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Showing posts with label Web Designing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Web Designing. Show all posts

10 February, 2015

Website Planning Guide

Website planning can seem slightly daunting for companies or organizations. With most tribulations and boundaries we have to overcome, we always start with the question, “where do I start”? Don’t worry, whether you’re planning a small business site, or a large e-commerce site, this planning guide will act as your muse and light to guide you through the dark area of website planning.  You may be a new company setting up a website for the first time, or you may wish to revive your current website and develop it to reflect your company or organizations new interests. You want to firstly pin point the features that will appeal to your customers, and the functionality and impact design you’re after. Once you’ve got your ideas defined and moulded, you’ll be ready to release your website for all the world to marvel at.

Objective
When planning a new website, or revamping a worn out site, it is vital to define the objective of your site before proceeding. You may wish your site to primarily sell products to consumers or wholesalers, or perhaps you wish to develop and enhance the company image. Whatever the objective of your site, it is important to make sure you have a clear idea of that to help you on your way.

Tailoring to an audience
Every website has a different purpose therefor reaching out to unique individuals and groups of people. Can you define your audience? Perhaps you are providing business-to-business services and offering expertise to other professionals in a particular field. On the other hand you could be selling your products to the public, therefor you need to acknowledge the target age group, and gender to ensure your website is appealing to their needs. You want to make sure your website is appealing and relevant to your target consumer.

What makes you stand out?
In order to gain a true understanding of what makes you different, it is helpful to research similar sites. By observing similar organizations or businesses, you can gain a true understanding of your competitors. It also gives you something to compare to, which helps you gain a clearer understanding of what makes you unique. It also gives you a chance to approach your area with a competitive angle, helping you ensure your service is of a quality and uniqueness, offering your consumer something more desirable than the rest. By looking at similar sites providing similar services, you can be inspired by certain content and design elements, or you can gain a better understanding of what you don’t like!

Decide Site Functionality
When planning your website you will have a rough idea of what you want it to feature. If you’re selling wholesale goods, your consumer may wish to request a quote from you. This is a feature that will benefit your customer and your website as it will be a key functionality to your businesses goals.  It is important to have a general contact feature to any business or organization website so that the customer can contact you directly with any inquiries about your services or products. A very popular feature on websites today is the use of video, blogs or other social media integration. Content marketing is key to any successful organization. Your business may benefit by having special forms on the website which gather leads.

Budget

A truly successful website should not be considered as a one-time marketing expense. A website is not just for Christmas. To ensure your website remains current and popular, you need to keep in mind that you’ll want to update your site when you make changes and updates to your organization or business. You should integrate your website in your long-term business goals, and should keep it fresh and up to date to encourage new customers, and regular visitors. 

04 December, 2014

How to Budget Your Business Expenses for 2015

Having a monthly budget for any business is essential. The sole purpose for having a budget is to measure goals and evaluate spending on advertising, outsourcing, or expansion plans. Having a budget dramatically reduces anxiety. Once the details have been worked out on paper, you will then know every single month where your money is going. There is no longer a need to borrow money from one account to pay another account. Creating a budget can be a little time-consuming, but it is worth it. It's a good idea to have vendor invoices and recent bank statements nearby when starting the process.

1. Identify Spending Categories. Evaluate where your money is going every month. Make a list of monthly expenses and categorize them. This list will vary by business size and type. By using your bank statements and invoices, you can accurately list expenses rather than relying on your memory. 

2. Estimate Expenditures. Now that your expense list is completed, a price will be assigned to each category. How much do you spend every month on a specific item? You may want to start off with expenses that are usually the same every month, such as rent and salaries.

Now, you can start working with expenses that vary from month to month such as utilities, office maintenance, office supplies, and sales commissions. Although you cannot predict future expenses, bills that vary every month can be totaled up for the last 12 months and then divided by 12. This will give you a good estimate for the year. 

