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5 WordPress Plugins to Turn Your Website Into an SEO Powerhouse

 

If you own a website, you have probably heard the word Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). But what is it and what role does it play on your website? SEO is a set of rules to be followed so that a specific website ranks higher in search engines (e.g. Google, Yahoo, and Bing).

Search engines serve millions of users every day looking for answers to their dilemmas or for answers to their questions. If you have a website, a blog, or an e-Commerce website, SEO can help your business expand and meet its objectives.

The good news is that there are thousands of plugins you can install on your WordPress website to help you boost your SEO. However, selecting the most important and relevant plugins for your SEO needs can seem a bit overwhelming as many of those plugins offer the same service as the other. In this article, we chose only 5 of the best plugins for your website which we consider are crucial for SEO.

1. Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is one of the most popular plugins for fulfilling SEO needs. It’s a very user-friendly plugin both for newbies and the experienced. Yoast is a simple and intuitive plugin that makes everyone able to work with it. Its traffic light system gives detailed guidelines that will walk you through every step which is perfect for those who are new to SEO.

With its strong content analysis features, it can tell you what your focus keywords are, your content insights, and your content’s readability among others. It allows you to add SEO title, meta description, and meta keywords to each page of your website, which is perfect for your SEO needs.

2. Redirection

If your website contains broken links and 404 pages, then the chances are your SEO score is too low for search engines. One of the most important things website owners forget about SEO is user experience. Setting up redirects for dead links or deleted pages is key to securing a solid user experience.

Redirection is a helpful plugin that lets you manage all sorts of redirects from one open place. You can instantly make new redirects, control your present redirects, and fix any broken links. When all your links work, your visitors will be happy and they will learn to trust you which will lead to higher conversion rates and reduced bounce rate.

3. Smush Image Compression and Optimization

Slow loading time is a common reason people leave your website without even seeing your content. And when people leave your website, you get a high bounce rate that translates to poor SEO. Image size is the most common cause for sluggish loading times. Manually compressing each photo on your website is probably going to months.

Luckily, Smush Image Compression and Optimization is there to compress all of the images on your website at the touch of a button. Compressed images have reduced file size that loads faster both on mobile and on a desktop.

4. w3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache boasts of its powerful technology in improving your website’s performance by “caching” the data that have been previously loaded. It reduces loading time, boosts download speed and increases conversion rates. Thus, improving the overall speed and performance of your website.

So how do you benefit from this? Search engines like Yahoo, Google, and Bing consider and measure the speed of websites in their ranking algorithm. When your site’s load time is fast, visitors view more pages. With W3 Total Cache, you can enhance the user experience for your browsers without having to modify WordPress, your plugins, your theme or how you create your content.

5. All In One WP Security & Firewall

The security of your website is heavily taken into consideration by search engines. The most unfortunate kind of user experience would be one which ends in a malware or other form of a virus. In which case, search engines will rank you lower, or not show your website at all in their listings.

The purpose of the All In One WP Security & Firewall is to prevent this from occurring and put your website safe from hackers and spammers. To help you boost your security measures, invest in an SSL certificate.

Conclusion

Search engine optimization or SEO is a way to optimize your website so that search engines will understand it better and give you higher rankings. Nevertheless, a website with good content can do well with or without SEO. So if you try to SEO a website with poor content, your chances of succeeding are low.

Site speed and security is one of the many important factors in search rankings. Fast loading and virus-free sites can easily outrank slower and virus-filled websites. While you are spending a lot of time improving your content strategy, give some of that time to improve your security and site speed.

 

The post 5 WordPress Plugins to Turn Your Website Into an SEO Powerhouse appeared first on Creativ Digital.

Steps to Build Effective Social Media Marketing Strategy

 

Innovation is flying like a rocket. Being a business entrepreneur, you need to keep pace with it. Certainly, it is not new for you to strategize for social media marketing. But, you have to think something different to remain in the competition. The first question appears in your mind is how?

 

The best answer is whatever step you take on social media, connect it with your social media marketing plan. Link everything including comment, post, like and reply to your strategy. At the initial stage, you will find it a bit complicated. But, if you make a strategy for each social media effort and follow it correctly, success is yours. In this post, we will discuss correct steps to build the best social media marketing strategy. Here they go-

 

Build Your Goals And Objectives

 

Social media marketing strategy becomes simpler with clear goals and objectives. With clear goals in mind, you can avail the best social media ROI. For desired results, you should align your social media plan with your business objectives. You must not limit yourself to likes and tweets. To avail better results, consider web referrals, total leads generated, and conversion rate. Ensure that you create each goal which is relevant, precise, measurable, achievable and time-oriented.

 

Conduct Deep Research On Social Media Audience

 

Around 80% adults use Facebook. But, you need to think that does your potential customers use this channel that much? It is crucial to learn important things regarding your potential customers. This may include their age group, their list of preferred products or services, and the channel they use the most. Categorize your audience into groups. Find out which age group is the toughest to persuade.

 

Now, it is time to explore the demographics of your best social media channels. Like we made this clear that you must follow a set goal for the success of this strategy. Once you are clear about our goal and audience, you can easily correlate your goals and audience.

