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Archive for the ‘HTML5’ Category

The Best Website Designers in California

web designers in ca

What determines the best web designer in CA

California is home to a lot of great tech companies that demand a great web design. This has led to a lot of great web design companies. So who is the best web designer in CA?

Determining who develops the best web sites is like deciding what the best type of food is. I like Mexican but I very much enjoyed Chinese today. Every business has a different need from there site and thus we should be asking a more specific question, “Who make the best web site for converting clicks into customers?”

Most “Top 10 Web Design Companies” sites judge by the creativity of the site alone. What does it look like? There is no consideration to what the customer experience it or the ability for the site to persuade a visitor to take an action. Shouldn’t that be more important?

Design is important. California is home to Apple where design is everything. But Apple did not succeed because they had beautiful looking products, they had beautifully functional products. Hand any 6 year old an iPad and they will be playing a game in seconds. No instruction manual needed.

Maybe the question should change. “Who is the best web development firm in California?” or “Which California Web firm builds the most persuasive web sites?” I’ll bet my money that not one of the top 50 would be shared among the other lists. And ask who provided the best service, or fastest turn around and you will have yet another completely unique list.

Here are the factors you should consider when determining who the best company to design and build your website should be:

How long has the business been around? Web designers and developers don’t always make the best business people.

Do you guarantee a delivery date? If you ask around I’ll bet that 9 out of 10 businesses did not get their site when it was promised. In many cases it might be as much as a year or more late.

Do you have proof of your customer conversion? If they have case studies showing results believe them, if not, they are likely stating what they think. We have found that what we think is rarely what is true.

Do you have proof of your SEO abilities? Every web business claims they know SEO, but few actually do. Ask for proof. If they are truly good at SEO, they will have proof.

How secure is your platform? Are they using an open source content management system or is the site on a customer CMS?

Best Web Design? That is very relative not only to your personal tastes, but to the objective of your site. The sites that convert the most visitors to customers are rarely the most beautiful. Beautiful design does not usually have obnoxious orange “Order Now” buttons but high converting sites do.

The approach we take is, wire frame a persuasive intuitive site before you hand it over to a designer.

So, who is the best web designer in California? It’s probably the company that doesn’t get much notice. Or it could be the company that posted this blog.

The next big trend in web design- Parallax

In the late 1990’s web design came alive with animation and interactivity when Macromedia (Since acquired by Adobe) introduced Flash. Flash websites were a hot item and the early Flash design and development firms were in high demand and getting as much as $60,000 for 40 hours’ worth of work. The sites were beautiful and fun.

The demise of Flash was 3 fold. The first was security. Hackers found holes that allowed them to gain control of your computer. The second was that Google was gaining importance and Flash sites were not index able by search engines. But it was Apple that delivered the knockout punch when they chose not to support flash on the iPhone.

As web designers stepped away from Flash, website design reverted back to the basics. To add dynamics, scrolling pictures became the norm. In fact, at this writing that is still the most popular type of website.

We are at the dawn of a new age.

Parallax web design is the future of web design. Parallax, is the word used to describe the effect of the appearance of objects moving at different speeds. When driving, the trees near the road side appear to pass faster than the trees farther away and the distant mountains move even slower.

Why is this design the future? Because a designer can do everything we used to do in Flash without the drawbacks. The sites remain as secure as any custom site and they are fully search engine friendly, sort of.

Some pros of a Parallax site:

  • They are interesting to the visitor which entices them to stay on the site longer.
  • As a marketer animation gives you power to direct the visitors attention to where you want them to go.
  • It is more likely that a web visitor will scroll to the bottom of a site then click another page.
  • When a visitor spends more time on your site, it enhances your Google page rank.

Some cons of a Parallax site:

  • Visitors view fewer pages which is a negative in the eyes of Google.
  • Can be confusing to a visitor.
  • They can be slower loading
  • More costly to develop.

The good news is that a Parallax site does not need to be confusing to the viewer and there are ways to use it its power to get visitors to click on more pages that a standard site which will enhance your page rank with Google. And you don’t have to have a slow loading site.

Designers can get carried away with Parallax design. Here is an example of an amazing Parallax site that great to look at and navigate but slow load. Also, this site was not designed to be easily searched against competitors. http://journey.lifeofpimovie.com/#!/

There are ways to use this new technology to your advantage. We happen to be developing 4 such sites right now. I look forward to sharing them with you.

W3C’s Le Hegaret Says HTML5 Video is Not Ready for the Web

November 8

Since the Release of HTML5, companies have been rushing to show off all the new features and fun tricks that it has to offer. But those who actually oversee HTML5 are telling the web world to take a step back.

Despite the growing demand for HTML5 and its deployment by many big online players, its commercial introduction is premature, as there is no standard for the new technology, says Philippe Le Hegaret, leader of effort at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Le Hegaret also told reporters, “There is already a lot of excitement for HTML5, but it’s a little too early to deploy it because we’re running into interoperability issues.” These issues are particularly apparent with the video content; different devices and different browsers aren’t handling HTML5 consistently, as it’s lacking standardization.

“I don’t think it’s ready for production yet,” the official continued. “The real problem is, can we make it work across browsers? And at the moment, that is not the case.”