There may also be some expenses that accrue infrequently, such as building repairs. These can be some very large expenses, so you may want to start budgeting for them now. For instance, if building maintenance was $3000 last year, you may want to budget the same amount or a little more for the upcoming year.

3. Track Spending. Keeping track of your expenses is not only important for tax purposes, but it also allows you to see where your money is going. Give yourself a couple of hours per week to enter your expenses in your accounting software, for this will make things easier for you in the long run. When paying bills or making large purchases, you may want to think about whether the services or products are necessary. Wanting something is completely different from needing something.

4. A Balanced Budget. Now that all of your numbers are in place, you can begin subtracting your expenses. Make sure that you are not spending more than you earn. If your expenses exceed your income, then you will need to cut back. If you have made every possible cut, then you will need to evaluate your business goals. How many sales are needed to balance the budget? How many additional clients do I need? How many products do I need to sell?

If you input your receipts in your accounting software on a daily basis, you will always be caught up. This is the best way of managing your money. Most of today's accounting programs allow you to budget expenses, so budgeting is not as difficult. By taking these steps, you will be well on your way to having a balanced budget. 

Aubrey Moulton is a writer for Nethosting.com. In her spare time, she loves to go hiking on local Utah trails and spend time reading.

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Domain


The domain that you choose for your website will affect all of your future online marketing efforts. You can make things very easy or very hard on yourself in subsequent months simply by picking the right or the wrong domain name.

Below are a few ways to know that you are picking the right domain name for your online company.

Your name is short and easy to remember:

Remember that people will be typing in your domain name constantly. In online promotion, there is no promotional tool that you can use to put your domain name in front of your audience all the time. You need to make it easy to remember.

Your domain name describes what your business is about:

Ideally, your domain name should be a long tail keyword that you are optimizing for within the major search engines. Barring that, you should at least be able to make a case for how your domain name describes your business. If you are having trouble, you can look on the Google keyword tool to find keywords that search engines deem relevant to your business purpose.

Your domain name is unique:

Your audience should be able to pick out your business from another without a great deal of confusion. If your domain name is similar to a company that already has a foothold in the market, then you are doing yourself a disservice by naming yourself something similar. You may even be getting into legal trouble if you do this. Do not give established companies the leverage that they need to put you out of business before you even get started. Stay away from trademarks and names that have been copyrighted over many years.

Your domain name has a good suffix:

You should have the proper suffix for the type of business that you are running. Although there are many new suffixes that may give you more leverage with your prefix, .com is the go to suffix that is trusted by most people. You should always try to get a .com domain name first.

Finally, your domain name should be short:

Find some way to shorten your domain name into something that is easy to type. The longer that your domain name is, the more likely that your audience will make a mistake when they are typing it in.

It is also good if you leave out special characters when you are picking your domain name. Try to go for a name that has only letters. Stay away from "l33t" speech as well. Not everyone speaks in letters and numbers, so you can never be sure whether people will get the joke if you replace "e" with "3."

If you follow the tips above, you are sure to have a domain name that people will enjoy typing in. They will remember it as a bookmark for your company, giving you more business as they spread the word among their friends. Remember to make it as easy as possible for your audience to find your business, and you can never go wrong picking a domain name.
 
Aubrey Moulton is a writer for Nethosting.com. In her spare time, she loves to go hiking on local Utah trails and spend time reading.

14 September, 2014

My 9 Wordpress Plugins for your Blog

Are you a setting up your blog with no real idea of what plugins you need for your blog?  As I have been building my website on Wordpress over the last 6 months, I have found several helpful Wordpress plugins that have been useful in maintaining my website security, managing my image sizes, helped with lead generation and overall functionality of my website. Here is my current must-have list of WP plugins for your blog.

1. Smush. It - Install this free plugin to your WP site and it will compress your images, saving file space and improving your websites performance.

