Category Archives: php

RWD2014 || Year of the Mobile

Responsive web design is extremely critical in today’s world; it is necessary for survival among the fittest. No doubt mobile browsing has blown up and continues to grow exponentially. There are times where no matter how good a company’s web site looks on the monitor, if it is not “mobile friendly” and the user gets a poor experience, well, the site might as well be deemed no good at all. On a personal level, I can relate to the importance of mobile browsing. For example, after giving someone my business card usually one of the first things they do is pull out there iPhone, and look at my portfolio. If my personal site was not built with a responsiveness to adapt to different media devices and viewports such as the iPhone; and the viewer looking at my work does not have a good experience, this could jeopardize the integrity of my work and in turn, possibly be loosing future customers and contacts. I would like to quote Andy Clarke, web designer, author and founder of Stuff and Nonesense. Andy says, “Anything that’s fixed and unresponsive isn’t web design anymore, it’s something else. if you don’t embrace the inherent fluidity of the web, you are not a web designer, you’re something else. Web design is responsive design. Responsive Web Design is web design, done right”…

world wide web banner

A web sites web banner is by far one of the most important area of a site. It is what people see first,  this is where the viewer makes initial visual contact and gets an overall feel and vibe of the site, and ultimately decides if they want to continue on or not. I can not tell you how many web sites I have left due to the  fact they had a weak header. Even though it is the content that matters in todays world people judge books by there covers, and the web banner is the cover. I like this piece of information I found online, it is from a graphic designer and multiple business owner named Dawn Papandrea-Khan. She states, “usually when we visit a website or blog, we can get a feel for what the site represents in only a few seconds. This is the reason why it is even more important to focus on making the right first impression through a custom header graphic.”

As a designer, there are a few key aspects and bits of information I think the header should contain. The company, the product etc. Which brings me to my next point I found in an online blog talking about this exact topic. This is from boostability.com the importance of a header. 

1. Who are you? (You would be amazed how many websites make their visitors dig around to find out the name of the company!)

2. What do you do? (Again, the number of visitors who are forced to assume your site sells a product rather than just talks about it is ridiculous. Be clear!)

3. Why should I buy from you, not the other guy?

The web is littered with garbage, visual noise and a bunch of sites that house web banners that all look the same. It is up to me as the designer to produce clean, visually interesting web banners that represents the sites overall demeanor and entice people to stay on the site and explore further. It is also up to me to find new and exciting ways to display the content  so we can separate ourselves from the crowd.   Also, I feel like in design I have to take risks. I have to try new and “edgy” things and think outside the normal design box that I often get tunnel visioned in. I would also like to explore maybe trying a banner with out the traditional rectangle box, maybe another shape  or placement? That is something definitely for the sketchbook and some thought.

Run and Hide! The Upgrade’s Coming!

There’s nothing wrong with responsibly using off-the-shelf software packages. Whether it’s a WordPress blog or a commercial shopping cart, they often represent an affordable way to avoid reinventing the wheel, both from a development and a user-interface perspective.

In addition, many of our clients also find that commodity shared hosting is a fair choice. Face it: if you’re operating a fairly light-weight site that’s getting a few hundred visitors per day, tops, you don’t need that much performance. There’s also a “too big to fail” aspect to being one client of many on a huge machine with a fast connection– odds are, if something fails on their end, you’re the 67th person to report it and they’re already working on it by the time you find out.

However, combining the two can open yourself to surprising difficulties.
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Hosting Providers: Shop Small

Having built as many sites as Web-Op has, you get pretty familiar with different hosting providers. Many users wish to supply hosting for their projects, to ensure they’re in control in the event of a dispute, or control costs and features. For these users, I offer a strong piece of advice. Choose a smaller hosting firm!

“But why? 1&1 or GoDaddy (or other large firms) offers hosting with supposedly huge limits for the change that fell between my couch cushions!” I knew you’d say it! There are several reasons:
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Quick and Dirty Split Testing With PHP

Two scriptlets lifted from Jack – the first will randomly forward each visit to a split test variant if there is a “gclid” variable occurring in the URL query string. (e.g. http://www.domain.com/?gclid=2234823958729385 ). This is the standard way Google passes visitors to a site via adwords.

This second little scriptlet first checks for the existence of a cookie variable “BTDT”. If it doesnt find BTDT in any cookie contents it sets the cookie, checks to see if the visitor arrived from adwords and then forwards the visitor to a random split test variant. If its not an adwords visitor it does nothing. If it does find a cookie it does nothing.