Archive for August 2010
Since google announced that site speed would be taken into account when ranking websites more and more clients are requesting a health check on their site speed.
One way to do this is using the free Firefox Plugin called Yslow, this is a great tool that will test the speed of your website and give you clear tips on what you can do to improve it.
In my opinion anything above 75/100 is a good score, our website homepage www.2jdesign.co.uk currently has a page speed of 89/100, Id be interested to hear your page speed comments on this blog.
So what improves site speed?
Here is a list taken from YSlow on ways to improve your site speed.
Some websites will be harder to do all of the above, eg Ecommerce websites and PHP websites built on platforms like Zend, or Symphony as an example as you may not be as familiar with the code, but most hand coded HTML websites and Ecommerce Websites should be able to be improved even a little bit by checking the above list.
Another great tool for checking some important SEO factors is http://www.woorank.com/en/
I hope this has been of help to you.
We have been working closely with a number of clients on their Google Adwords campaigns and found that many people spend so much money on wasted clicks.
Google AdWords can greatly increase your business revenue if your campaign is correctly setup, there are many things to consider when setting up a google AdWords campaign, here are a few important things to take note of.
1 – Have you researched your keywords and competition
2 – Are you familiar with Negative, Broad Match, Phrase Match Keywords
3 – Have you researched and identified the negative keywords around your campaign
4 – Are your landing pages informative and relevant to the Ad and Keyword
5 – Have you split your campaigns into separate categories and created ads and landing pages for each keyword.
Ecommerce websites are one area that should have plenty of care and time put into a Google Adwords Account, the time you put in will greatly improve your return.
You could find real benefit in speaking with a Web Designer or SEO Professional who is AdWords trained, by doing this they can offer you a overall of your campaign and identify areas where you could be spending money on wasted clicks, optimise your key phrases and landing pages to improve the quality score of the landing page.
By doing this you could see your conversion rate improve and your AdWords spend decrease.
If you would like to speak to us about giving your google AdWords campaign a health check drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
We also specialise in Search Engine Optimisation and Ecommerce Web Design
As a Web Designer we often look around the web for inspiration for designs and ideas, not to copy others work but its amazing how sometimes that missing link your trying to find can be put into action by looking around some of the great resources that are available online for that little bit of inspiration.
Sometimes it can be difficult to come up with the initial inspiration for a design, CSS Galleries are a great place to start to find that missing bit of design flare, here are a few of my favourite CSS Galleries.
Validating your code can be helpful to iron out any major problems, however as in previous blogs I have made the point that 100% validated code is not necessary and don’t waste hours and hours trying to clean the small errors or minor warnings, this does not affect SEO but it is always a good idea to check your site with a validation checker to clean up any messy code or unclosed tags.
Usability is probably the most important factor in a website design. Making your website usable can help improve the experience for your visitors as well as help improve your conversion rate, here are a few links I found from another great blog which I think will be of great help.
What is usability
Usability First – An approach to web design which emphasizes usability.
Weblog Usability: The Top Ten Design Mistakes – Blogs are often too internally focused and ignore key usability issues, making it hard for new readers to understand the site and trust the author.
Web Design & Usability Guidelines – An 18 part online book that goes over usability and design guidelines.
Web usability – the basics
The Culture of Usability – How to spend less and get more from your usability-testing program.
90% of All Usability Testing is Useless
Ten deadly sins of web design – A list of ten huge mistakes no web designer or developer should be caught making.
Information architecture resources
Usability Views – Usability with a twist.
Blogs can be used in many ways, if you do a blog correctly and setup the correct feeds your blog can become a major benefit to your website, I prefer to use a wordpress blog installed on your domain name, some people prefer an external blog, this in my opinion is a matter of preference.
We setup this blog using wordpress and created a RSS feed and registered this with google, now when posting a blog it will normally appear in google search and google blogs instantly.
I recommend the following when creating a Blog.
Color is an important factor in design this can drastically change the look and feel of a website, I find getting inspiration on colours to be a huge help in the web design process. Here are a few resources that I use to help me make color decisions.
Color Schemer – Online color scheme generator.
The Meaning of Color in Web Design – How colors influence audiences when marketing products through the Internet.
Color Matters – Explore how color affects emotions, appetite, vision, sexuality, design, and art.
Using visually appealing fonts in your design can greatly increase the look and feel of a website, one problem many designers face is the lack of fonts you can use in a website design, but you can still use none web standard fonts in banners and images, here are some great resources for free fonts.
I hope this short article has been useful and will help you in your Web Design journey.
Its been a busy few months at 2J Design, we have been working hard on our new Ecommerce Web Design portfolio and information and offers pages. We hope to launch our new sections within the coming weeks, the Ecommerce offers we have put together include custom built systems, Magento and Oscommerce options.
We have built a new portfolio for our website, it will now be split to make it easier for you to find examples of our recent work.
We will be also launching towards the end of the year our iPhone application development service, we are still in talks with developers and programmers and hope to be in a position to offer this service very soon.
SEO and Google Rankings.
In between all clients work and the new services we have still been working on SEO on our website, we are now pleased to announce we are 5 – 6 on page 1 of Google for Ecommerce Web Design, this is a very competitive keyword, if you would like help with Search Engine Optimisation for your website please feel free to email or telephone us and someone will be very happy to give you a free analysis of your current website.
Until next time….
If you spent a little time browsing over many websites on the Internet and using the view source code facility in the browser you would most likely notice many use <table> code instead of <div>, why is this and what are the benefits?
Below, we list six reasons why table-based layouts should be avoided.
Why we think a CSS Layout is better than a Table Layout
By creating your layout in CSS, you are able to separate style from content quite easily, there are many advantages to this, some we find important are detailed below.
- Better Code to Content Ratio Often brought up in discussions of SEO, by using CSS Layouts you can cut down the amount of html code in a page quite significantly, this is often said to play a part in search engine rankings, keeping the code to content ration as low as possible. Not only will this speed up the page crawl but hopefully speed up the web page.
- Consistency throughout website. By sharing the stylesheet throughout your website this can ensure the layout and styles are easily applied to each page ensuring you have consistency throughout your website.
- Faster Page Load, Less bandwidth. CSS Layouts are alot more compact and less bulky than Table Layouts, this cuts down the amount of code, stylesheets are generally cached by most browsers and shared across most pages in the websites enabling faster page load and for high traffic sites this should save some load on your server by using less bandwidth.
- Making re-design easier. With CSS, site wide changes can be made by modifying stylesheets. And in most cases, the actual HTML pages won’t need to be modified. Because of this relative simplicity, redesigns can be done very efficiently and quickly.
However tables are great if you want to display tabular data which is their main purpose, we regularly use tables in websites for data to be displayed
Then why do alot of websites still use tables?
Despite the benefits of using CSS, many websites are built using table-based websites, in the early days we built websites in tables and alot of the following reasons applied.
- CSS requires alot more thinking, including calculations, and logic, many web developers are not familiar with this and will find table design much easier
- Alot of the softwares used for creating websites like Dreamweaver make table design very easy and can require little coding knowledge to build a website.
- It can be much easier to tackle the headache of cross browser compatibility using tables which is a reason why many web developers opt for this option, CSS can vary across browsers and at times extra code has to be added to a website to load a different style sheet for certain browsers like Internet Explorer.