On September 30, 2009  

Troubled with lacking professional web design knowledge? Thinking about buiding a website for your business? CMS might be a choice for you, but it is rather a difficult job to choose a right CMS for yourself. There are some advice for you. Let’s start from here:

What is CMS?

CMS stands for Content Management System, which allows customers to create and edit their website’s content simply and easily in an administration section of the web application. Read more…

Do you need a CMS for your website?

flow chart do you need a cms

This chart explains to you briefly when a CMS can be your option.

Things to consider when choosing the right CMS

Choosing the fuctionality is very like shopping. For my experiences, you definitely will buy things you don’t need without a shopping list, especially when you are hunry. Same thing, you should always ask yourself “what do I want from CMS” before choosing a CMS. Do I need some of the great functionalities of CMS, or I just feel like it? Make a list!

Most people think of using CMS to create, delete, edite and organize pages. They assume all CMS’ have those functionalities. However, it is not all right. Here is a example. Many blogging platforms allows owners to manage and organize pages only by date or category. If you want organize your pages in a tree hierachy, those blogging plateforms can not be your pick. So, do not take the functionality for granted. Always ask or do the research.

When you need a CMS with search functionality, a few things need to be considered. If you change your website’s content regularly, the search engine should index your website often. Dose the search engine index the files, like PDFs, Words, Excels, in your website? How long can it take to get the search result? Can you change the way that the results are displayed? etc.

The most important thing for you is the CMS should be easy to use. Choose the one you can easily get comfortable with, otherwise, it is will be pain for you.

Top CMS’

WordPress is a very user friendly CMS. The administration interface is easy to use, even for a non-pro. There are lots of help documents available for your reference.

wordpress logo

Drupal is one of the top open source CMS. Some web developers find it more funtional than wordpress and Joomla, but the system is quite complex. It might not be the better choice for non-techies.

drupal logo

Joomla is a highly flexible CMS. Its numerous modules and components have very pretty framework and interface. It is easy to learn for starters.

joomla logo

On September 24, 2009  

free wordpress theme keynear flew

I’m proud to announce that our first WordPress theme code “flew” is released.

Click to preview the free WordPress theme “flew”.

This is our little contribution to the GPL world.

The CSS, XHTML and design is released under the GPL.

It’s expected that more WordPress free theme will be released by our studio in the near future.

Basic information for this theme

medium violet red, purple, red, dark, black, right-sidebar, fixed-width, two-columns, sticky-post

How to use?

Just download the zip package and unzip it, copy the flew-keynear folder to your WordPress theme directory, then log in your WordPress control dashboard -> Appearance -> Themes, find the theme named “Flew 1.0” by Jason L, activate it and enjoy.

Screen Shot

Download Free WordPress Theme – “Flew” Now!

Change Log

Version: 1.1

Released on 2nd, Oct, 2009

  • More styling on post body
  • More styling on comment area
  • Rounded corners added for Firefox/Chrome
  • The main navigation  CSS drop down menu fixed
  • Some minor bugs fixed

Version: 1.0

Released on 24the, Sep, 2009

On September 16, 2009  

web design website maintenance checklist

Maintaining your website regularly is a must. Website maintainance can reduce errors, update your website and keep your website functional. Web maintainance is difficult and time consuming.

Here is a checklist to help you do this hard work:

  1. Keep your domain records and accounts up to date. Update your domain register before it is expired.
  2. Update your copyright notice in your web footer and anything with the lines of “@2009 your name”. The overlooked the copyright notice makes the website look outdated and unmaintained by the owner.
  3. Check your website email addresses and make sure they are all active.
  4. Check links. Website with broken links looks unprofessional and cost your business.
  5. Test forms. “Contact us” or other forms are the communication media between you and your customers. Test those media whether operates in the expected way. Also remember to check the errormessages and automated messages.
  6. Check search engine visibility. Search engines bring you traffic, but rankings may change. Find out the reason, changes in the search engine ranking formulas or changes made by your competitors, and take actions accordingly.
  7. Check insite search. Insite search is a efficient way, for many of your web visitors, to find information they need. Ensure your site search working properly.
  8. Check site download speed.
  9. Check confirmation and automated messages. Check the content of the confirmation or automated messages from your registration, enquiry, and other forms, and ensure it match your current marketing messages.
  10. Update time references. Information with specific time reference on your website need to up to date.
On September 16, 2009  

There are lots of ways to improve web design. Here are some simple tips for you to share:

Tip 1: Fast Speed

Not everyone has ADSL 2 Plus or faster internet connection. Lots of people still use dial-up modems to access internet. Please take off any fancy redundant images or plugins and quicken your web pages’ download speed. People will leave your website if it takes them over 10 seconds to open. Probably they won’t visit again. So, start checking your website assets and evaluating the loading speed of your website. If you don’t know how to do that, learn it or leave to web design professionals.

web design - grade your website level
What is the grade level of your website?

