Finally, make your website “device ready”

How to “Future Proof” Your Web Design

 

The Internet is an ever-evolving world. Constant change in standards, devices, and browsers, for example, need to be accepted and dealt with in order to be competitive. Web designers must be able to predict these changes and make sure that their design can withstand future changes and still be competitive.

In other words, every time technology decides to move forward, their creations don’t get left behind.  Otherwise, they will be left constantly changing their entire platform for a new one.

Here are some ways to future-proof your site’s design and make sure it will still be good in the foreseeable future.

Choose a good framework from the beginning

Choose a good framework from the beginning

The choice of framework is a vital part of creating a good website. A good framework is usually the one being used by most if not all web developers, so why not join the club?

The most popular framework is usually the industry standard, and getting on it will only yield good results. Another advantage is you will never run out of resources every time you encounter a problem. But the biggest advantage of being on the standard platform is that future changes in the industry will always be built around the current standard.

In a way, changes will not affect current designs by much and so will not require a total revamp.

Enable your website for the best platform available

A website that is platform-enabled is one that can be effortlessly changed for additional functionality using an external application programming interface (API). The platform of choice should be able to provide access points or integration points where these changes can be made. Being able to integrate new functions into your web design at any point in time guarantees the website is future proof.

Make sure to choose the right host for your website

Make sure to choose the right host for your website

Choosing the right host is another vital element to make sure your website is future proof. A good host will allow you to stage your site while doing your tests on plugins and themes. This will allow you to test out updates in real time, therefore making your site current with the times.

Pick a host that offer extra features like firewalls, built-in content delivery systems, and automatic malware scanning. But most of all, make sure the host you choose is lightning fast.

Your website should be “Option Ready” right from the beginning

Your website should be “Option Ready” right from the beginning

Having the ability to be able to change colours, themes, and some other features without having to change the whole site is not only smart but also practical. Why would you want to scrap an entire site and start from scratch when all you want is a new colour for the background or a different font on a CTA button?

All of these should be options ready to deploy at a moment’s notice without disrupting the site’s operation.

Finally, make your website “device ready”

Finally, make your website “device ready”

Users have migrated from the desktop to their mobile devices for anything Internet. With the world moving fast, nobody wants to be left behind while doing their e-mails, shopping online, or simply being on social media.

People nowadays want to do everything while on the go. The surge in new mobile gadgets coming out left and right is a testament to this. Future-proof your website by making sure they are coded to work on these mobile devices.

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browser-compatibility

Why Browser Compatibility Is Crucial To A Website

 

Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera – these are just some of the leading web browsers for Mac, Windows, and Linux operating systems that enables your website to be accessed on the Internet. While their function is the same, they all work differently, which means your website may not perform or look in the same way across all these browsers.

That’s why it’s so important to ensure that your website works perfectly no matter which browser your visitors will use.

The Compatibility Test

Before you launch your website online, please run it under a series of browser compatibility test. This is to preview your site on all browsers, including their previous versions to see how all the elements look and perform. You’d also be able to check the visual aspect and functionality of the site style, structure, and navigation.

You should also check these factors during the browser compatibility test:

  • Accessibility of your site in different browser versions
  • Speed of the site during low and high traffic levels
  • Search engine optimization
  • Links to ensure none are broken
  • Function of your website to be certain there are no errors
  • Mobile compatibility across all geographic
  • E-commerce and shopping cart functionality
  • Appearance of the design layout, including text, fonts and images, in different screen size combinations

Why is this crucial

According to some research, site visitors are less likely to stay on a certain website or do business with it if the site is not functioning properly or does not look right. Browser compatibility problems can cause issues like bad navigation, inaccessibility, slow loading pages, site errors and all major reasons for potential clients to leave the site.

Most importantly, when your website works seamlessly with all browsers, your visitors will benefit from a more inviting and smooth site experience that encourages them to keep browsing and interact with your site. When that happens, you will then begin realizing benefits that boost your return on investment and bottom line.
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how-to-add-form-on-website

The Essentials of Adding Forms To Your Website

 

If you’re like most internet users, chances are you have already filled out some type of form just to get a free trial of a software or to download a PDF file. Business websites use forms because these are one of the most powerful ways to create new leads for their brand, as well as keeping their customers updated.

Since it’s more convenient to keep a current customer than it is to get a new one, obtaining a form that allows you to get your customer’s email address means you can continue updating them with your new products or services via flash sales, email newsletters, and special offers.

However, just like anything else on your website, there’s always a right way to create a form.

Listed below are some of the things you should keep in mind:

Give them a Reason To Fill It Out

The best way to get someone to fill out a form is to give them something useful and interesting in exchange. Giving out a personal information such as email address in exchange for a free video, free mp3 download, free PDF files, and even a free software is already a form of a cost to the end user.

Keep It Short and Concise

The shorter it is, the better chances for the customer to fill the blanks. Keep it less intrusive in its questioning and hassle-free to fill everything out.

Make it Mobile-Friendly

These days, most users utilize their smart phones for almost everything, that is why mobile-friendly forms are always a good idea. If the form doesn’t work great on a mobile device, you’ll most likely see a huge decrease in the number of submissions.

