Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Absolute Positioning Inside Relative Positioning

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A page element with relative positioning gives you the control to absolutely position children elements inside of it.

To some, this is obvious. To others, this may be one of those CSS “Ah-ha!” Moments. I remember it being a big deal for me when I first “got it”.

Here is a visual:

The relative positioning on the parent is the big deal here. Look what would happen if you forgot that:

Might not look like a big deal in this small example, but it really is a significant change. What is happening is the absolutely positioned elements are positioning themselves in relation to the body element instead of their direct parent. So if the browser window grows, that one in the bottom left is going to stick with the browser window, not hang back inside like his well behaved brother from the first image.

Once you “wrap” your head around this concept (rim-shot) you will find little uses for it all over the place, and start noticing examples of other places using it. It’s like when you learn a new word and then you start hearing it everywhere. Yeah.

Source : http://css-tricks.com/absolute-positioning-inside-relative-positioning/

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Six points: how to turn more of your website visitors into customers

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Your website will only cost you money if your website visitors don't become customers of your company. For that reason, it is important that you get the basics right.

conversion optimization

Check the following six points to find out if your website turns enough visitors into customers:

1. What is your website about and what's in it for the visitor?

You have only a few seconds to keep a visitor on your page. If the visitor is not convinced within seconds that your site is worth reading, he'll go away.

Clearly tell your website visitors which problem your product solves and why your solution is better than other solutions. This piece of information should be presented as prominently as possible.

2. Is your website trustworthy?

Tell your visitors who you are and don't hide your address. If possible, show customer testimonials. Show your website visitors that you are a real company and that you can be trusted.

Are you a member of an industry organization? Has your company received awards? Tell your website visitors!

3. Does your website look professional?

Another way to create trust is to use a professional website design. Avoid clutter and extreme colors. Use a clear design that makes it easy to read your web pages.

If your website displays ads, consider if they distract your website visitors too much from the real content. Your website visitors might also wonder why your site shows ads for other companies.

4. Make it as easy as possible for your website visitors

Tell your website visitors what you want them to do: "Download the free demo", "Create a free account", "Download the free white paper", "Subscribe to our newsletter", etc.

Focus on a single task. Don't ask the customer to subscribe to your newsletter or to download the demo or to request more information. Focus on a single task and tell the visitor in great detail why it would be good for the customer to complete that task. Of course, you can use different tasks on different pages of your site.

Add user instructions to every task. The less your website visitors have to think about how to complete the task, the better.

5. Make it a risk-free experience for your customers

Emphasize your respect of privacy and remove unnecessary fields from your sign-up forms. Avoid registration forms or make the forms as short as possible. The more fields a form has, the less people will fill it out.

Offer money back guarantees and other guarantees that show your website visitors that it is risk-free to complete a task on your website. Always deliver on your promises!

6. Give search engines what they want while pleasing your website visitors

The title and the major tag line on your web page should contain the main selling proposition of your website and one or two good keywords.

When a searches sees your website in the search results, the title will show the searcher that the he has found a good match. The content on your web page should confirm and clarify this with more detail.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Combining Web Design Business With Web Hosting Can Generate More Income For Web Designers

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Web designers and developers are the foundation of the Internet. If you are skilled in web design or web development you can make a growing income on the Internet. The secret to making money with your web design and development skills is to include web hosting in your web design or web development quotes or standard packages.

You can add $50 a month to your income, hosting your client sites with more ease. You don't need to get a dedicated server and you don't need to worry about trying to compete with web hosting companies. What most people think is just getting a website up. They contact the web designers first, without really knowing that there are web designers and web hosts. Terms with "web designer"get more searches per day than terms with "hosting". People are looking for web designers to get their sites on the Internet.

Web designers and developers can incorporate the sale of hosting into their web development and design projects. As a web designer you can bill your customers for the hosting fees within the design and then host the account for a year or on a month to month basis. You will be surprised at how much extra income you can generate from your web design customers.