 

Recognize Prime Success Metrics

 

By this time, you are done with your goal setting and audience research. You should start working on prime success metrics to assess their potency. It is good to rely on easy to understand metrics. Straightforward metrics are the best to trace the success of social media marketing strategy. The key metrics include-

  • Audience Reach
  • Leads
  • Customers’ sentiments
  • Traffic generated via referrals
  • Community engagement and growth

Being a business person, you should keep it in mind that each success metrics is not meant for your marketing plan. You need to pick those that have something to do with your business.

 

Focus On Creating and Curating Content

 

If you create and curate content, then the half battle is won. You should draft the content strategically. It is a winning plan to build the following kind of content-

  • Useful and entertaining content always grabs attention as it acts like a problem solver.
  • Information on contests, giveaways, and freebies.
  • Content containing step-by-step guidance as it spread awareness.
  • Promotions and coupons always get attention.
  • The last step while curating and creating content is to make it audience-specific.

Perform Keyword Research

 

In the previous step, you learned to create and curate content. But, robust keyword research will make it more valuable. All potential followers will be yours if you induce specified keywords and hone your content. You can look for the best terms on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media network. Apart from this, you can also rely on a powerful social researching tool. Whichever tool you adopt, it must provide your content enough weight to fulfill specific demands of customers.

 

Execute Analysis and Optimization

 

It is time to assess and optimize your strategy of social media marketing. Rewind the performance of key success metrics we discussed above. If you got results of major metrics, your way is clear toward the analysis and optimization. Sprout social and Buffer are nice tools to evaluate your marketing activities. After this, you can assess key metrics against the KPIs.

 

Conclusion

 

The team from Webby Central hope that your fear regarding the success of your social media marketing plan must have lessened. You just need to follow all these steps honestly and reap the desired results. Thus, sketch a perfect plan and your burden will vanish. Best of luck in advance!

 

The Steps to Build Effective Social Media Marketing Strategy appeared first on Creativ Digital.

Understanding the Basics Before Hiring A Web Designer

 


Owners of businesses experience a continuous learning curve with the technology in our world today. It is usually not enough to only a business leader, having a good understanding regarding the landscape of social media that is surrounding the ever-growing opportunities – to be able to reach out and attract new clients – are now considered to be more important than ever before. It now appears that you are now required to jump on board this trend or else you will be left out.

With that in mind, it is best to know the extents that you should go to understand and learn more about the technology that is building your website when it comes to web presence. Unfortunately, most business owners are confused and are not familiar with the technologies that are used on their websites.

It is important that you understand the basics so that you will know exactly what you want when you are planning to invest in the re-development of the website of your business in the future.

The Basic Processes in Building A Website

Building a new website requires a lot of processes. You should at least have an idea about them so that you will be able to work with your designer during the process of developing your website. It will be a huge advantage on your part if you will be able to let your designer know what your vision for your website is.

Listed below are the processes that are involved when building a website.

1. Wireframe

A wireframe is a blank canvas that is laying out boxes to indicate where you would want the various content and images on your website to appear. The layout is essential as this will dictate the progress of the development.

2. Design

The Photoshop (PSD) design does not only involve where the punchy images will go as it will also include designs for text colour, font, link colours, background colours, layout, and heading styles and sizes.

It is also best to note that the same layout will not be applied to all of the pages of your website. For example, the design of your homepage will always be different from the pages that are intended for the content. Therefore, different layouts will be required for every page.

3. UX (User Experience)

In the web world of today, one of the most crucial aspects of web design is designing a website or a webpage from the point of view of the user. You must make sure that your design is clean and easy to read. Navigation must also be easy on your website. Most of all, you must ensure that your website will deliver an excellent user experience. You would want people to come back and re-visit your website and recommend your site to other people. That is why user experience is considered as the most important aspect of web design.

4. Platform

The software that is utilised for the development of your website is called the “platform.” Platforms are used to make it easier for the owners to update the content on their websites by themselves instead of being required to ask for the assistance of their web designer every time they have to change or add something to their websites.

Various “open source” platforms are available for use. An open source is when software has been developed by a community of developers. It is available to download for free to the server that will host the website. Drupal, Magento, Joomla, and WordPress are some of the most well-known platforms that are used by the majority of web designers.

5. Development
After creating a wireframe and reaching an agreement on the design, you can now proceed to have your website be converted to a real and live site. This process will involve development work such as CSS, Java, and PHP, HTML 5 – the language that the programmers develop code in to make your website deliver the things that you want and look the way that you want it to appear. However, some bugs that are needed to be fixed can be discovered from time to time despite the skills and expertise that are required from your developer in building your website. This process usually takes some time.

The development must be tested after it has been completed. It is important that your website will be able to work across all the browsers. Your website must also be viewable on mobile devices. You and your developer must make sure that you have checked off all of these prior to agreeing that your site is already ready to go live.

6. Value for money

When you ask for a quotation for your new website, and the quote may be higher than you thought, they must be a good reason for the price. You must follow due diligence and ask for at least three (3) quotes from different web design companies so that you can compare their prices. However, you must make sure to get a quotation for packages that are “like for like” so you can have a better comparison between the quotations.

You will likely discover that web companies may have different approached and use different software which may make it difficult to compare one package against the other. However, it would be easier for you to make that decision if you understand and know what you require for your website.

