Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Design Your New Website in 3 Simple Steps
So you need to get your website up and running fast or you just want to know how it’s done?
A website can usually be broken down into 3 simple steps.
- Get a Domain Name
- Setup Web Hosting
- Design Your Site
1. Get a Domain Name
Whether you use your business as the domain name or choose a vanity domain name (i.e. ilovesushi.com), you will need to have it registered. A fun and useful tool for researching a variety of domain name ideas is BustaName.com. After you decide on a domain name, register it at GoDaddy.
2. Setup Web Hosting
Hosting is fairly straightforward. Two important considerations are web server uptime and customer service. It’s hard to find out if the company you’re choosing will keep your site up, but contacting customer service shouldn’t be a problem. Two companies I trust and work with exclusively are Westhost & Alentus.
3. Design Your Site
Whether you choose to design it yourself, go with a pre-designed website or hire a professional, you will need to have something available online (A one page website can be sufficient). There are many do-it-yourself choices: GoDaddy Website Tonight, Homestead, etc. You can also purchase a pre-designed website and have a web company or web designer set it up for you. Or you can hire a professional web design company and get the exact website for your business. Hiring a professional should offer you a completely customized website design, giving you a design that showcases your business and is well represented by your customers.
In our experience, a website will usually consists of these 3 steps.
If you have any questions or you would like assistance on setting up your own website, please contact MJS Web Solutions. We’re here to help.
Posted by: Michael Swartz at 5:32 pm
Comments: None | Filed under: Business, Web Design
Thursday, April 29, 2010
How to Remove the Blogger NavBar?
We’re doing many Blogger conversions this month and Blogger has decided to keep the Blogger Navbar intact. (i.e. we can’t switch it off).
We’re not a big fan and wanted to remove it.
Here is how we removed the Blogger NavBar.
- Login to Blogger
- Click on the Template tab
- Add this code to the <head> tag:
display: none !important;
- Click the Save Template Changes button
- You’re done
Posted by: Michael Swartz at 3:40 pm
Comments: None | Filed under: HTML
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Convert Your Website Design Files to SEO Friendly HTML Code
MJS Web Solutions, not only designs websites from the ground up, we also can convert an existing design or mockup to SEO (search engine optimization) friendly HTML code.
We noticed, Luna Packaging, a client of ours had redesigned their website, except each page was an image. The design looked great, but Google and other search engines could not index the text, because the text was an image. We notified our client and got the okay to redesign the site by converting the existing design images to SEO friendly HTML code.
Luna Packaging & Autism Answers Websites
A new client of ours, Autism Answers, came to us needing to re-build their website. Each page on their website were also images, not HTML code and text. Again, we converted the design image files into SEO friendly HTML code.
Now each website is:
- much faster to download
- easier to maintain
- And being index by the search engines.
Is your site one big image? If so, it’s not getting the traffic it deserves.
MJS Web Solutions offers a full variety of website services that are focused on enriching your customers experience and getting traffic to your website.
Posted by: Michael Swartz at 5:46 pm
Comments: None | Filed under: HTML, News, SEO, Web Design
Friday, December 11, 2009
Biggest Web Design Mistake: No Phone Number on Homepage
The biggest web design mistake is:
- NOT putting your phone number on your homepage
I needed to rent some equipment and found West Coast Rental here in Alameda. I picked up the phone to get ready to call and couldn’t find the phone number anywhere on the homepage, not even in the footer.
No Phone Number Present on Homepage
I had to spend some time to search for the ‘Contact Us’ button and then found the phone number.
If you expect people to contact your organization, I’d highly recommend including your phone number on your homepage…and maybe on every page for that matter.
PS: After reviewing the site, they might not be able to help me anyway. I was looking for tool rental equipment, not party & event rentals. Oh well.
Posted by: Michael Swartz at 11:12 pm
Comments: None | Filed under: SEO, Web Design, Web Marketing, Writing For The Web
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Web Design Process: From Wireframe to Website
Recently I wrote about sketching out a wireframe first, on paper, before opening up any software program. We call that Stage 2: Information Design. (Stage 1: Strategic Planning is all about getting and analyzing content and establishing a goal or objective for the website).
Well, I wanted you to see what became of that sketch. (It became a website, of course)
After I sketched out, on paper, where I wanted content to go, I used Adobe (or Macromedia) Fireworks to design the homepage wireframe.
Matt Duncan Homepage Wireframe
After a couple of revisions from the client, we moved onto Stage 3: Visual Design. This is the stage where all the colors and typefaces come in. We essentially wrap the design around the content.
Matt Duncan Visual Design
After a few revisions from the client, it’s onto Stage 4: Production. This is the stage where the picture above becomes a working website with links, rollovers, rotators, database integration and more.
Our sketched out wireframe is now a website: http://www.matthewjduncan.com/
Talk to us about designing your new website.
