|BLOG

Tips on Making Your Website Load Faster – Part 2

So, you have optimised the images on your website, as well as your CSS files, your HTML code and your JavaScript files, you have enabled the caching and also upgraded your hosting plan. You are on the right path to setting up a fast website that is bound to improve your conversion rates and therefore your business. But why stop here? Here are a few other tips on making your website load faster.

Manage your scripting properly

scriptingUnfortunately, many website owners fall into the trap of adding unnecessary scripting to their websites in their attempt to improve their functionality, track users, load pages and so on, thus causing the loading times to be slower and slower. Therefore, when it comes to scripting, you should always consider, for instance, whether the scripts you are planning on adding to your website are in fact relevant to improving the users’ experience or just add to the cool aspect of your website. External scripts like bootstrap via content delivery networks, pop-up boxes and Like My Page boxes, external fonts and comment systems, they will all slow your website down considerably. Also, see whether you can combine your scripts into one file to minimise the use of resources and make sure your use of libraries is limited to those that do in fact contribute to an improved programming process. Last but not least, always make sure not to add duplicate scripts whether in internal or external files.

Clear the website baggage

As expected, the so-called website baggage plays an important role when it comes to improving loading times. Unnecessary code, overloaded databases – often encountered with e-commerce websites –, exceedingly repeated backups, unnecessary plugins, themes, revisions or libraries in the case of WordPress users, they all affect the speed at which a website loads its pages. Also, you want to remove useless spam comments or older software versions or store your media files externally. And the list goes on.

Use content delivery networks (CDNs)

Content delivery networks (CDNs), such as Amazon CloudFront, MaxCDN or CloudFlare, are optimised servers that operate based on the geographical locations of users, thus improving the performance of websites to benefit website users in every corner of the world. Designed to store JavaScript and CSS files, images and a number of other upload materials such as videos or PDF files, among others, they have become necessary tools in the context of improved loading times, especially of big websites. It should be noted, however, that the costs associated with CDNs can be rather high, particularly in the context of a considerable use of bandwidth.

And this is only part of the list of countless tips that can help to make your website load faster to consider as a website owner. Whether straightforward or a fraction more time-consuming, they are all worth your attention for they are guaranteed to boost your conversion rates and thus your business in the long run. So start improving your website performance now!

Continue Reading

Tips on Making Your Website Load Faster – Part 1

However important it may seem at first glance, a nice-looking layout is not enough for a website to succeed with its visitors. Even more important than the visual aspect is the speed at which a website performs. According to the statistics, forty per cent of internet users will not allow a webpage more than three seconds to load before they decide to leave it. Moreover, the conversion rate will drop by seven per cent with every additional second the website takes to load. So here are a number of tips on how to improve your conversion rates by making your website load faster to get you started.

Optimise your website imagesStar trails

Unfortunately, the concept of image optimisation is often mistaken for that of mere image resizing. Although many website administrators will modify the physical size of the images they have uploaded on their websites, in order for a website to load faster, you need those images to be compressed as well. In fact, the process of image optimisation involves a number of different aspects being covered, as follows: image resizing – to the largest correct size as per usage and page dimensions –, image formatting – to JPG, GIF or PNG formats –, image compression (e.g. 60 per cent in the case of JPG images) and also, the use of code-based scalable vector graphics – for an easy download and light weight.

Upgrade your hosting plan

As expected, maximised cost effectiveness is a constant objective among business owners upon starting out and therefore, when it comes to choosing a hosting plan for their business websites, many opt for shared hosting. However, additional content and increased usage are bound to cause a decrease in speed. Therefore, upgraded hosting solutions, such as dedicated or VPS hosting, become necessary in order to benefit from higher bandwidth limits and better RAM or CPU, among many others.

Enable caching

Improper caching is another common cause of a slow website loading time. This particular aspect is highly relevant in the context of repeat visitors for it shortens the loading times considerably by eliminating the need for the database to retrieve every stored file every time a request is made. WordPress users can rely on plugins such as W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache as effective caching solutions, whereas non WordPress users can opt for caching at server level.

Optimise your use of HTML, JavaScript and CSS files

In this context, as a website owner seeking to speed up their website, you can start by using GZIP compression to reduce the size of various files you may want to upload on your website by seventy per cent without compromising their quality. Also, you can choose to minify all these files using tools such as BWP Minify for WordPress websites or WillPeavy, which will clear all unnecessary comments, code and blank spaces and help you achieve a reduced file size. However, you might want to note that the ideal solution involves the combined use of GZIP compression and minification.

