November 17, 2011 By Khuram
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Category Archives: Web Development
Recently one of my reader commented on my Post Web Standards and described how some Company in his knowledge suffered due to fully Flash Website.
Flash is a great interactive tool and really has changed Web Contents but in my view, it is not a good choice for most commercial web sites. Its great to use Flash as part of website, but in no way a prudent choice for full website. Flash being a proprietary technology breaks most web standards and conventions.
Here are six reasons, why we should avoid to use Flash.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Problems:
Although recently Google has announced that with collaboration of Adobe, now they are able to read through Flash contents but still Information embedded in Flash is often invisible to many other large search engines like MSN.
Search engines scan information on a web site, process and retrieving the best match for each user query. Robots (Small Software, used by Search Engines to scan a website) usually cannot process text embedded in Flash and graphic files. Sites designed completely in Flash often offer very little textual information completely ignoring different type of SEO Basics and fully contravene with most of rules given in Google Web Master Guide.
Tip: From SEO point of view, don’t use fancy flash buttons and navigation bars. Search engines track and love text links.
2. Statistics; An Important feature of Today’s Web; is missing
Web Statistics helps to evaluate website success and provide important information about visitor’s behavior, that help professional Web Developers, Designers and Marketer to come with more better and user oriented web solutions.
Some of important questions, web statistics answers are: Visitors came from, the pages visited and from where visitors left a site. Web Statistics are able to track when a Flash object, typically a swf file, is viewed. They are not able to track navigation within a Flash object – so if a site is composed of one Flash object which contains multiple site sections, the web analytic system will see a swf download, but will have no idea which parts of the site a visitor viewed nor where the visitor left the site.
3. Flash breaks web usability standards
Flash Breaks some of most important Web Usability Standards. Few examples are:
- Browser Back Button do not work.
- You cannot copy-paste important information like contact information.
- Important Accessibility Features of browsers like Zoom In, Zoom our and Font Size change are not available.
- You can’t book mark some page form site for future review. (As Flash Site has only one page as per Browser Eye)
4. Lack of consistent cross platform support
One of the keystones of the web is that a website should work in any browser on any computer – it is openness and standardization which has made the Internet universal. Flash breaks the basic tenets of website design. While most Internet users have Flash installed – they don’t necessarily have the right version installed. Indeed version 8 wasn’t even released for the Linux platform, locking those users out of sites developed for Flash 8 and 9 (Flash 9 for Linux has finally been released, months after the Windows version).
5. Some users disable Flash to avoid flash based advertising.
Savvier web users have learned to disable Flash in web pages to avoid animated advertising and / or to improve page-loading times on dial-up connections.
6. Website updates continually require Flash skills
Although now Flash based photo galleries and some other content management features are available but either that higly expensive or have limited features. Usually for sites developed in flash need high level flash skills for updation.
Copy writing is most important part for any website success. Compelling Contents make your visitors stay at your site longer, other sites and blogs to link you and search engines to rank you high. Here are some tips that can help to write compelling website contents.
Run your imagination and think, what people will search on Google or Yahoo to reach you? Make a list of such Keywords before starting writing for your website. Be Innovative with usage of words and phrases, and even if you are not much, don’t worry. There are some great resources available to help you.
- Keyword Research Tools
There are many paid and Free Keyword Research Tools available. They usually have database of “What People Search Online”. In this type of tools you simply enter one Keyword or phrase, and it shows you best 10 or best 100 most searched related keywords.
- Keywords Finder Tools
Use these tools to find what Keywords your Competitors site has. Simply enter your competitor website, and it will tell you which are the most searched keywords it has.
OK so now you have a list of related Keywords. This List will help you in two ways. One help you in writing (If you have lack of words like me), and second get best results on Search Engines.
SeoBook.com has prepared an excellent list of Free Keyword Tools.
Remember, Keyword Suggestion tools only provide suggestions. Finally you have to choose best related Keywords and phrases to your Website.
2. No Duplicates
Don’t use Duplicate Sentences and specially paragraphs. Google hate duplicate contents and can penalize you with Negative Ranking. Even if you have to describe same thing twice, try to use sentences with different formation. Use Microsoft word or some other dictionary to find synonymous words.
3. Be Descriptive
No Information No Sales. Yes, if you want to sell, educate your customer. And definitely, to educate customer be descriptive. And of-course you will remember my first suggestion of using good keywords and phrases. So you hunt two dears with one arrow. You get more sales and better rank in search engines. Search Engines love contents.
