Author - Andrew Johnson

Tips to Choose Right PSD to XHTML Firm


There have been posts about top PSD to HTML providers. You could find one of the kinds in our blog too. But, today we thought of providing something more useful, more exact and more valuable for our readers. This is not for some selected segment, but for every individual who does or does not have any knowledge about how to choose a good slicer? Those who are related with web design, valid PSD to HTML conversions and other related things might be well aware of the points to focus while choosing their conversion firm or freelancer. However, those who juggle while hiring a PSD to HTML conversion service may find the under-mentioned tips useful.

  • Collect and Scan: – It is advisable to collect information about five (or more) service providers whose brands are making most of the news. A comparison of their services and prices shall ease the decision-making part.
  • Flexibility: Flexible code of the site is a major factor. People go for the XHTML and CSS code which they find easy to modify and change according to their convenience. So, it is wise to look for the providers who can provide you with better code.Such as – Coding as many common classes as possible throughout the site. Another point worth mentioning here is, ‘A well commented code helps the user to identify the respective code of each section on the web page’.
  • Code Validation: – Make quality your forte. Look for valid HTML/XHTML/CSS markups. Manual coding is considered to be the best and this is the reason why everyone offers that. You can judge the efficiency of the service providers by analyzing their website/portfolio’s coding.
  • Cross Browser Compatibility: – If your vendor can code for IE6 and make a website look same across browsers, then he is a well experienced slicer. In addition, it will be a plus point for you.
  • Turnaround time: – Many vendors promise big words at the start of the project as regards to time line. Make sure that your project meets its deadline along with your specifications on due time.
  • Money Back Guarantee: – Why not use it when you got it? Choose those service providers who promise to give your money back in case of default.
  • Elongate your service: – If you are a web designing firm and outsourcing your conversion project, then it is highly recommended to check on your vendor’s capacity to meet your future requirements. This gives an idea about the longevity of your relationship with the vendor.

We might have missed some points which you may consider relevant to be enlisted in the above tips. Your comments are welcome herein!

An Overture with HTML 5

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With the passage of time, the versions of HTML start becoming obsolete. The daily up-gradation in the formats of creating a website gradually pushed the boundaries of HTML 4. The last decade owes heavily to HTML 4, but now, it was time to revolutionize. Several publishers wished to improve the functionality and raise the bar of the current applications. In 2004, the two major conglomerate working groups realized the need of an upgraded version of HTML. The compatibility of the browsers with HTML 5 is still under scanner. This news bought a new tide of arguments among the specialists.

However, HTML 5 would finally evolve as an advanced and latest version of its ancestor HTML 4. HTML 5 proposes to introduce all the features with a new look and feel. The features are being worked upon under the supervision of the individuals from different browser vendors. The deficiencies of HTML 4 would be no longer there in the newer version of its successor.

The popularity of the video and audio publishing sites like YouTube, Viddler, MySpace, Revver saw a rise in people using plug-ins. The functionality of HTML 4 lacked in embedding the videos on such websites as the multimedia controls were restricted and the only plug-in deployed was Flash for cross browser compatibility. HTML 5 provides the source element which can identify the media type or codec support for specifying the video/audio file for the browser. An additional media feature will help you to specify a media query for selection on the device limitation or type attribute for specifying the media type and codec.

The earlier versions of HTML like HTML and XHTML were always defined on syntax but HTML 5 would be defined based on DOM (Document Object model). This is a tree representation which is used internally by browsers to represent the document.
So, with DOM in place, the language is not dependent on the syntax.

HTML documents can be represented with the help of two syntaxes:

  1. HTML serialisation (HTML 5)
  2. XML serialisation (XHTML 5)

HTML serialisation is considered to be more compatible with the manner the browsers handle HTML, this syntax is inspired by the SGML syntax.

The progress on the work of HTML 5 is fast and it will continue in the following years. Evaluating the requirements and implementations, it is estimated that the work would finish in more than a decade.

Necessity of a Clean Markup

With the changes in the web world, we need to evolve and imbibe the new approaches. The pressures of meeting the deadlines for delivering each requirement are increasing day by day. Each client wants his project to be delivered yesterday and make your work smoother helps you to meet that aggressive deadline. A clean markup is very useful as time and money saving web standard.

