Web Design Process

Follow these steps in web design and the result will reward you.web-design-process

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Photoshop PS “freeze” on loading

PS3 intro image
Have you ever start photoshop CS3 and see it freeze on loading preferences? I had the same problem and after some search on google i found that the solution is here: C:\Documents and Settings\george\Application Data\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS3\Adobe Photoshop CS3 Settings go there and DELETE the file: Adobe Photoshop CS3 Prefs. Try to open photoshop now!

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WordPress SEO plugin

A few days ago I downloaded and tried this great plugin from codex.wordpress.org. Some of the advanced features of this plugin:

  • Permalink clean up. Excludes the category base (usually /category/) from the category URL.
  • Post titles and meta descriptions
  • Robots Meta configuration
  • Canonical
  • Breadcrumbs
  • XML Sitemaps
  • RSS enhancements
  • Edit your robots.txt and .htaccess
  • Clean up head section

I recommend this plugin. If you want to read more about feature descriptions visit the plugin website

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Explore create and share color themes

Right color combination is the most important element in design, both the printing environment and the internet. Color has a direct impact on humans. Human brain identify an element first from the shape and after from the color.

Professional designers not use random color combinations. Each color affect different the human brain and mood. One beautifull website that I first saw several years ago about color communication and symbolism is color in motion by Maria Claudia Cortes.

In this article i’ll refer some useful tools that i have tasted before for the right color combination on color wheel. A great on line application that allows you to produce your own color theme, or choose one of several color themes created by other users is Kuler

Kuler website
You can edit, add or remove colors from the color palette you choose to fit perfectly your requirements.

Create a new color theme from color

Create theme from color

  • Choose create from the left menu
  • Place mouse over the square and you ll see two options ‘Set as Base’ and ‘Remove Color’.
  • Remove four of the five colors.
  • Edit color theme

  • One color has remained. Edit the color codes and choose the profile you want RGB, CMYC, LAB, HCV and HEX or drag the circle inside the color wheel to select the color manually.
  • Set it as based color.
  • Choose the right rule for you, Analogous, Monochromatic, Coplementary, Triad etc. from the menu on the left.
  • Add new color based on your selection rule.

You color theme is ready for use. You can save your color values. Or take a screenshot an save it as an image.

New color theme from image

Create color theme from image

  • In the left menu choose create.
  • Choose from an image.
  • Upload button below the image container and browse your hard disc to choose the image you want. The image must not exceed the 2.5Mb.
  • Kuler system generate automatically five spots inside the image depending on the selected option in mood menu on the left. Play with this menu to understand how it works. It is very interesting tool.

Color Schemer Designer 3

One more on line color tool is Color Scheme Designer 3. This is almost same with Kuler but here you have the opportunity to see the colors like someone with colorblind. This is very interesting tool for accessibility in web design.
Color Schemer Designer website

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Google AdWords

Google AdWords is a new and very effective way for advertising in google and his advertising network, independent of your budget. Simply and quickly you can increase your website traffic. When someone search for a keyword that you have included in your AdWord campaign your Ad will be display with google results in sponsored links area.

Pay only when someone click on your ad. Read more for Google AdWords

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Google Analytics

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Google Analytics (abbreviated GA) is a free service offered by Google that generates detailed statistics about the visitors to a website. Its main highlight is that the product is aimed at marketers as opposed to webmasters and technologists from which the industry of web analytics originally grew.

GA can track visitors from all referrers, including search engines, display advertising, pay-per-click networks, email marketing and digital collateral such as links within PDF documents.

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Google Webmaster Tools

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Google Webmaster Tools is a no-charge web service by Google for webmasters. It allows webmasters to check indexing status and optimize visibility of their websites. It has tools that let the webmaster:

  1. Check and set the crawl rate
  2. List internal and external pages that link to the site
  3. See the PageRank of your site
  4. See what keyword searches on Google led to the site being listed in the SERPs, and the click through rates of such listings
  5. View statistics about how Google indexes the site
  6. Submit and check a sitemap
  7. Generate and check a robots.txt file
  8. Set a preferred domain (i.e prefer wikipedia.org over www.wikipedia.org or visa versa).
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Off-Page optimization

Off-Page SEO is all that you can do outside of your web page, hence the name of it. The most important for Google and other major search engines is how many backlinks has your site and what Page Rank has the site that links to yours.

You have to submit your domain to some main directories like Google, Yahoo, Dmoz, etc. There are many directories to sumbit your site out there free or with fee. More about Link Building

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On-Page optimization

On-Page SEO is the technic that we can implement inside our web page, on page elements (page title, page description, other meta tags, body text with keywords, headings, internal and outbound links, etc.).