2. 404 to start Install this free plugin if you want to design a custom 404 page (this is the website page that people get redirected to if they click on a dead page on your website). You can redirect all 404 page not found errors permanently (or temporarily) to the start page or any other site/page you like. You just create a new page and then link it to 404 to start in settings. I use this form an optimize it to get leads to my email list. This plugin is perfect for people who use OptimizePress as they does not currently have a template for 404 pages to customize. Click on the picture below to view my entire customized 404 page.

 

3. Webpage Test - Use this free tool to test your website speed. Just enter your web address and get your results.


4. Author bio box - This free plugin is great! It allows you to create a customized biography with links to your social media pages.

 

5. Keyword Tool IO - This keyword search tool gives you keywords that people are using to search for things on Google. Get 750 keyword suggestions to help you with content creation for your KeywordTool.io is one of the best keyword research tools available today


6. Click to tweet this free tool allows you to create tweetable text that can be placed within your blog post. This encourages people to click and tweet a useful fact or quote, thereby promoting your blog post to their followers. You can enter hashtags and a unique weblink to your blog post. See an example below.


7. Hello bar is a free opt in option that ads a compelling header opt in form that you can customize. You can use it for promoting your offer or directing people to like your social media pages. I use it to promote my opt in report.See my example below.

 Wordpress Plugins for your blog

 Click on the hello bar right now to grab my free list Building Ideas!

8. Use any font - this free plugin allows you to override your WP theme font and install a new font. This is an easy plugin to use. Just get your API key are enter your font name and you’re all set!

 

9. OptinMonster is the #1 lead generation and email list building tool. You to create lightbox popups, floating footer bars, slide-ins, and other highly effective optin forms. OptinMonster also comes with built-in A/B testing functionality, robust analytics, and powerful exit-intent technology. This is a plugin you must pay for but by far the best for lead generation.

  

Share with me below what some of your favorite Wordpress Plugins are for your blog.

Written by Jolynn Oblak

15 July, 2014

How a Well-Optimized And SEO-Friendly Web Design Benefits Your Business

A good ranking in SERP or search engine result pages is needed for the success of your business. Each and every leading brand implements ethical SEO techniques to ensure higher rankings in the SERP’s. This shows everything including content, web design, and optimization tactics help improving the rankings in SERP. Here, we will discuss how optimized web pages go the extra mile in helping your online business take colossal shape.

Driving Maximum Visitors To Your Site

Driving maximum number of targeted traffic is not so easy, especially when the internet is flooded with close competitors, promoting similar products or services at cutthroat rates. Although, many SEO service provider vows to deliver the best possible results in the quickest possible time, but not all stick to their words. In order to drive maximum traffic, you need to have the right optimization techniques and implement right SEO tools. With the use of right tools and ethical SEO techniques, one gets ample chances of increasing traffic at good pace. This will help your site in gaining increased traffic as well as conversions.
         
Develops Brand credibility

Mind you the search results that come up on the Google’s first page and those appearing within the first 4-5 results are taken into consideration mostly by the online visitors. When your company business or website gets displayed on the first page, it means that you have good repute and you sell good deal of products and services that customers mostly need. Getting Front Page means a lot! So, this can be said that an improved ranking enhances the credibility and brand awareness of the business. 

Helps Growing your Business

If you are aware of the optimization techniques and technicalities, SEO can provide you multiple benefits. Concise and comprehensive web content with relevant keywords can ensure robust interaction with your target audience. When your products or services get promoted through article, blog, videos, web copy or info graphics, you get the chance to reach out to maximum number of audience in the most successful manner. With multiple benefits an optimized site helps growing your business.

Consistent Results

Frankly speaking, if you opt for GFP organic SEO, you may not see the results overnight, but you can see an improvement in your site’s ranking gradually. So, to be precise you can see more consistent and permanent results than the paid advertisements.