Nowadays, websites are considered to be important for companies especially when it comes to marketing. That is why you must make sure that your website will be beneficial for your company and will give present your company and its products and/or services in the best way possible. Being able to know and understand the basics of the design of the website of your company will help you do just that as it will make it easier for you to propose some improvements on your website. It will also be easier for you and your web designer to come up with the best possible website that is aligned with your vision for the site.

The post Understanding the Basics Before Hiring A Web Designer appeared first on Creativ Digital.

 

Top Reasons Why An SEO Audit is Needed For Your Website

 
People, especially site developers, are aware of the value of search engine optimization practices. It is an important tool and practice that drives their websites to the top of the results pages of search engines and generates their all-important leads which result in profitable customers consequently coming to use. However, just like all the things in life, you should always invest invest money and time so that you can make things better. Through the continuous streamlining and optimizing of your implemented SEO practices, you can make sure that your site is running its full potential, maximizing your opportunities for huge volumes of web traffic which results in a rise in the number of leads and profitable customers that is received by your business.
 
Introduction to SEO Audits
 
An SEO Audit examines a website and identifies the weaknesses of a particular site. An SEO audit is not just about the aesthetics since a website is much more than a wonderful combination of graphics and colours. An SEO audit takes the whole of the website into account.
Most SEO Audits look at:
  1. Overall keyword strategy
  2. On-site optimisation
  3. Website user flow
  4. Content strategy
  5. Backlink profiles
  6. Analytics
An SEO Audit offers an overview regarding the health of your website when it comes to SEO. You should also receive various actionable points according to the strategy, which either you or the agency must implement.
 
An SEO audit can serve as the initial point of call for establishing an SEO strategy (if you do not have one already). However, if you already have an SEO strategy, it will serve as a valuable second opinion that might flag up the critical issues that you have with your existing strategy.
 
A professional SEO audit will provide you with everything that you must know regarding the current condition of your website and its current ranking on the search engines. This will give you all the information that you need to improve your website to make your site the best that it can be.
 
Even though an audit is renowned for being a bad thing such as IRS or tax audits, an SEO audit is an important tool that should be used by your business on a regular basis since the results of the audit will benefit your business positively.

Reasons Why Your Website Needs an SEO Audit

Are you still not convinced regarding how an SEO audit will be beneficial for your website? Listed below are some of the top reasons why you would need one.

1. You should invest in the well-being of your website

Availing an SEO audit for your website is a lot like taking your website for a routine check-up at the doctor. The audit will compare the condition of your website to the benchmarks that are established by the online industry including Google. The results of the audit will be able to notify you of the problems that are experienced by your site as well as a detailed analysis of the statistics of your website. The statistics can include data such as your bounce rates; the time that your visitors have spent on the pages of your website and the effectiveness of the referral plans that you are running and managing currently.
 
This kind of general overview and analysis of your website will be able to examine various areas as well as fundamental SEO aspects such as your links, citations, your sitemap, the data that is provided on your social networking accounts, and how effectively your website is linked internally. An SEO audit will also be able to notify you if ever your website has some ‘red flags’. The ‘red flags’ will include the possible penalties that Google can impose on websites for poor content, therefore causing harm to your website’s overall search engine ranking.
 
You should also remember that search engines are modifying their requirements and guidelines for good SEO practices constantly. If you are focused on operating and improving your business, you can miss the said updates, or you may simply not have the time to study the current guidelines, which is why it is important that you bring in the services of a professional expert on SEO.
 
With the information provided by the professionals, it will be easier to identify the weaker areas of your SEO practice, thus allowing you to correct them to introduce improvements to your website.

2. SEO Audits Reveal The Technical Issues of Your Website

An SEO audit helps in identifying some technical SEO issues. Listed below are some of the elements that are identified by an audit:
  1. Website Speed: This refers to the time that it takes your site to load a page. Google considers the load speed of your website. This is because Google puts UX as its top priority over all other things. Typically, a faster-loading website implies a better user experience. If your website takes a longer time to load, your users are likely to bounce. Your website may have the greatest content on your website, but it will be pointless if the visitors of your site already closed your page at 5 seconds.
     
  2. 404 Errors, 301 Redirects, and 302 Redirects: These kinds of redirects should always be minimal, and the 404 errors must not be existing on your website. Redirect can contribute to a slower experience for the users while 404 errors appear to be roadblocks for the users. You must resolve these kinds of issues so that you will be able to present a remarkable experience for your site visitors.
     
  3. Site URL Structure & Architecture: Your website should make use of subfolders to establish excellent site architecture. The URLs on your website should also be brief and descriptive.
     
  4. Crawlability: This is how a particular search engine will be able to crawl to your website easily. You can be assured of good crawlability by having a dynamic sitemap, correctly making use of robots.txt file and rel=noindex tags.

3. An SEO Audit Identifies the On-Page Issues Issues of Your Website

The changes that you can apply on the content of your website easily are called On-page SEO. These are the simple changes that you can execute to improve your SEO.
The following element will be covered by a good SEO audit:
  1. Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions: The Meta Titles of your website must be 35-70 characters only. It should incorporate the keywords that are found on your website. On the other hand, Meta Descriptions must always have less than 160 characters.  It should include the keyword, and also a CTA, if appropriate.
  2. Headers: Headers a much like the headlines in a newspaper. The headline that has the biggest font will inform the visitors the most regarding the content of the newspaper.
  3. Content: The content of your website is always the most important aspect of your page. With regards to SEO, you must make sure that the content of your website is keyword-centred. However, you must remember not to overstuff the content with the keywords as you will be penalised for it.
  4. Internal Linking: It will help the visitors of your website to navigate your website better if your site has internal links.