4. Don’t forget Objectives of your site
Your Sentences and words selection should help you to meet your site objectives. If you are selling online or want an action from visitor, use action words and phrases like “Do Now” or “Act Now”. Arrange your contents in a way that compel visitors to take action. Tell user why should he buy or fill a form. Show the value. Visitors should know exactly, from where they can get desired information.
5. Target Audience
This is about accessibility of your site. If your audience is highly educated people, you can use complex sentence formation. Small and easier sentences are always better, as more and more people able to understand easily what you want to tell.
6. Be Natural, Be correct
Write as humans write. Don’t stuff your page with Keywords only. Let the reader feel that site contents are for them not for someone coming from space. Write correct sentences and check spellings twice. Remember we are writing these contents for visitors. Just getting traffic is one part of success. Getting returning visitors and meeting the objectives of site is the actual success.
7. Give Attention to Different Parts of Site
Give special Attention to Title, Page Opening, Headings, Links to other pages and Action Phrases. Use your main Keywords while maintaining readability.
In my last post, i shared that why web standards are important for a website. Here i would like to share some of the Free online resources available for Web developers to make their job easier to follow Web Standards while designing or re-designing websites.
1. Clean CSS
Great tool to clean, optimize and compress your CSS code. Just paste your CSS code into the box or type web address to get CSS from URL, and in a moment you will be presented with a clean and optimized version of your CSS. New CSS is optimized and well-formed.
But this is just first step. This tool is not a validator, which can point out errors. So next step is to validate your CSS.
2. Wc3 Validators
WC3 offers a number of most important Website Validators. If you pass these Validations, you can be 100% sure that your website is 100% standard based.
- Markup Validator: This validator checks the markup validity of Web documents in HTML, XHTML, SMIL, MathML, etc
- CSS Validator: After you check your HTML using WC3 Markup Validator, use this tool to check embeded CSS.
- Mobile OK Test: More and more people are converting to use mobile phones and PDAs to use internet. So it is preety important to be Mobile OK. This checker performs various tests on a Web Page to determine its level of mobile-friendliness. Another great site for the same purpose is Ready.Mobi.
- Broken Links Checker: As name suggests, it browse through your website and give you a list of broken links. Less or no broken links means more happy visitors.
- Feed Validation Service: If your website offers Atom or RSS feeds, this is great to check syntax validaty.
A free, simple and step-by-step tool to improve dramatically the quality of your website. Find the most popular invalid documents, broken links, etc., and prioritize the work to get them fixed. You can make all WC3 Validations like Markup, CSS, Broken Link Validation with the ease of your desktop.
Pretty simple and graphically rich HTML Validation Rule. Specially useful for armatures.
5. Web Accessibility Test: More comprehensive than Site Valet, it also show accessibility errors visually. Also available for download.
You don’t believe that? Firefox is really great for Web Developers. There are some awesome extensions that make Firefox a must-have for Web Developers. There are many others which you can explore on Firefox Addon site.
- YSlow: analyzes web pages and tells you why they’re slow based on the rules for high performance web sites. YSlow is a Firefox add-on integrated with the popular Firebug web development tool. YSlow gives you:
- Performance report card
- HTTP/HTML summary
- List of components in the page
- Tools including JSLint (Java Script Verifier)
- Wave: simple and nice visual tool that quickly analyse your page and show some type of errors. Its is free accessibility evaluation tool to aid humans in the web accessibility evaluation process. Rather than providing a complex technical report, WAVE shows the original web page with embedded icons and indicators that reveal the accessibility information within your page.
- Web Developer: another great add-on for Firefox essential for web developers and has a huge array of tools for making web development easier. We use it the most for on-the-fly validation of CSS and HTML as well as inspecting HTML and CSS. There’s many more features though; tools for working with cookies, forms and images, validating links, outlining elements, a quick browser resizer for testing different resolutions without actually changing your screen resolution and much more!
- Edit CSS: Pretty simply and handy tool. Simply open the CSS of any loaded page in the side Bar and you can easily modify.
- HTML Validator: It adds HTML validation inside Firefox and Mozilla. The number of errors of a HTML page is seen on the form of an icon in the status bar when browsing.
Great Tool. All of us face Cross Browser Compatibility Problems with our websites. Browser shots makes screenshots of your web design in different browsers. It is a free open-source online service created by Johann C. Rocholl. When you submit your web address, it will be added to the job queue. A number of distributed computers will open your website in their browser. Then they will make screen shots and upload them to the central server. Is not great?
Test Everything as name suggests. There are more than hundred tests you can do at one place. It actually aggregates many many resources at one site. It includes different type of validators, SEO Tools, Social services, Web Proxies, Network Tools, Text Tools, Image Tools and many many others.