Respect the Email

As previously mentioned; giving up an email address is allowing someone the right to contact you later on. It’s expected to receive emails every once in a while, but what’s not expected is getting a couple of newsletters every day.

If you overuse this right, it will eventually backfire on both your brand’s reputation and your email sending reputation because they’ll most likely report you as spam.

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user-interface-and-how-to-improve-them

Useful Ways to Impress Your Users With Your UI

 

Your User Interface or UI is so much more than a pretty façade on top of your HTML. How you design it can make a huge difference between your website and a competitor’s boring interface.

So here are some simple ways on how you can impress your daily users with your UI:

Make Them Feel Smart

We all know the essential web applications and how it can draw someone to continue using a product or specific service. It’s a good way to keep users engaged in what they’re doing and to help them get things done.

Aside from the simple motivations, you can give your users, it also helps to let them feel smart. Treehouse – a particular site that teaches coding and HTML is a great example of making the user feel smarter after completing each course. They add a bit of a fun “story” as the backdrop of each lesson, creating a cohesive learning environment for all.

Visually Entertain Them

Having unique and quirky displays while your users search for things, jump from one page to another, or just plainly browsing your website can make a big impact. This method keeps them interested, allows them to stay a bit longer, and draws them to explore your site even more!

Make Things a Lot Easier

More often than not, the very best way to give the users a great experience is to offer them the quickest experience as possible; whether it’s a single-click button to purchase a certain product, or the ability to shoot, edit, and share in just a matter of minutes

If your website is a tool you want to be often used, it is ideal to make things a lot easier for them in any way possible. Making an inconvenient UI that keeps the user from getting the job done can lead to disappointments, and eventually, fewer customers.

Your UI is so more than just an accessory on your HTML; it’s a chance to show your brand and your intentions for your valued customers. Keeping these factors in check when designing your website can greatly help you along the way.

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make-your-website-function-better

How To Make Your Website Function Better

 

We all have that one thing that we do over and over again all throughout the day. It may be an errand, a casual browsing of our social media accounts, or even work-related tasks. Whatever these things may be, if you work in front of a computer or a smart phone, you are more than likely to have a rinse-lather-repeat kind of day.

So, wouldn’t it be better if such troublesome clicking on websites could be eliminated?

A lot of web pages and tools are usually designed to get the user to jump through a various number of steps in order to get to the end result. And with even more complicated websites, the hassle of going from point A to point B can truly be infuriating and less than graceful.

The number of times you click one button to another may sound simple enough, but if you have to do that multiple times within a day, it can easily become an agitating process. Over time, that tiny agitating process may become the only thing your users focus on, thus, becoming the downfall of your very own website.

The reason for that may be because of so much bad UX and complex buttons, which could result from a lack of understanding on how the general public uses the website, as well as a lack of critical thinking about the best way to avoid such problems.

Remember, it’s the tiny leaks that can drain your users’ limited concentration.

Knowing what menu items your users usually use or how they do their everyday tasks by the use of your product/service can go a long way in designing and improving user experiences that seem obvious, intuitive and most importantly, user-friendly.

Ultimately, when your designing a website, always keep this phrase in mind: “It may already be easy, but can it be made even easier?” If so, then enhance everything that could use some enhancing, so your guests can have a smooth-sailing experience on your website.

 

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how-to-preserve-your-clients-patience

How To Preserve Your Client’s Patience

 

Drip.. Drop..

Do you hear that? That’s the sound of your client’s patience slowly dripping away, the longer they browse your page.

As prospective customers look through your site, their patience may be gradually decreasing, minute by minute. We all have a limited amount of patience available for each day – and once it’s all used up, we get irritable, annoyed, and just plain unpleasant.

This is why it’s extremely crucial to build an inviting, user-friendly website. As what we’ve mentioned before, familiarity can easily generate contempt if there is an infuriating work-flow on a website or a specific application that someone uses on a daily basis.

Of course, the same is true for commercial websites:

• Clashing colour palette that hurts the eyes of the viewers

• A novella of text to read through once the reader’s eyes adjust

• Menu filled with terminologies that only your marketing department can understand, which could be something they encoded during an all-nighter

• A product picture that does not fully expand as promised due to some skewed javascript

• Disorganized menu set-up leaving your customers immensely confused or worse; misguided

A website that isn’t compatible on a mobile phone screen

• Numerous broken link due to a misplaced white paper

• Inefficient and complicated check-out process that stops a purchase from happening. Leaving your customers with no other choice but to abandon their shopping carts.

All of the mentioned issues (except the last one) are considered to be minor in the grand scheme of things, but when fused together, they can easily squeeze out your client’s patience, leaving them utterly frustrated and dissatisfied. They could even give your website a very bad review, which could eventually affect your traffic.

It’s important to remember these factors when designing your website. Simple, to-the-point text, mild and cheerful colours, links that work properly when clicked, organized menu buttons that make perfect sense, and a hassle-free shopping cart can go a long way in preserving your client’s patience while they browse your site.

