7 Experiments to Grow the Traffic to Your Website

Gone are the days when websites are accessed only through computers. The advancements in technology have given us the convenience of accessing information through smartphones and tablets too. The websites that are developed by just keeping the computer screen size in mind are likely to face a slack with so many users accessing it through multiple devices. Top web designing companies have understood the importance of responsive design development to provide the optimal website for their clients.

What is a responsive website?

Responsive design is the website’s layout that changes the view of a web page in response to the device’s screen to ensure optimal viewing experience. Flexibility is key in designing a responsive website. It saves you from the hassle of writing a separate code for mobile and a separate one for another screen type thus saving a lot of development time wasted in rewriting code.
Here are some responsive web development best practices for responsive websites.

Easy Navigation

Navigation in mobile was a hassle until the responsive design trend emerged. Scrolling through a webpage designed for a computer is tedious on a mobile device, and responsive design has impacted the mobile site navigation considerably. Keep your navigation simple and scalable. While creating a site’s navigation, menus should be consistent throughout all web pages making it easy to locate information. You can use hamburger menus or pull-down menus to eliminate sidebars for simple mobile navigation.

Use “Mobile First” Approach

While designing a responsive website, it is always good to start with the “Mobile First” approach which has been in the UI (User Interface) design trends sometime now. It is always recommended to start from the smallest entity and then build your way up by including the enhancements progressively.

The reason why mobile first approach has gained popularity is the domination of smartphone usage in the current trend.

Stats by StatCounter states that 51.3% users access webpages through their mobile devices and 48.7% access them through traditional computing platforms.

The rule of thumb for responsive design states that if your content, navigation, and layout appear well on a smartphone then it is likely to be well displayed on a tablet or a computer.

Plan Your Content

Organize your content before you start designing in-order to get an idea on how the content is displayed in the device screen and how it would appear.

Organized content is important as it is the source which allows your audiences to learn more about your work, and it is in line with your design which will help customer engagement and lead to better conversion rates. Disorderly content does not convey your story to your audience and will make all your efforts go in vain.

Desktop sites have room for more content whereas with mobile devices, your content is confined within a smaller screen. Mobile users hate long scrolls, hence keep your content minimal yet effective.

Typography is also another important aspect to look into when it comes to smaller screens. Make sure your font is legible and larger in smaller screens.

Optimized Images

Take note on how your images will display in different screen sizes, and create optimized images for each screen layout. This will considerably reduce the scaling of images and bandwidth problems. Avoid the use of PNG file format as it will consume a lot of bandwidth. To hinder the images from scaling, you can set image dimensions using percentage values thereby keeping the image quality intact.

Use Negative Space Efficiently

Using Negative space is another popular web design trend that is here to stay. Use of Negative spaces brings user focus to important content of your website without any distractions. It support’s responsive design’s minimalistic approaches by helping you add breakpoints in the design.

Check Screen Orientation

Design your website for both portrait and landscape orientation as mobile and tablet users tend to use both these orientations. These orientations doesn’t matter for a desktop user but mobile/tablet users have the auto rotate mode on for their convenience and prefer the site to work for both orientations.

Multiple Screens

It is always advisable to check how your design’s end result look in the actual devices. This will help you judge how your website scales in different devices. Practical implementation will always differ from theoretical assumptions. So, test your design in real time and interact with it in order to add improvements.

You can also perform a usability testing to get to know your users point of view. This will also give you some insight on the usability issues of your design.

These responsive web design tips and tricks can provide data on the potential problems you may encounter while designing a responsive design. To attract business, it is necessary to optimize your website for all devices to support customer use.

5 Ways To Print Your Instagram Holiday Snaps Online

Instagram-Build Your Dream
Instagram-Build Your Dream

So you want to free your holiday photos from your smartphone and into the real world? Instagram users have choices when it comes to photo printing. Forget regular rectangular prints, creative professionals and amateurs can take advantage of square format products that make the most of their retro-style shots.

The first thing you’ll need are great photos, of course. Famous landmarks, pictures of family parties, and selfies are all perfectly valid choices. Get creative with your Instagram filters, then use these sites to create analogue versions of your favourite retro-digital shots and travel souvenir photos.

1. Photobox

There are lots of photo printing services on the web. In our experience, Photobox is one of the better ones. It offers a good range of products, including 5″ x 5″ Instagram printouts, photo blocks and coasters, and quality is consistently very good.

While its web interface is clumsy, it’s nowhere near as bad as some of its competitiors’ efforts. But there’s an even better way to print out your most creative Instagram shots. Use the Photobox iOS app to automatically download your photostream from Instagram, then order directly from your phone. Just remember delivery costs extra.

2. Polargram

Give your Instagram photos an added twist by ordering Polaroid-style hard copies from Polargram. The company places each shot into a white frame measuring 10.5 x 8.5 cm.