4. Competition is Identified by An SEO Audit

Attempting to establish your online presence without studying the websites of your competition is just like aiming to build the world’s tallest skyscraper but not having an idea about the height of the other skyscrapers. Though it is vital that you know your competition, it is still not considered to be enough. You must also know what the competition is doing. An excellent SEO audit will be able to distinguish the competition, know their strategies, and devise a plan to create a taller skyscraper.

5. Your Backlinks are Identified by An SEO Audit

Last year, backlinks continued to be considered as a significant part of the algorithm of Google, and we do not see that it will be changed anytime soon. Typically, the trend is that the rank of your website will be better if you have more notable links to remarkable content. Some of the things that are identified by an excellent SEO audit includes:
  • The number of backlinks that are on your website
  • Spammy backlinks on your website
  • The number of backlinks that are on the website of your competition
One thing that you must remember is that you must never spend on backlinks. You must concentrate on writing great content that is shareable and resourceful. The backlinks must always come naturally.

6. SEO Audits Identifies Your Visitor Count

You may learn that the number of people that are visiting your website is decreasing. This happens because search engines make constant updates to their algorithms to look for new and effective ways to list websites. If you have failed to update your website for quite some time or if you are not making use of effective SEO methods, search engines can kick you down the results page of the search engine proactively.
Lower visitor count is a very obvious sign that your SEO methods are not good enough. SEO audits will be able to identify the errors that are causing the problem, allowing you to correct or improve them.

7. An SEO Audit Will Help You Establish A Content Strategy

After receiving all of the data from the reasons that were enumerated from 1-6, you must utilise the data to establish strategies for your content. You must use these strategies for the development and improvement of your website. If you are being out-ranked because of your keywords, you must examine your competition, improve your content, optimise the meta titles and descriptions of your website, and identify where you will be able to earn some gains in your backlinks. A good SEO audit will help you in staying focus on your content strategy.

Conclusion

If you have been operating your website for years, or have just recently launched your online business, an SEO audit is necessary so that you can improve the online presence of your website. By investing in SEO audits sooner, you can start to address the issues that your website have immediately thus, allowing you to observe more positive results earlier.
 
 
 
 
 

Planning A Successful Intranet Project

 
Developing an Intranet or redeveloping one that is already existing can be a difficult process. It is a project that requires consistent and well-planned approaches.
 
It does not matter how small or big the project is. A project plan that is carefully constructed can make or break the success of the project that you are working on and its potential to be delivered within budget and on time.

What Is An Intranet?

An intranet is a helpful tool to facilitate the communication among the employees at all of the levels of the company and to promote and develop collaboration and teamwork in the workplace.

Creating a Successful Intranet Project

When you have been tasked to develop an intranet project, you must have been too excited to work on your project that you have instantly visualised a solution that will enable you to easily create an interactive intranet. However, when you tried to start working on your solution for the very first time, you realise that you have no idea regarding web-design. You also realise that you know nothing about where and how to start the project.

What are the Steps in Planning a Succesful Intranet Project?

One thing that you must keep in mind is that you do not need to be a highly-skilled graphic designer so you could able to develop a good intranet. The first thing that you must remember is that your intranet should not be identical to your external website since the external site is built for the existing and potential customers and partners of the firm whereas the users of the intranet are the employees of the company.
 
This article will help you learn the steps and the element in planning and working on a successful intranet project.

1. Set Up a Goal

Before choosing the colours and fonts and thinking of all the exciting parts for the visual appearance of your intranet, you must first go through the vision, mission, and goals of the project.
 
The first thing that you must do is to determine the goals of your project. Some usual reasons for developing a new Intranet includes:
  • Providing and improving a tool for collaboration and communication
  • The existing Intranet of the company is already old, out-of-date and dysfunctional
  • Providing self-service and up-to-date staff contact information
  • Distributing corporate news via electronic newsletter
  • Making the policies and procedures of the company available online
  • Sharing company documents online rather than making use of shared drives
  • Enabling employees to to have access to work files from their homes
  • Better and simpler way of looking for important documents
The principal focus of your intranet project should first and foremost be on providing the employees with an easy and quick access to the tools and information that will help them perform their tasks. Begin with establishing a content plan that will include the kinds of information that should be seen on your intranet. Consider having the creators of the content and the people who will be responsible for updating the content of your intranet involved in the project early on so they will have a better understanding on what is demanded from them.

2. Determine the Scope and the Audience of Your Project

Some of the things that you must consider in determining the scope and the audience of your project include:
  • Will the intranet be used exclusively by the staff or will it also be available for the contractors and partners?
  • Will you enable the employees to have access to your intranet even when they are at home or at a site visit with your client?
  • Will you allow mobile access?

3. Create a Site Map

You can use various tools such as Visio to build a sitemap. You can even make use of hand-drawn drafts to create a sitemap. The main branch is typically represented by each department.