Providing hosting for your web design clients will give you greater assurance that your customers will come back to you to make changes or update their site. This allows you to keep generating income from your work and customer base. Let's look at some numbers, and how billing for hosting on top of your web design work can make you some serious money. Let's assume you get paid $500 - $1000+ for a site design. If you charge your client for hosting as well you could generate up to $50 extra per site, per month in hosting fees. You could make up to $1100 to $1600 per site, per year instead of just $500 or $1000 per site. With 100 clients this could equate to $110,000 or $160,000 per year instead of $50,000 - $100,000 per year. On top of this, remember your client is more likely to come back to you to update and maintain your site which means more money for you, for easy work.

With a little effort and focus you could generate a very healthy income in your web design business. With tools like Joomla, WordPress and other highly customizable content management systems you can make the hard work incredibly efficient so you can focus solely on the design. Right now there are a myriad of powerful web applications, content management systems and shopping carts you can quickly install in your reseller web hosting account and produce a design for very quickly. There are also a myriad of ready to run, specialist applications written in ASP, ASP.Net and PHP that you can bolt on to your customers site, customize the design for and really impress your them. With these easily installable web applications you can very quickly impress your customers and raise the value of your web design fees - and the fact that they are specialist customized web applications you have put together, your web design customer will be happy to pay your hosting fees.

For your design business you don't need anything fancy, you don't need dedicated servers or specialists billing or server management systems. You can utilize the cost efficiencies of shared hosting to maximize your profit. One way to do it and a lot of designers do this, is get a new shared hosting account for each site they design and charge the customer more than they pay.

The better way to do it and really maximize your profit is to get a reseller hosting account where you can host all your customer sites in the one hosting account. This works out much cheaper than getting a separate account for each customer site. A good reseller account will give you far more room to move and even greater cost effectiveness which means even more profit and less effort.

Getting up and running with a good reseller hosting account is easy and incredibly affordable. For just a few hundred dollars per year you can host 50 or more sites. A quick search on reseller hosting will give you plenty to choose from. In our experience Windows hosting reseller packages are a good idea as a Windows reseller hosting account will give you the freedom and choice to run ASP, ASP.Net as well as PHP sites with MySQL or SQL Server databases. Linux hosting is incredibly efficient and gives you some of the cheap hosting options available but does not support ASP or ASP.Net applications. For an extra few dollars a month you can get Windows hosting and dramatically increase your options for your web design customers from a wider array of available web applications and freely available code in ASP and ASP.Net.

With Windows hosting you can use all your favorite web design tools and you'll have the vast resources of Microsoft development products like Visual Studio at your disposal. As a reseller looking at Windows hosting accounts make sure the host offers Multiple IIS sites and not just unlimited domains. To properly host multiple sites on Windows each site needs to have it's own entry in IIS (Internet Information Server - the Windows web server). Many hosts say unlimited domains and what they really mean is running unlimited domains on one site. All you get with unlimited domains on one site, is your multiple domains show the same site or requires you to write code to detect the domain and redirect to a directory. This is not a great way to run your customer sites.

With each site having it's own entry IIS means you can have separate application settings, assign it to different application pools and maintain separate log files. This means you can have more control, more flexibility and produce a much better solution for your client. Being able to put your customer sites in separate application pools means that if one of your customer sites get's busy or some crazy bug causes a problem it will isolate it to just that site and you wont end up with all your customers screaming at you that their sites are down.

After 12 years working on the internet. Through booms, through busts, good times and bad times web designers and developers quietly rule the web. Businesses of all sizes look for web designers first and in our experience they really don't want to know too much about hosting. As a designer you can save your clients from the complexity and confusion of hosting and make money from it. To make money from hosting your client work you really don't need to leap out and set yourself up as a web hosting provider with billing systems, hosting plans and support systems and processes. Start off by hosting all your sites in one reseller hosting package and you'll be surprised at just how much extra money you can make for very little effort. The best thing of all you can keep your focus on why you became a web designer - designing web sites!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dolson_Ifegwu

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tips for Web Design that Crosses Cultures

The internet has the potential to put a global audience at your fingertips, but there’s far more to reaching across cultural divides than simply putting your website out there and waiting for people to visit it. There are issues to do with language, design and SEO that all need to be addressed before your website becomes truly accessible ‘world-wide’. Thankfully, though, there are a number of simple tricks you can apply that will make it all a less daunting process.