Clean markup technology is standard compliant which bespoke the tags and structures of the language according to the purpose. This user-friendly markup sieves the irrelevant information and retains the useful matter. Also, with a clean markup, you can avoid unnecessary attributes like inline CSS (Cascading Style Sheet). This further keeps the document organized and structured. It is standard compliant and this helps your pages to validate laid out by W3C for HTML, CSS and XML. Till 100% error-free document is not achieved, W3C validator keeps on testing and correcting.

While mobile browsing is increasing, clean markup is extensible with XHTML which helps to facilitate ease of search on your mobile. The assistive technology with alternate interface devices for the physically challenged individuals increases the accessibility of such individuals.

A clean markup just works on simple mechanism and increases content-to-markup ratio. The crawlers visiting your webpage stay on the page for a few seconds, hence, the first 100 words must be the most powerful in your content. Therefore, getting rid of unnecessary and incorrect coding helps the crawler to navigate through the page conveniently. Using valid, semantic, lean and clean markup sets high standards of accessibility and extensibility.

Once your project becomes live, it becomes accessible to everybody and there are chances of the content being translated into other languages. Thankfully, with internet archives and Google Cache those pages would still float on the web even after the page is withdrawn from a live site. Therefore, clean markups constantly guard the sites and ensure proper working. Hence, a well formulated document is generally a result of a clean markup.

20 Best PSD to HTML Service Providers

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Converting design files (PSD, PNG, AI etc) to high quality, cross-browser compatible valid top-notch HTML/ CSS semantic markup manually has never been easy, as it takes lot of time and precision. Coding has always been an art as it deals with many issues such as W3C Valid CSS / HTML standards, SEO optimization and keeping the design unaltered after coding, in order to maintain the look and feel of the design which can attract millions of visitors to your website.

Noticing the importance of PSD Slicing, we decided to write a review about PSD Slicers but writing a review for all the service providers does not seem to be quite feasible to us. So we decided to merge the name of first 20 PSD to HTML service providers. The fundamentals on which the rankings are pronounced are defined below:

  • Market Reputation
  • Brand Popularity
  • Quality of Work
  • Turn around time and
  • Pricing

* You may wonder that turn around time and pricing are almost same to every service provider, so how it could be among decisive factors? Producing finest of service under same price tag and prescribed turn around time shows the passion and diligence in work.

The reason why these companies are on top of the chart is they understand the industry standards and at times even raise the quality benchmark.

Below are the screen-shots of the companies along with their website link.

01. PixelCrayons

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PiixelCrayons has a well-known and highly experienced team of developers to assist you with custom designing for simple blog or a complicated website design serving W3C standards, cross-browser compatibility and high quality at fast turnaround time.

02. MarkupBox

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Markupbox is a renowned name in web development industry, they have a dedicated team of developers offering customized services in PSD to HTML conversions. They deliver quality with clean coding, W3C compliant and cross browser compatibility with on-time delivery of projects.

03. XHTMLWeaver

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XHTMLWEAVER has a team of professional developers to serve you 100% satisfaction with psd slicing, hand-coded html, cross-browser compatibility, W3C compliance on Standard time.

04. ValueCoders

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ValueCoders offers 100% hand coded, high quality, cross browser compatible, semantic and W3C Validated HTML Mark Up . They have a highly proficient team of HTML, Web developers & Mobile Apps Developers who take care of all the Mark Ups efficiently along with the quickest turnaround time.

05. PSD TO MANYTHINGS

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PSD TO MANYTHINGS and PSD to HTML conversion services are complementary to each other, they provide the best and the most reliable services for the projects. Their team members take care of all the customization efficiently.

06. Markup-service

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07. XHTML4u

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08. XHTMLized

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09. Thechoppr

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10. HTMLblender

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11. QualityXHTML

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12. XHTMLslicer

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13. CSSninjas

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14. Slicendiceit

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15. HTMLcut

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16. Slicemydesign

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17. Finelysliced

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18. Yodiv

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19. PSDslicing

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20. XHTMLizers

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PSD to XHTML: Importance of Browser Compatibility

The increasing importance of PSD to XHTML conversion cannot be negated. It is an intrinsic part of Website Designing and holds a heavy weightage. It also goes beyond saying that Internet has spread its root in a diverse fashion and does not limit itself to Home PC and Systems.

The browsers are adding up in the queue, and with the arrival of every new or improved browser, the coding criteria also changes. Earlier the coder has to fix his attention to limited browsers, but the present XHTML coding rules simply outcast any leniency with browser compatibility.