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fixing-web-bugs

How to Efficiently Get Rid Of Web Bugs

 

Initially, your website will have to crawl before it could run smoothly, and with crawling webpage comes annoying bugs.

You may have already said these things upon browsing, or trying to repair an error on your own website: “This specific link doesn’t work” “This search is really buggy” “The send button doesn’t function well” “This fix over here broke that over there

The bottom line is: You’re going to have bugs in your website.

How you properly document and keep track of all of these stubborn bugs can go a long way in actually getting them repaired.

In the beginning, it just may be an Excel sheet and your core team, or (if you’re capable) a collaborative Google Doc. You may start out fine with this low-priced methods, but soon enough, you’ll surely be screaming when you have a 20 page Excel file on your hands that could end up looking something like this.

So, as your business continually grows, your bug squashing may grow wild too, lest you get yourself tied up in so much technical debt.

Luckily, there’s already a lot of sophisticated bug-tracking software out there that can guarantee that you’re squashing the right bugs at the right time, and aren’t wasting any valued hours by trying to get rid of a bug that doesn’t really affect your web guests/users.

There are four major aspects to remember when it comes to identifying which bugs deserve your developers’ precious energy and time to go after, and eventually get to kill them:

1. How many guests are being affected?

Does this only affect a few users or is anyone who sees your website? The more users are affected, the higher priority the bug should be.

2. How damaging to the user experience is this specific bug?

Does this bug only affect a small inconvenience of say, an extra click; or does it influence your customer’s ability to pay their purchase? (Reminder: if it inhibits customers to pay you their bills, then it really is a major and high risk bug) Knowing the difference is extremely crucial to triaging which bugs should you get rid of first.

3. How troublesome would this bug be to squash?

Is it touching a ton of other code that can start domino effects of chasing one fix after another, or is this a fairly isolated issue?

4. Is this specific feature about to get revamped?

Repairing a bug on a feature that’s about to go under some code surgery next month, is like giving a new hip to someone only has a few days to live. It’s only going to be a major waste of resources and your web developers’ valuable time. Always fix a bug when you make the overall feature better.

Think about these things the next time you encounter any annoying bugs on your website! For more information about getting rid of bugs on your site contact us at MLA Web Designs.

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Functional-Navigation-For-Your-Website

Modernly Functional Navigation For Your Website

 

Not all things about creating a website design have to be significantly thought-provoking and interesting.

One good example is your site’s navigation. The clients use the navigation in order to reach specific contents; so basically, it is the highway to your products and ideas. An ideal highway leaves no room for guesswork. It should contain obvious and clear signs to let people know where to go.

Here are some tips on making the most out of your site’s navigation:

Keep It On Top

This one is particularly important when it comes to your navigation. If you want your content to be easily found, you’d best generate a well-maintained method to do it. Keep your essential navigation at the top, where it’s normally placed since the beginning of the Internet.

Constant technology progression results in new conventions, and with nearly a decade of using smartphones, placing your menu to the right or left portion is already an acceptable way to arrange a site.

An added bonus of fitting the menus on the right or left corner of the page is that it helps make the transition from web to mobile even faster for the customers.

The Drop Downs

Drop downs menus made sense a few years ago when the main navigation utilizes only point, click and hover to get from place to place on the web.

But nowadays, as the desktop and mobile web becomes closer to each other, it’s time to ditch the traditional navigation. Your site should already be optimized for mobile devices, so why construct another “hover” feature? A simple and organized menu should serve both your mobile and desktop users in the same way.

Call It What It Really Is

Your navigation is not the place to reveal your entire creative writing skills. A category called “Well-regarded Equipment” may satisfy your marketing department, but it’s not going to help your clients know what to make of it. It’s best to simply label it with “Products”.

The same is true for other areas of navigation such as the “Contact Us”, some sites refer to it as “My Account” or “Hit Us Up” but it shouldn’t be named anything other than the simple and clear choice.

By keeping your navigation categories straight-forward and easy to access, you can guarantee your clients to go precisely where they need to.

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mobile responsive websites

Why It’s Essential To Have Mobile Responsive Websites

Mobile Responsive Websites

Contrary to popular belief, most websites online are actually not mobile responsive. To explain to you what mobile responsive is, basically your website needs to be able to adjust how it displays to varying sizes of screens that it is being viewed on. So some people will be on a large screens like 20″ some on a 14″ screen going down to tablets of 7″ and phones down to 4 or 5″ screens. If someone on a mobile views a site designed for a large screen it won’t display properly and they will be given scroll bars to scroll left and right.

So Why Is it Essential For Your Website To Be Mobile Responsive

Nowadays it is said that 50% or more people searching online are actually on a mobile phone or a tablet. This figure is also supposed to increase in the coming years as mobiles improve and more people acquire android and iphone devices. So if your website is not responsive the viewer will end up just clicking the back button and searching for someone else that provides the same service as you. Your website has to be up with the times or it will end up becoming extinct for visitors and your online profits or lead generations will severely drop.

If you are interested in turning your website mobile responsive but are not sure how or what it entails please use the contact form here or alternatively give me (Marc) a call on 0203 823 9033 and I will be happy to explain to you everything you need to know about the process. Read up on our web design services below.

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