Consumer-grade computer devices come in many shapes and sizes nowadays. What they all have in common is the ability to access the internet, allowing consumers to browse the web whether they have desktop PC, a tablet, or a smart-watch. Add to that a variety of web browsing software, each with their own suite of add-ons, plug-ins, and extensions, and you get a digital ecosystem where everyone gets to surf the web in way they find most comfortable.
On the other side of the equation, things couldn't be more different. Web developers and designers now have to create websites that render equally well across the myriad of devices in use today. Methods of input, screen sizes, and bandwidth limitations, are only some of the factors?that make the professional lives of modern website creators more difficult than they used to be.
To address the issue of designing for an increasing variety of browsing configurations, a set of standards about what constitutes responsive web design were developed. These provide guidelines on how to adapt websites for optimal browsing on different devices and software. There are now various software packages on the market that allow you to test whether your website conforms to these principles. Here is a list of 5 of them that caught our attention recently.
Responsinator's main selling point is its ease-of-use. Simply type in a web-page URL, and Responsinator will give you a preview of how the page renders on a variety of common screen shapes and sizes. The page previews are fully functional as well, allowing you conduct rudimentary tests by clicking on links, filling out search fields, etc. Responsinator also has a handy feature in the form of a button for toggling between HTTPS and HTTP modes of previewing a site. This will give you an additional perspective for analyzing web pages. Responsinator is available for free online, and is used through a browser interface.
Google Resizer, DevTools Device Mode, and Mobile-Friendly Test
Google offers a variety of tools for helping web developers and designers create websites that display perfectly on a range of popular devices, with a focus on mobile browsing. Google Resizer offers the ability to test a web-page across multiple screen sizes. Google DevTools Device Mode provides software simulations of various common devices, thus providing an opportunity to see how a given website works in practice. Google Mobile-Friendly Test is not a design tool per se, but it nonetheless presents a handy tool for?analyzing whether a web site is mobile friendly. All of Google's tools are available for free online.
The XRespond app markets itself as a “virtual device lab”. The app offers the standard preview features for this kind of software, giving users the ability to see how a website looks on a variety of devices. The app interface is based around scrolling sideways to see how a site displays on a variety of screens, side by side. At the top of the screen is a toolbar that displays relevant information, such as the exact screen size, pixel density, etc. Supported devices include popular smartphones, tablets, and laptops. There is the option to manually specify screen sizes as well, for conducting tests for specific devices. XRespond is available for free online as a browser app.
Ghostlab is something of an industry standard when it comes to testing for responsive design. It offers the ability to test a site for multiple devices at the same time, side by side, giving you a clear overview on how well it renders on a variety of configurations. Actions in one browser sub-window, such as following links, clicking on buttons, or filling out forms, will get replicated on all others, giving you an unparalleled productivity boost. Sydney based web design agency?recommend Ghostlab as the definitive tool to use when creating responsive websites. Ghostlab is a paid app, with a 7-day trial being offered as well. It is a mid-point between free online apps, and expensive corporate solutions.
If you need a quick and dirty way to check how responsive your website is, look no further than the Am I Responsive? browser app. It is not intended for serious design analysis, but it works really well for what it is intended for. You can choose between a generic desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone display, which are good enough for giving you a rough estimate on a website runs on such devices. It has a handy screenshot feature that puts the various display modes all into the same frame, which is great for creating promotional screenshots. You are not limited to testing remote websites either ? just type in a localhost address into the search field, and get a preview of how a website in progress from your hard drive is panning out.
The most common advice for starting a business is to go step by step. While generally speaking this is the way to go, there are certain exceptions. We all know that in these digital times the core of every business is an attractive and engaging website that needs to be ranked high up on the first page of search results. The most common?mistake the inexperienced?business?owners make is to design a website right away and worry about the SEO later. Well, these are the two steps you need to do simultaneously. As Sydney SEO?experts constantly point out – there is an essential and natural link between the site?s design and it?s search performance. So let?s take a look how can you make this interplay happen and make the most of it.
