Tag - web design and development

Should Small Business Websites Use HTML Or CMS?

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New start-up companies who don’t have a clue about designing small business websites can be forgiven for thinking that HTML and CMS are interchangeable. As long as the finished website is to their specifications, new small business owners may not care about the distinctions between the two. However, the differences between HTML and CMS are integral to the creation of websites and how they are maintained and updated. HTML is the programming language that every web page on the Internet is written in. A CMS is a software platform which is powered by a database and provides an easy to use interface which can quickly create and publish new content. Choosing between the two approaches to web design is an important decision for new website owners.

Coding Vs. GUI

Creating a website with HTML means lots of coding. Hundreds of lines of HTML code are required for every webpage, and advanced website features such as comment boxes or e-commerce capability need even more complex coding languages like PHP, SQL and jQuery. However, no coding knowledge whatsoever is needed to create a website using CMS. The installation of a CMS to a web server is quick and easy and some web hosts already have the most popular CMS platforms ready to use. The CMS automatically create a skeleton structure for new websites so all the user needs to do is add content and customize the design.

Structuring

Structuring a website is much more difficult with HTML. Web pages are kept in a directories on a server and the HTML code has to link  all of the different pages to the relevant hosted folders. Images and other media have to be stored in the server directory, too, so an experienced web developer will be required as website visitors will see page errors and dead links if the structure is incorrect. A website created with a CMS has a much flatter structure. All of the content and website information is stored in the database rather than across different folders and directories, and the CMS handles most of the structuring and linking automatically.

Speed Of Deployment

It can take hours to create a single webpage from scratch with HTML. Even an experienced web developer will need plenty of time to create a small business website as the structure, content and design of webpages all need to be ‘hand coded’ from scratch. Using a CMS, the same website can be created in a fraction of the time. Changes can even be made after a website has gone live. Using a CMS means website owners can make significant alterations with just a few clicks, and the interface allows owners to see a live preview of the changes they are making.

Flexibility of Design

There are thousands of different themes available for websites designed with CMS. Popular CMS platforms like Joomla and WordPress have a wide range of designs and templates that can completely change the appearance a website, and the variety means that any small business will be able to find a look that suits their professional image. However, HTML can give designers almost unlimited free reign to make any aesthetic changes to a website. For example, CSS can be used to display the same HTML elements on every page for consistency, but designers could still easily create individual webpages with a completely different design from the rest of the website (useful for a checkout page, for example). One of the main differences between a HTML web design vs CMS is that while CMS themes can be customized, they don’t offer the complete flexibility of HTML.

SEO For Small Business

Having effective SEO for small business can make or break the success of a new company website, and both CMS and HTML have different SEO advantages. All websites created with a CMS have a structure that is easily read by search engines, ensuring they will be seen by crawlers and indexer bots. Similarly, SEO plugins exist which can automatically make changes which will optimize a website. Although SEO with HTML is not an automatic, quick process, experienced web developers will be able to completely optimize every webpage so with search engine performance in mind.

CMS and HTML are very different approaches to web design, but they are both suitable for creating small business websites. The user-friendly benefits of designing with a CMS have made the platform a popular option for new website owners in recent years, and its speedy deployment and easy content creation are ideal for small companies. However, experienced web developers can use HTML to create websites which require very specific graphical and design specifications. Ideally, new small business owners need to discuss the requirements of their website with a web developer so they can make the best decision.

Small business websites are a topic that Ross Davies writes about on a regular basis. He works as a web developer in the UK and understands the benefits of both a CMS and a HTML website for new websites.

8 Free HTML5 & CSS3 Template Generators

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Working with HTML5 and CSS3 requires great coding skills. However, you can learn to manipulate codes and can jump start your web designing, in a rather speedier and effortless manner. Today, there are various HTML5 and CSS3 template generators available in the market. You can use these generators to simply manipulate codes and save your time in writing code from the scratch.

You will find these HTML5 generators and CSS3 generators incredibly useful, particularly when you need to create some small codes again and again. These generators saves a lot of time and efforts and you can have more time, if you feel the need of writing some specific codes.

The list of generators has become really extensive these days, but we will focus on top eight HTML5 and CSS3 generators that you can use more often for your web design and development.

CSS3 Generators

1. CSS3.me:

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The developer of CSS3.me, Eric Hoffman has included several awesome features in this generator that designers and developers will really find very useful. This simple tool has various types of functionalities, allowing you to manipulate the border radius, gradient, opacity and other elements.

