s Website Design Archives | Ponder Consulting & Web Design

The Simple Secret to Making Your Website Load Faster

September 26, 2010

You’re dying to know “The Simple Secret to Making Your Website Load Faster” aren’t you? It’s really an easy thing to do.

The 3 steps to a faster load speed on your website are:

1.) Open Notepad

2.) Add this line: “php_value memory_limit 48M”

3.) Save the file as php.ini (no other extension) and upload file to the root directory of your website (linux hosting).

That should do it! Load time is another important factor in search engine optimization.  The simplicity and effectiveness reminds me of my secret to making your computer run faster, so stay tuned for that tidbit!

P.S. If you are on a monthly plan just drop us an email requesting this file to be added to your website. Alternatively, if you are not on a monthly plan and need help implementing the php.ini file, please contact us for a quote.

SEO is a Great Selling Point for Websites

August 19, 2009

SEO is a great selling point for website design companies. It helps us distinguish ourselves from other’s when selling a website or even web related services. Is it overused? Absolutely! Consistently, I see the term listed to sell websites and web related products but then I look and see that the most primative SEO techniques haven’t been executed on their site.

A prime example of this overuse is yesterday I had a meeting with a real estate agent. I mentioned that I had found a cheaper alternative to VisualTour. He stated that part of the value of the product is their submission to the search engines and to the listing on Realtor.com. I knew right away it was a bunch of baloney:

  1. I SEOed his site.
  2. There hasn’t been one single click from Realtor.com

What can I do about this? I can educate and inform of key factors to look for when trying to choose an SEO company. Below please find a few triggers to help you make the best decision

  1. Anytime a company refers to “search engine submissions” – run away! This does nothing if the site isn’t optimized correctly. In fact, this is a key that either they don’t know what they are talking about or they are trying to sell you something that has no value whatsoever.
  2. If a web design company claims the site will be search engine optimized (SEO). Ask them if they have ever been paid for only SEO on past projects? If they haven’t, then the decision is clear: don’t hire them for SEO or you may want to reconsider the company for trying to sell you something they have no experience doing.
  3. This may be a nicer way to approach #2: ask for past rankings and even current rankings of websites they are optimizing.
  4. Google their company name, if they aren’t first, this is another sign that something is wrong.
  5. Never consider hiring an SEO company that contacts you, chances are they have no clue.

Google has written more about this topic here: SEO.

Unfortunately, there is no governing authority on SEO so for now, all I can do is educate you and help you make the right decision. If I see more triggers, then I will certainly update this post. Until then, if you need SEO turn to Ponder Consulting, we guarantee you won’t be let down.

How to Plan a Website

November 18, 2008

Website Planning

Define the Purpose of the Website
What will the website accomplish and what will users will get from it?

Define the Audience When Planning a Website
What is the group of people that you expect to visit and use your website – the market being targeted?  What will the visitors want to do or feel when they come to your site will help to identify the target audience.

Content Evaluation and Organization based on the the Website’s Purpose
Collecting and organizing content according to the audience’s needs is a key step in website planning. Each category should be named with a concise and descriptive title that will become a link on the website.

Be Aware of Compatibility and Restrictions
Because of the market share of modern browsers (depending on your target market), the compatibility of your website with the viewers is restricted. For instance, a website that is designed for the majority of websurfers will be limited to the use of valid XHTML 1.0 Strict or older, Cascading Style Sheets Level 1, and 1024×768 display resolution. This is because Internet Explorer is not fully W3C standards compliant with the modularity of XHTML 1.1 and the majority of CSS beyond 1. A target market of more alternative browser (e.g. Firefox and Opera) users allow for more W3C compliance and thus a greater range of options for a web designer.

Another restriction on webpage design is the use of different Image file formats. The majority of users can support GIF, JPEG, and PNG (with restrictions). Again Internet Explorer is the major restriction here, not fully supporting PNG’s advanced transparency features, resulting in the GIF format still being the most widely used graphic file format for transparent images.

Many website incompatibilities go unnoticed by the designer and unreported by the users. The only way to be certain a website will work on a particular platform is to test it on that platform.

Planning documentation
Documentation is used to visually plan the site while taking into account the purpose, audience and content, to design the site structure, content and interactions that are most suitable for the website. Documentation may be considered a prototype for the website – a model which allows the website layout to be reviewed, resulting in suggested changes, improvements and/or enhancements. This review process increases the likelihood of success of the website.

In addition to planning the structure, the layout and interface of individual pages may be planned using a storyboard. In the process of storyboarding, a record is made of the description, purpose and title of each page in the site, and they are linked together according to the most effective and logical diagram type. Depending on the number of pages required for the website, documentation methods may include using pieces of paper and drawing lines to connect them, or creating the storyboard using computer software.

Some or all of the individual pages may be designed in greater detail as a website wireframe, a mock up model or comprehensive layout of what the page will actually look like. This is often done in a graphic program, or layout design program. The wireframe has no working functionality, only planning, though it can be used for selling ideas to other web design companies.

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