4. Determine the Key Application That You Would Want to Use

You must also determine the type of main applications that you would like to use on your intranet. Some applications include those that will support matters such as news and blogs, documents, a shared company calendar, a database of corporate images, online policies and procedures, personnel database.

5. Establish Permissions

An intranet should always have a strong permission system. It will also help in easily distributing information. You may also want to include an area where people in a certain department can create or edit specific content while the other employees can just view it.
 
These restrictions can be easily done by establishing permission such as Group, Sub-Groups, and Roles.
 
The Organisational Chart of the company will be helpful in making this task easier.

6. Decide on the Look of Your Homepage

The homepage will be the first page that everyone will be able to see. It will be worth the extra effort to carefully design this page as it will serve as the gateway to all the other information and content that is available on your Intranet. You can easily look at the homepages of other sites for inspiration so you can decide on how you would want the homepage to appear. However, you must remember that it is best to keep your homepage simple and clean.
 
You can also feature a navigation menu where you present the content of your intranet the employees in various ways. You can present them alphabetically or by subject. The best way to present the information will depend on the target audience of your intranet. You must remember to name the sections of your intranet with explicit headlines that will help the employees look for the right content easily. You can also opt for an intranet solution that will offer an advanced search function to make the navigation easier.

7. Consider Your Budget and Resources

You must determine the number of the users of your internet. Most vendors of Intranet software usually price their products by the number of the users.
 
You must also determine the provider of your software and your internal project team. A project sponsor, a project manager, a technical support contact, and a representative from the marketing or communications division can comprise your team. However, smaller companies may have fewer people involved in the project.

8.Establish Your Timeline

You must carefully plan your timeline as every company is different. Some significant points to consider that may cause some delays include:
  • Looking for the source of the hardware
  • Obtaining access throught the office network
  • Finalising your design
  • Updating the list of users
  • Content population
  • Content migration.

9. Determine Future Plans

Numerous intranet projects lose their momentum following the initial launch phase. You must remember that a successful intranet is something that develops over time. You must start with a simple project and gradually add new features. You must also learn from the feedback of the users and implement the requests of the users wherever feasible.
 
Small improvements can make a big difference. You must keep the original team, and you must regularly meet with them for reviews of the project and brainstorming of some new ideas.

10. Start As Soon As Possible

The most important step is implementing all your plans. You must immediately start on the project and prepare for the adoption of the company of your intranet.
 
You must also be prepared to train the content authors, managers, and owners of the company. You must also set some standard and guidelines and determine a process of decision making for changes and improvement to your intranet project. It will also help to determine the central team that will manage some aspects of the site.

Important Points to Consider

In developing creating an Intranet Project, you must remember the end user of your project. You must always keep in mind that the people who will be using it are employees that have varying degrees of skill when it comes to the use of technology. The best possible way to overcome this concern is to keep your project simple and consider usability and ease of navigation.
 
Once the intranet is in place, you must continuously obtain feedback from its users and make continuous improvements to it accordingly.
 
 

7 Tips for Creating High-Quality Web Design

 

 

People who are working in the world design for quite some time might often hear the phrase “Pixel Perfect Web Design.” Those that cater to web agencies and clients of the smart web work hard to accomplish the expression that has shunned each and every designer.

 

This guide will tell you about the things that you need to know about pixel perfect design and how you can create them.

 

Pixel Perfect Design

Pixel perfect is a process where the designer considers every element of your design, down to its individual pixels. It is different from designing stuff that has compression artefacts and is primarily dependent on the setting.

 

Once a Photoshop file is provided to you, for example, you should use your skills in HTML/CSS to ensure that every part of your work is equivalent to what it is in PSD.

 

Pixel perfect designs make sure that every pixel is rendered meticulous attention to ensure that your design receives the sharper appearance instead of a sloppy one. Everything must look sharp, clean, and intentional. It ensures that each of the 72 pixels that make up every inch of the design is perfect and in harmony. In short, with pixel perfect web design, measurements, additions, and multiplications are everything.

 

A change of even half a pixel will stop the design from being pixel perfect. Minimal flaws in appearance, including colour differences, blurred edges, and objects that “jump” in position between pages undermine the image the user will have on your brand.

 

Clients think that Pixel Perfect is a process to have similar appearances of your design in all browsers. For the majority, it is all about maintaining a certain kind of perfection.

 

Can You Achieve Pixel Perfect Web Designs?

A developer or designer will inform you that the easiest and best possible way to produce pixel perfect designs is to directly post the image from Photoshop and ignore CSS and HTML. The idea would be more suitable for education rather than accomplishing the design through practical situations.

 

Pixel perfect designs appear as a flawless masterpiece while you are in and out of the Photoshop. However, as you continue with your coding, problems will start to arise. The problems with several browsers that differently interpret the same code and inconsistency in viewport sizes also do not do justice to the concept of pixel perfect designs. Similarly, you cannot foretell the desktop size that is used by people as some may be making use of conventional desktops while the majority are using laptops.

 

You cannot predict the viewport of the readers which may also create problems. The concerns can be corrected with a design that is responsive, but your desired design may appear out of the picture. Pixel perfect web design is not about achieving 100 percent pixel-perfect, it is more about having your design as close to 100 percent pixel perfect.