Polargram has a minimum order of 12 prints, but delivery is free in the UK. The website’s FAQ and Contact links are the wrong way round, which doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, but the results look good – providing you can cope with the fact that it’s just a square photo in a fancy frame.

3. Printstagram

Printstagram offers simple Instagram prints aimed at creative people who want something a little classier than the average photo site. It’s run by Social Print Studio, a company that also makes unusual accessories, ideal for dressing up a creative workspace.

On Printstagram, you can create prints, cards, books and more on the web or using the iOS app. If you just need a pack of photos, try Print Studio’s prints in four sizes – two square, two rectangular – all with a minimum order of 48. The company has another arm, BluePrints, for Facebook snaps. Phew.

4. Stickygram

From Photobox comes Stickygram, an offshot site dedicated to printing your Instagram shots on magnets and Apple device cases. Bizarrely, you can’t print on stickers at all. The website is based in the UK, but in an affront to its home-grown customers, all pricing is in US dollars.

Stickygram is more stylish and well designed than Photobox; it’s a shame the company can’t invest some time into developing its main website as well. The products are good quality but the range is very limited and the iPad cases certainly aren’t cheap.

5. Boomf

Bored with box frames? Peeved with all of these prints? Try Boomf: your Instagram shots printed onto fully edible marshmallows. Each order ships as a box of nine 4cm x 4cm sweets. This is another project from the brains behind Photobox, yet it’s not linked from the main site at the moment.

Boomf ships internationally, and the marshmallows are affordable: £12 for 9, including postage, which is fine as a gift or novelty. Beware that its marshmallows are not halal, kosher or vegetarian; a real shame, since vegetarian marshmallows would be really easy to make.

Ready to Print?

Print your favourite snaps and get creative. From phone cases to fridge magnets, creating ‘hard’ (or edible) versions of your Instagram snaps is a great way to experiment with your best shots.

Obamacare Website is Now Prepared For High Traffic Demands

Apple-Store-Line

When Apple releases a new iPhone or iOS version, a consumer can expect long lines, wait times, and some bug fixes in the future. Why should it be different for the product roll out for Obamacare? On October 1st at 12:01 AM, the Affordable Health Care Act went into full implementation where Americans could begin signing up for healthcare plans using the federal exchanges. Massive traffic flocked to Healthcare.gov which could not handle the surge by 7 AM over one million viewers had visited the site. As a result, the uninsured was force to continue in their wait for answers.

According to USA Today,

U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park said the government expected HealthCare.gov to draw 50,000 to 60,000 simultaneous users, but instead it has drawn as many as 250,000 at a time since it launched Oct. 1.

Park’s comments are the administration’s most detailed explanation for the glitches that have frustrated millions of consumers who have tried to enter the site or complete applications for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

“These bugs were functions of volume,” Park said. “Take away the volume and it works.”

The administration built the site’s capacity based partly on the all-time high of 30,000 simultaneous users for Medicare.gov, an existing site where senior citizens can buy or renew prescription-drug plans under Medicare Part D, Park said. Its theoretical maximum capacity hasn’t been disclosed.  Read Full Article

Since the launch, many experts believe the high traffic demands to Healthcare.gov is people seeking information about the new healthcare law as result of misinformation being promoted by those who oppose full implementation. However, there are many sources out there working to provide correct information. The website Addicting Info did a comprehensive article tackling Obamacare myths.

There’s a lot of hype going around about ObamaCare, and by now you are probably getting mixed information about what the law actually is and how it will affect you.  The purpose of this post is to lay out the basic facts in plain English so you know exactly what to expect as this reform takes effect over the next few years.  However, before we get started, allow me to clarify a few very important things about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as “ObamaCare.”

  • ObamaCare will not use your tax dollars to fund abortions

  • ObamaCare is not and will not lead to a government takeover of health care

  • ObamaCare will not increase the national debt or deficit

  • ObamaCare does not hurt health insurance companies, but actually increases their business

  • ObamaCare is not unconstitutional

  • ObamaCare is not  socialism

    Read More

Healthcare.gov was taken offline over the weekend in order to increase its load capacity as well as improve some design flaws. If you tried last week and was deterred by the inability to sign up, don’t give up and try again.

The Department of Health and Human Services have put together videos, webinars, tool kits, and state by state fact sheets to help you better understand the changes being implemented. View all resources using this link: .

Important Factors to Consider While Migrating Your Web Host Provider

website constructionYou might be facing some major problems with your current web host. In this case, change is crucial for your website to function properly.Changing the web host of your website is a major decision, and it cannot be done overnight. You should consider many factors before making this significant change because you cannot choose your next web host without knowing your website’s priorities and your current web host’s pitfalls. The process behind choosing your next web host provider is not complex, but you do need to be careful. Here are a few steps to help you transition to a new website host seamlessly.