The well known and highly used browsers are IE (with its different versions), Mozilla and Safari. Many people are comfortable with Mozilla because of its user friendliness (each link opening in different tab with horizontal structure), while many find IE better. Safari is a comparatively new browser with different specifications than IE or Mozilla; and then there is Google Chrome from Google. Hence while code testing, it becomes important to check the pages in all the different browsers from common to uncommon ones. You cannot just leave the compatibility issue with Opera, Opera Mini, Netscape and other browsers because few number of people use it. Your prospective clients, who are sitting poles apart, may very well be browsing your website through Netscape or Opera. And who knows that he might very well turn into a regular business client!

How to Make them Browser Compatible
After knowing the importance, the point in question is how to make the site browser compatible. A thorough XHTML programmer knows all the coding formulae. If you however choose to begin the coding with basic XHTML understanding you possess, it is important to note that not all the browsers can be made XHTML compatible. IE 5 for instance, has no in-built functionality to support Div, and hence does not support XHTML.

It is therefore important to choose a set coding standard that goes well with all the preferred browsers. But at the same time, there might be cases where a particular specified content attains perfect visibility in one browser, and appears deformed in another. A textual paragraph for instance, with a defined width, color and font specifications might not come out fine in two different browsers. In this case, some programmers use Browser Hack to even out the content in both the browsers. But the use of Hacks is not recommended and is avoided to the last as it does not signify browser compatibility.

A little knowledge is very dangerous. It is always a safe bet to outsource the design work to XHTML Conversion firms who are well versed with the ins and outs of XHTML coding standards.

XHTML Delivery in 8 HRS! Is it 8 HRS Really?

It continues to amaze me as to how the Web Development companies promise XHTML Deliveries in 8 HRS or 4 HRS Flat! The web is burgeoning with companies that guarantee “quality in quick time”, and this certainly entice the clients. So is it just a marketing gimmick, an insubstantial statement, a pure lie or a gentleman’s promise? Let us know about it in some detail.

“PSD to XHTML Conversion- 8 HRS Flat!”
“Quality in Quick Time- Get your XHTML in less than 8 HRS!”
“8 HRS PSD to XHTML Delivery. Order Now!”

Such statements are a part of every PSD to XHTML company’s advertising campaign. Such a prompt delivery has even become one of the key USPs of XHTML conversion firms, and they are vying with each other on the basis of quickest time delivery. Pragmatically, XHTML does not take as much time as it takes to design a Web Page. XHTML is a laid out process, and designing a page is implying creativity.

When a company promises to deliver a page in 8 Hours, it is mapping out the time that might be needed in actually “coding” a Web Page. You would not agree more when I say that coding a design in XHTML is client-centric. True that codes are codes and they cannot be written as a=1 when a=2. But interaction with clients, and adhering to his specifications is equally important. Or allow me to say, it gets as important as designing it with adherence to the W3C validation.

Quite practically, you would not start the XHTML right when the client’s e-mail pop in. The first step in beginning XHTML is understanding the client’s requirements. This may involve email exchange or an online chat with him. After everything set and decided, the XHTML procedure actually begins.

This situation may get even more poignant when you are outsourcing the design internationally. The geographical boundaries distinguish the days from night in two different countries, and thus there comes a paradigm shift in the work delivery. However, there are few companies that have business executives, developers and programmers that work at night and ensure that the clients get prompt delivery.

So the 8 HRS Delivery guarantee might be 24 HRS or 48 HRS, depending upon the initiating time of the project. But if looked broadly, coding and delivering the page in 8 HRS isn’t an impossibility either.

So next time when you order your PSD to XHTML, make sure that the 8 HRS are the 8 Business hours, or the total delivery hours.

How to Choose an XHTML Conversion Company among the Stiff Competition

It might be confusing to choose from a lesser number of options available, as choosing from just a palmful is no real choice, but according to the human behavior, it gets even more confusing to choose from a large number. It almost becomes a trick. Need for XHTML Conversion is on a constant rise, and so are the number of XHTML Conversion companies. With every firm offering the same set of services, and with the self-acclaimed number one tag, how do you choose a firm that suits your needs?

Ordering a PSD to XHTML Conversion company is simple. Choosing a right service provider is however tricky. Here are few points that might help you to select a PSD to XHTML Conversion Company.

