Monthly Archives: November 2011

Steps To Success In Web Development

If you are planning to become a serious player in the webdesign world, you should now what to learn and discover. Here’s a short list that gives you an overview of your needs.

1. Learn HTML

Before you start creating websites you should master HTML. This is the key element to even start publishing documents on the web. This sounds pretty obvious but there are some elements that you should understand like the label element which will add great usability to a form.

2. Master Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

I can’t stress this enough. DO NOT USE TABLES FOR YOUR LAYOUT!

Is it clear? Don’t, just don’t. Why? Because they work against you instead of for you. You can have so much more control of your layout, design and colors if you use 100% CSS.

1. CSS is easy

2. CSS is fast to create

3. CSS is lightning fast when your website loads

4. CSS is easy to modify

So forget table layouts and start using stylesheets. You will really like the things you can accomplish once you master them.

3. Learn A Server Side Language

This is needed to make dynamic websites like forums. PHP and ASP are a great example. You will need to understand what you can do with these languages and start using them.

Without a server side language your websites are really hard to maintain and will give you a hard job in creating an efficient website structure.

4. Learn A Database Language

I recommend learning MySQL since this is an open source database and is installed on most hosting providers in combination with PHP.

A database is nothing else then some tables with data. You can select data with queries like:

SELECT * FROM table WHERE ID = 3;

Now everything is selected from table when the ID equals three. It’s not hard to understand SQL, you just need to know how it works. PHPMyAdmin can help you a lot when you are creating your database.

So, start with step 1, and stick with CSS as long as you don’t master it. CSS is huge, and you will love it once you know how it works.

For application development you can’t do without a language like PHP and a database like MySQL.

 

Cheap Hosting to Learn Web Design

It’s no secret: the internet is the place to be. And there is no shortage of web hosting companies out there — cheap hosting or otherwise — all vying for the scads of business flocking to the internet to grab their share of the pie. You might say it’s a Buyer’s Market. eMerchants of all kinds know that consumers are all bargain hunters and as our appetites grow fatter and our palates grow wiser, we demand more and more from the companies that serve us at less and less of a cost to us. The result? These days, web hosting companies can’t afford not to be cheap hosting companies.

To compete, cheap hosting companies have to provide an assortment of tools and services to make them stand out above the rest, and the least of these is website design and building. If your cheap hosting company can’t help you design and build, publish, and edit and maintain your website, then it’s too cheap. This article will lay out some of the most common and useful features you could reasonably expect a good, cheap hosting company’s website builder/editor to have.

In brief, a website builder (whatever fancy name the individual cheap hosting company slaps on top of it) is essentially a point-and-click program for designing and building websites. These programs have evolved over the years to the point now where they are so simple that even a retired great-grandparent could do it. (You thought we were going to say “a child”, didn’t you? — and apologies to the tech-savvy great-grandfolks out there.)

The software exists, and has existed for a while now, to empower anyone at all to design, build, and publish not just a website, but a website that works. One that’s error-free, that’ll be search engine-approved, that’s attractive and easily navigable, that encourages traffic, and that doesn’t require you to know a whit of HTML code.

The foundation of any website builder/editor are these are predesigned webpages, designed around specific themes or categories — sales, membership organizations, service provider, in-house, family scrapbook, self-promotional, etc. — that you are free to use as your own. Simply fill-in-the blanks with your own information and customize the look and feel to suit your tastes.

You see, a template is just a springboard for your website. Sure, you can use it as is; that’s fine if it’s a personal website for you and your friends, but don’t expect an un-tweaked template to generate a lot of business. Templates are designed to be fully customizable, and that includes background colors, fonts, text sizes, graphics, backgrounds, borders, page layout, and more. You should exercise that facility to its fullest.

Cheap hosting companies’ website builders/editors should include not only a wide variety of templates in a wide variety of themes/categories, but a wide variety as well of color sets, fonts, graphics/clip art/photo databases, backgrounds/borders, etc.