Tip 2: Readability

web design - readability is the important factor to let your vistor stay

For the visual aspect, there are a lot we can do in the web design.

  • Choose the colors carefully, like the safe combination – black text on white background.
  • Underline the links.
  • Use headings and subheadings.
  • Make the headers of the same importance in the hierarchy look identical.
  • Paragraph the text with roughly 4 sentences in each paragraph.
  • Use white space.

For the content of the texts, state your message in a manner of clearness and easy understanding. Short sentences and words may help.

Tip 3: Consistent Layout

The style of layout should be the same throughout your websites. The different layouts in the different web pages will confuse the reader: “Am I visiting the same website?”

Tip 4: Easy Navigation

web design - navigation is the key
Easy navigation is a part of a successful web design.

  • Use navigation buttons and bars in the same place on every page.
  • Include a homepage link in your navigation bar that can guide visitors back to the homepage wherever they want.
  • Offer a search tool to help users find information they need on your website.

Tip 5: Browser Compatability

web design browser compatability
So many web browsers, is your website READY for them?

There are many people who use Firefox, Opera other than Internet Explorer. Use the program code carefully (Web design standard: W3C compliance) while you are doing your web design work. Make sure your website runs properly on the most of the web browsers. Don’t exclude any of your web readers just because they favor certain web browser.

Tip 6: Provide options

If you really want to add music to your website, give the readers choice to turn the music on or off. They don’t like to be forced to listen when open your website. Please leave out pop up windows or plugins. You just make us no choice, and we hate that!

Definitely there are plenty ways to improve your web design.

If you need any further suggestions or little help about your website, please feel free to contact us @ web design melbourne – keynear creative studio.

On September 12, 2009  

When you choose a web design service or make a website by yourself you may probably have questions like “Is there any standards towards web design and web page industry?”, or “Is there any basic web page coding rules to follow?”.

Then it goes to be our topic today – Compliance with W3C standards will help a lot to your website and your business, and it’ll save you a bunch of money!

What is W3C Compliance anyway?

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

The term W3C stands for “World Wide Web Consortium”, it was founded in Oct, 1994. At the very first of beginning, the guidelines to code and make web pages had been outlined and offered by the W3C organisation to web browser developers and web designers to follow to ensure the web page coding compatibility between browsers. It sets up for a “best practice”, a set of standard code, that’ll allow the web designers to create complex and integrated websites without any errors and hassles by following a set of standard formatting and coding rules. If you want to know more about the background knowledge of W3C and other related topic, please go to the W3C Standard Wiki page.

It doesn’t “have to” be complied with, as some web designers could still make shiny websites without following any of these W3C standards, and the web pages created that way could still display properly in Internet Explorer and other web browsers. But why should we bring our website into W3C compliance? Is there any benefit in doing that? It’ll be critical when you decide to  implement your web design plan, and bring your website blueprint into real practice. We’ll discuss it in the next section.

Why is W3C Compliance so important?

Here is a list of reasons why you should take W3C Compliance into account when you are considering building a complex website:

  • W3C Compliance ensures accessibility for the disabled – W3C Compliance provides guidelines to help these people to use world wide web
  • W3C Compliance makes your website accessible from a vast number of different devices including the fast-growing and Internet-ready mobile devices and browsers – if you don’t follow it, something may go wrong in certain kind of devices, you never know
  • W3C Compliance makes it possible to keep the feels and looks of your website consistent while opening it in any web browsers/resolutions/devices of any kind and achieve the cross platform ability – it’ll be a time consuming task to test and adjust your webpage to look good in every web browsers if you don’t follow the standard, which means it’ll cost you more money
  • Moreover, it’ll help you to get a better Internet marketing performance by providing search engine friendly code in the background that will not interfere the search engine bots – The search engine bots are web based programs that “crawl” your website, collect and sample the data of your website into their databases, then that’s why you can get results out from search engines, the non-standard code may slow down the crawling of these bots, interfere with its functioning, lower its efficiency, and cause uncertain issues.

So if it’s only doing good for your website and your Internet business, why not follow it? Respect the standards and rules, you’ll get rewarded.

How do I comply with the great W3C Standards?

It’s better to get your web design plan included with a “W3C Compliance” entry, then you can take it into implementation. The earlier the better, you can’t imagine how hard it would be to rebuild and start all over again for W3C compliance if you got a 1000-page website which failed to follow the standards.

The options you can take for your W3C standard practice:

  • Start building a website by hiring some talented web designers (like us!) that fully understand the web standards
  • Get your website redesigned with qualified professionals
  • Learn by yourself and prepare to spend a lot of time on it (it worths though)

Our website is proudly to be W3C-validated!

Valid XHTML 1.1

This icon shows that we have taken the care to create an interoperable web page, you can also put it on your website while the web page is validated.

We strictly follow the W3C standards at every stage of web design project life-circle and make you quality and standard-complied website.

To find out how we can help you for your website and your business, please contact us for details.