Achieving High-Quality Web Designs

Listed below are seven tutorials that you can check out to assist you in working through your journey of achieving high-quality, pixel perfect web design.

1. Pixel Hunting

The strategy from the Go Tree House team will amaze you. It shows the method of removing unwanted anti-aliasing and producing perfect pixel alignments. The process is reasonably one of the most important elements that you should study and include to your own skill set.

2. Pixel Fitting

Dustin Curtis also offers a useful guide that tackles the technique called as “Pixel Fitting.” It is utilised to enhance vectors in Photoshop.

The method considers the practical use of vector graphics and microscopic control of Photoshop to avoid flaws produced by anti-aliasing. It is achieved by porting enhance vector graphics from Illustrator to Photoshop.

3. Pixel Perfect Techniques

When looking for maximum accuracy via Illustrator and Photoshop, consider checking tutorials from the guys at Medialoot. It shows an in-depth tutorial on six important techniques that use Photoshop in their first tutorial. It also shows an article that outlines methods and options for the design while making use of illustrator.

4. Pixel Depth

Pixel Depth is a tutorial that will train you to add some depth to designs. It will show everything that you need to learn about depth of design – from strategies to effectively using contrast to mixing light and dark pixel thing lights.

5. Pixel Perfection for the Web

Alex Scian, a freelance web designer, shows a tutorial on pixel perfect optimisation for the web. It is one of the few in-depth tutorials that tackles pixel perfect design for the web that is available since the majority of the people do not even try, going for responsive designs instead.

6. Pixel Rotation and Nudging

This tutorial from the people at Smashing Magazine offers a useful compilation of advanced techniques utilised to manipulate the elements of pixel-perfect designs without breaking them up in the process. With their tips, you will be able to avoid having to redo everything whenever you need to edit a design that is already completed, thus saving you time and money as well.

7. Pixel Art

Pixel Art is the earliest and the most traditional practice of producing the pixel perfect design. It is even older compared to the web, and it originates from video games. It is considered as the toughest applications of perfect-pixel design as it is hand-crafted from scratch and without the use of any vectors or shortcuts.

 

Important Point to Considers

Pixel perfect web design is not about achieving a design that is 100% perfect. It is more about getting it closer to perfection and meeting the requirements of your client.

 

It is basically a vision that disturbs the sleep of developers and designers. Learning to achieve the aspired design will take time, however, by studying the above-mentioned tutorials, constant practice, and perfectly executing the techniques, you too will be able to achieve pixel-perfect web designs.

 

The post 7 Tips for Creating High-Quality Web Design appeared first on Creativ Digital.

Gutenberg and WordPress: All You Need to Know

 

 

The biggest WordPress core update is coming this April 2018. It promises to make significant changes to the old system being used right now by WordPress users. Will the update affect your website? Well, not entirely. But it will change the way you interact with the CMS for the better.

 

The newest editing experience you will encounter with WordPress this year is called Gutenberg. Although not yet available at the moment, it’s important to be prepared for this coming change. How every WordPress user will adapt to this change is entirely dependent on their skills.

Is the update mandatory?

Gutenberg will be incorporated directly into the CMS’ system, which means that there is no way you can avoid the changes. But there is nothing to fret as a plugin developed by a WordPress core developer has your back. The plugin, called Classic Editor, promises to turn off Gutenberg for every WordPress user who doesn’t like the update.

What should you do before the update?

Before updating to WordPress 5.0, back up your entire website. This core update is irreversible, and therefore any incompatibility issues with any of your plugins or your theme are forever. Prepare to talk to your developer so you can identify which of your plugins are most likely to be affected and how your website can adapt to the change.

 

Once done, you can install Gutenberg on your website so you can get used to it. And if you’re ready, the update will be flawless and beneficial to you.

What’s so good about Gutenberg?

With Gutenberg’s clean interface, you get more screen space that provides a less distracting experience. One of the best features of Gutenberg is the new alignment options for images which is a step forward for large-screen users. With the update, you can now use WordPress on mobile with ease.

 

New users of the CMS will benefit from this update too because Gutenberg is very user-friendly for beginners. For plugin and theme developers, the ability to create their own custom blocks will provide them with the necessary tools to do such things easily.

 

With today’s post-lock feature, writers are prevented from overwriting each other. With Gutenberg, multiple writers can now work on the same draft at the same time.

 

What do you think of Gutenberg? Do you think the pros outweigh the cons of this update? Let us know in the comments.

 

Top PHP Web Design Trends for Developers to Keep in Mind for 2018

 

The objective of this article is to assess which ten things are deemed as the most important factors by the top web developers when it comes to making web applications using PHP. As we know, technology is changing day by day, and it is crucial for the developers to stay competitive to succeed in the race. All these points are compiled by discussing with the top developers in the community for the PHP developers to make instant use of.

1) Convert to OOP

If you have not yet started working on Object-Oriented Programming, it is a significant flaw of the times, and you are surely falling behind. OOP is a programming strategy which uses objects and classes which tie things together and eradicate the need for repeating codes. It ultimately speeds up the development process and makes product simpler. Objects are essential classes which gather a bunch of functions and wrap them to be reused at various other places during programming for similar requirements.

