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Mar

31st

Web Design

Creating a Website for Musicians

In the modern world, it is important that musicians have their own websites. That is, of course, if they seek that kind of exposure. It is perfectly fine if you want to try to get your music out there through different means, but having a website is an advantage you shouldn’t pass on. And it doesn’t even cost that much to make one and run if you think about it. Of course, if you want to spend a lot of money, there are ways to do that, but a good website can be made for the cost of a few hundred dollars, and even less if you are skilled in making them.

There are basically two things your website needs to do, and that is make you money, and spread the word of your music to the masses and make you new fans. And that’s it. Nothing more, nothing less, and your website is doing exactly what it is supposed to do.

And there’s a tried and tested way in getting yourself in the right position for those things to happen.

You need to get a domain name

Probably the easiest and simplest way of registering your domain name is through GoDaddy. There are a few things you should mind. Think about not having any slashes or underscores when registering your domain name, it would be best to go for a simple (dot)com. Also, getting a domain name which is a match to the URL on your social media platforms is a great move, because it will help your fans find all your stuff more easily.

You need to choose the build of your website

There are basically two main ways in which you can choose to build your website. You can either hire a professional to do it, or you can do it yourself. We suggest doing it yourself. Hiring a pro can do a lot for your website, but it most often costs a lot of money. Learning a bit and educating yourself, and then doing it yourself is a cheaper way, and you have more creative freedom.

Design your homepage

Your homepage is usually the first thing your visitors see, and it needs to be designed well. It needs to summarize your music and what you are all about. Keep it simple and neat, but attractive enough so visitors want to explore your website further when they land on it.

Blogging and musicians

By creating a blog, you are giving yourself a great way to connect and communicate with your fanbase, and it is one of the best ways of building your brand. It’s also a really good creative outlet.

Contact info

On a final note, you should think about leaving your contact info somewhere on your website so your fans can get in touch with you. An email would be great, so if someone wants to contact you, they can find a way on your website.

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Mar

23rd

Web Design

4 Types of Page Layouts

Choosing the layout of the website is important, and understanding the terms that are often used when talking about layouts is important for being able to make the right choice. Usually, these four types of page layouts are discussed.

Static Page Layout

This is a common page layout, and it is sometimes called fixed or fixed width layout. It is a page layout that uses a fixed, or permanent, width, and it is always 960 pixels, and that can never be changed. This layout is the traditional layout of the Internet, and web pages in the past were always 960 pixels wide.

Static layouts are not used that much today, because they can create create some problems depending on what device they are being viewed on.

Liquid Page Layout

The liquid page layout, which can also be called fluid, doesn’t use a fixed width, but uses relative units. Usually it is percentages or ems. Liquid layouts don’t require much thinking because they do the work themselves. But, there is one major issue in liquid page layouts. When you have screens that aren’t of standard size, maybe the screen is very wide, the page will become stretched out and everything will basically fall out of its place.

Adaptive Page Layout

The adaptive page layout is a layout that uses CSS media queries in order to find out what the width of the browser is, and then make the right changes in the layout width. Just like the static layout, the adaptive layout uses fixed units, but it is adaptive and will change the width of the page depending on the width of the browser.

Responsive Page Layout

The responsive page layout is great in a way because it uses both media queries and relative units, and basically has the best of both the liquid layout and adaptive layout. It is great at adapting to the changes in browsers, and is one great layout to choose for your website. The responsive page layout is most often used in websites targeted for mobile devices, because the greatest level of adaptation is needed there.

These four layouts are some of the most common types of page layouts used today. They are also the best ones, and it’s up to you to decide which one is best for your website.

Do you think a static layout will work best, or maybe an adaptive layout?

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Mar

14th

Web Design

Mobile Responsive Design

Mobile responsive design is a very useful thing. You have a website that responds to the size of the screen it is being viewed on, the website changes in such a way that it adapts to the size of the screen.