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Translate your content

This is perhaps the most obvious but also the most important tip. English is arguably the most commonly used language internationally, but it still serves as a native tongue for only about 20% of the world’s population. Clearly, an English-only website will be inaccessible to a huge percentage of your potential online audience of 1.8 billion people.

There are various ways to translate your content and the method you choose may reflect budget and time constraints. The easiest way is to add a translation widget such as Google Translate or Babelfish to your site, allowing visitors to translate text to the language of their choice. Remember that any text embedded in Flash files won’t be translated – which is (yet another) a good argument against using too much Flash.

If you’re confident in using inline functions, you can build inline translation code into the site using Ajax, in connection with geolocation, to facilitate a smooth immersive translation process that directs the visitor to the correct language version, as determined by where their ISP is hosted.

If you do use machine translation, try to make your original content as simple and direct as possible and avoid specific cultural references, as these will invariably not translate well.

If budget allows, having your copy professionally translated is the optimum choice. Using a native speaker from the target market will ensure that meaning and nuances will carry over to your translated site and any linguistic or cultural mistakes can be avoided.

Use horizontal navigation bars

Not all languages read from left to right like English. Scripts such as Arabic and Hebrew read from right to left. While CSS makes it easy to flip a vertical navigation bar (which would normally be located on the left-hand side for a left-to-right language) and script direction from one side to the other, using a horizontal bar located across the top of the page will add a sense of continuity and cohesive design to localized versions of your site.

Use Unicode UTF-8

Unicode UTF-8 is the ideal character encoding tool. Compatible with over 90 different written languages or scripts, it’s also supported by all the major browsers. Even if you see no need for a localized site in Arabic or Simplified Chinese right now, using UTF-8 will give you the flexibility to create one in the future and it also incorporates all the additional characters from extended Latin alphabets (such as the German Ä, Ö, Ü and ß).

Bear in mind that some scripts and languages will take up more space than others to convey the same information and this may affect your page design.

Use appropriate colours

The use of colours can enhance a site’s visual appeal and help convey a theme or emotion, but some colours have different connotations in different cultures. White, for example, can signify marriage in the west but is associated with death and mourning in much of the east.

Tailor your design to the market

Some cultures (such as Japan and China) can be defined as ‘high context’ cultures. These cultures have a tendency to draw information from context and situation. ‘Low context’ cultures (including Germany, Scandinavia and North America) tend to look for explicitly worded and expressed information. In terms of website design, this means that sites with a more visual and immersive feel may be better received in high context cultures and sites with concise, clear layouts and text will appeal more to low context cultures. As an example, take a look at Nokia’s clearly structured and information-heavy German site, with prices and products listed on the front page, and compare it to the more visually oriented Chinese version.

Localize your SEO

There’s little point having a beautifully designed series of websites which are accessible to a range of different cultures if nobody can find them. SEO keywords can vary tremendously from location to location so don’t just translate your keywords directly. A little research may reveal that colloquialisms, alternative terms or even misspellings are more commonly used in your new target market. Research keywords not only on the local versions of search giants like Google but also on any major local competitors such as Baidu (the leading search engine in China).

Source : http://css-tricks.com/cross-culture-design/

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Expanding Images using HTML5′s contenteditable tabindex

HTML5 has a new attribute, contenteditable, which can be applied to any element which allows it to be edited directly in the browser window. Think of text input with a predefined value, but it can literally be any element. Form elements like text inputs support the :focus pseudo class, which allow us to style those elements when they are clicked upon or otherwise navigated to. Giving an element the contenteditable attribute means it also now supports the :focus pseudo class, which opens up some interesting possibilities!

We’ll exploit this little trick to make an expanding image (like a lightbox without the overlay) right within some content.

UPDATE: Even better, you can give attributes a tabindex attribute, like you would a form element, which allow allows :focus without the editability. This article has been updated to go that route instead.