Continue Reading

Most popular design schools in London

Here are the top London universities with the most international students studying design:

1. University of the Arts London

The largest arts and design university in Europe welcoming students from all over the world. This year with almost 19k students from 114 countries we have a lot courses of different levels on offer. You can choose from undergraduate to postgraduate and research. Our teachers are professional artists, designers, critics so our students can gain best knowledge and experience from them. We are proud to our special and exceptional way of teaching so that our students leave the school being truly unique designers.

University of the Arts is created by six outstanding and peculiar colleges such as Camberwell College of Arts, Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, Chelsea College of Art and Design, London College of Communication, London College of Fashion, Wimbledon College of Art.

Continue Reading

Tips on Creating an Explainer Video

images

You can sell your business to your target audience within 60 seconds using a video if you just create a good script. Otherwise, your explainer video will not be worth much. Here are seven tips on how you can create such a video script after you have analysed your target audience, drafted your message properly and established your call-to-action, of course.

Tip no. 1: Do not write a long script.

The main factor you need to consider when establishing the recommended length of your video script is your audience. Remember that Internet users do not usually stay on a website for more than four minutes unless they find its content compelling enough or they decide they need the product or service it offers. Check out this great example.

 

Tip no. 2: Convey your message in the first 30 seconds of your video.

There is also a recommended length when it comes to your message and that is one sentence. Once you have found the winning formula, make sure you insert it in the first 30 seconds of your video. This way, the viewers will know what to focus on as they watch your video.

Tip no. 3: Address your audience directly.

Using pronouns such as “you” or “your” is not only the most forthcoming way to address your audience, but also the most effective way to convert them into buyers. Another way is to focus on the things they care about the most, on those details that can convince them to trust you and to buy your product or service.

Tip no. 4: Choose your tone very carefully.

It is very important that you think about your customer for a bit before choosing a tone. Try to state the purpose of your video in one sentence and your choice of a tone will definitely be much easier. Once you sort that out, your choice of the setting, the tempo, the dialogue and the characters will be even easier.  Here’s an example of a video with a professional and to-the-point voiceover.

Tip no. 5: Create a story.

Explainer videos often present a problem, provide a solution, present the way it works and invite their viewers to take action. Few of them introduce people who have benefited from the products or services they are advertising or present their benefits, which is a pity because stories constitute the most compelling and effective way to present a product or a service and its benefits.

Tip no. 6: Make sure your humour supports the message you are trying to convey.

Humour can be a tricky thing if not used properly. Any misplacement or poor timing can drive your customers away rather than convert them into buyers, so make sure you introduce it in the right place at the right time. Sometimes, introducing it in an animated video is both safer and more effective.

Tip no. 7: Find the right pace.

Finally, you should always make sure that your viewer has enough time to absorb the information presented in your video and that your voiceover has enough time to breathe. Therefore, the ideal pace you are looking for is somewhere between 125 and 150 words per minute.

So, remember these tips when you create your video script. Remember that it is essential that you look into the best ways to make your video as comprehensible and engaging as possible and you will get the desired results.

 

 

Continue Reading

How A User Friendly Website Can Help You Get More Sales

Internet is one thing that keeps changing, and it is very clear that this is the right time to invest in the fast growing trend. You cannot hide the fact that almost all website get traffic from different sources. So, no doubt, that there is a great demand for user-friendly websites. Internet marketers are facing a challenging yet exciting opportunity that is presented by new gadgets. Right from small stores to coffee shops to cinema theatres to banks make user-friendly website just to increase their business.

If you have a normal website for your business, you can make the same site user friendly with the help of web designers. All you need to do is, make the menus easy to read and see to that your website is easy to navigate and not too complicated. The conversion of normal website to user friendly just needs a bit of coding, which makes it easy for them to browse.

If you are a business person wanting to go the futuristic way, then you should go in for user friendly websites which will increase your profits and reaches a vast number of people. Not only does it reach new customers it also helps in retaining your old customers. It is not very expensive as it may sound, so it is definitely affordable. As the world of internet has grown to such heights, a powerful business man should make the maximum out of it. So you should make user friendly website as an integral part of your marketing technology. You cannot afford to miss this kind of an opportunity that reaches each and every individual person.

Mobile internet

Mobile internet is the order of the day, and if you are in business, this is the right opportunity to make use of it. Instead of customers looking out of good sellers, it is now time for the sellers to look out for potential customers. This is possible only through creating a mobile friendly website. Research says that 30% or even more of the searches are now made on iPhone and Smartphone. So it is very clear that a businessman without a mobile enabled website is sure to miss on a fantastic opportunity to increase sales and thereby increasing his or her profit margin. With more and more accessing mobile internet, the need for creating mobile friendly website has become crucial, without that it is difficult to stay in the market. Take your business to the next level using mobile internet.

Drive traffic to your site with the help of social media network

One of the best and proved ways to increase the traffic to your site is by getting into social media network. It is one of the best ways to market your products or services. The secret behind most of the successful businesses is social media network. So do not hesitate and do not think they are nuisance, make use of one of the best social media services to take your business to the next level. There is no doubt, with the help of user friendly website and social media services, you can definitely build your business.

Continue Reading

Marketing Tips for Web Design Companies

If you are looking to promote your web design services or any other services, the most important thing to do is to spot what makes your services and company unique. If you cannot find that stand-out factor, you will not really be able to sell your ideas. Towards this end, you must ask yourself what your company offers that others don’t. Similarly, you should also ask yourself why someone should pick your company over the many others offering similar services. Once you have the answers to a few of these questions, you will be able to market your web design company with much more clarity.

Promote your business
Make sure to promote your web designing services at every possible opportunity. Look for listings for web designers and other such spots. However, make sure that you read the requirements well before proposing your services to any client. Spamming these listings will not get you anywhere. In fact, you may also land up getting black listed if you continue to spam on these pages.

Create a solid portfolio
Irrespective of how well you market your web designing services, clients will only make their decision on the basis of the work you’ve done. So, it is extremely important for web designing companies to have a solid portfolio of works to look into. Make a list of websites you have worked on and make sure they reflect your best work. Delineate what makes these designs so interesting and elaborate various elements of these web pages through screen shots etc. If you have contractual permission, keep copies of the websites you have developed. On the other hand, you can also make do with screenshots. Either way, it is important to have one of these because websites change quite regularly.

Be prepared to start small
If you have nothing on your portfolio, working for low costs can actually be a great marketing ploy. You can also consider doing a few free jobs for organizations such as local clubs, churches, political parties etc. to get your portfolio started. Apart from getting the relevant experience, these projects will also give your portfolio additional credibility.

Include your company information in all completed projects
Make sure to mention your company information in a concise manner on all the projects you have completed. You could also achieve this by creating a small logo. On the other hand, many businesses do not want web designer logos on their web pages. In this case, make sure to get them to acknowledge your work in some way or the other. For example, even something in the “About Us” page can be highly helpful.

Make sure you have a top notch business site
Your business site is perhaps the most immediate reflection of the quality of your work. Make sure you keep your business site up to date and also see to it that it is of the highest possible quality. You want to wow your prospective clients in every possible way and a good business site along with a strong portfolio is a great way to put your best foot forward.

Continue Reading

Designer tips for redecorating your home

Give your home a chic update with these simple and clever decorating ideas!

1. Clean inspiration
Go through magazines, books and images online and edit your favourite visual references down to one or two strong images that sum up your own personal style.

2. Add little touches
A simple addition can liven up your interior. A fresh flower in one of your grouped vases, for example, elevates your styling from lifeless to having soul.

3. Don’t stick to one style
Have fun with styling and mix different looks.

4. Avoid mixing too many colours
Introduce a two- or three-colour combo.

5. Work in one-offs
Invest in unique, antique pieces. It’s worth choosing items that have memories, for a sense of history.

Continue Reading

Compare WordPress Vs Joomla

Introduction to wordpress: It is one of the widely used CMS (Content Management System) and it is licensed under the GNU GPL. It is one of the most user friendly blog systems. There is no need to have knowledge about HTML to use wordpress. Creating posts and pages is comparatively easier and with the use of plugins you can add lot of functionality.

Introduction to Joomla: Joomla is the best choice for those who want to create a network or a community with forums, newsroom, membership area, articles and many more. Knowledge of HTML is not necessary to understand the workings of joomla. Setting up joomla is faster and simpler.

 

WordPress Vs Joomla: Comparing wordpress with joomla is quite interesting, as there are many similarities and differences between these two. One major difference is, wordpress is CMS (Content Management System) which is in blog style while joomla is a community or portal type Control Management System. One major similarity between the two is both are free to use CMS or in other words open source CMS. You just need basic knowledge of PHP to work with these two.