So, in nutshell, this can be said that SEO helps in ensuring better rankings, improved conversions and driving maximum revenues and clients. To know more please visit: http://www.gettingfrontpage.com

13 May, 2014

Using various channels for digital marketing

Many people are engaged in digital marketing today, and it is an obvious fact, because online business is greatly prospering now. It is one of the main sources of regular income for majority. No doubt, many obstacles occur on the way to the success, and it is main fact here not to skip any innovation, new updates in this field. You should follow all new trends, which appear on the platforms in order to improve the quality of your work and service. Every year prepares for us some new technologies and it is important to follow them. Today Internet marketing professionals offer some new strategies, which help to boost your online business. So it is really worth to look through them and to distinguish the best ones for you.

Of course, in 2014 the social media advertising takes leading position. It had a great success in the previous year and it is still one of the best ways to increase your income. Social media advertising lets you to target your business to the large audience. It is generally necessary to complement your organic activity and it helps to demonstrate profitability of investments. As we know, such social media networks as Twitter, Facebook give a possibility to companies with big budgets to advertise their products on the platforms of these networks. It greatly increases the popularity of your products and helps to find customers, who are really interested in your goods.

Also we should mention about the significance of good design and interface. In 2014 flat user interfaces are still preferred. They should be simplified, with simple color schemes and white spaces. As for design, it is preferably elaborated for mobile devices this year, because mobile appliances are widespread used now. It is both comfortable for customers and sellers.

Conversion rate optimisation is on its top in 2014. Many companies made it as a key block of their businesses and CRO brought a success to them. It helps to drive good quality traffic to your site, to attract more valuable visitors. For these aims companies should improve their profitability of the investments on such digital channels as Social, PPC, etc. In conversion rate optimization, personalisation plays main role. When you know your customers' intents, interests, preferences, you will set your competitors apart. Make your content engaging and relevant. For CRO it is necessary to track main conversions, effective visitors, to analyze accurately the data.

Email and social media is still one of the best channels to attract customers. Different platforms actively integrate with email. Ads, set in email, are very effective. Many people use their smart phones for shopping now and it is a good way to deliver engaging information to them through personal email. Now many departments and teams are going to combine their work together in order to achieve quite holistic approach. This technology will improve the service and in-store experience, because it is not difficult to observe, that even prices for goods are thoroughly checked by phone users while shopping. This technology will almost completely satisfy consumers’ needs and wishes.

Video advertising is too actual in 2014. It is much more effective, than other ways of promotion. Anyway, it will increase your traffic, your regular income. Of course, it is necessary to place video ads on the popular platforms, and it is worth to make investments in it, because, no doubt, you will get good profit from it. Suchlike advertisement saves consumer’s time and gives better and open access to your products.


There are many other digital marketing trends in 2014, and you should track all innovations, data, etc. in order always to take leading positions. Essay writing services.

26 March, 2014

Tips to Learn 3D Animation Quickly

Willing to learn 3D animation and find a lucrative job in the field? If yes, then the following post offers some important tips to learn 3D animation quickly and easily. Read on...

With the emergence of new technologies, the role of three dimensional graphics and animation has increased. As a result, there is no dearth of lucrative animation jobs. 3D animations and graphics find application in gaming, cartoon and movie industry depending on the different types of software used. This software may be programmed to design various living creatures or non-living creatures like buildings, and vehicles.

