Find Web Developers
Find Web Developers

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10 Common Mistakes Made By Business Owners Made On Their Web Development

Saturday, September 22nd, 2018

It’s apparent that in this new era of information technology, having a website is important to almost all businesses. However, many business owners, usually from small and medium sized companies have completed up their websites and then found them not performing to expectations. This is especially common for business owners setting up website for the first time. Here are 10 common mistakes made by business owners, and how to avoid them.

1. Cutting cost and using freelancers. We all know someone or at least know someone who knows someone else who knows a little about web programming. However, the job of a complete website is not to be handled by just one person. You need a creative designer to handle the aesthetic look and feel, and then an experienced programmer to handle the coding. Overall, you need an experienced coordinator who knows the important elements of websites and to propose the right ones to suit your business.

2. Selecting a web design company based on Price. Despite it being obvious, many business owners starting their website for the first time fail to understand that a lower price quantitatively does not actually equate or work out eventually. Be sure to compare the specifications and not just the price.

3. Writing contents themselves or using own friends or staffs to write the contents. You may swear that you understand your business more than anyone else but if you are not trained in website contents development, you will lose out two benefits that copywriters can provide. Trained website contents development can plan targeted keywords into your contents to increase the chances of others finding your website after it’s launched. Having good copywriters will also increase the chances of you making more sales, as they are able to write better and also incite in your readers an element of trust and invoke the desire to take up your services.

4. Under utilizing the capabilities of their website. As many business owners are not trained in IT (Information Technology) or have sufficient knowledge in the field of web development, they often restrict their website to basic functions, and forgetting that they can achieve higher efficiency by incorporating certain functions required by their business to their website.

5. Losing focus on website’s objectives. It’s quite common for new business owners pointing out that they want a Full Flash website, or a website with exciting and interactive navigation. More often than not, these new business owners forget that their main objectives in developing their website – which in most cases are to increase sales leads.

6. Not knowing what is a Landing Page. A landing page is referred to the page in which your web advertisement will lead your browsers to land upon. It need not be the Home Page, although it’s possible to optimize your Home Page to be a good Landing Page. Most often than not, a sale is done based on the first impression of your clients landing at your website. As such, it’s important to keep in mind in selecting a web design company who understands the importance of a landing page.

7. Not allocating a budget for marketing website. This is especially common for those who are new to website, thinking that their website will automatically have visitors or customers flowing in. Most website design packages these days come with submission to search engines as well as meta keywords. However, these are just basic elements of Search Engine Optimization, and have minimal impact to increase your visitors.

8. Spending time and / or money experimenting on advertising & marketing. Most business owners, especially small and medium sized, tend to think that they can cut cost and handle their own advertising and publicity. However, there are important lessons involved in terms of driving qualified traffic to website, and getting professional help often results in a higher return on investment.

9. Not updating and improving the website. A website is like your best salesman introducing your business to customers walking by. Your best salesman has to be updated with new products or services, as well as be taught on using new slogans to attract more sales. As such, it is paramount to keep your website updated with new contents, especially if you are using your website to generate enquiries for business.

10. Skimping on Images. A nice looking website requires nice looking photographs. Fortunately, these photographs can now be purchased easily through stock banks nowadays. There are usually two practices in the web design industry – one offers a certain amount of free photos, which they already factor a lump sum in their packages, while another practices buying what you like only.

Interview With a Web Developer

Friday, September 21st, 2018

I’m sure a large percentage of people who enjoy games or using computers have considered what it would be like to have I.T. as their profession. To try and answer this question we managed to drag the EGR tech department (one guy going by the name of Colonel Mustard) away from his desk to talk to us about his day job as a programmer.

Good evening. Could you give us your official job title and a brief description of what you do

I’m a web developer, and I work for a large publishing company in London on a number of different websites

How did you get involved in this type of work?

I’ve had an interest in computers for as long as I can remember, so when it came to deciding on what to study in further education computing seemed an obvious choice to me. I got lucky with a work placement during my University studies and landed myself a permanent role which is where I am now

Have you found using computers to be any different if you are using them for pleasure or for work?

When programming at home I have more time to work with technologies of my choice. Also

browsing the web can become a different experience when you’re a web developer, as you understand why things are done the way they are. So when a site breaks you can often pinpoint the bad/lazy programming that caused it.

Is it a challenge to keep up to date with advances in IT that may affect your work?

Yes, I think in that respect being a web developer is one of the most challenging jobs out there. There is such a vast range of technologies being used, and you have to understand everything from the front end to the databases.

Most jobs however focus on a smaller subset of technology, often supplied by a single vendor such as Microsoft, which makes it a bit easier

Is much of your time dedicated to training and learning new things? or do you cover enough of the same topics each day that this isn’t necessary?

Well I do try to keep as up to date as possible with the fundamental languages and the things I work with a lot, as I feel that I like to have a complete understanding of them. There are other things that seem to come and go, often like fashion in the software world. I try to get an understanding of these, but I don’t spend too much time focusing on something that I don’t think I’m going to use much.

I probably spend a few minutes a day reading blogs and articles covering a wide range of things. I particularly like the Microsoft blogs as they provide a good insight into the development of some languages.

What opportunities for advancing exist in the job? in terms of climbing the career ladder.

There are a number of directions in which to progress. The main directions you can go are either towards a more people-oriented position such as team management, or a more technical role such as a software architect.

