Author Archives: Samir Husain

Miami web design is all about achieving online marketing success. With numerous businesses in the Miami area vying for a piece of online real estate, the competition is fierce. But with some guidelines such as the following, you can also get some benefit when you plan or redesign your website.

Let us begin by identifying which is which.

    • Macromedia Dreamweaver is a web authoring tool Dreamweaver is used to build websites design templates from the exported Fireworks images.

 

  • Macromedia Fireworks which is a graphic and a web design tool Macromedia Fireworks is a graphic and web design application.

You can use any software you prefer to do these specific tasks. Now you have to build a balance in your site between looking good and user friendliness. A good web designer needs to create a site that can impress others. It should flow and should be well laid out, fast to load and most of all easy to use. You have to create the best coded and error free website that you possibly can to help the user navigate it easier. It should be web standards complaint and cross browser compatible. You have to know the type of website you want to design and have your goals in mind. You should layout the structure, colors and theme of your site.

Adobe Dreamweaver is one of the best tools used by designers and programmers. The Dreamweaver Template is the most popular feature and makes it easy for even the beginners to make a site. The best one is the Adobe Dreamweaver CS4. All you have to do is:

  • Design the structure and save it onto the Dreamweaver Template. The document should be able to be edited.
  • Now you can apply it to all the web pages and create new ones. Simply insert the content into the areas that can be edited.
  • To change your pages you simply have to make changes to the template and save it. All the pages are updated and you do not have to check or change anything. This will save you a lot of the sites maintenance.

 

Moving on to image maps now. An image map is a visual cue for the viewers. It is divided into regions and the technical term is “hotspots”. You have to create the hotspot and then a link for the user to click and get to the hotspot. You can create many hotspot areas that can all be part of the same image map. Hotspot areas can be moved forward and back and resized if necessary. You can copy an image from document to document with these steps:

  • Insert the image into your page using Insert-Image.
  • Select it with the properties panel open.
  • Find the word Map with text box and 3 blue icons.
  • Give it a name in the text box.
  • Click either icon that is hotspot drawing tools.
  • Draw your hotspot area and give the link details.
  • After you have drawn all of them click on the black arrow icon to get back the arrow cursor.

 

You can also add sound to your professional website by following these steps:

  • Select the link to play the sound and then open the behaviours panel.
  • Click the Add button and select the “play sound” from the pop-up menu.
  • Select the sound file by clicking on the browse button.
  • Select the event to play the music or sound.
  • The coding is generated automatically by the Dreamweaver program.
  • Save and test the file in the web browser.

A good conversion rate is the difference between have a website that sells and a website that simply exists. Website planning, SEO, and website analysis are all part of creating a website that gains a high conversion rate. When choosing a web design team, it is important to select professionals who understand how conversion rates work.

Getting a Good Conversion Rate

Most web experts agree that a 1% conversion rate is a fairly decent rate. While seemingly easy to achieve, a great conversion rate is not something that comes easily. If you do not have a website that effectively sells, you won’t be able to turn readers into paying customers. Here are some things that your website must include if you want to generate a great conversion rate.

  • SEO: you’ve probably heard a lot about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but there’s a lot that goes into this marketing tactic. SEO is about more than simply keywords plugged into an uninteresting text. SEO requires excellent website planning, constant website analysis, and a well-built website.
  • Website Planning: a website is only as good as the planning that goes into it. Anyone can create a website, but creating a useful and informative website is a lot harder. An expert design team should be able to show you samples of great website planning.
  • Wireframes: wireframes are tools that design companies use to keep a website consistent and uniform. This type of planning helps a designer to come up with a design scheme that is eye-catching, informative, and strategic. Design teams may also use heatmaps to create a compelling website design.
  • Easy Information: make sure that your website information (including buying details!) is easy to read and reach. If a prospective client has to search through a website in order to find details, chances are that this client will not become a paying customer.
  • Great Content: your readers don’t want to be bombarded with confusing content and graphics that don’t relate to your website. Fix this problem by hiring a professional designer to work on your website planning for you.

Get a Return on Investment With Great Web Design

A great website is truly an investment. When you spend money on a website that sells, you will see your money returned when shoppers become paying customers. If you want to see a good return on investment, don’t hire a designer who can’t produce an excellent conversion rate. Instead, hire a design team that fits all of the above details.

Mobile Pages should load under 1 sec
Did that headline get you all stressed out? Not to be too alarmist. But yes, Google recently put out a recommendation that mobile sites must be up to delivering content fast. Fast meaning under 1 sec!! Zoiks!