# Website Designing- XHTML is all about a visually satisfying, tableless, hand written and W3C standardized coding. If the service provider doesn’t have a visually compelling and error-free, W3C validated website, expect no good from them as an XHTML conversion firm. You might even want to check their website in the W3C validator tool. A simple and plain looking website design can be expected of a website that offers some hardware or software. But an XHTML conversion firm must have a strikingly beautiful and semantic website. So the website could be the mirror of the work they do.

# Testimonials- Content might be the king, in any intended form, but not primarily for you as a customer/client. Do not get over-convinced by words and phrases like ‘guarantee’ and ‘exceptional quality’ they say they offer. Check their clientèle and see the testimonials. What clients say is really important in getting you the ‘almost first-hand experience’.

# Portfolio- The portfolio never lies. Unlike the self acclaimed statements on the website, there are minimal chances of a portfolio being doubtful. Check the portfolio and see how well have they converted the designs. This is really a passageway to check their work gallery and half of the doubts get clear.

# Pricing- After being convinced of the work quality, you need to check and compare the price listing. With the vying competition in the market, the companies now offer flexible price list and even offer discounts on copious order. PSD to XHTML conversion is becoming a real business!

#Delivery Time- Timely delivery is one of the key and highly rated factors that is considered in measuring the success and quality of an XHTML Conversion company. Many companies order PSD to XHTML conversion not because they are not expert in that, but because they are low on time. With the intense competition in the field, many companies now deliver a web page in as less as 8 hours.

All points considered, make sure that you do not compromise even an iota on Quality and Timely Delivery. Everything else can be bargained for less or more, but these two factors hold prime importance in deciding a PSD to XHTML Conversion firm. You might want to place a 50+ order anytime in future. See their abilities to make timely and quality delivery if need arrives.

Along with the above mentioned points, your discretion in choosing a right business partner comes to the top. The flexibility and business ethics become mandatory not only while choosing a PSD to XHTML Conversion company, but while choosing any company.

What if I Don’t XHTML vis-a-vis W3C Standards?

Not a tad, more than your website won’t be visible to everyone, you would loose your SEO score, and your reputation would be tainted.

The coding standards laid out by W3C are not a decree that are to be followed religiously. But then, expert XHTML Developers do follow them religiously. The reasons for this are numerous. With new type of tools and technologies, it gets inadvertently difficult to comply with all the factors- designing and cross browser compatibility per se.

Designing a website in compliance with W3C standards mean that your website would be viewed by all the people exactly the same way, no matter what Internet browser they use. I would forgo listing the technical standards in this article; W3C.org explains them in detail. The essence of W3C complaint standards is that the code should be clean, semantic and systematized. And a clutter-free and semantic code clearly mean a SEO friendly code. So if you are following W3C coding rules, you aren’t just entering a herd race, or following the rules laid out by some web-established punditry; you are adorning your site with the best possible XHTML and CSS that offers many advantages.

How To Check if your Website is W3C Validated?
Many clients give their PSDs to XHTML conversion companies, who claim on offering a 100% W3C validated code. But seldom do they know how to check their authenticity. After you get your coded design back, you can check its authentication with the W3C Validator Tool at http://validator.w3.org/. You can check them by three ways:-

  • Validate by URL
  • Validate by File Upload
  • Validate by Direct Input

A 100% W3C Validated Website would show the result “Passed”, with no errors or warnings. But if a page is not coded according to the exact W3C standards, it would display the “Errors” and “Warnings” in number, along with the detailed report of the bugs.

The “Errors” refer to the mismatched coding vis-s-vis W3C specified coding. Instance, element “META” undefined, end tag for “img” omitted, etc. This points out the areas where the programmer has not used the W3C standards.

The “Warnings” are a kind of recommendation and not bugs. For example, If a developer has defined color attributes twice in a CSS, it would show this as a warning.

This is the basic step for measuring the W3C qualities of any Web Page. So next time when you get your XHTML back from your client, do check its W3C validation!

Conformity and Compatibility with Pixel Perfect XHTML Conversion

The web is brimming with PSD to XHTML conversion tutorials, showing experimental WebPages with step by step coding process. But then, with more and more people getting hooked to web development, the demand of tutorials is being equally proportionate. One of the frequently asked questions addressed in PSD to HTML Tutorials is how to slice your PSD into quality HTML and CSS code. It may sound too random, but the beginning in XHTML conversion process matters a little too much.