Steps to find a career in animation

It is mostly seen that the novice 3D animation and graphic students struggle to easily learn the basic concepts of animation. Here we discuss simple steps to learn 3D animation in a much easier and effective manner:
  • Focus on a Particular Discipline
In order to perform well in a particular discipline, it is important to practice it by working with various assets available online for free. For instance, for a candidate willing to become an animator, the right approach to learn it is to download some character rigs that are available online for free to start practicing animation. 
  • Take note of your learning experience at every stage
It is beneficial to keep a record of what you are learning. Making notes on what you are learning every day. At the end of every week, take a look at all the notes to see your learning progress. This exercise helps you to know the areas covered by you and what remains to be done. Preparing notes acts as your roadmap to excellent learning.
  • Build your network
For learning more about the new things in animation industry, establishing a strong network of like-minded professionals plays a crucial role in finding an animation job of your choice. Expanding network has become much easier with the dozens of available online forums like Facebook, Meetups, Twitter and LinkedIn. Such social networking sites offer a great advantage of finding and interacting with people with interest in the same profession.
  • Get and give feedback
The above discussed method to build network not only helps in discussions on common topics, sharing techniques and making work strategies, but also a useful way of exchanging ideas and giving feedbacks. Novice artists can find it helpful to take feedback on their work before putting it on display. Giving and taking feedback on your work is a useful method to learn more and improve on your weak areas.
  • Focus on setting and meeting your goals
To achieve success in your endeavors to learn and perform well in animation industry, it is crucial to set a schedule and meet your defined goals. At the starting level of your learning, achieving even smaller goals such as completing your craft within the scheduled time gives a boost to your learning process. This motivates you to stick to your daily schedule and learn every day.
  • Avoid any distractions
It is important to understand that any distraction from your learning and work is not right for your progress. So, while learning stay focused and try to avoid any distractions like television, emails and phone call.
  • Seek out for a mentor
To learn and gain knowledge in the field, find a mentor who can make a difference in your learning experience in your discipline. An experienced artists or animator can have much more to teach you than just the theoretical knowledge.

Animation is an exciting, rewarding and a highly liberating career path. Pursuing a career in animation is a fun, provided you remain focused, creative and skilled!

18 March, 2014

Best Digital Marketing Strategies for 2014

In this contemporary world, internet use becomes more and more prevalent with each passing day. In recognizing this reality, many business owners are interested in learning what types of digital strategies they need to implement in order to accomplish all of their professional goals in 2014. While there are a variety of different internet marketing techniques that can help businesses experience continual growth and expansion, the following three can be particularly helpful:

1. App Development.

These days, more and more businesses are developing their own apps, and for good reason. Apps give businesses an opportunity to become an integral feature of their consumer's electronic device. With an app, business owners can provide customers with information regarding new products, sales, and any other data that is relevant to the goods and services it is attempting to advertise. If your business wants to excel in the world of app development during 2014, the key will likely be the implementation of a mobile app development strategy. These days, more people are purchasing mobile phones than personal computers, a fact which makes the development of mobile apps seem both practical and important.

2. Web Design.

Although web design has grown common and prevalent enough to now constitute a career, its relevance and importance has not yet grown old. In fact, web design may be more important now than in previous eras given the steady increase in internet use. In order to ensure that your business maintains an edge over its competitors in 2014, it is important that you pay attention to each component of your website. There are many, and some of them include your font, background, content, functionality, and use of widgets. Generally, it is a good idea for business owners to seek assistance from professional web designers when working on its site. Doing so can help ensure that you have an aesthetically appealing and functional site capable of catching and keeping the attention of prospective clients.

3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

The use of effective search engine optimization techniques is one of the best digital strategies your business can use in 2014. Although broadly defined, search engine optimization is basically a process that involves the implementation of specific strategies that will help a website, blog, or video reach the top of the search engine results pages. There are a variety of SEO strategies your business can employ to accomplish this purpose, and some of them include the creation of great content, anchor text, internal linking, external linking, social media optimization (SMO), and online reputation management (ORM).

Conclusion

If your business is serious about expanding its online presence and sphere of influence in 2014, utilizing proven digital strategies will be the key to its success. By attending to the three techniques listed above, your business will likely witness the increased conversion rates and expanding customer base that you want. Good luck!

21 January, 2014

How to Make Money as a Gaming App Developer

Just about everybody has some kind of gaming app for their Smartphone or Tablet. Gaming apps continually top the list for most profitable apps. In a July 2013 article, the Business Insider estimated that Candy Crush alone made $633,000 a day. Many of these gaming apps are absolutely free, yet app developers continue to make huge profits year after year. How do they do it?


There are a variety of different methods that game makers utilize to maximize their gaming app profits. These methods are some of the most powerful ways to make money in the mobile market, and can be adapted to just about any other kind of apps. These methods include: upselling, in-app purchases, ads, cost per install, and even sponsorship.