According to Google most mobile sites take 7 seconds or more to load!

It makes sense to deliver content quickly on mobile devices, especially when data download speeds are still sketchy in some parts of the US.

Just the other day, I was finishing up a meeting in Coral Gables and had to rush towards the Miami Airport for another meeting with a local bank (approx 20 min away North West), at the last minute I receive a text message saying the meeting has been moved to new branch location in Downtown Miami (approx 15 min away North East). I am sitting in my car and I pull up Google Maps on my Iphone, enter the bank name and Miami, I zoom into the map of downtown looking for the location but can’t find anything. I jump on the Bank’s website which is not optimized for mobile and I have to pinch and zoom to find the “Locations” link – the text is so tiny that I have to squint to read it. I finally find the branches, under “Contact Us”. I click on the address, hoping it would pull up the location on Iphone maps – but unfortunately it was plain text. I copy and paste the first line of the address into Maps and voila – I found the location.

Here is an excerpt from the Google Webmaster Central Blog

Research shows that users’ flow is interrupted if pages take longer than one second to load. To deliver the best experience and keep the visitor engaged, our guidelines focus on rendering some content, known as the above-the-fold content, to users in one second (or less!) while the rest of the page continues to load and render in the background. The above-the-fold HTML, CSS, and JS is known as the critical rendering path.

Optimizing static mobile pages will be a lot easier than sites that deliver dynamic content. Keep in mind, the 1 sec rule is only for content Above-the-fold (ATF).

Google is getting serious about it – they will begin to roll out changes to search rankings based on Smartphone website performance. This could affect your sites rankings on search engines if not addressed properly. More from Google on this:

To improve the search experience for smartphone users and address their pain points, we plan to roll out several ranking changes in the near future that address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users.

How can you create static mobile web pages that are some how connected to a dynamic desktop website? We have a simple solution and it is called www.firebirdmobile.com. Firebird Mobile takes a regular website and converts all of its pages into static (cached) content. But what if you update the content on the main site, what happens to your mobile site? This could be a nightmare situation if you had to constantly update the two versions and keep them in sync. This is where Firebird Mobile shines, it keeps your mobile site and regular desktop site in sync at least once a day.

Don’t despair, it is very possible to load a mobile site in under one second (ATF Content), we have done this for many clients and we can help you get there as well. Contact Us for a free consultation on how we can help.

 

Rackspace Partner

We are pleased to announce that Cenango has joined the Rackspace® Partner Network to provide our customers with a portfolio of Hybrid Cloud solutions.

Rackspace is a leading provider of hybrid clouds, which enable businesses to run their workloads where they run most effectively — whether on the public cloud, a private cloud, dedicated servers, or a combination of these platforms.

For the past year we have been helping customers port over legacy applications to the cloud. We are currently deploying cloud apps to Rackspace’s cloud architecture.

Find out how your company can move its infrastructure to the cloud, contact us today http://www.cenango.com/contact-us

For more information on Rackspace visit www.rackspace.com.

The Manpacks.com e-commerce website is so easy to navigate.
The left column has all the categories that expand and collapse.
The center column has product details..
The button affordances are very clear and all lead to one thing that every e-tailor wants their customers to do, Checkout!

Manpacks-main-UX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
The right hand side column has the order summery

Manpacks-checkout

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Job Manpacks – we love it.

Social media has come a long way. It is getting easier to target niche customers with precision.  But there are so many different platforms, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, FourSquare which one do you chose? All? There is no easy answer (oh I can hear the moans and groans :) – I frequently get the eye-roll and gasp “… not another one”).

The reality is that social media takes time and requires a long term approach.  It no longer can be ignored.

With that in mind, I came across an article which I had bookmarked a few months ago on FourSquare. This is an older post, but very comprehensive

http://mashable.com/2011/04/27/how-to-foursquare/

Once again we see the importance of web security. Criminals and hackers are always trying to break into systems.  CNN is reported on Sept 27 2012 that most of the major banks have been hit with the biggest cyber attacks in history!