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HTML5 Markup

HTML5 has nice elements for including captioned images.

We just give the figure element tabindex, so that it can be in focus.

Give each subsequent figure a tabindex value one higher and the images will be able to be tabbed through nicely from the keyboard!
The Images

The images will be “full size”.

This means they will be scaled down for regular display on the page, and scaled up when we do our magical CSS expanding. Potentially a waste of bandwidth for the browsers that don’t support this. The tradeoff is your call.


Normal display:

figure {
width: 120px;
float: left;
margin: 0 20px 0 0;
background: white;
border: 10px solid white;
-webkit-box-shadow: 0 3px 10px #ccc;
-moz-box-shadow: 0 3px 10px #ccc;
-webkit-transform: rotate(5deg);
-moz-transform: rotate(5deg);
-webkit-transition: all 0.7s ease;
-moz-transition: all 1s ease;
position: relative;

figcaption {
text-align: center;
display: block;
font-size: 12px;
font-style: italic;

figure img {
width: 100%; /* Scale down */

The :focus part of this isn’t CSS3, the but shadows, transforms, and transitions are. The hover state will rotate the image a bit, and the :focus style (when the image is clicked on), will expand it, rotate it again, and make sure it’s on top with z-index.

figure:hover {
-webkit-transform: rotate(-1deg); -moz-transform: rotate(1deg);
-webkit-box-shadow: 0 3px 10px #666; -moz-box-shadow: 0 3px 10px #666;

figure:focus {
outline: none;
-webkit-transform: rotate(-3deg) scale(2.5); -moz-transform: rotate(-3deg) scale(2.5);
-webkit-box-shadow: 0 3px 10px #666; -moz-box-shadow: 0 3px 10px #666;
z-index: 9999;

Browser Compatibility

The HTML5 contenteditable attribute is supported in Firefox 3.6+, Safari 4+, Chrome, and Opera (10.6 only tested). Note that the attribute will cascade down to all child elements. In our demo, having the image and figure caption be editable doesn’t make much sense, so we can turn it off individually on them.

jump, matey

Opera respects the child elements not being editable, but still runs the spellchecker on them and will red-underline words it finds misspelled which can be a bit weird.

Our demo also relies upon transforms to “work” though, which are only supported in current WebKit browsers and Firefox 4+. Firefox 3.6 supports the transform but not the transition.

The fallback is that the images just don’t expand though, which is of course no big deal.

Source : http://css-tricks.com/expanding-images-html5/

Sunday, August 8, 2010

How to Make a Mobile Compatible Website

The mobile website design is the most promising platform for several consumer driven companies. The number of mobile phone users in the world is more than 2.4 billion and out of that nearly 30% of users surf the internet on a regular basis. This is the primary reason for the increasing popularity of mobile web development in fact, many people predicts that the internet browsing will be leap over the usage of the internet browsing on the desktop. A large number of WAP mobile users browse the internet on mobiles but are often faced with the difficulty of improper display and loading of the website.

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A mobile website involves special designing and development procedures. Here are some of the points that you need to bear in mind while making mobile web site.

The most primary requirement that one needs to understand is that the web browsing on the computer and the mobile phone have huge difference. Therefore, you need to design a special website so that your customers can have a better accessibility of your website on the mobile phone. For this websites must be set on W3C.

One of the things to avoid for making good mobile website design is to not use tables in the layout as this will not look good on the mobiles. CSS gives maximum compatibility there the mobile web site made on CSS layout is better.

A mobile website can be made better with the usage of XML or XHTML coding and the character encoding set being UTF-8.

Always take into consideration that the mobile phones are available in different sizes with various sizes of screens as well. Make sure that your design is such that it works on most of the screen sizes.

The maximum size of mobile website page is 20 kilobytes and therefore it is better to fit all the content including pictures in that size. This also makes it a challenge for you to include all the important information about your business and products is presented on top the page itself.