Upselling

Upselling is the process of limiting access to certain game features until the user pays for them. Many gaming apps offer paid "HD" versions of apps or paid "full" versions that include features you can't get from the free versions. Certain areas of the game may be blocked from access or certain gaming methods unavailable. This tactic satisfies players who just want a free game, but creates profit potential for the cunning app developer.


In-app Purchases

In-app purchases are one of the most powerful ways to make money as a gaming app developer. It actually has the potential to create an infinite cash loop for the developer. Basically, players have the option to pay money to get more lives, gold coins, or other essential gaming items. A good example of this method involves Candy Crush. Players can either wait 20 minutes per life to get new lives, or pay a small fee to get lives immediately.



Ads

Ads are another powerful app profit method. Not necessarily running ads in your game (which many people do), but paying for banner ads for your game. It may seem strange to pay to advertise a free product, but it is worth it if you target the right audience. Lets say a developer has a role playing game app with a potential infinite profit loop method of payment for more experience points. Advertising this free app on popular role playing gaming websites can attract players that may not have spotted the game and can potentially hook them in on the payment loop.

Cost Per Install

Cost per install or CPI is one of the newest gaming app profit method. Basically, you pay a third-party to promote your app and host it. They promote the game, bring in money from advertising and other gaming methods, and spread the word of your game. They make a certain amount of money each time the game is installed. You will also make money each time your game is installed. You will make a little less than the third-party, but they will be doing most of the hard work promoting and hosting your game, so it's a fair trade off.


There are a few things you should avoid if you want to make a profit as a game app developer. Never set the premium pay-per-download option as the default. That will drive away users who think the game costs too much. You should also create a marketing plan before building your app, create platform appropriate customization, avoid in-game advertisement, and create a game that is fun to play.


19 January, 2014

Apps Development: A Very Good Career Opportunity?


America is disappearing underneath an ever-growing heap of iPads, iPhones, and Androids. Newer, faster, prettier mobile devices hit the market every day as the world's appetite (no pun intended) for more and better mobile technology grows. In turn, the apps development industry has taken off like a rocket in order to supply the ever-increasing demand for more and more apps. If you're considering a career switch, apps development might be a smart industry to sink your teeth into – but even apps development comes with its risks. Pros include job growth and diverse opportunities, but would-be developers might want to weigh the cons of security challenges and competition as well.


PROS

Job Growth

These days, everyone is talking about the recession. Jobs are few and far between and wages are low. Meanwhile, the cost of living increases mercilessly. Apps development, however, has been one of the lucky industries which has more or less side-stepped the national dip in employment. The apps development industry cranks out billions of dollars on an annual basis. The best place to head for to seize upon job growth is California, sunny home to tech heavyweights like Apple and Google. Even Washington, which boasts residents like Microsoft and Amazon, comes in at about a quarter of California's annual app-based profits.

Diverse Opportunities

There are apps for absolutely everything. Stupid apps, cerebral apps; novelty apps, functional apps; consumer apps, commercial apps. Whatever you're interested in, there's an app niche for you. That means that instead of being shoehorned into an area you have little to no personal investment in, you have the opportunity to work on subjects you know and love. You may even be able to pioneer a new niche. Trends to look out for in 2014 include messaging, educational, and enterprise apps.

CONS

Security Challenges

In this case, we don't mean job security – we mean the security of the actual apps themselves. Because app development is such a comparatively new field, apps are particularly vulnerable to security defects, which presents a considerable challenge for programmers. Jack Mannino, head of the Mobile Security Project, cautions, “ There is constantly really sensitive stuff going through these applications,” referring to data like email addresses and bank account information. That means that app development can be a lengthy and laborious undertaking. “You have to build and test — for feature functionality and also security,” says Mannino. To make matters more complicated, app developers have to consider the fact that their apps might be connected with unsecured devices, or running with other apps that lack security measures.