The working principle of procedural programming is to follow a routine from top to bottom of every page as server reads each file. In case of OOP, there can be only one or two objects getting instantiated over hundreds or thousands of objects which may perform specific tasks based on the variables passed objects. OOP is much simpler, faster, and easier to debug also. Moreover, it uses only fewer server resource, less code, and fast loading.

2) Avoid anything ends with _once()

As developers know, include() will give us a warning when it fails whereas require() may kill the script if there is a fatal error on failing. What we should keep in mind is that require_once() and include_once() acts extremely hard on the server resources. That is how PHP works, and we do not have much to do about it. One should keep in mind that these may kill the server resource on huge frameworks especially. If you plan your codes, then there is no need for it.

3) Keep error reporting on

That is the very first thing you should do while starting a new project. Turn on the error reporting to the E_ALL. You have to deactivate it only a few seconds before changing to the production mode. It is good to run a projection if production mode and not having errors. As per Tayloright experts, with error reporting on, you can also pick up even the little mistakes which will eventually grow up to break your application altogether.

4) Use appropriate frameworks when needed

There may be a few expert developers saying that you must not use any framework as it might make it slower than generic PHP codes. However, this is not always true. Frameworks may sometimes help you to achieve tedious tasks in a moment, Frameworks function at first to make things simpler, but that is the only trade-off; however, there is no chance of you writing a bad code while someone else had already done it and tested.

5) Use the inbuilt PHP function

To count the keys in an array, you can loop through it and just a value in each iteration. Alternatively, you can also use the inbuilt PHP function “count(),” which can efficiently do what it is intended to do. There are a lot of inbuilt features in PHP which can do what you want them to. So, it is advisable even for the expert PHP developers to go through the manual and ensure that you are adopting the best possible way.

6) Protect the database

A database is an essential resource for other business resources at this age. The safest possible way to protect database is to use the ‘mysql_real_escape_string()’ before databases getting added. It is a function that makes the strings safe from the quotes or other functions which may harm your database. Using it will be the first step in terms of protecting the data.

Another thing you can do parallel to it is to validate every GET and POST strings and also avoid using the $_REQUEST. It is advisable to thing sure that all the data through form submission is of the right type.

7) Use POST and not GET

It may not always be possible, but when it is not necessary, instead of using GET, you can use POST. The objective is simple since GET is easy to emulate, and all you need to do is add something to the address bar to hack the project. GET is identified as the easiest way to pagination, by during submission, it is safer to use POST.

8) Design before you code

The ideal practice is to wireframe the projects even if you are doing only minimal tasks. It is okay just to scribble some notes on a piece of paper to draw it out, but this is important to give you precise thought about what you are going to do before sitting for coding. In the process of custom planning, you will be able to identify and iron out the possible difficulties which you may otherwise come face to face while at work.

In fact, you cannot become a good developer just by reading. You cannot also become a successful developer by just seeing someone else doing coding. The only tested method to become a seasoned coder is to write code. So, make use of these tips and build real things to know how it works the best for you.

Author bio: Maria Jones is a successful web developer who was into PHP from its initial phase onwards. She used to write blogs at Tayloright about the latest updated in web development, especially in light of the changing trends in PHP development.

 

The post Top PHP Web Design Trends for Developers to Keep in Mind for 2018 appeared first on Creativ Digital.

 

 

5 SEO Tasks to Cross Off Your Checklist for 2018

With every new year comes a new set of trends and tasks that you have to check off your list to make sure that your site stays on top this 2018. Good news is, we're not talking about trends you've never even heard of. A lot of what's likely to get big in 2018 is also derived from the changes and updates that happened in 2017. Suffice it to say, this new year combines tried and tested SEO tactics that you have to reinforce, alongside new trends that are sure to come up this year. And to help you reflect on what to prepare for, we've compiled 5 of the most actionable SEO tasks to cross off your checklist for 2018. 1. Optimisation for Mobile Devices The rise of mobile search has steadily been on the rise over the years, and 2018 is the year that we will officially see Google implementing a mobile-first indexing. So what does this mean? According to Google, they "will create and rank its search listings based on the mobile version of content, even for listings that are shown to desktop users." This just means that as a developer and site owner, you now have to pay so much more attention to how the mobile version of your site is crafted. It's not enough to sit back and relax, thinking that you have a working mobile version of the site. It has to provide a seamless user experience. Best way to go about it is to have a website audit done on your mobile site to know points for improvement in terms of speed, layout, design, user experience, and so on. 2. Local Search Rankings Both on-site and off-site optimisation for local searches have become more relevant than ever. In order to ensure that your site doesn't fall out of the game, you have to constantly work on improving your local search optimisation. Not only should you monitor your site's activities and analytics, but tracking that of your competitors should also be on your checklist. Knowing how customers are finding your site or the site of your competitors would work wonders in winning the local rankings game. 3. Voice Search Optimisation Did you know that about 55% of teens and 40% of adults use voice search daily? Those numbers are straight from Google's reports and it could only mean that voice search may as well be the future of SEO. But while this may be the prediction of many experts, it's not something that you should be wary of. Take note that what sets voice search apart from your regular search engine optimisation is the format of keywords used. Those who use voice search use normal and conversational questions, as opposed to oddly structured phrases that's the norm for SEO keywords. Start looking for most commonly asked questions or sentences in relation to your main keywords and go from there. 4. Keyword Grouping Nowadays it's not enough to simply rely on a set of main keywords. What's become more effective is the intelligent use of primary, secondary, and other related keywords-also known as keyword clusters or groups. Having these related keywords present in your text content helps prove to Google that your content is actually relevant to searchers' queries. There are keyword grouping tools that you can use, or you can do it manually, as tedious as that may sound. You'll be surprised at how well it pays off in the end, especially in proving your site's relevance in search engine results. 5. Improve Site Speed Are you even surprised that site speed has become even more necessary this year? Your site's speed is not just an important ranking signal, it's also a major UX factor, which of course impacts rankings as well. To give you an idea of what your standards of site speed should be, Google expects your pages to load in under 3 seconds. Just three seconds. If you're not up to par with that, first thing you should do is to know your site's speed using Google's page speed test. You can check on individual pages there and identify problem areas that you should fix as soon as possible. Conclusion The new year is a chance for you to revisit your SEO strategies to see what's been working, what's lacking, and what you can improve on. At the same time, you have to be aware of the updates that are coming your way, so you can prepare for it ahead of your competitors. If you feel overwhelmed, you can start with these 5 SEO tasks we've provided and go on from there. Awareness is half the battle and since you're already in the know, consider it as a small victory! Of course, just make sure to follow through in executing these tasks and strategies to win over the SEO game this 2018. The post 5 SEO Tasks to Cross Off Your Checklist for 2018 appeared first on Creativ Digital.