W3C estimated that HTML5 video interoperability issues should be fully approved within the next two or three years. Until then, officials say, Flash and Silverlight are still going to remain approved and viable web technologies.

Regardless of these issues, HTML5 is off to the races and gaining momentum with each new design. Not only is HTML5 getting praise from the big tech companies, but also by the developers who have been using it to create stunning and innovative new web projects.

But based on HTML5 issues, we are fairly uncertain that any developers will stop deploying HTML5 websites simply because officials say the specification and APIs are still undergoing changes. Certainly, the same developers who are using HTML5 now will not likely want to develop with Flash and Silverlight, or for older browsers such as Internet Explorer 6.

HTML5 and CSS3: Changing the Standard for Web Design

November 2

For those who don’t know, HTML is the standard language used to build web pages. HTML stands for “Hyper Text Markup Language,” and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. New technologies are arriving as we speak, with HTML5 and CSS3 busily changing how you interact with web sites.

The Basics of HTML and CSS

Since the early days of the internet, the tools for building a web site have been HTML and… Not much else. For web designers, trying to design a web site with only HTML made it repetitive and restricting. This is where CSS came into play.

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets; they are files that tell web browsers how to display an HTML page. Basically, HTML is the basic framework of a web page, while a CSS document specifies how the specific elements of a page should look. CSS gives you control over the fonts, font colors, background styles, and so on, of an HTML page.

Essentially, CSS makes it easier for designers to map out and build a web site. Before CSS, designers using HTML had to specify how all individual headers and components of a page looked and acted. There were ways around this, but HTML was often misused and the web developer would have to go in and individually change every element of every page. But CSS made it less complex and less time consuming to change the styles on a web page so that, finally, editing web pages became more efficient: you could make a change to one document, and then apply the change across your entire web site.

What’s New?

Now, HTML5 and CSS3 are the latest and greatest of markup programming. HTML5’s new video element, which makes it easier to add video to a web page, has been getting a lot of attention. But that’s just one of the many features HTML5 offers that will put it in the forefront of web design, making it significant for users and web developers alike.

Flash-Free Video and Animation

So why is everybody talking about the new video feature? Well, HTML5 allows you to watch videos without using plugins like Flash or Silverlight. This can help immensely, because a plugin like Flash can slow down your computer since it runs by using up system resources. Using HTML5, however, the video feature is built right in, making the process faster and less tedious. What’s more, it’s free.

But as of now, the HTML5 video is still inconsistent between browsers. Safari, Chrome and Internet Explorer 9 support HTML5 video that uses the H.264 format. But Firefox is on a different page, supporting only HTML5 videos that use the Ogg Vorbis format. The people over at Mozilla justify this by stating that the use of the H.264’s closed source nature could create possible problems with licensing in the future. Truly, only time can tell what will happen or how these “licensing issues” may develop.

Regardless, web designers are going to enjoy using HTML5 and CSS3 because it’s easier for them to create animations and interactive games without using Flash. Additionally, there are numerous games and animations on the web that are now using HTML5 and CSS3, and all you have to do is search for them. But even though these two could have tons of potential, they haven’t been able to replace Flash entirely, just yet.

Offline Storage

Some of the new features in HTML5 are helping to improve web applications, which are becoming more and more complex. HTML5 gives web apps the ability to store information and internet utilities that you can use anytime. This means you can preserve and access data through the web apps, even when you’re not online. Then, when you log back online, the web apps can load faster by using the saved work that you did offline, since the structure of the page has been saved in your browser’s cache. Thus, all the work that you did offline should be there when you log back on. Wasn’t that easy?

The offline storage feature allows you to specify which sites you want your browser to frequently cache without having to save each page. In other words, without this feature, you would have to go to each page and click “File-Save As” so that they would be stored while offline. Using HTML5, you can set your browser to automatically save certain types of pages, so they will already be in memory. This increases the loading speed when you’re browsing online, so you don’t have to wait for the entire page to load. Again.

New Design Tools

HTML5 and CSS3 help to make for more attractive web apps and websites. For example, the features in CSS3 are highly dynamic and decorative features, compared to the simple HTML page. It provides exciting, brand new features such as:

  • Rounded corners
  • Multiple backgrounds
  • Direct web fonts
  • Wrapping to the text
  • Stroke and shadow to the text
  • 2D transformation to the object, animations
  • Gradients
  • Opacity
  • HSL and HSLA color
  • Background clipping
  • Outline
  • Box resizing
  • Box shadow
  • Top-right- left-bottom navigation
  • Attribute selector
  • Overflows x and y

… And even more; all helping to create a more eye catching web page, and probably something closer to how the designer actually wants the page to look, instead of having to mimic images to get the look they want.

The Compatibility

With HTML5 and CSS3 just recently being released, the face of the web is already changing. Some the current browsers such Internet Explorer 9, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari are supporting most of the features that come with HTML5 and CSS3, and some even more than others. Even still, most of the older browsers, such as Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox 3.6, are not as compatible as the new browsers.

But this direction and these developments look like great news for present and upcoming web designers. HTML5 and CSS3 both provide “less write, more gain” kind of potential for web designers. This means that we can be bothered with writing far fewer lines of code, and instead have considerably more playtime with significantly more features.

In short, HTML5 Web Design is the future.