There are many more opportunities, for instance a good company CIO will often have a programming background.

What would you recommend to people currently at school who are looking at this or a similar career?

Don’t study maths! I was told it was necessary for a career in computing, but they were wrong.

You can study maths if you want, I’m sure it will get you far, it just isn’t mandatory. It can help to get a degree in a computing-related subject, but often the course content won’t be hugely relevant, it’s just a way into the industry.

Try to be sure it’s what you want to do, as a lot of people give it a go and find they just

aren’t naturally good at software development.

with this being an EGR the interview wouldn’t be complete without some mention of gaming. Are you currently playing anything?

I like to play Insurgency occasionally, and a bit of TF2 every now and then. I’m against giving WoW a go as I’m scared it’ll consume my life for the next decade if I do.

I’m also currently contemplating playing Oblivion again as I started playing it when I was younger and never got round to finishing it. I used to play a huge amount of CS:Source, and was in a couple of clans a few years ago.

Do you have an all time favourite game?

That probably has to be the half-life series, especially HL2. The success of the series doesn’t surprise me. It’s one of the few games I’ve played more than once. My favourite online game has to be CS:Source

It does seem that Valve always produce top notch games, what do you think it is about them that other games companies find hard to emulate?

that’s a difficult question! Maybe it’s because they really seem to understand their audience and take the time to properly design games. Too many modern games seem to be a graphics showcase with little in the way of gameplay.

Then you get games such as Battlefield 2 which seems to have been rushed, constantly crashing before a patch was released.

Lastly, are you able to give us a quick sneak preview on what you’re working on for EGR?

Well hopefully in the near future we’ll have a more visually appealing site. It’s something that’s been on my mind for a while. Front end styling isn’t my strong point, but I think I have some good ideas. I am also busy working on both the “TF2 tactician” and “WoW tactician” which will allow users to build a large collaborative database of guides and tactics for the games they play. There is also a very snazzy CMS running behind the site which cannot be seen by the users but is being developed to allow easier posting of articles and updates and in the future will allow regular guest posts to be made by anyone wanting to try their hand at a bit of games journalism.

Those are the features I’m currently concentrating on coding and testing, there are also plans in the not too distant future to provide more functionality to the front page in the form of a calendar filled with gaming related events and various media players on the front page containing things like frag videos or just the latest virals.

Thank you for your time, I hope these answers have helped some people decide whether a career in software development is something they wish to pursue. Are there any final thoughts you wish to leave us with?

Yeah! Don’t ever bother with IE 6! Some of our biggest customers are various government bodies, and most of them happen to be stuck in the past with this monstrosity of a browser which makes my job that little bit more difficult.

Top Ten Tools and Resources for Web Developers

Thursday, September 20th, 2018

If you are a budding web developer then you should be aware of some of the amazing resources that are available online. No list of this type can ever be definitive but I’ve tried to gather some of my particular favourites in one place.

Firebug Plugin

This is an absolute must in my opinion. The Firebug plugin is a free add-on for Mozilla Firefox that really lightens the work load when styling HTML elements. I allows you to view changes to your page in real-time as you tinker with the CSS. Great for positioning awkward elements, where pixel perfect precision is required. It also helps you to identify inheritance problems within your style rules.

Blog.Spoongraphics

Home of graphic designer, Chris Spooner. This blog has an abundance of great tutorials and tips. Some of his resources are free and some must be paid for through ‘access all areas’ membership but there really is plenty of great stuff that can be viewed or downloaded for free. Excellent creative advice on Photoshop and Illustrator as well as some insightful writing about the design process, where he explains the reasons behind some of the design decisions in his work.

CG Textures

I absolutely love this site when I need to make a background ‘pop.’ Thousands of textures can be downloaded for free although some of the larger sizes require registration.

W3 Schools

Definitive reference for all developers and designers. Need to know the correct syntax to use is your code, the W3 Schools will have a page dedicated to the particular task that you are looking to achieve. One of my first ports of call when I hit a programming stumbling block.

Webmonkey

Web developer’s resources from wired.com. Includes cheat sheets, color codes and re-usable code snippets. Also has a tutorials section with a design and development tutorials and Javascript help.

Colour Lovers

In my opinion, this is the best place to go for inspiration when choosing a colour scheme for your site. Users submit their own palettes and colour HEX codes, which are then voted upon and can be browsed through by popularity. Also features sections on the latest web and print trends and is quite a bustling and friendly community.

iStockphoto

Not a free site but the ability to download a water-marked comp to try out in a design before purchase is invaluable. I use this to present ideas to my clients and let them make a decision on whether or not to pay the extra for the larger image. There are quite a few stock photography sites online but this one is my favourite choice due to the large number of images and the site’s ease of use.

DevShed

Comprehensive list of developer’s tutorials. Great for learning about the fantastic world of open-source development and adding the latest functionality to your projects.

CSS Zen Garden

The beauty of pure CSS design. The next time someone tells you that Flash is required to make a site look good, tell them to go here!

Web Know How

More tutorials and free code snippets. Also feature free to use design templates, which can be a great starting point when learning or when struggling for inspiration.

I hope that if you are reading this and choose to visit one of these excellent sites then you will find them as useful as I did. Of course, I might well have made a glaring omission and would be glad to hear any suggestions to make this list better.