Posted by: Michael Swartz at 5:35 pm
Comments: 2 Comments | Filed under: Web Design
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
IE6 Multiple Class Selector Hack
A client’s new website was not displaying correcting in Internet Explorer 6 (Wow, what a surprise…not!). It look fine in every other browser.
Usually I create a separate ie6fix.css file and I’m done, but this problem was a doosey.
IE6 doesn’t recognize two classes for one element. For example:
<a class="one two"></a>
I was trying everything to get the navigation rollover to work. It wasn’t until I found this post, by Bennett of Thunderguy.com.
Adding another class and separating the two with a hyphen works. Unbelievable! What a hack.
<a class="one two one-two"></a>
He saved me more agonizing hours of pain. Thanks Bennett and kudos to you.
Now I’m here to help share this hack with everyone else, but the biggest help I, as a webmaster, can give is if everyone stopped using IE6 and upgraded. Microsoft is now on version 8. There is no good reason to keep using this antiquated browser that doesn’t conform to the new standards of the internet.
Photo credit from IE Sucks
Posted by: Michael Swartz at 5:16 pm
Comments: 1 Comment | Filed under: HTML, Web Design
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
How to Retrieve Deleted Web Files Off the Internet
I accidentally deleted a file off a clients web server and thank goodness I had downloaded a copy to my local computer beforehand. I uploaded the copy and was back in business. But I thought, what if I hadn’t of downloaded a copy and I had no backup of the web file?
How to Retrieve Deleted Web Files From the Internet
Well, there would be two locations I could go to on the web to retrieve a copy.
- Google – Google indexes the internet, so they have copies of your recently crawled web files, called cached links. To find out if Google has a copy of your web file, type cache:www.yourdomainname.com/pathtoyourwebfile/ into Google.
- Wayback Machine – The Wayback Machine is an internet archive that has been archiving websites since 1996. (It’s fun to poke around and see what Yahoo looked like back in the day). To retrieve a copy of your web file, just type in your URL into the search box and click on the Month, Day and Year you need. Whala.
So, if you either overwrite or accidentally delete one of your web files, know that all is not lost.
PS: Here’s a complete resource for finding old websites.
Mike Swartz says, “Check it out”.
Posted by: Michael Swartz at 5:06 pm
Comments: 1 Comment | Filed under: Web Design, Web General
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
CSS Compatibility Mode Fix for Internet Explorer 8
My recent post about IE8 has launched it’s ugly head.
A client of ours contacted us to let us know after they downloaded the new Internet Explorer 8 there site looked messed up.
Knowing this was going to be a problem, Microsoft created a button called ‘Compatibility View‘ so users could view websites in the older version of their browser.
But this was not a work around for our client.
Instead of fixing (or hacking) all the code on the website I added the following code recommended by Microsoft:
<!-- Mimic Internet Explorer 7 -->
<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=EmulateIE7" >
<title>My Web Page</title>
<p>Content goes here.</p>
This is truly a work around – a Microsoft work around. Microsoft knew full well that their new browser couldn’t view perfectly good standard coded websites, so they had to come up with a way to view websites as if you were using their old browser.
What a joke. It’s no wonder why Microsoft is losing market share to Firefox and Apple.
Posted by: Michael Swartz at 6:23 pm
Comments: 39 Comments | Filed under: HTML, Web Design
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Microsoft Releases Internet Explorer 8 Which Equals More Testing
Microsoft has just released it’s latest browser, Internet Explorer 8 (IE8).
Apparently IE8 is a slimmed down version of IE7, faster and doesn’t crash. I’ll believe when I see it.
Many Web Browsers
Internet Explorer still commands 72.2% of the web browser market, up from 69.7% a year ago. The open-source Firefox browser is No. 2 with 17.2%. GoogleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Chrome is third with just under 3% of the market.*
Notice only 3 browsers mentioned. Another browser, Safari for the Mac (and PC) was not listed.
MJS Web Solutions Tests In All Popular Browsers
I’m announcing the release to let everyone know that MJS tests and programs for the most popular web browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox & Safari). And not just each web browser, but each web browser version (IE6, IE7, and now IE8) and on each computer platform (i.e. Windows & Mac).
Don’t be fooled. Some web designers/developers may not test on all of the browsers mentioned, but only one. If you want ALL of your customers to view your website without errors, make sure they test on the most popular web browsers.
My personal web browser preference is Firefox. Why? Because it is fast, user friendly and has the capability to add on applications, very similar to the popularity of Apple’s iPhone add-on apps.
*Source: Janco Associates (e-janco.com)
Posted by: Michael Swartz at 2:02 pm
Comments: None | Filed under: Web Design, Web General
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Skittles New Website. Who Cares?
Is this the corporate website of the future?
The new Skittles website.
Really…the website is just direct links to social networking sites talking about Skittles. I understand the popularity of sharing, but this seems way over the top.
Posted by: Michael Swartz at 10:30 pm
Comments: None | Filed under: Web Design, Web General, Web Marketing