Here i mention some basic rules for better on-Page seo results.

  1. The length of the page title should be 64 characters or less, (including spaces).
  2. Never use more than 50 words in the meta-keyword tag
  3. Heading tags are also very important on-page elements.
  4. Validate your code.
  5. Use absolute links.
  6. Label your images with alt attribute.
  7. Use anchor text for links.

More details about on-Page optimization

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Search engine optimization (SEO)

Studies have shown that 85% of users look only to first and second page of search engine results and about 65% do not ever click on sponsored results. The purpose of SEO technic is to hit as much as you can on top of organic results and this requires time, great effort and above all knowledge.

Mention briefly some basic SEO rules for a possible better position in the results of search engines by searching for specific words or key phrases.

  1. Select domain. It should be brief and contain the most important keyword. Also you have to buy the guarantee of the name for many years.
  2. Titles set correctly on your pages.
  3. The main text should include keywords set to meta keywords of your page.
  4. You can ensure (text links) to your site from other sites that relate to the key phrases you use.
  5. Add your URL to the search engines and lists.
  6. Optimizing your code HTML, XHTML.
  7. Discover interesting keywords.
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Cross browser compatible websites

A successful website must combine three essential characteristics.

  • The source code has to be clean and valid (so that everyone, human or machine can be easily read, understand, modify).
  • The attractive appearance (visual concept, frontend).
  • The useful and valid content.

The right combination of these characteristics requires many years of knowledge, experience, imagination, talent and above all, love for this job.

Following the rules web standards set by the World Wide Web Consortium w3.org. All my work is full compatible with all major (web browsers), and friendly for search engines.


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Logo design

What is a logo?

The logo may be an image, a symbol, a word, a shape, or combining two or more of these data. The objective is to convey the message to the audience very quickly and with minimal effort.

Effective criteria for the logo:

  • Be simple. Less complexity means more direct and effective.
  • Be unique. This will stand out from the others, leading to public attention. Imagine a product in a supermarket among many other competing products, how difficult it is to gain attention.

Some of my logo design work. All my work is vector based.

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CSS3 render solution for IE 6-8

PIE makes Internet Explorer 6-8 capable of rendering several of the most useful CSS3 decoration features. The procedure is simple:

  1. 1. Visit the PIE website
  2. 2. Check the CSS3 features you want
  3. 3. Check the “Show CSS” check box to see the generated css
  4. 4. Copy the css code and paste in your css file
  5. 5. Download and save PIE files in your website. PIE.php for php pages, or PIE.htc for html pages

You are ready to see IE render right way CSS3 rules.

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Open Office software POWER

First of all this is an open source software free for anyone. You can download it here: http://www.openoffice.org

This story began when i tried to fill in a pdf form questionnaire about web design. The author of this website give you the opportunity to download the fillable pdf form, to fill in the text inputs and send it back to him. When i was open the pdf document with Adobe Reader 9 i saw a message:

Save a blank copy of this form. Data typed into this form will not be saved. Adobe Reader can only save a blank copy of this form. Please print your completed form if you would like a copy for your records.

These days i had been trying to make a form in pdf document. The only software be able to do this is Adobe Acrobat X Pro, it costs 449 $ in Adobe’s website. I searched in Google for this problem and i found that Open Office is capable software to do this job with no cost.

OpenOffice.org Word Processor for UBUNTU or OpenOffice.org Writer for WINDOWS do the same work. If you need help to do that, download the OpenOffice guied

Make the forms and export document as PDF. Very very nice procedure. Why you have to buy Adobe product for 449 $?

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Browser Compatibility Check for IE 5.5 to 9

Ie tester for windows

This is a great tool for web designers and web masters. When you develop a website you have to test it for browser compatibility. With ie-tester you needn’t more computers with different versions of Microsoft IE installed. You can test your website in all versions of internet explorer, IE5.5, IE6, IE7, IE8, IE9 from one computer, without more installations.

Download ie-tester absolutely free.

Posted in Web design | Tagged | 10 Comments

Usability, accessibility and SEO test for you website

Have you ever wondered about your website rank for accessibility, usability and seo?
Continue reading

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LiveSurface image library!

Present your plans to your clients by placing them with simplicity, on high-resolution surfaces such as billboards, 3D packaging boxes, t-shirts, cups etc.
Continue reading

Posted in Graphic design | 16 Comments