With 2015 drawing to a close in the next few months, we thought it was time to take a look at the web development trends that emerged and blossomed over the year. We also believe that these trends will
These days, the interest in social media is continuing to grow at exponential rates and it is important that your business is taking advantage of this by making brand-oriented accounts on some of the more popular platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook. To help you out, here are some tips that you can use to make your website social media friendly:
- Killer Content
Have you ever heard the saying ‘content is king’? Whilst this is true of anything that you upload to the internet, it is especially true of social media, as you need to stand out from the crowd. Ordinary content won’t cut it anymore because there is simply too much out there.
- Social Buttons
Users expect convenience when they browse the web; they want to be able to share things they like or find interesting through their social media channels as easily as possible. This is why your website should include buttons (such as ‘like’ and ‘tweet’) to streamline this.
- Social Content
Whilst social media platforms are built with the intention of connecting people, you can actually take a similar approach with your website. Why not incorporate a blog section where users can post comments? Or post your advertising material on Facebook to see the reaction?
- Titles & Images
You need titles that are eye-catching and straight to the point, otherwise users won’t read your content (no matter how interesting or relevant). You also need images that explain the main points of your content in the same kind of tone that you have written in.
Whilst a website does provide you with a foundation for establishing a successful online presence, social media will provide you with an avenue for even wider coverage and more opportunities to connect with your customers. By using the above tips, you can effectively integrate social media with your website and will, hopefully, start to see it working for you soon.
If your website has been hacked in the past, you will know better than most how much work goes into fixing the chaos that the hacker managed to wreak before they were caught. The question that arises in many people’s minds, however, is that they have chosen a reputable web development company to build their site, so how on earth did it still manage to get hacked?
- Your web host is vulnerable: More often than not, a number of websites that are all hosted by the same company will be hacked together. If this is the case, the problem lies with your web host, who is vulnerable; report hacked websites immediately.
- Your computer (or your developer’s computer) has been compromised: This is a reflection of the vulnerability of the computer and not the site itself; malware can be used to steal passwords and infect uploaded files that in turn affect the website.
- Your code is poorly written: If your web development company has not properly coded all aspects of your website (from its forms, dynamic pages and even its CMS), it is likely that security holes will result. Code should always be tested before being released.
- Your content management system has security holes: If your CMS has not been kept secure, it’s likely that a hacker has found holes that they have been able to exploit. Whenever the developer releases a new version, make sure you update.
Unfortunately, no website is going to be completely hacker-proof, even if you have the most reputable web development company in the world working on your code. But by ensuring that known of the above issues has arisen, you can take active steps towards making it as difficult as possible for hackers to gain access to your private information.
If this is the first time that you have been involved with the creation of a website, you might not have understood what members of the team meant when they mentioned the alpha and the beta stages of the web development process. These stages are actually part of the cycle that brings a website to life, and they are vital if you want to ensure that the client is happy with the finished product. So, what are the alpha and beta stages?
This stage is the part of the process that involves the web development team presenting their ideas to the client, who will then approve any ideas that they like and dismiss those that they don’t. This will not only include the design; the client also has final say on the functionality, layout and other elements of a website.
This stage is the part of the process that involves the website being coded and tested. The designs approved by the client in the alpha stage are coded so that they are completely functional on the internet; the client is then provided with a copy of what the website will look like and testing commences to make sure that everything is working as expected.
These are not, of course, the only stages involved in the web development process – there are many other steps that must be completed before and after the alpha and beta stages to ensure that the finished website meets the client’s expectations, including: the pre-alpha stage (which involves idea conception) and release stages (which involve the site being made ‘live’).
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, ‘QR code’ refers to a little black and white grid pattern that sort of resembles a crossword. They operate very similar to a barcode, in that a user can scan the code with their mobile phone and be taken to a page with extra information. They are very popular on movie posters, taking you to a trailer of the advertised film.
Use the following web development tips to ensure that your QR codes are written perfectly:
- Keep in mind that the entire code needs to be scanned in order for it to work, so take into account how far away users will need to be.
- Testing is imperative with QR codes, as it is with all aspects of the web development process, to ensure that everything is working.
- