Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Creating Search Engine Friendly Pages

There is no point in building a website unless you can attract interested visitors. A major source of traffic for most sites on the web is search engines like Google, Yahoo!, Bing, IXQuick and so on. Therefore, by designing your site to be search engine friendly, you will be able to be more visible in search engines and obtain more visitors.

Most major search engines use programs called crawlers or robots to index websites for listing on their search results pages. The crawlers follow links to a page, read the page content and record it in their own database for later results listings.

If you want to prepare your site to be indexed easily, you should avoid using frames on your website. Frames can often confuse search engine robots and reduce your chances of being indexed. Additionally, frames make it difficult for users to bookmark specific pages on your site without embedding complicated scripts in your pages.

You should not present important information in Flash movies or in images alone. Search engine robots can only read text in your page's source code so presenting important text in Flash movies and graphic images will likely affect your search engine rankings dramatically.

Use appropriate meta tags accordingly on each and every page of your site so that search engine robots know at first glance what that particular page is about. By using meta tags, you are making the search engine robot's job easier, increasing the likelihood they will crawl and index your site more frequently.

Stop using outdated HTML tags like to style your page. Use CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) when possible because this is considered more effective and efficient. By using CSS, you can eliminate redundant HTML tags and make your pages much lighter and faster to load. Two clicks and good luck!

Monday, June 01, 2009

The Pros and Cons of Flash-based Web Sites (The Good, Bad and the Ugly)

Flash-based sites have been a craze for several years, and as Adobe compiles more and more great features into the Flash framework, we can only predict more and more flash-based sites throughout the Internet. However, Flash based sites are considered by some usability experts to be bloated and unnecessary. Where exactly do we draw the line?

Here's a simple breakdown.

The good:


Flash's Actionscript opens up a vast field of possibilities for dynamic user interaction. Programmers and designers alike have used Flash to create interactive features ranging from very lively feedback forms to attractive Flash-based games. The dynamism of this whole new level of interactivity will often leave visitors coming back for more.

A standardized site

With Flash, you do not have to worry about cross-browser compatibility. No more woes over how certain css code displays differently in Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera. When you position your site elements in Flash, they will always appear as they are as long as the user has the latest Flash Player installed.

Better expression through animation

In Flash, one can make use of its animating features to convey a message in an efficient and effective way. Flash is a lightweight option for animation because it is vector based (allowing smaller file sizes) as opposed to real "movie files" that are raster based and hence much larger in size.

The bad and the ugly:

The Flash player

People have to download the Flash player prior to viewing Flash movies, so by using Flash your visitor base will decrease a small but significant degree because not everyone will be willing to download the Flash player just to view your site. You'll also have to put in additional work in redirecting the user to the Flash download page if he or she doesn't have the player installed.

Site optimization

If your content is presented in Flash, most search engines will not be able to index your Flash-based content. Therefore your site may not rank well in key search engines leading to less traffic directed to your site.

Loading time

Users have to wait longer than usual to load Flash content compared to regular text and images, and some visitors might just lose their patience and click the Back button. The longer your Flash takes to load, the more you risk losing visitors.


It is generally recommended to use Flash only when you absolutely need the interactivity and motion that comes with it. Otherwise, use a mixture of Flash and HTML or use pure HTML if your site's primary purpose is to present simple textual and graphical information. Two clicks and good luck!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Vital Importance of a Good Web Design

Your website is the hub of your online business; it is the virtual representation of your company whether your business exists physically or not. When you are doing business online, people cannot see you physically like they would if they were dealing with an offline company. Hence, in this case, people do judge a book by its cover. This is where good design comes in.

Imagine this: you are running an offline company, would you allow your salespeople to be dressed in shabby or casual clothing when dealing with your prospects and customers? By requiring your staff to dress professionally, you are telling your customers that you truly care about quality. This works simply because first impressions matter tremendously as we form our perceptions and quality judgments.

The situation is essentially similar when it comes to your website. If your website is put together shabbily and looks like a 5 minute "quick fix", you are practically shouting to your visitors that you are unprofessional and do not place much emphasis on quality.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, if you have a completely professional looking website design and layout, you help give your visitors the perception that you have paid meticulous attention to every detail and care about professionalism. You are organized, focused and really mean business.

Similarly, other materials related to your company should be well designed. From business cards to your company's letterheads to promotional brochures, every little bit matters. This is because as you grow your business, these items become your company's "face" to the world. Once again, think of the "salesperson dressed shabbily" analogy, and you will understand my point. Cheers and good luck!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Easy Way to Save Paper and Ink When Printing Documents In Word

Save half of all the paper and ink you use when printing draft Word documents.You can print up to 16 pages per page (2 usually works best for readable text).

1)From File Menu, click 'Print'
2)Select '2 Pages' from the 'Pages Per Sheet' menu under 'Zoom'
3)Click 'OK' to Print

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Great Little XML /Google Sitemaps Tool

A great little XML /Google Sitemap Generator:

Friday, August 29, 2008

How do I display code on a web page?

Something this simple can appear quite tricky as the browser will attempt to render any HTML and JavaScript code it encounters. Once simple solution is to include the code you want to display in a separate text (.txt) file. Simply link to that file, and being text, the browser will not attempt to render the code.

The links below provide some additional resources for displaying page code including some automatic conversion utilities that will make short work of the conversion process.

Displaying HTML Source Code in Web Pages

Display Markup with the Text Munger

How to display HTML code in your web pages

How To Display PHP Code In A Web-page

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Free Replacement for Microsoft Visio?

After evaluating a few possible solutions, we have determined an adequate replacement for basic Visio diagramming functionality is the Open Source program, Dia. It is available for Windows, Unix and Linux, though we only evaluated the Windows version. The software can be downloaded from:

An example use of Dia for an actual project process flow can be found here

Two clicks!