Archive | Web Design

Best Time to Apply Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to Your Website?

ClockfaceNow! I know that may sound glib, but really, if you have a website that you have determined has not been optimized; you should try to get it done as soon as possible.

SEO will help your web pages perform better in search engines. You will rank higher and get more clicks through Organic (free) search results, and have to pay less for your “pay-per-click” ads.

More traffic and less cost – sounds good right? Well it is. Not only will you see improvement in your page’s performance, but the effects of Search Engine Optimization tend to increase over time – SEO is truly the gift that keeps on giving.

The Ideal Time for SEO

Although it rarely happens, the absolute best time to apply Search Engine Optimization to your website is when you are planning your site. SEO should actually be one of the tools that you use to plan what pages will be included in your website.

The keyword research results can be used to help determine what pages should be included on your website, the Meta data can be input by your web designer as he/she is working on the page, and your page content can be optimized upfront to match the keywords that you choose to use.

It’s not too late . . .

If you are thinking of optimizing a site that is already up and functioning, not a problem. This in my experience is when most optimization projects are undertaken. A thorough job may require the addition of new web pages and some editing of your existing web page content. However, with a little more work it will still provide the boost in search engine results and traffic to your website.

Not sure if you need SEO?

Not sure whether your site needs to be optimized? Unless you have already worked with an SEO specialist, it probably does. Although most web designers now advertise SEO services, most do not focus their efforts or energy on SEO, and do a very basic job at best.

Not sure? Perform this simple two step SEO self evaluation, or contact me for a free SEO review.

Thanks for reading. As always, your questions or comments are welcomed and appreciated!

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Understanding and Working with the Colors of the Web

color indexThe first thing that will be obvious from this article is that I’m not a computer programmer – I “speak” just enough html to change title tags, and to otherwise get myself in trouble.  When it comes to working with code – I get help with the heavy lifting.

WordPress however, is a whole other story – I enjoy working with WordPress and am comfortable with it once I’ve had the opportunity to explore the specifics of theme that I’m working with.

Early on though, I realized that if I was going to work on Websites of any kind, I had to become more comfortable with working with the colors of the web. I was always changing the color of links, or buttons, or having to match up a color that one of my clients saw elsewhere on the web.

But as you may know, on the web, “white” is not “w-h-i-t-e” . . . it is #ffffff, or 255 255 255 . . . huh?

Although 2nd nature to most programmers – I’m sure that there is some logic behind it – to lay-designers, working with colors on the web can often be a challenge.

RBG and Hex Colors

Web colors generally come in two formats – RGB or Hexadecimal (hex).

RGB is simply the mix of Red, Blue, and Green colors used to produce the spectrum of colors that can be used. They appear as a sequence of 3 numbers, each ranging from 0 – 255.

Hexadecimal numbers, or hex numbers, are shown as a # sign, followed by 6 characters (it is actually made up of 3 sets of Hex pairs). The characters could be numbers ranging from 0-9 or letters from A-F (i.e. White = #ffffff, Black = #000000). The explanation behind this code is beyond the scope of this paper, and frankly, beyond my interest level or need to know.

Hexadecimal numbers

Free Tools to Make Working with Color Easier

Over time, I have found a few simple yet effective tools that have made working with color much easier and more enjoyable.

1. ColorPicker: Color picker is an open color box where you can choose a color by sight, RGB code, or hex#.

color picker

Many applications that call for your to enter a color will accept an RGB or hex#, but some require one or the other. ColorPicker allows you to enter one value (RGB or hex), and will display the color, and the corresponding color codes in both RGB and HEX.

In addition, if you are displaying a color gradient, you can use the slide bar to identify color codes close to the primary color.

2. ColorZilla: Found a color you like on another site and want to know the code?

ColorZilla is a free tool that you can download to your Firefox or Chrome browser to identify the color code of a color being used on an existing website. It appears in your browser as a dropper.

colorZilla

To use ColorZilla:

  • Select the dropper
  • hover over the color that you want to identify
  • the color codes will appear at the top of your screen

colorzilla

The dropper tool is also available as part of the Microsoft Paint program available on your PC, and probably many other graphic related software packages.

3. Color Scheme Designer: Want to find colors that work with your primary color?

Color Scheme Designer allows you to input a color, and will provide a series of compatible colors for it.

color-scheme

Thanks for reading. Are there other free tools that you like to use when working with color? As always, your comments and questions are welcome and appreciated!

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