Taking web standards into account when designing a website may not be a primary concern for many site owners, but it is one of more important measurements you need to take to make your website ready for success. Let’s see how complying with Web standards can help a business website. Taking web standards into account when designing a website may not be a primary concern for many site owners, but it is one of more important measurements you need to take to make your website ready for success. Let’s see how complying with Web standards can help a business website.
What are the Standards?
On the Web, the main standards are the languages used when creating websites. The most wide-spread ones are HTML, XHTML and CSS. HTML or XHTML are used to create the backbone of websites – the structure. (The difference between HTML and XHTML is that XHTML was formed from XML and is forward compatible.) CSS, in turn, is used to style, format and position the structure and content.
What is Web Standards Compliance?
Put simply, web standards compliance is using web languages correctly. This involves using HTML tags properly and the way they were and are intended to be used. For instance, one of the most common felonies against the web standards is using table tags for layout, while the correct usage is to use them only for tabular data (information to be put in tables).
Benefits of Standards Compliance:
Creating quality, standards compliant code has a number of benefits:
Site Forward Compatibility
Web standards, such as XHTML and CSS, are designed to work forever. They will also be supported for an almost unlimited period of time. Designing a site according to web standards will ensure the website backbone will not need to be redone any time soon, which reduces the amount of work on the site and the expenses of the site owner.
Increased Download Speed
When using XHTML for content and structure and CSS for styling and formatting, page size is reduced when compared to a page, designed with tables for layout. For instance, a site with a relatively small number of images is 50% smaller than a table-based website. Because users enjoy fast-loading websites, they will be more likely to become a client of a web standards compliant website.
A web standards compliant site is displayed correctly (and looks the same) in all standards compliant browsers. Adjusting the site to suit a less helpful browser (Internet Explorer, for instance) is much easier with CSS than with tables. This saves enormous amounts of time for a web designer.
Easier Site Maintenance
When separating content and styling with XHTML and CSS, it is much easier to edit any of those, because they are located in different files. Should one need to adjust the look of the main page heading, he/she will just need to change a line or two in a style sheet to change the appearance of all headings on the website. Editing content is easier as well, because no styling and formatting is in the way and it is easy to spot the content in clean and semantically correct code markup.
Broader Target Audience
Furthermore, web standards are used not only on computers, but also by PDAs (hand held devices, palm computers), phones and other devices. A site, adhering to web standards, will be displayed correctly either without editing or will require very little work to be displayed correctly on a platform other than a computer. Such easy availability will make the company site easily accessible for a wider range of potential customers, increasing the chances of business success as well.
You need help to check if your website meet standards? Read Web Standards? Why should i Consider them in my Website?
That’s really great. But having a website or having a successful website are two different things.
As you are going to spend your valuable time & resources to build a website, so definitely you should have some clear objectives, you are going to achieve. After all you are a Business Man, and Business people do not put their efforts for nothing. If I am right, then definitely we want to achieve some success with our website. That’s really great. But having a website or having a successful website are two different things.
Do you know that there are many companies in the world which donot have any showrooms, but still make millions Dollars sales by website only…?
But how can we know that we have a successful website? This can be only done by setting up Website Goals & Objectives against which we can measure the success of our website.
As with the website’s intended purpose, we have to get focused and have a clear and complete understanding of what we want this site to achieve.
With any general goal-setting we undertake, there must be some variables to set our goals on. Therefore, our goals must be:
- SPECIFIC: Describes what you want to accomplish with as much detail as possible.
REALISTIC: Goals you know you are actually capable of obtaining.
CHALLENGING: Takes energy and discipline to accomplish rewarding goals.
PRIORITIZED: Sets goals by time and importance into clearly specified target completion dates.
MEASURABLE: Describes your goals in terms that can clearly be evaluated.
Writing down your goals creates the road map to your success. Although just the act of writing them down can set the process in motion, it is also extremely important to review your goals frequently. Remember, the more focused you are on your goals; the more likely you are to accomplish them.
With respect to the development of your site, the principal question is:
What do you want this site to accomplish? (For you and your visitors)
Every website will have different objectives while every website owner will have set different goals for it. Any site will have varied reasons for existence. These could be:
• Product brand awareness
• To market detailed product information
• To target international communities
• Provide the latest new product or service information to customers
• Market yourself
• To make money from an online business
• What are my response targets for 6 months and 12 months?
• What are my Web sales targets (ie as a percentage to total sales)?
• Be sure you know what you want your site to accomplish
• Write up the goals for your site
• Think of ways how you can measure the success of your site’s goals
Wisdom IT Solutions can help you to determine these goals and to achieve them.