Basically, there are four main types of screens that mobile responsive design is aimed that. The mobile phone screen, the tablet screen, the laptop screen, and the desktop monitor. They are the most used screen sizes in the world.

It is important for several reasons, but essential, you as a web developer or website owner want your visitors to have the best possible experience. Mobile responsive design aids that greatly.

Two ways are generally stated to be the best things you can use to give your users a great experience on your website.

1. The layout of your website content should be optimized. Think of it like this. When somebody is browsing your website from a mobile phone, they are not working with a lot of screen surface. Modern phones are built to adapt to that, and the usually zoom out on their own, in a way where you can see the entire screen. This is a bit of a double edged sword. It can be good, and it can be bad. Users get a view of the entire page, but it can bother them when they are trying to read some piece of information which is in a really tiny corner somewhere. Optimizing the layout will save your visitors the trouble.

2. Adapting to the type of the screen is important, but it has another side that you might not be aware of. Here’s a little explanation, so you might better understand this. Picture this situation. Somebody is using a mobile phone to browse your website. They might be walking down the street, they might be out and about, and they probably don’t care that much how your website looks. What’s more likely is that they care about concrete information, for example, if you’re a restaurant, they might be looking at what your hours are. They might be looking where you’re located exactly, and they might be looking to make a reservation.

On the other hand, if somebody is sitting at home, at a desktop, chances are, they aren’t looking to eat at your restaurant this moment, and they might be caught with other things than just concrete information. They might be interested in how your website actually looks. That is where mobile responsive design comes into play. Adapt to the needs of your customers, and you’ll do a lot for your business.

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Mar

08th

Web Design

Typography in Web Design

The text is the core of your website. Without quality information and quality text, no matter how beautiful your website is, it won’t be great, and people won’t stick there too long. Of course, there are rules that you need to follow, and some of them can be found below. Typography can be a difficult subject, so you need to learn as much as you can about it.

5 Tips on Typography

1. You need to make sure that you read through the text yourself. This should be without thought. Besides the obvious reasons, reading a text before you integrate it into your website, you will get a better grasp of it and you will be able to better integrate your site.

2. Dummy texts should be gotten rid of as soon as you can. Linking to the previous point, text is the core and heart of your website, and if it isn’t real, if it is just a dummy text like Lorem Ipsum, it can’t even be compared to the real thing. People read texts on websites to get information they need, and what information can they get from a dummy text?

3. Typographic hierarchy is very important. When you enter a strong and popular website, there is a clear hierarchy that you can see. Usually, there is one big thing that catches your eye immediately, which is much bigger than the rest, and it shows clear hierarchy.

It is really important that people who enter the website have a sense of where to start and where to go. If the hierarchy is well developed, they will have no problems finding their way around the information on the website.

Hierarchy is not only about text, but text plays a major role in it, so you need to pay great attention to it.

4. Macro and micro typography hold great importance for your website. Speaking of macro typography, it is the general structure of the text, how the typing works with the design, and how it looks on it’s own.

On the other hand, micro typography deals with things such as spacing in the text, and the readability of the text. When the micro typography is off, the whole text is off. It needs to be proper, or the people won’t be able to read the text.

5. Text colors matter a lot. Losing a text in the background isn’t fun, image you’re reading some important information, and suddenly you can’t see the text anymore because it blended with the background. You need to take care of the text actually being readable, so getting the colors right is important.

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Feb

22nd

Web Design

The Foundation of Web Design

Web design may at first seem rather simple, but it is actually quite difficult when you go into the matter of things. If you want to create a design that strikes people, things can be a little tricky. And most web designer are actually self taught, so they may have missed some important things. And that’s why these texts exist. A solid foundation is important for most things, and Web Design is no different.

1. Precedence

This is a really important concept and an essential part of every striking web design. Essential, web design is about information. Yes, it is about the looks of a website, but ultimately, it is about information.