2. CSS3 Maker:

css3maker

This generator is loaded with some good features and you may prefer using it in a consistent manner to manipulate codes. It allows you to manipulate the text shadow, text rotation, box shadow, gradients and borders. You can do a lot many things with this generator and find it very useful for many types of small manipulations again and again.

3. CSS3 Generator:

CSS3-Generator

Packed with a lot of functional features, this generator allows you to work with the text shadow, box shadow, border radius, columns and transitions. With its clean UI design and drop downs, it is an easy to use generator to help achieve the desired tasks.

4. CSS3 button.net:

CSS3 Button.net

This generator is often considered the best for its adorable features, allowing you to create flawless and seamless designs. Using this button generator, you can add several types of shadow effects, border lines, font colors etc to your buttons. The features included in the generator can be best used for the Windows XP OS.

5. CSS3 Please:

css3_please-min

This reverse CSS3 generator is really a cool product. In this awesome tool, you get the box set and all the CSS that bring you a lot of possibilities. With the reverse engineering of CSS3, you can learn what all it can do for you. Using this generator, you can learn all about CSS3.

There are several important HTML5 Generators as well that can make the designing task pretty helpful for all those who want to work with a starter template for creating a website.

HTML5 Generators

6. Shikiryu HTML5 Generator

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This may appear a bit complex to you, but it is very useful, because it allows you to add third party applications that people often love to use. Shikiryu is somehow more semantic in nature and allows you to include features that you would prefer to work with.

7.Switch to HTML5 Generator

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You will find it really useful, as it allows you to create simple frameworks for building your websites. You can choose exactly what you would like to show your visitors in your framework. You can include selectors or items in the framework as per your choice.

8. Quackit HTML5 Generator:

Quackit HTML5 Generator

Instead of generating codes of more generic nature, you can use the generator to include all your information you feel to add. The generator, however, enables you to create the standard base HTML. This generator could be a good tool for the newbie website designer to learn to use CSS.

How Good Web Designers Are Helping To Save The World

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A person who masters the art of web design is worth their weight in gold. Why? Well, web designers may not exactly change the world, but they do change how people see it. The 2011 Census shows more American households connect to the Internet than ever – 75.6 percent of all homes have at least one way of going online. The globe is becoming one, big virtual community.

Consumers are turning to the Internet to shop, socialize, learn and even see the doctor. Healthcare facilities and private practices are offering basic services online using a virtual interview and exam. Web design is at the heart of all these enterprises. In that way, it is saving the world.

Going Mobile

Technology is changing and that means web design must evolve, as well. Internet connoisseurs are connecting while on the move with smartphones or tablets in hand. The Census shows at least 48.2 percent, almost half, of all users access the Internet from a mobile device.

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What this means in the world of design is an increase in the need for responsive sites. Responsive web design means constructing sites that evaluate the target viewing device and adapt.

  • Resizing
  • Scrolling and panning capacity
  • High def images based on-screen resolution
  • Effective navigation

These are all critical criteria to consider when crafting a responsive website. Designers must take in account unobtrusive JavaScript and progressive enhancement, as well. The one thing mobile technology will always do is evolve. New operating systems and device structures are common. A website must be able to keep up with the changes and provide viewers with a good Internet experience without requiring a complete overhaul every 60 days.

What Makes Good Web Design

A successful designer understands the needs to anticipate the mindset of target users. There are no hard and fast rules for an effective website, but there are some core essentials to consider:
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Don’t make the user think too hard – A website needs to be dummy proof. A viewer that must work to understand it will keep on surfing.
Make the design engaging – The goal is to maintain the interest of the web viewer. Content should be relevant and attention grabbing. Remember, users scan – they don’t read word for word. Set up sections that allow them to gather the pertinent information without digging too deep. Use bullet points to highlight critical “must-see” facts.
Assume the viewer has the patience of a two-year-old – Use pop ups and other annoying widgets wisely. Don’t poke the bear with useless filler either. Make each space mean something.
Get visual – Viewers react to pictures and movies. If in doubt, add something graphic instead of text. If you need words, consider incorporating them into an image that attracts the eye.

Create guideposts – Large buttons, featured content, dynamic navigation – they all work to create focus. You don’t want a site that is busy, but you do want one with tailored guideposts. Point them in the direction they need to go to get the best experience. Show new products in bold, colorful images, for example.

Conclusion

So, how do these superhero web designers go about saving the world? They create the websites that matter to people all over the planet. They are the Da Vinci’s of the virtual universe. It is a powerful role to play in this emerging techno centric environment. They will create education sites, political web pages, news resources, the next trendy social media pages and so forth. Web designers build an Internet that makes people want to go online.