Competition

Because app development is such a hot industry, it attracts countless tech-savvy hopefuls into its fold – and while big business means plenty of customers, it also means plenty of competition. There are thousands upon thousands of apps to struggle against in virtually every niche, which means developers' chances of attaining Angry Birds-grade fame are slim in a sheer numbers game.


05 December, 2013

Technology advancements from Tablet to Tablet




30 September, 2013

Create Best Color Combinations For Your Website By Using These 10 Tools

Being able to select the right color combination is key to creating and intriguing and effective design, whether for print or the web. Achieving the right balance within the design is key to communicating a strong message easily and consistently to readers or users since color psychology have been proven to "trigger" certain types of emotions. The Internet is choke full of color combination tools that promise color nirvana to anyone who cares to listen. But not all tools have the same capabilities though, and most are no more than basic rip-offs of the better, more popular tools. 

To make things easier or you, below is a list of the 10 web-based tools for choosing color combinations for your design:

1. Adobe Kuler
This tool has a versatile, user friendly cloud based interface that offers a slick experience. It was designed around 3 core principles: users can build, browse and share color schemes through the interface (site), the desktop (using Adobe air app) or the Adobe Mac OS X Dashboard widget. Adobe Kuler is also accessible inside the Adobe CS4 suite.

The tool allows you to search color schemes by concept, color, tags, hex values and more. Another incredibly useful feature is the ability to create schemes based on the colors or images you upload. Once you've chosen the right color combination, you only need to download it as an Adobe Swatch Exchange file or by accessing the values in the color table.

2. COLORIovers
This handy tool is a little more than just a simple color scheme designer. It consists of an active community of creative people who are passionate about color. It is the place where discussions on color related topics take place and colors, palettes, patterns and the latest trends are shared. As of now, the site boats over 6.2 million colors in about 2.4 million color palettes created then share by users. Of special interest is Copaso, the advanced color pallet tool that allows you to create custom themes and gorgeous color schemes. You can either pick the right colors from their color wheel or upload the image and pixelate it to isolate certain colors. Moreover, a useful search tool that allows you to find palettes and colors was created by this impressive community.

3. Color rotate
This lets you explore colors and choose color combinations by generating 3D color palettes in real time similar to the way color is perceived by the human brain. You can use the free tool online or download it as an iPhone app. It can be connected to Adobe Photoshop CS6 or CS5 to update background and foreground colors then send them to the desktop as palettes.
The provided 3Dpyramid is fun and intuitive and makes it easy to vary color tints or hues while simultaneously blending two colors. Furthermore, the tool allows you to check how the palette you choose works with typography, browse through a list of palettes and export your customer color palettes in multiple formats.

4. Color scheme designer
Color Scheme Designer has an incredibly simple to use interface, which means anyone can start creating their color palettes within a few seconds. There is an array of options for the kind of scheme you need, front accented analogue to monochromatic. These choices have an effect on the number of colors in a palette and how they interact with each other.

Other than the Ubiquitous color picker, several other options are provided for fine tuning your color palette. Adjust Variant allows you to edit colors separately while the Color-Blind preview is the perfect way to simulate how individuals with color related vision deficiencies will perceive the chosen color scheme. The palette can be exported in various formats, with the text option providing the best flexibility.

5. Pictaculous
This tool uses an uploaded image to generate a dedicated palette. It generates a primary palette with five colors from the colors extracted directly from the image. The online tool pulls in color suggestions from ColorLovers and Adobe Kuler. One feature that sets Pictaculous apart from other tools is that you can use your phone to take a picture upload, it to the service, and matching color palettes, complete with hex codes are generated. This is ideal as more people are likely to spot inspiration on the go and Pictaculous lets you generate a color palette quickly from the snaps. The created pallets can be downloaded as Adobe Photoshop Swatch files or by copying the values in the hex table.

