Monthly Archives: July 2015

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What Designers Need To Know, Before Moving Forward With Your Site

First tip to designing a website would be to communicate with your designer. We know more about what it is you want before we can start creating the site, but we aren’t mind readers.

  • Color Palette: Many clients seem to like the basic colors of blue, white, or green. Not every business has the luxury of accessing a branding specialist, so that’s why they normally chose those colors. Many new customers could possibly need a logo design, so typically when you create their logo, you can figure out what colors to use of their site.
  • Ideas From Other Websites: Our eyes are trained to see the same design all over the Internet, and when you come across different sites that you like, that’s when you need to write them down. For example. Many websites have a large image towards the top of the site or in the middle. It stretches across the screen so you can see the whole picture. They are also very responsive, clean design, and east to follow. Give your designer at least 5 to 6 different sites that you love, and sites that you don’t like. So they can determine what mockup to design and show you. You can even tell your designer that you liked a previous work from a client they had recently.
  • What’s Your Marketing Goal:  It’s important to know who your targeted audience is going to be. Your content, design, and pages are going to depend on who your audience is going to be. For example, teachers, doctors, photographers, graphic/web designers, or even catering for food. Once you figure out who your audience is, you can start to find out what your wanting in a website. If your business is working with professionals, you can choose a formal tone, and as for retailers can choose an informal design.
  • How People Will Find Your Site: Once your website is complete, your goal is to direct traffic towards your site. Let your designer know if you are want to advance and invest in social media integration. If you do not have traffic coming to your website, something is going wrong, and you don’t want to lose potential customers.

For more information about what designers need to know before designing your site, contact Windy City Web Strategies. They can talk with you more, and figure out what all needs to be done first, before moving forward with the design process.

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How Web Designers Price Out There Services

Putting a price on your time and experience is sometimes harder then most think. For design projects it comes down to the clients wanting to go with a fixed price, and designers are fighting for charging them on an hourly basis.

Designer’s work very hard to meet their clients wants, and when clients keep asking for many other changes, things do start to add up. Keep in mind these designers do have other projects to do also, and not just one.

Fixed Pricing: With fixed pricing, clients know exactly what they are going to get. Setting up clarification on what the client wants BEFORE you start their project is very important. Once you start to design what the client wants, and if there are any changes that need to be made, make sure you talk to your client first. Many designers will often show their clients two or three drafts of what they have done so far, and if they are required to show more than one, that’s when an additional cost will be added on.

Estimated Times: Most designers are optimistic about how much time it will require them to finish a project. They do not take into count of the potential technical issues that come along with the process, and the client having misunderstandings or ask to change something. This is why it’s a great idea to figure out a number of hours it’s going to take for you to complete the project, and then multiply that by your hourly rate.

The Project:  When you are choosing a pricing structure, make sure to take into account for the biggest headache. The project creep, which is were clients are thinking they can just add on new things or new ideas as they are going along with the process. This is understandable to an extent, because the clients have to observe the work in progress as they think of new ideas.

With Windy City Web Design & Windy City Strategies, they use Red Pen, so when they start to create a layout for a client(s) website, the client(s) can go in and write comments on what they like or what they want to change. Both parties can access this Red Pen so the designers, managers and clients can see what’s being done.

For more information about what Red Pen is or how the web designers price out there services, contact Windy City Strategies for more details.

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How To Surf The Web Effectively

Ever watch someone use the Internet in the most painful and slowest process? Do not worry, if you don’t want to end up like that, follow these tips to surf the web effectively. Covering some browser shortcuts to SEO that will make it easy to find anything on the Web. The average person spends about 5 hours in front of the tablet, phone or computer. We spend a bunch of time of the Internet so let’s start to learn some quick tricks that can make things easier for you!

How To Reopen The Last Tab That You Closed : If you are using a iOS system use the shortcut (Command+Shift+T) and if you are using a windows system use the shortcut (Control+Shift+T). This will work with chrome or Firefox. This is perfect for when you are comparing products on different websites and if you accidentally close out the tabs.

Opening Incognito Windows : The average person has at least 3 email accounts, and chances are that number has only gone up since 2011. Google a few years back made all their products available to one login username. Meaning you can use your Gmail, Drive, YouTube, and Hangouts with the same information. If you have your YouTube and Gmail on different email addresses, you can login by using a incognito window to be in both accounts at the same time. Use the shortcut (Command+Shift+N) this shortcut works for all web browsers.

Using Password Mangers : Use a password manager to help save you time from having to enter in your passwords all the time. Start by using LastPass and Mitro these are great ways to save time and that frustration on trying to remember what your password is. These password managers work as a plug in for Chrome and Firefox. All you need to do is simply sing in to a website life Gmail or Facebook, and the manager will ask you if you want to save that password for the future. Works across multiple computers so you can have the same access that is saved at work and even your home.

When Using A Chrome Browser : To help save bookmark clutter in Chrome, you can right click on bookmark, and select edit and delete the name field and just leave it blank, and hit save. This will leave what it known as a favicon, which the logo of what the site is. If you need more room on the bookmarks bar you can create folders.

Using Ad block To Filter Out The Ads : Who isn’t tired of seeing advertisements on your favorite sites? Download a plug in called Ad block and this can filter out those ads out of browsing experience.

Opening Pages In New Tab : Do you want a link to open in a new tab, without losing the page your already on? Hold down (command) for a mac and (control) on a windows and click on the link you want to open in a new tab. Makes things much more easier!

Highlighting Terms or Phrase That You Want To Look Up : If there is a term or phrase that you want to learn more about, right click and select search in Google, and the search will open up in a new tab that saves you many other clicks.

For more information on how to surf the web effectively and quickly contact Windy City Strategies.

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Quick Facts About CSS Layout

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets, this is a language that defines how the HTML elements are going to be displayed. External style sheets are stored in the CSS layout and this also saves a lot work. When you start to add font colors to your layout, HTML is intended to define the content, CSS layout is the place you add all your font choices in certain sections of the layout, font colors, paddings, margins and etc.

CSS saves the web designers a lot of work, the style definitions are save in the external files, and with having that external file, and you can change the look of your site at any given time. When creating a website, you want your readers to be able to read right to left with no issues, to make it clear for the readers to follow.

When working in the CSS, the rule set consists of a declaration and selector. With the declaration block it contains one or more declarations that are separated by semicolons. Now with the selector it points to the HTML elements that you want to have in your style sheet. For example; the selector is h1 and the declaration is {color: pink; font-size: 14px;}

When creating the layout of declaration you can put each code on there own line so it’s more readable. For example;

P {

       Color: pink; 

       Text-align: left;

}

Now, when creating a CSS layout comments are used to explain your code and it may help you when you go back to edit the source code at a later time. The browsers ignore them, so that doesn’t show up when someone looks at your site from the front end. A CSS comment starts with a forward slash /* and then ends with a */. Example of adding a comment to the code would be;

P {

       Color: pink; 

         /* This is a single-line text comment*/

       Text-align: left;

}

Comments can also go on multiple lines and it doesn’t affect your code at all. When using comments they become very helpful, when you start to have issues with adding images or a graph you can make a note and come back to it later.

Creating a CSS is really easy once you get the hang of where things go and how to place it in the style sheet. Lynda.com and W3Schools are both very great places to look up tutorials on how you can create a great CSS layout, where it’s easy to read, easy to follow and your able to make comments.

For more information about CSS layout contact Windy City Strategies!