5 Effective Ways to Get Backlinks From Social Profiles

Getting backlinks is an effective SEO strategy for your site to gain more foot traffic. Of course, it can be very tricky and tedious and you have to maintain your integrity by sticking to White Hat practices only. One of the ways to get more links is by making use of your social profiles. But the thing is, social profile linking has garnered a bad rep for being somewhat spammy and shady. This is due to using random profiles, some of which may not even be real. But even if this is the case, it doesn't mean you can't do it in an authentic and legitimate manner. Here are 5 effective and very doable ways in which you can garner more links using different social profiles. 1. Forum Profiles Community forums such as Reddit and Quora make for a great opportunity not just to increase your backlinks, but to also connect with highly technical and authoritative people online. If you're heavily involved in a certain niche industry, forums may be the way to go to establish connections with relevant people. You can comment and answer tons of questions and even start discussions with those who are also within your niche. Of course, just make sure that you provide substantial information. You can start with answering some minor questions, completing your profile, and keeping active before proceeding to share your own valuable content. 2. LinkedIn Profile Sharing valuable information on LinkedIn can also prove to be beneficial for getting more links. Compared to Facebook and other social media platforms, you have a higher chance of reaching out to the right people through LinkedIn, especially if you belong to a technical or niche field. Make sure to have your LinkedIn profile complete and looking professional so as to increase your credibility in sharing content. You can also connect with other professionals outside of your work or industry, who may find the information you're sharing to be of value to them. If you're handling your company's LinkedIn profile, you can setup a posting schedule for various content pieces. You may even ask your superior or the executive in your office if you can publish the posts through their profiles to increase chances of click-throughs given the credibility their profiles have. 3. Profile of an Executive Speaking of executives, there's so much you can do once you've gained access to an executive's profile in terms of networking and getting links. Simply put, a profile of an executive holds more credibility and earns more trust than that of a general company profile. An exec's profile (e.g. CEO, CMO, Manager, etc) puts a more humane approach in networking and anyone who would connect with them would feel more privileged, therefore trust is built more easily. Any outreach message or shared content done using an executive's profile would stand out in a sea of various messages and posts on social networking sites. It goes without saying that this should be done with the executive still involved in the process. Of course, it wouldn't bode well for the exec or for the company should there be a direct dialogue with the exec without him/her knowing about what was shared through his profile. 4. Facebook Profile & Ads Even with a small amount, you can readily boost your post and target it towards the right audience in Facebook. The key in getting the most out of this technique is to have a more narrowed down and concise targeting. Even with less ad spend, you'll have higher chances of garnering more interest with the quality of your targeted audience. As with any other form of content, make sure that the post you boost and promote provides substantial and useful information. You'll be surprised with how far its reach can be, since the audience themselves may even share and repost it to their own networks. 5. Connect With Social Media Profiles of Authorities Be it Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or even Snapchat, you can easily build rapport and genuine connection with authorities in different fields through social media profiles. It's as simple as following or following back and making sure that you send out a genuine message to kick things off. You can show genuine admiration for the work they do or perhaps provide some insightful comment or opinion on a certain topic they featured or talked about. As you continue to build the relationship, you can even ask them to also promote the link to your site or post given that there is mutual trust established along the way. This method may take more time and effort but the results would be extremely beneficial, especially if you've managed to help one another in your respective ventures. Conclusion Surely, getting more links through social profiles isn't the quickest way to increase your backlinks but it's definitely one of the most rewarding given the authentic connection you're bound to build along the way. You're not just building connections but you're also establishing trust within the online community, which in return would also be beneficial in increasing your reach as they share your content to their own networks. Do remember that these connections are a two-way street, so also make sure to return the favor or take the initiative to also share and promote the work of others as well. The post 5 Effective Ways to Get Backlinks From Social Profiles appeared first on Creativ Digital.

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