Most of all, take care that you design your website such that it is worth the money that the mobile users are spending for surfing your website.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Mark_Spenser

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

2010 Flex Review

The 2010 Flex from the Ford group will gain a new telescopic steering wheel and more powerful engine. The 2010 Flex comes in the four-door body style and will share most of the design features with the Ford's Edge crossover sport utility vehicle.

The 2010 Ford Flex will be offered in three different trim models - base SE, top line Limited and mid-level SEL. All the models of Flex will be offered in front wheel drive. The next generation Flex will have the maximum seating capacity of 7 passengers. The 3.5 liter V-6 engine will be standard on all the Flex models tat can produce power up to 262 hp, while the Limited and SEL models will be equipped with the 3.5 liter turbocharged engine that can deliver power up to 355 hp. Both the engines will be paired with the six-speed automatic transmission.

The specific features that are expected to be provided in the 2010 Flex model include gear assist function for the transmission, steering wheel mounted shift paddles, self parking feature and electric power steering with pull drift compensation. The maximum towing capacity of the next generation model will be 450 lbs.

The features that will be provided in the 2010 Flex model include refrigerated center console, rear view camera, voice activated navigation system with weather updates and real time traffic updates and power liftgate. The other features that are expected to be provided in the 2010 Flex model include climate control, cup holders, cockpit integrated display, door locks, power mirrors and windows, grocery bag hooks in cargo area, message center with trip computer and leather shift knob.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Geof_Ryan

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Benefits of Using RIA on Websites & How to Find a Good Flex Developer

This article explains - in laymen's terms - what Flex is, what it's used for, where you can see samples and how you go about getting a Rich Internet Application built in Flex to put on your website.

What is Flex?

If you visit lots of websites, it's very likely you've seen a Flex application without realizing it. They play in the regular Adobe Flash Player so you would think you're looking at a very impressive, interactive Flash application.

Adobe Flex is in fact just a framework for creating highly engaging and interactive website applications that play in the Flash Player and that work consistently on ALL major browsers, desktops and operating systems.

Recap - Flex applications:

* Are Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) that are highly engaging & interactive
* Play automatically in Adobe Flash Player installed on almost all computers
* Work consistently on ALL major browsers, operating systems and desktops

What is Flex used for?

Flex is used to build highly interactive, expressive website applications using and visualizing data.

Examples include:

* Data visualization applications that pull data from multiple back-end sources and display it in a visually attractive and impressive format
* Product configuration applications that help customers select or customize products and features online through a series of visual steps
* Self-service applications that guide customers or employees through multiple-step processes such as changing contact details online
* Data collection applications for rich online forms including data validation mechanisms, providing a dynamic user experience.

You can see some Flex samples (showcase) by following the links at the bottom of this article.

Benefits of using Flex on your website

Here are some reasons for deciding to put a Flex application on your website:

* To have a very robust application that attractively visualizes complex data sets
* To engage your users or visitors and let them feel empowered
* Flex is the technology of the future - it shows your organisation is modern
* It works on all major platforms and users don't need to install anything
* Audio and video can be integrated, allowing even greater interaction
* Data synchronization allows real-time data push from back-end to application

Developing a Flex application

Free open source Flex software is available but many serious developers like to use Adobe Flex Builder software for quick, professional development and maintenance of applications.

If you don't have a Flex development expert in your team, outsourcing to an offshore specialist Flex developer may be the solution.

How to find a good Flex developer

A good offshore Adobe Flex expert can build your professional Flex application for a fraction of the time and cost you would spend doing it yourself. Just Google "Flex outsourcing service", "expert Flex developers" or something similar to find a listing of Flex developers.

When selecting your offshore Flex developer, make sure they are specialized in Adobe Flex, check out samples of Flex applications they have built and read and understand their terms and conditions.

Some Flex developers, such as Busycode Inc, ONLY focus on Flex development so you know they are experts in Flex.

They don't even ask you to pay anything until they have started the development and you're happy with where it's going, so it's a no-risk solution if you need a Flex application.

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Source : http://ezinearticles.com/?Benefits-of-Using-RIA-on-Websites-and-How-to-Find-a-Good-Flex-Developer&id=1747896