6. Color Blender
Color Blender's mode of operation is to generate a 6-color blend from the chosen base color which makes it easy to create a complementary color scheme efficiently. For starters, use the color picker to choose your preferred color, then the tool will automatically calculate a 6-color matching palette. In case you wish to have better control over the palette, you can switch to "Direct Edit" to edit different colors individually. This mode allows you to select any from the 6 color swatches and use RGB sliders to edit it.

A few options are provided for exposing the generated palette. You can bookmark the palette in your browser, send it via email or download it as a .PCT (Photoshop color table.

7. Color Explorer
This is a suite packed with multiple handy tools for working with and designing color palettes. It boats a well-organized feature set that can be used together or individually. You can go straight to the Color Picker, try using the color matching tool using the RGB mix or take the saturation, lightness, and hue approach. You have 8 color matching algorithms at your disposal but you can also explore the conversion and analysis tools as well as the color library.

The tools extract palettes from uploaded images or from CSS, .txt or HTML files. The pallets can be exported for Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop in native Adobe Swatch Exchange file format. You can also export it as a PNG image overlaid with HTML color codes and RGB values or as plain text.

8. Colors On The Web
Colors On The Web was launched as an ASP application in 2000, but it is now a full flash application complete with variations and features for creating complete palettes. It is equipped with Color Wizard which allows you to use a base color to generate a matching palette.

Apart from being able to generate matching 5-color palettes from the base color, the app also returns a set of saturation, hue, shade, and tint variations. In case you experience trouble creating a custom color palette, an option to generate a random one is provided. Colors are exported as hex code values.

9. Color Munki
This tool offers color control solutions for both designers and photographers. The main tool is provided as a downloadable software package, but the website also features a free palettes creation area. This offers the introductory functionality needed to get you started in created your custom color combination.

Start by choosing a color, then clicking on it. A list of options will be provided. Go to "Add Patch" and the color will be added to your palette. After this, you will be able to access harmonious and similar colors download it or save it for future reference.

10. Oto255
While it may be the simplest tool on this list, Oto255 can by no means be considered as less useful. The tool lets you find multiple colors in the same spectrum within a few seconds without having to manually look for darker or lighter shades of the chosen color. This makes it ideal for finding the perfect border, gradient, or hover color. You only need to find the color, select it with a mouse click and its hex code will be automatically copied to the clipboard.

07 August, 2013

A Web Designer Should Know SEO Techniques

A web designer’s primary job is making things look great. Bring the beauty, let someone else deal with the code. But if you are fortunate enough to have worked with someone who has both the designer and developer skill sets, you know what a striking difference it can make to the finished product. The ability to incorporate SEO concepts into the very design of the page is priceless.

Since the days of hand-coded HTML sites, we generally have dealt with SEO by applying it on the back-end, once the site was aesthetically developed. However, with the advent of CMS solutions and other development platforms, we have the opportunity to make or break the SEO of a page at the template stage, and with the placement of every piece of content thereafter. The design of a site needs to incorporate the philosophy that SEO is the end-game of the project, not a bolt-on to be dealt with later.

Consider the scenario where a CMS template is employed. Perhaps it’s a sleek design, it has customizations based on the organization’s vertical, and it’s Responsive. Those are great functionalities that mean nothing without tight CSS, good use of header tags, and image layouts that are functional and don’t overburden the image/html ratio.

Speaking of tags, it’s within the typography portion of the design phase that a developer can make or break a site. Especially in a template scenario, a designer might elect to make the H1 tag flaming yellow, to discourage its use, when that could cause SEO problems for the rest of the site’s existence.

It’s a rare venture that has both a developer and a designer in one person, but if you can find that individual, you will pay yourself back one hundred times with a site that performs beyond expectations. If you are working with a design house and hiring your own developer or SEO consultant, make sure the entire web team gels well and have strong communication skills.

Kathleen Hurley, COO at Fidelity Networks, has over 15 years’ experience as a business services CIO, a background as a small business owner, and more than a decade as a web developer. Kathleen says that her MBA in IT from the University of Wales and her BA in English allow her to do two things really well: read the directions and speak to fellow humans.