Users that come to a website will look for that information. Your job, as a designer, it to lead their way. That is precedence. For example, think about this. Usually the first thing somebody sees when they open a website is a logo or something similar. Why do you think that is? It’s because it is big and striking, and it draws the eye. That is what precedence is all about.

2. Spacing

Spacing is really important. Stuffing the website full with everything may be tempting, but it won’t do any good. When a website has good spacing, eyes won’t get tired and information will be much easier to find and understand. Everything will be more clear. Think about this hard and well when designing a website.

3. Navigation

Again, a really important thing. Imagine finding yourself on a website where you have absolutely no clue where to go or what to do. That wouldn’t be much fun, would it? Your job as a web designer, among other things, is to make navigation through the website simple and easy so the people visiting won’t have a hard time finding their way around the website.

4. Text

It is probably one of the most used things in web design, and it is important. The text needs to be clear, well written, and understandable. Fail to achieve that and the design won’t be good at all.

5. Function

Functionality and usability rank very high in importance in web design. It’s not only about how the website looks, but how it behaves as well. You as a web designer have the job of creating the whole experience, not just a part of it.

These 5 things are in the base of good web design. They are the foundation to the building, and without them, everything would fall apart.

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Feb

15th

Web Design

How Web Design Can Drive Your Marketing

Web design is a really important factor in the success of a website. But, people and business owners sometimes tend to forget that, and they run websites that are actually lacking design, or at least successful design. This mustn’t happen.

Design is not only about the looks of the website, but it can also be a major factor in the marketing of the website. A great website design will draw people in and have them coming back for more.

The first thing you should be doing to secure a great web design for your website and have it done in a way that it actually drives your marketing and success is to hire someone who really knows what they are doing. That means a professional web designer. Of course, if you are a pro web designer, you don’t need to hire one, but if you are not, the best thing would be to do that. Remember that web design is not a short term commitment. For great web design, you’ll need a lot of patience. It doesn’t end with finding the right web designer. Once you establish a partnership with a web designer, you need to let them know where you want your business strategy to go.

Web design holds great power for propelling your marketing sky high. Once you explain to the web designer you partnered with what you actually want, he can start actually doing work on your website, and affect your marketing strategy greatly. And since a web designer is by nature more creative than the common businessman, your marketing strategy might take a few interesting turns along the way.

Your landing page is one of the most critical parts of your website. First impressions actually matter a lot, and when people get a bad first impression of your website, they probably won’t be coming back. So, your web designer needs to do a great job in designing your landing page. You need to communicate your needs and what you want for your landing page, and let them work their magic.

As we said before, web design takes patience. Another thing it needs is great communication. If there is not communication between yourself and your web designer, your website won’t turn out as you wanted it to be. You can’t expect to have great design in 3 days work, and you can’t expect to have great design if your web designer didn’t understand what you want. Tell them everything you want to do with your website. If you want to add a new menu, tell them. If you want to change the colors of the website, tell them. It is really important that you communicate mutually. It will drive your web design, and ultimately your marketing campaign, to success.

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The Difference Between a Web Designer and a Web Developer

The terms web design and web development are often mixed up. But, they mean two very different things. We’ll explain the differences between web design and web development in the following text.

Web Designer

First let us talk about Web Design. Web Design could be best described as the part of the website that faces and is for the customers. A person who is a web designer by profession and who deals in web design is someone who is concerned with the look of the website and the interaction of people with the website. So basically a web designer is a person who takes care of how the website looks and makes sure the users are able to navigate successfully through the website. They take care of the interaction and the looks. But, they don’t really have a huge part in creating the interaction of the website, they leave that to the people we are going to talk about next. They are the Web Programmers, or Web Developers as they are sometimes called. What do they really do on a website?