Templates may also exists for many of the most common and popular website tools that people use, like photo albums, event calendars, feedback forms, and user forums.

The cheap hosting company of today needs not only to be able to convert your vision into sensible HTML code, but it needs also to empower you to code Javascript and Flash-based content. These might not seem like valuable features at first glance, but without them, you might find yourself restricted to building websites that visitors find flat, uninteresting, and non-interactive.

There should also be a suitable Preview feature included so that you can see the progress of your website at each step along the way. You should be able to see exactly what your visitors will see once your cheap hosting company puts your site live.

Finally, crucial to any website that’s not intended merely for personal use — which is most of the websites out there — is making a sale. And if there’s one thing a cheap hosting company’s website builder has got to have for you, it’s a shopping cart.

Take a look at the shopping cart the cheap hosting companies you’re considering offers. How customizable is it? Is it easy to use? Is it confusing? Does it support the major payment methods — from credit cards to PayPal — both online and off?

Armed with these tips, you’ll be in a better position to make the right decision when choosing your cheap web hosting company

Choosing An Effective Website Colour Combination

An aesthetically pleasing colour scheme can make or break your website.  After all, in advertising, colour accounts for 60% of advertisement’s acceptance or rejection. Therefore, colour plays a pivotal role in determining whether or not a potential customer will choose to conduct business with your firm.  A web designer needs to ensure that all of your website’s colours work in harmony, while keeping the client’s identity consistent with other marketing efforts.

Quick Rules of Thumb

•Stick to 3 to 5 colours when planning a website

•When in doubt, use white for the background colour, and black for the text colour

 Using Your Company’s Logo Colours

If your company already has a logo designed by a professional – great! This is the best starting point for choosing your website’s colour combination. You may choose to use the exact colours found in your logo, or even add some complimentary colours.  But, it is important not to stray too far from your logo’s colour scheme in order to keep your company’s identity consistent.

Colour Defines Mood

The colours of your website are important because they can elicit different emotions from your visitors.  Colours can make us happy, excited, angry or sad.  Below is a list of colours along with the corresponding moods which they evoke:

 Warm Colors

Red: aggressiveness, passion, strength, vitality Pink: femininity, innocence, softness, health Orange: fun, cheeriness, warm exuberance Yellow: positive thinking, sunshine, cowardice

Cool Colors

Green: tranquility, health, freshness Blue: authority, dignity, security, faithfulness

Purple: sophistication, spirituality, costliness, royalty, mystery

Neutral Colors

Brown: utility, earthiness, woodiness, subtle richness White: purity, truthfulness, being contemporary and refined Gray: somberness, authority, practicality, corporate mentality Black: seriousness, distinctiveness, boldness, being classic

 Choosing a Color Scheme

Once you understand the colours and their connotations, the next step is to choose a colour scheme for your website.  Below is list of different types of colour combinations:

Monochromatic colour combinations use a single color.  Variations in lightness of the selected colour can be used to create the sense of different colours.  Monochromatic colors go well together, producing a soothing effect, and are very easy on the eyes.  The drawback however, is that, it can be difficult to highlight the most important elements on your website.

Analogous color schemes use colours that are related, but not the identical, to create visually attractive combinations.  Choosing this type of colour scheme is accomplished by picking colours that are close to each other on the colour wheel.  For example, a selection of blues and purples, or reds and oranges would make a good analogous combination.  One colour must be picked as the dominant colour while the others are used as accents.

 

Complementary (or contrasting) color schemes are comprised of 2 colours that are opposite each other on the color wheel.  This combination is most appealing when a warm and a cool colour are used.  For example, red with green or blue work well as contrasting colours.  Using one colour for your background, and its complementary color to highlight key elements will give you colour dominance and colour contrast. One word of caution: it is difficult for the human eye to focus on contrasting colours at the same time. Therefore, it is best to avoid using strong contrasts for background and text colours.