What do small business or independent website owners do about this? How do we protect ourselves against such attacks? We do not possess the network security resources that large banking institutions have at their disposal. So what do we do? Well it turns out there are some basic things we can do to protect our websites. Of course we can’t be immune to large scale Denial of Service Attacks or other large scale collaborative attacks. But we can at least plug the holes that are evident to hackers. In the coming weeks we will  be focusing on some simple strategies. Please check back.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — There’s a good chance your bank’s website was attacked over the past week. Since Sept. 19, the websites of Bank of America ,JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank  and PNC Bank have all suffered day-long slowdowns and been sporadically unreachable for many customers.http://money.cnn.com/2012/09/27/technology/bank-cyberattacks/?source=cnn_bin

 

Web design trends come and go the same way like fashion. With businesses and individuals wanting to look better at the eyes of their audiences, many websites change the way their websites look on regular intervals while incorporating new functionality.

The most recent facelift has taken place on Gmail and other sign in pages of Google products.

If you don’t remember, this is how Gmail looked earlier.

The trend today for web layouts is clean and uncluttered. It makes a lot of sense when you consider the information overflow that we are seeing today across many platforms and media.

Research shows that most people scan web pages before settling on an element for further exploration. Therefore, a lot of emphasis is put on optimizing important web elements that a webmaster wants to promote. However, this is a hit or miss thing. Your audiences may like or hate your user interface (UI) elements depending on their preferences, gender, etc. This is not an easy thing to overcome and on top of that, getting UI elements right is a huge affair. Have you ever heard of the $300 million button? If not, that article should be the first thing for you to read after reading this.

One of the biggest challenges in web usability is keeping people on a web page. The balance has to be perfect on content, usability and interactive elements. At the best of times, this is a tough task. Since it is very challenging to strike a good balance, what most designers tend to do is crowd too many elements on a web page. This leads to a web page that looks very busy. A busy web page is not one of the best places for conversions.

The new way of design thinking is driven by wanting to make a website look simple. This involves a lot of things. For example, some web pages have multiple objectives to achieve. In such instances, ‘simple web process’ calls for re-evaluating and prioritizing these objectives. The design process is driven by these re-evaluated objectives.

The Gmail sign in page is a perfect example for the ‘simple web process’. When you compare the two layouts it’s perfectly clear that Google evaluated what’s important for their audiences. In fact, the number of elements on the page has increased; yet it’s hardly noticeable. A good design should be like that. People have to see it only when they want to see it. This design philosophy is something that’s going to drive our web design work in the future. :)

If there are any websites that you like, share those on the comments section. We’d love to see those websites you like and get your feedback.

The way search engines operate is a subject of constant debate. Nobody seem to agree on the intricacies but everybody agrees that search engine ranking factors are a soup of different algorithms working in tandem looking at different aspects of a website and how they are related to other sites .

Since recently, most minds in the trade are in agreement that social factors such as Twitter and Facebook (among other things) are impacting the way a site is being ranked by search engines. In particularly Google is looking at social factors for ranking in a big way. Unlike other times, this claim is not vehemently rejected or hotly debated since most people understand that Google has some sort of agenda with the newly introduced Google+ platform.

There are a couple of things that you have to keep in mind when you try to go down the road on using social signals for rankings. First, social signals are still used to measure the social impact of a given website or a webpage. Search engine algorithms still reign high. However, getting a couple of hundred ‘likes’ for your website is going to be considered as a clear enough signal for search engines to consider your website seriously for rankings. Same goes for tweets and social bookmarks.

The beauty of social signals is that it’s hard to fake a social signal unless you are an uber social media junkie. Also, faking social signals is easy to monitor so it doesn’t make much sense for a business to do it. If more social signals are generated from the same set of people, that can mean only a few things like the following:

  1. These people have very similar interests
  2. The social signal generated is valid for a small niche of social media consumers
  3. At least some of those social profiles are fake

So unlike most other ranking elements, social signals are a better signal for search engines. But there are some barriers which stop social signals from being used widely at the time of this writing. For example, Bing is the preferred search engine for Facebook. Also, with Microsoft owning 1.6% equity of Facebook valued at $1.36 billion, Google may find it difficult to get full access to social elements usable for search ranking any time soon.

On the other hand, Twitter lets search engines use its data. But consider this. Twitter users produce 200 million tweets per day. Considering an average tweet being 110 characters long and an average word being 4.5 characters long, Twitter publishes around 44 million words every 13 minutes which is equivalent to the word count of all the 32 volumes of ‘The Encyclopedia Britannica’! In any sense of imagination, search engines don’t have the capacity to crawl, index and rank most of the Twitter data at this point.

So do you have to worry about the social signals for search engine rankings? To be honest, it may be a good time to start considering the potential benefits. If you do not have a Facebook fan page or a Twitter account for your business, we would encourage you to start building your networks. Once you get into it, you’ll notice that it is quite fun and interesting connecting to customers in a new way.