselves and many essential extensions are available for free. Developers' work is, therefore, confined to designing, assembling the components and building custom add-ons for specialized needs.

Most CMS's also come with a highly intuitive WYSIWIG editor, where very little technical skills are required. Editing and managing contents can be as easy as word processing.

Advantages of a CMS

To further understand all the benefits you can get from CMS's here is a break-down of their key characteristics:

Open Source. Although proprietary CMS's are available, many developers recommend open-source systems. Being open-source means that the source codes are open to all developers and that they are free to modify them according to their needs. This makes customizing sites and their components much less burdensome. Some developers even publish their own edits on the source codes for others to use in their projects.

Community-driven. Most commercial CMS's are supported and co-developed by members of their communities. This makes their products closer and more responsive to the needs of users and their respective clients. These communities also regularly create and publish extensions and add-ons, such as themes, templates, modules and applications, through official and third party-sites. Many can be downloaded for free.

Highly Extensible. CMS-based websites start out like a blank canvass that can be given almost any kind of identity and functionality. They can accommodate different types of extensions to produce anything from a corporate intranet, a news portal, a government services site to a university website. Examples of note include sports and entertainment site like word wresling entertainment, Algerian news site (Tour sur l'Alg�rie) and British search directory

There are more than 16,000 extensions and add-ons available to-date, with more being developed each day. If what you need for your website cannot be sourced, your professional developer can create it for you.

Easily Transferable. Website development can be easily transferred from one developer to another. If you have a found more acceptable service provider, you can transfer your site to them without much technical hitches.

User-friendly. Administration for site owners like you comes easy because most CMS's are equipped with a WYSIWIG editor. Often, only word processing skills are required.

Built-in Features. Many websites are given the following built-in features:

  • SEO-friendly URL's and/or ready support for SEO-enabling extensions;
  • Support for multiple languages;
  • They are also bundled with multiple levels of site administration
  • End-user help guides.

With CMS web design services, you don't get what you pay for-you get even more! For just a minimal cost, you get a robust, feature-rich website that can put you at par with the best in terms of online services. You can have the site of your dreams deployed in no time, whether it be an internal corporate portal, an online store or community forums. Start your CMS website today!

Alfie E. Ethan works as a research analyst for Techliance. In order to make your business to the top in today's world of business, you need to amp up your sales activities-generate good leads and manage your website's contents very well. For managing your website's contents in a better way, CMS web design is the most appropriate tool you can use. To get the quality Web design services, contact us and get a free quote about CMS Web Design According to your requirement

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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Definition of Responsive Web Design

By Joe Rhoney

What is responsive web design? In essence it is when the design of the website responds to the dimensions of the screen. In other words, a website built to be responsive, takes note of the height and width of the screen (actually, the viewable area is usually a browser window, as in Internet Explorer), and adjusts the web page layout to fit the viewable area appropriately (according to what the web designer or creative director deem appropriate).

Although this is most commonly used in web layouts, responsive web design can go well beyond layouts. Primarily achieved using code referred to as media queries (see my article The Media Query), responsive web design empowers you to produce web pages that are independent of the viewable area.

Responsive Web Design Case Examples

A good usage example of this would be in the case of a website that is optimized to suit mobile devices as well as desktop computers, wherein the links in the top menu would be more workable repositioned as a vertical list, rather than a horizontal bar going across. This sort of detail is supported by responsive web design.

If you have a grid in your layout where 10 thumbnails fit nicely across on a regular desktop computer monitor, those thumbnails would have to be awful small to fit 10 across on an iPad or iPhone. With a responsive design you can change it so that if the width of the device is as short as an iPad, it only places 7 thumbnails across. Then, perhaps 4 across for an iPhone.

A lot of website contact forms are accompanied with a sidebar area (or two) for up-sale and other purposes. This is great for a desktop computer, but on a smart phone, by default, the form and the sidebar both are shrunken down too small to read. With responsive web design the form can be made to fill the screen and the sidebar can be hidden, placed underneath, "replaced" by another smaller version with the same message, almost anything is possible.

Responsive Web Design vs. Liquid Layouts

For a long time, there have been web page layouts that flex to the size (usually the width, specifically) of the browsers window, known as liquid layouts. These are still in use today, although they've never been as common as the typical fixed layout you'll find on most websites (where the layout remains the same, regardless of the width of the viewable area). Liquid layouts are very commonly used for mobile devices, as they can be counted upon to fit every mobile screen size. This sort of layout is usually kept very simple, like a grid of thumbnails or a list of button. But if one takes that same layout and lets it span the width of a desktop monitor, it is usually found to be too sparse, too stretched or everything is oversized.

Responsive web design includes taking advantage of both liquid and fixed layouts, to accommodate for all screen sizes.

If you would like more advice or help on web design subjects or have questions, you may contact the author at

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Syracuse New York Web Design

Sunday, August 4, 2013

How a Web Design and Marketing Company can Help Your Business

By web desig01

As a business owner, you may have played around with the idea of marketing your product or service on the internet, but may not have gotten round to doing it yet. There are so many variables involved in this type of endeavor that it puts many people off. However, there's nothing more essential to the success of your business than an online presence. The days when word-of-mouth alone was enough to send a business shooting to the upper stratospheres of success are, unfortunately, gone for the most part.

Today, a company cannot do without a unique and user-friendly website that helps in the branding effort and is a tremendous source of warm leads. But there's more to a successful business than just a fantastic website, although that definitely helps: website marketing needs to be aggressive enough to fend off the competition and hold the largest 'share of mind' with relevant consumers.

Why a Web Marketing Company Needs to Know Your Customer

Speaking of relevance, the right kind of advertising is always targeted towards the right demographic. For example, if you sell children's toothbrushes, then your target audience is basically children as well as concerned parents. Similarly, if you sell a high-tech product meant for technical staff in large corporations, then their information technology department heads are the ones who should be seeing your website in the search results. For such kind of laser-precise marketing, you need a professional who will allow you to do what you do best - take care of your customers.

What Can a Great Website Design Do for Your Business?

A simple WordPress web design can be elegantly rendered when done by an expert. No matter how robust your marketing campaign is, if your website can't keep the leads interested long enough for you to be able to convert them into sales, then the whole effort is wasted. The design - as well as the content - needs to be engaging and of value to your potential customers. Tell them how your solution will take away their pain; tell them how they can benefit from your service or product; show them how they can save money and time by working with you; in fact, rather than focus on your own company, show them what you can do for them. From this perspective, it is clear why your website needs to be able to inspire their confidence, not only with its relevant problem-solving information, but simple and efficient functionality that doesn't distract them from their primary motivating factor - the urge to find easy answers to their questions.
Many web design companies can and do promise all of this and more, but when reviewing possible vendors, check if they can see things from your perspective. Are they actively listening to your input or just jotting them down as part of standard operating procedure? Are they interested in your success or in showing off their own skills? Do they understand your customer thoroughly before embarking on a long and tedious campaign that will cost you money whether or not it succeeds? These questions will help filter out the best from the wannabes. If your business is important to you, take the time to shop around and find a company that understands you, your business and your customer. That's the one going to help you achieve your lead gen and sales goals.

About the Author

WordPress Web Design is a full-service web design and marketing agency that can be your one-stop shop for all your website, marketing and printing needs.

Syracuse New York Web Design