1. Yellow Brick Road
In today?s ever-growing?competition the battle for the user?s attention has never been greater and the result is that all of our senses are constantly under attack, our vision in?the first place. In order to attract their audience, most of the business owners overload their websites with various eye candy because they think that will boost their engagement. But results are usually quite opposite?because people easily get lost among this visual stimulus. If you want to build a spectacular Land of Oz?you need to include the yellow brick road?that will lead your customers to your sales funnel and CTA buttons. If your pages are confusing and difficult?to use your customers will quickly get frustrated and look for the ones with greater usability factors. That?s why your design's navigation is crucial for SEO?- with a proper guidance people will stay longer on your pages, share them with friends and you?ll get the higher volume of inbound links. All these factors are an indication of quality which is rewarded by search engines. When creating this navigation remember that your roads need to stretch to mobile devices, too.
2. The Cobweb
Your users are not the only ones who need to have open roads before them – you need to knit the cobweb for those little crawling spiders?because they?re the ones who can make your website discoverable – or not. These search?engine bots in charge of?indexing are sophisticated, but their ability to discover?content is not without limits. Their web consists entirely from links to your content and if these links are broken, buried, or simply don?t exist – your pages will be impossible to rank. The key is to make the architecture of your website intuitive from the perspective?of design and crawlable from?the perspective of SEO. That?s why you need to keep your most important content high up and then?build subcategories from there.
3. The Wizard
At the end of their adventures in the land of Oz, Dorothy?and her friends realize that the great wizard?is just the man. Nonetheless, they don?t end up empty-handed. The presents are simple, but they?re just what they were looking for. In the same manner, beneath all that eye candy on your website,?there?s a content. It is an indication?to search engines of what your page is about and it needs to be just what your users are looking for. And only simplicity can produce real results – the times when you could stuff your landing page with keywords is over, for modern SEO the quality of the content?is crucial. You need to know the purpose of every page, what is?the information?the users need or will want to know about every topic and what kind of content is necessary to get your message across. And you need to know all this before?you bring your design ideas to life because they should be developed to assist the content, not to distract the users from it.
4. There?s No Place Like Home
Although we?ve promised you the tips for nailing the design and SEO, that doesn?t mean you won?t have to maintain the world you?ve created. The competition and the rapid evolution of technology can easily make your website outdated in only a couple of years, so redesign?has become a normal procedure. Same as the SEO, the design is also an ongoing process. That doesn?t mean you?ve done anything wrong, things?simply need?to be updated to satisfy new standards. That?s why it?s important that all the elements and connections between them find a way to your new and improved look. This is the point where the connection between the design and SEO becomes indisputable – if you redirect things wrong all the SEO value you?ve been building?will go down the drain. So before you start, get a really clear view of the current state so no pages and their content (along with rankings, title tags, and?other relevant information) are left behind.
We live at the times of short attention spans so strong visuals are necessary, but they mustn?t become?the distraction. You need to keep the navigation clear and the content visible and able to survive the winds of change.?Only if both – spiders and searchers – can find their way around you?ll be open?for business.
Web design should not be taken for granted if you want to optimize your website better to crawl up in the search engine rankings. Your business website is one of the crucial marketing tools you can rely on for your success.
You cannot imagine the growth of your business without the support of online marketing. Statistics show that around 90% of customers rely on online business websites before they make a decision about buying something.
Most consumers consider reliability, easy accessibility of a site instead of artistic websites that load and respond slowly to the queries of them. Many of them also have an eye on the reputation of the business website online before making a purchase.
Don?ts of web design
Website design for online business is not a cake walk. You may hire a website designer to design your site or design a website by yourself, but take care that you don?t do the following blunders that hurt your website rankings badly.
Lack of planning
Lack of planning is a serious error that impacts your website rankings. ?The website that starts without serious planning or fails to address the targeted audience will prove to be a white elephant for your business.
You should know your targeted audience and should intend to address their needs, preferably by visual media. You should have an idea about social needs and social media behavior of your customers or your targeted audience.
You can make a study of top 10 or top 5 business websites to plan your website design in a better way and thus, succeed to enhance your website rankings.
Most of the website designers commit the mistake of designing their website in an artistic approach. This may decrease the chance of easy access for the users. Don?t be too clever to design your website. You should address the needs of the users without showing your aesthetic sense to them.
Everyone makes use of the internet to gain knowledge according to their requirement. Customers may not fall to your artistic approach but they rely on the value of the content you provide them on your website.
Less scope for development in near future
If your website does not have the scope for development according to the future needs, your website will move down in the search engine rankings for sure. Regular modifications and updates in the mobile version of your site is an important thing you should focus on to enhance the traffic to your website. Otherwise, your customers will start ignoring your site. For example, if you have updated your website a year ago, the number of unsubscribes will be 5 percent more than expected, according to statistics.