Web Developer

A Web Programmer, or a Web Developer does something different. The biggest difference between web designing and web programming is that, while web designing determines how a website looks, web programming determines how a website works. The web programmer is in charge of making the website do things. Although web designers have a little to do with the interactivity of the website, the web programmers are those who are actually making it happen. They are in charge of the programming of the website, as the name implies. Most of the things that happen in a website, that move, is the work of these programmers. Although web designers take care of some animations, they are not really functional elements. And developers are the ones who take care of the real functionality of a website.

In the end, nobody is really only a web designer or only a web programmer. People who are serious about what they do tend to branch out and learn a lot. Programmers are certainly almost always aware of how important design is for a website, and designers most often know at least something about PHP, HTML, CSS, or JavaScript. But, although these lines are often blurred, it is important to define what you actually do. That means that you’re either a web designer or a web programmer. And although a web designer might know something about programming, his area of focus, and basically his job, is web design. When an employer goes out to hire a web designer, he is looking for someone to actually do work that a web programmer is supposed to do. So it is important that you define the lines of what you actually do. So the question arises. A question that is very important for your future as somebody who works and will work on websites. The question is the following. Are you a web designer or a web programmer?

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Feb

01st

Web Design

How to Achieve a New Level of Quality

Web design is not easy. Of course, like everything, it has its ups and it has its downs. There are things about web design that not everybody likes, but that is nothing strange. There are also those things that are the essentials to this line of work and that you can’t skip or not know. Both experienced and beginner web designers will benefit from these tips because they probably don’t know about all of them. In some they might find consolation, in some they might find a crucial piece of advice. Learning them will make future endeavors much easier. So here are some massive tips absolutely every web designer will benefit from.

1. Clients are, more than often, very difficult to deal with. Of course, there are those who are a delight to work with, but they are quite rare. Sometimes, you’ll work with people that cause you a great amount of stress and that you definitely don’t enjoy having as clients. But, they are clients and they are your source of income, so you can’t really get rid of them. But, there’s another thing you should know about this. You need to have a firm contract set, because if you don’t, there might be some problems down the road. Always make sure you have a firm contract set up.

2. Your portfolio is actually important. How do you expect to get hired if your portfolio is empty? And, although the look is important, there’s something else that is even more important in a stacked portfolio. It’s experience. On one hand, the experience you gain actually makes you a great web designer, on the other hand, if you’re looking to be hired, you’ll have a much greater chance if the people you want to work for see you have a lot of experience in this field. So remember that you should do as much work as possible, sometimes even for free, because it will pay out in the long run.

3. You need to define what you are offering. Today, web design has become really spread out among the population. More precisely, everybody can do at least some of it. So, you need to define exactly what you are offering, you need to specify what you actually do, because otherwise, your chances of actually getting hired drop really low.

4. Clients are sometimes wrong, and you can’t always bend your will to please them. You, as a web designer, need to provide a great service. And if a client if asking for something that you know won’t do them well, it’s up to you to choose, but you’re probably better off explaining to them what it is that is wrong with their desires, and explain to them what needs to be done for the website to be the best it can be.

And those are 4 massive tips that every web designer can benefit from. You can be experienced and you could have never heard of these tips, but now that you know them, your work will achieve a new level of quality.

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Jan

29th

Web Design

Are You Looking to Become a Great Web Designer?

If you are a good web designer, but you’re looking to become great, here are the traits you need to have.

1. You need to know how the user feels. You need to empathize with them. If you were designing a website just for yourself and for you only, you wouldn’t have to consider about the feelings and attitudes of other people. But, when you’re working as a web designer, you design websites for other people to use. And you that is why you need to consider whether other people will like it or not and how it will make them feel.

 

If you want to be great, you need to think like that. You need to understand the motivations of the people coming to the websites, their desires, what they like and don’t like, what they prefer, things like that. Getting to that point is not easy at all, but not everybody can be great.