WordPress 3.0 has new features like multi-site and custom menu which makes it the preferable choice of users when compared to joomla. The flexible and elementary menu process is simple to generate, re-arrange menus using groups, edit, pages and many more. By installing wordpress you get the ability and opportunity to manage multiple websites. It is designed keeping in mind non techie. Employees with minimum computer skills can set up his or her company website just by following the online tutorials.

Again when it comes to similarity, both wordpress and joomla have a vast user base with an active community. Most hosting providers prefer wordpress and joomla for their easy setting up features. They have been one of the favourite choices in the net tool section. It is not only easy to set up these two they are also at the top in the search engines.

When it comes to designs there are lot of responsive designs that are available for both wordpress and joomla. With HTML and CSS knowledge you can create custom designs. Themes for your websites can be downloaded or purchased from several websites. Content creation in wordpress requires different thinking and approach while joomla requires completely different ones.

For blogging many prefers wordpress when compared to joomla because it has lot of additional features which joomla lacks.

WordPress is preferred by professional as it has the right potential to serve the blogging needs. The additional comment platform and built in comment system can be utilized for free while joomla does not have comment system.

Joomla is much preferred for building both regular and complex websites though the speed of joomla is little slower when compared to wordpress. Virtuemart, the popular e-commerce solution is available for joomla. Both joomla and wordpress have thousands of plug-in and both are open source.

 

Conclusion: WordPress is the best open source platform option for blogging while joomla is the best for complex websites. So it is difficult to say which one is better, both have advantages and disadvantages.

Continue Reading

3 Most Popular Project Management Tools for Web Designers

The variety of applications and tools for project management is highly diverse giving people a lot of room to carry out their tasks with higher quality and efficiency. At the beginning of this generation of project management tools, most of the tools and applications were general purpose ones serving non-specialized purposes. However, project management technology has taken giant leaps in the past few years as you can now find highly specialized tools for different types of industries. Finding applications for creative fields such as web designing is becoming much easier these days.

These apps for project management come with various features such as subversion browsers and build-in repositories for code. Some of these apps also have issue and bug tracking and many other features that go well beyond elementary project management. These project management tools help web designers stay abreast with various team members and activities.
Project management tools are available in wide range of permutations and combinations so web designers can use them for their unique requirements. You can find paid versions as well as free ones with rather smooth interfaces which are easy to set up and use.
The following are three of the best project management tools for not just web designers but web developers and other creative professionals as well:

Lighthouse
Lighthouse is a rather handy app for issue and bug tracking, milestone and timeline tracking, email integration and lots more. The creation of a project on lighthouse is rather simple as it only requires a project title and a description. Once this is done, a web designer can enter milestones, messages and tickets. The easy-to-use and convenient interface ensures that Lighthouse is one of the best project management tools for web designers. Web designers can find free as well as paid plans with varying features and facilities. Again, integration with any subversion app is also really easy and provides a comprehensive solution to project management.

Basecamp
Basecamp is one of the most popular project management tool not just amongst web designers but amongst many others. The app, considered to be the best out there, has a long list of impressive features such as project overviews, time tracking, message boards, file sharing, to-do lists, comments and lots more. Basecamp has one of the best user interfaces out there and it comes as no surprise that most other companies are looking to make applications and products that can be easily integrated with Basecamp. This provides web designers with a whole lot of other options to make their job much easier. Though Basecamp is not the cheapest project management tool out there, it is surely reasonably priced for all the quality on offer.

Jumpchart
Jumpchart is a rather specific project management tool for web designers which allows you to plan the entire navigation of your website in a meticulous way. You can create, drag and drop web pages within the plan and add text and comments for convenience. Jumpchart creates great mockups and it functions as a perfect project management tool for web designers with the help of a few hacks.

Continue Reading

What is Responsive Web Design?

Responsive-webdesign-devicesDesign response is an approach to create a web page that uses flexible layouts, flexible images and queries cascading style sheets of media. Design goal is to build websites that reveal sensitive screen size and address of the visitor and change the design accordingly.

Design response is a somewhat reactionary approach to design a website that addresses many of the design problems posed by the proliferation of new types of mobile devices. Page layout responds with x and y coordinates in the network planning and percentages sports images instead of a fixed-width parameters. Use percentages instead of fixed width parameters and network planning to establish a more flexible planning will be resized to fit the screen size.

Continue Reading