Poor content may badly affect your business. If you and your staff do not have good writing skills, you can hire a writer or use content services like Caffeinated to get the work done for you. Poor content or keyword mashup in the content is a serious issue that badly hurts your website?s rankings.
No Terms of Service
If you do not provide any terms of service on your website, legal issues may affect your performance. Generally, the terms of service are included on the last page of the website.
Generally, content on the internet faces threats of malware and hacking. To prevent legal issues related to the content and the individuals or firms that use your content, you must include terms of service on your website.
Indicating the terms of service on your website is helpful to prevent the legal issues a large extent.
Contact details not included
Not including proper contact details on your website may impact your goodwill and SEO rankings. This will be a sign of negligence on your part. Remember to check your emails regularly.
It is also a good idea to maintain a blog to contact your users regularly. Keep in mind to post only relevant content on the website to gain more customers as well as to maintain the existing number of loyal customers.
Poor image quality
Poor image quality is a big no if you really wish to enhance your website rankings. An image can communicate more than a written post of 1000 words. It is better to use your own images than to use stock images.
The stock images are not considered good for SEO and may also cause legal issues sometimes. In fact, your own images can convey the real identity of your website better than the stock images used by someone. However, if you use stock images, you should purchase them to stay away from any legal issues.
To conclude, rapid changes in the technology, increase in competition at massive levels, and loading speed of your website may impact your website rankings. Avoiding common mistakes and quick adaptability to the changes in the market trends is the key to success in the improvement of your business website rankings.
Are you into web design? Maybe you have been designing websites for a while now, or you are new to this creative world, but you have probably already heard about people calling certain websites ?sticky?. What this basically means is that someone has made a website that makes visitors want to stick around, and quite probably bookmark and visit again. Every web designer aims at following contemporary trends and making their websites like this. However, there is also a lot of mistakes that they make that have a totally opposite effect. In this article, we are going to discuss some of those mistakes.
A whole bunch of graphics on your website creates clutter. This is when two things happen. First, people that have a slower internet connection will take forever to load the page. The fact is that it takes about 30 seconds for people to become annoyed and leave in order to check another website. Today, everything is immediate, so if you don?t get the attention of your users right away, you are going to lose them. Second, a cluttered page is a mess that makes it hard for people to navigate your website and decide what they even want to do.
Disabling the back button
A while ago, some web designers found out the way to override the browser?s back button. When a user clicks on it, instead of going back to where they were, they are redirected to an undesired location, a new window pops up and covers the screen, or the browser simply stays put because the designer decided that they don?t want you to simply leave. Don?t be that web designer. There are so many creative ways to keep users on your website, without annoying them.
Creating poor navigation
Everything that?s happening online is fast. So if a visitor comes to your website and can?t find out where they should go next in a few easy steps, they?ll look for what they need somewhere else. People tend to get frustrated if they have to backtrack a bunch of pages in order to get to another area of your business website. Your every page needs a navigation bar that intuitively leads users to where they want to go. It should be positioned along the top of the page, or along the left side, so that it?s always clearly in sight, no matter what the resolution is.
Too many different font styles and colors
If we take a look at some of the best web design in Sydney, we will see that the main goal of your every page is to have a consistent and unified look. Unexperienced web designers tend to get overwhelmed with the possibilities of using so many cool looking fonts and a variety of colors, that they make their web pages into visual hell. Your main task is to make your users aware of how stable and solid your design is, not show them wild artistry. It is also essential that your fonts and colors look proper on all available devices, such as desktops, smartphones, and tablets.
Too many ads
If you?re building a content website or a blog, the fact is that you will be making money off ads and not products that you are selling. However, a mistake that web designers often make is that they put in so many ads that the user can no longer tell the difference between what the content and what the advertisement is. If your user has to search your site in order to find the article, or the rest of the article that they were reading, then it means that you have just way too much advertising on your page. A couple of ads on your page is fine ? more than that is probably going to annoy people.
If web design is something that you like doing, then you need to make sure that you avoid some of the pitfalls of bad web design. This includes using too many graphics on your pages, creating poor and unintuitive navigation, disabling the back button in order to force your visitors to stay, and overcrowding your website with different fonts and colors, as well as advertisements. The idea is to follow good web design practices that will entice your users and make them want to revisit your website.? Try to invest in your knowledge, find relevant courses online and do a lot of practice and research. It will be worth your time and money.