2. You need to have hard facts to back your work and your projects, not just instincts. Yes, feeling the users and empathizing with them is really important, but it can get you only so far. Having hard data to back up your claims and relying on facts is something that will help you greatly in the long run and that will bring you one step closer to becoming a master web designer. Market research and all the data you collect will benefit you immensely, so you need to focus on that and be great at it, if you want to become a great web designer.

3. Keep it simple and don’t push your users so far they can’t figure out what you meant. If a person has to put time and effort into figuring out how your website actually works, they won’t be blown away and they won’t really enjoy it. An UI needs to be intuitive and easily understandable, not complex and difficult to figure out.

4. You’ll need to bend where the wind blows sometimes. Of course you have your personal tastes and preferences, but sometimes you need to put them aside and actually do what other people want you to do. There will be times where you’ll be able to let your creativity shine through and create something really unique, but sometimes you just have to think of web design as a business, because it is one. To summarize, what the user wants is more important than what you want.

Also, when you are able to put aside your preferences and compromise, you are much more open to working with someone else. Collaborating may yield some amazing results, but you won’t be able to do it if you can’t compromise with other people. Keeping open mind and working together, creating something that is a mutual product, and thinking about the customers, is going to take you a long way into becoming a great web designer.

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6 Key Tips for Successful Web Design

Web designers are often concerned about their skills, like Photoshop skills or a mastery of JavaScript. However, becoming great web designer requires more than just having the right tool or a wonderful grip on design. Also, websites that are not well designed and optimized tend to perform poorly on search engines and have bad metrics (e.g. low time on site, high bounce rates, low number of pages per visit, low conversions, etc.). So what makes good web design?

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Jan

22nd

Web Design

How to Create Your Tourism Business Website

Maybe you’d think that making all websites is more or less the same, that there is a certain pattern, and the only thing that varies from website to website is the photographs and the text. This is true to some degree, but there are lot more factors that come into play when building a quality professional website.

Your website structure is largely going to depend on those factors, as well as from the area of your business. Our company and all our programmers have a lot of experience in creating different websites. Sometimes, those websites are for different tourist agencies.

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Tips For Any Web Designer Starting Out

You can never get enough advice when you’re starting out. There is so much you can learn, but when you’re starting out, you shouldn’t stretch yourself too far and reach for the stars too soon. Start small, start with the basics, and gradually, you will become a great web designer.

How to Be a Web Designer

Web design demands a lot of creativity, time, and effort. If you’re just a rookie then you have to have several things in mind before you start designing a website. Practice, knowledge, and experience are the only things that are going to make you a great web designer. It’s also important to stick with the trends and pay attention to how other, popular websites are designed.

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Mar

26th

Web Design

Custom Website vs Free Website

Just recently, someone I look up to made me realize some very amazing philosophies on the work we do here at Houston Websites, as well as some other very intimate questions about my own personality type. I was forced to ask myself some very tough questions. These might also help some of you to better understand what we do here.

Here’s a Common Questions that I get Asked Often:

Why would anyone pay fee for a website project, when they can get a free website?

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Real Reasons to Have a Website

What do you usually do when you heard of a product, service or business? 87% of the respondents of the survey conducted by Visible Logic proved that what most of us usually do is look for their website. This is why every business out there must consider having excellent web design for success.

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Oct

27th

Web Design

Traits of an Experienced Web Designer

As a web designer, you find there is a fine line between constructing business-oriented designs and what could be considered art. It’s true that this can be easily said, but hard to maintain. It may be quite difficult to understand what each individual client wants. You need to make something that would be fit for thousand others, yet must match with the tastes of your client to a tee! Sometimes, it’s true to say that the job of a web designer is somewhat tougher than an architect in some respect! You need to get the purpose and drive behind every website clear in your mind, before you start designing it. Being a successful web designer, you must possess traits that will give you an edge over others in your field of work. Lets take a look at some of the traits of some famous web designers. Below we’ll discuss the qualities and traits of a wide range of web designers that make them different from others.

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