Your New Host

Something went terribly wrong with your old web host and, now you are looking out for a new web host to provide services for your website. While searching for this new host, make sure to keep your previous host in mind: What could this host not provide for your website? Regarding your new host, research in critical parameters, such as 24/7 technical support, should help you get to the right host. When you have shortlisted a few hosts, try chatting with their representatives online to get to know more about them. You can also ask questions related to specific parameters that your website needs and how they are allotted on the new host.

Essential Backups

Your current website’s content and codes need to be backed up properly before you start migrating the website to a new host. Naming folders properly eases the process of locating backup files.  Using an FTP program when you are backing up your files ensures your backup files’ security.  There are many free feature-rich FTP programs such as Filezilla.

Transferring Domain Name

When changing your web hosting provider, make sure your domain name is transferred properly.  Generally the new host would help you with the transfer, but here are some tips that can help you. You can transfer domain names using any number of hosting packages. The transfer fees would be completely dependent on extension name you select for hosting purposes.

The Uploading Process

The uploading process includes uploading all files and folders on the website to the new host. This can be done much before you attempt to transfer the domain name. This way your website is ready to launch immediately after the domain name transfer. When you finish uploading, make sure to check on the scripts, applications, and services on the website. You should also check for the files that were transferred and how they behave on the new host. This is crucial to the website and should be carefully performed.

Monitoring New Web Host

Checking the website regularly would prevent any unobserved shortcomings. Once the transfer is done, the migration process is completed, but constant monitoring would help to manage the efficiency of the website. The website’s pages should be monitored for proper loading and functioning.

Look out for Warnings

In order to prepare your consumers for potential site downtime, inform your them that you are planning to change the host. Make the DNS change only when you know the site is bug free.

Make sure you follow these basic instructions when changing to a new host. Once you have migrated,your site should be up and running without losing out any crucial information in no time.

Top 5 Best Free Website Builders For Your Practice

Frustrated User

I will be discussing my recommendations for the best free website builders to assist you in crafting an online professional image. Whether you are creating an online portfolio or starting a small business, you only have once to make an online impression of yourself with a well planned website.

You could always hire someone to design your website, integrate your social media, provide internet security and IT support. On the other hand, this could be pretty expensive for someone with minimal assets and capital. However, you don’t want potential clients and employers dismissing you based on the look and layout of your website.

Before choosing a website platform, you must first decide whether it will be updated frequently or whether your web content will primarily remain the same. Blog style platforms are great for content that needs to be updated frequently. Static website platforms are primarily for individuals who need their content updated only every few months.

The Top 5 best free website platforms that I recommend are as follows:

Weebly

Weebly’s platform uses a drop and drag type website builder which is very easy to use. It will give you a professional looking website with a wide selection of templates in its free version. For someone with no technical skills, I highly recommend weebly as the best option for the beginner. Advanced features are offered for your weebly site with an upgraded plan.

 Wix

Wix is a great option for someone who needs to display a lot of multi-media such as videos and photos. Wix has recently upgraded it’s technology to HTML5 which now displays on Apple products. Wix also uses a drop and drag website builder platform. The look and feel is geared towards achieving a rich multi-media website.

WordPress.com or WordPress.org

WordPress is the ultimate marriage between static content and frequent updates because it has the ability to do both. WordPress is a free open source platform that will allow you to create with very few limits for a small business owner. WordPress.com is hosted on a wordpress server, and WordPress.org is hosted on a hosting service that you pay for. WordPress is also optimized for mobile site visitors, and it even includes a handy mobile app for on the go posting.

Google Sites

Google sites is the ultimate choice for static websites which includes free hosting courtesy of google. Their sites are fully integratable with a suite of free google products such as google drive, google calendar, gmail, youtube, adsense, and more. Google Sites come with an array of templates that can be modified through widgets for the beginner, but it also give the ability to inject html code and java scripts for the more advanced user. The skill of the user will affect the achievable look and feel of a google site.

Google sites are optimized for mobile site visitors, and it is free to use. Google also offers the ability to purchase your own domain name using Google Apps at a cost ranging between 8 to 12 dollars with privacy options included. For what comes with the purchase of a domain name using Google Apps, I have not found anything better. Google Apps needs a stand alone post by itself which is possible in the near future. Resources will be given below to learn more on these products.

Blogger

Blogger is a Google product that uses a blog style platform. It will provide another alternative for sites needing frequent updates. Blogger has been making strides to improve customization for its users. Most importantly, it is fully integratable with a suite of free Google products, and it’s free to use. However, this option would make a great personal website and your business type would determine whether Blogger is a good fit for you.

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