My acquaintance with many web designers has lately been so strong that I can now get into their shoes and sympathetically understand their point of view. I have realized that the biggest challenge for a successful web designer is to get timely and quality conversion done; and for a seasoned XHTML programmer, it is the beginning process.

The two prerequisites of XHTML are Adherence with Time and Adherence with Quality.
After a long association with competent web designers, I have sensed the irrevocable importance of timely work delivery; and along with it, the irresistible need of outsourcing to XHTML Conversion companies.

Website design/ development companies can not take the risk of being behind the times and subsequently cut a large number of potential clients. The recessionary period simply outcasts any chances of loosing clients! Just because the web design companies are brimmed with design orders doesn’t mean saying “no” to new clients, thereby ruining client relationship. So to accelerate time to business value, design pages are outsourced to XHTML companies.

Stiff competition in the web designing market has also outlined the need for pixel perfect websites, which is precisely one reason why more and more web design firms hire XHTML conversion companies. XHTML is not so much about having a ‘strict code’ as about ‘conformity and compatibility’. E-marketers of the 21st Century have realized that even the high-end booze businesses are making serious efforts to survive in the global recession. This formula reiterates in e-business too- and when it’s about XHTML conversion, quality is revered.

All-in-all, XHTML conversion is all about time, quality and cost- or to be precise, it’s about all three going hand-in-hand. This is realized by many top notch XHTML service providers who leave no stone unturned in their service offerings. Having said that, I’m going to use this as a basis for ‘how to select a promising PSD to XHTML Conversion Company’.

  • Work Process- If you have decided to outsource your PSD for XHTML, it’s not because you want to, but because you have to. Hence you would like the work process to be seamless, easy and less time consuming. Check if the provider allows you to integrate with CMS/Blogging Engine and Shopping cart of your choice. As you are the client, you ought to have choices! Check for the same liberty of choice with PSD file format.
  • Client Support- You are hiring a conversion company primarily for saving time. Quick response time and instant communication options prove to be the success measuring devices.
  • Work Quality- XHTML quality should not only meet, but supersede the PSD mock up design. A qualitative XHTML means quick loading, optimized pages, table free design, cross browser compatibility, SEO semantic code, and most importantly- meeting all client’s requirements- howsoever and whatsoever they may be.

The complicated thing with web programmers is that their learning process never ends. Just as XHTML has overshadowed HTML, some other language/coding style may hammer its identity in the coming days!

Evolution of XHTML

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Need of XHTML
XHTML became a W3C recommendation in 2000, and within the next five years we did see many websites framed in XHTML standard.

Prior to XHTML, HTML was the successfully running coding standard on the web, and shared wide popularity. But the amazing thing however is that even after the release of XHTML as the new recommended markup language, HTML did not cease to evolute. Neither did the websites which were framed in HTML stopped to function.

HTML uses XSL to transform it into XML and that too only when HTML is also a well formed XML. Whereas in XHTML, direct transformation with XML can take place.

XHTML was a recommendation of W3C, but it did not condemn the earlier language. Webmasters were also reluctant to use XHTML any soon, given the complexity it involved and the skepticism that comes with everything that’s new. Few webmasters also believed that XHTML would slow down the browser’s speed. To a casual Internet user, an application seems fine as long as it is visually satisfying and user friendly. The HTML websites were running successfully and web designers found it irrelevant to switch to any new method.

Yet the advanced technologies hammered the need of XHTML, and this pushed the designers to leave their doubts and accept XHTML as a comfortable mark-up language. XHTML on the better side, is not entirely different from HTML. They aren’t two different languages altogether. They can be said as two different dialects of the same language.

Benefits of XHTML
They say, “Necessity is the mother of all inventions”. The need for XHTML did not show up when HTML was used successfully by web designers, because that era was not marked by the advanced technologies. Coding was desktop complaint but did not consider the compatibility with 3G Phones. Neither did it apprehend the fast arrival of different web browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla and others.

Also, the cascading style sheet is capable of controlling all the aspects of page presentation and layout. This saves a lot of precious time of the coder and also helps to cut down the amount of code needed to display a web page properly. So in this context, XHTML offers a dual benefit. And as all major browsers support the Cascading Style Sheets, they can be used without any hitch.

HTML doesn’t bother about proper nesting of the tags, whereas XHTML considers proper nesting of tags which makes it syntax error free.