How to Choose Which Web Development Package is Right For You

There are plenty of options when it comes to web site creation software and a wannabe web designer might have a hard time deciding which to choose. We will have a look at the most popular web creation programs: Front Page, Dreamweaver and Adobe GoLive. All three offer a user-friendly interface and plenty of beginner and advanced options that will allow you to create the website of your dreams. A large majority of website hosting companies accept the final outputs of the three programs, but you will still need to check your web page for compatibility with different web browsers.

Front Page

comes as a natural option to many web designers, partly because being part of the Microsoft Office family this software offers a familiar workspace. The interface is similar to the ones you find in Word or Excel, with many identical buttons, keyboard shortcuts and actions. Text formatting is piece of cake in Front Page as it almost feels like you are using Word to do it. The Insert/Picture command is also available here, allowing the user to easily integrate images into the web page. Although many experienced web designers see Front Page as a basic software, you can still tweak your page to higher standards by using the HTML view.

Dreamweaver

offers a lot more high-end features and is preferred by a large community of web designers. You have more freedom using HTML features and taking your web site closer to perfection. A very useful option is the design and code split view – you see the effects of the changes you make in the source code affect the design in real time. Macromedia Dreamweaver allows you to create from the simplest of web sites to very complex pages that integrate Java applications and Flash elements. You may also check the final result in different browsers, a very important step that allows you to calibrate the web site for maximum compatibility. It is also an excellent programme for beginners because of its WYSIWIG (what you see is what you get) interface, this allows the user to create web sites without having knowledge of HTML coding. Some HTML coding knowledge will, however, allow you to create better looking sites.

Adobe GoLive

is a favorite web creation software of designers that are used to working with other Adobe products such as Photoshop or Illustrator. The familiar Adobe workspace reduces the learning curve for this program and allows easy integration of cross-software elements. The graphic elements for the web site, which are usually created in Photoshop, are effortlessly placed into GoLive’s workspace by a simple drag and drop move. The excellent compatibility with other graphic design Adobe products recommends GoLive as a great option when you want to create a great looking website.

Successful eCommerce by Using Local Web Design and Web Development Companies

If you are thinking of getting an e-commerce website built to sell your products online, using a local web design company can be very beneficial if you follow these very simple rules:

Benefits for using a local web design company:

  • Face to Face Meetings.
  • Build a Relationship with the web company as an e-commerce website needs at least 1 year to become established.
  • Less expensive than using a large web company.
  • Smaller companies build themselves on reputation so they will try their hardest to deliver.

The Rules to follow when selecting which web company to use:

How does the web design company present themselves?

Check their website and take a look at how they present themselves, if they are a reputable and at the top of their game they will have a stunning website.

Check their portfolio

Once you narrow down your search take a look each companies portfolio, this again will show you if they can design and produce stunning websites.

Speak to their Customers

Once you have looked through their portfolio, select a few of their customers and give them a call. Ask them how the web company was to work with and what type of approach they took when giving a plan on how they could help you grow your e-commerce websites.

Check their search engine rankings

Once you have narrowed your search down to at least 3 web design companies you may be interested in using to build your e-commerce website, have a look at how their own website ranks on Google. The best way to do this is take a look at what keywords they have in the header of your browser bar and then type these into Google.

You need to do this for a few of the keyword terms and phrases that you find on a few pages of their website.

A good web design company needs to build websites with good SEO Practices.

Google Product Search

For me this is a must when it comes to launching a new e-commerce website. If the web design company know what they are doing they will create a product feed to Google’s product search and this on its own can start generating traffic to your website and it should come as part of the initial cost.

Google Analytics

Another good practice that web design companies should follow is installing Google Analytics, this way they will be able to look at how your website is performing and how they can improve certain pages on your eCommerce site.

All the points above work as they are practices that companies I have worked for follow. More and more local web design companies are starting to use good web and SEO practices, and if you stick to the points above you should be getting a good e-commerce website and stimulating your local economy.

Revealing the Firefox Secret Used by Top Web Developers and Power-Browsers

Profiles are one of the best kept secrets around regarding Mozilla Firefox (my browser of choice).

In the role of web site designer, I find it useful to have Firefox set up with various Extensions for helping test compliance, keep track of Google AdSense earnings, checking PageRank and Alexa rating, etc…

However, when I am simply surfing the internet, I don’t want to be weighed down by all these tools, cluttering up my status and toolbars. I like a slick, simple browser that looks good and works quickly.

Fortunately, I am able to have both of these scenarios in Firefox, through the wonder of Profiles.

How do Firefox Profiles work?

Firefox allows multiple users to set up the browser to suit their own specific needs and tastes, from Themes and Extensions to Bookmarks and Home Page.
Upon startup of Firefox, you are able to choose which user profile you would like to use.
So, you can now have a profile for your web development needs, one for your personal surfing, and even one for the kids (allowing you to increase Firefox’s security measures).
Each profile is independent of the others, so it’s like having a new installation for each user.

How do I activate Firefox Profiles?

1. Firstly, find the Firefox shortcut on your desktop (or create one from the .exe file).

2. Right-click it, and select properties.

3. Lastly, in the Target box, add ‘ -p’ without the apostrophes to the end of the target line (so that it reads something like ‘C:Program FilesMozillaFirefoxfirefox.exe -p’), and click OK.

Now when you start Firefox through this shortcut you will be prompted with the Profiles Manager box (as long as you do not already have an instance of Firefox open). It’s all self-explanatory from thereon.

For faster start-up, I advise that you keep two shortcuts on your desktop – one to load up Firefox as normal, and this new one to execute only when you want to change profile.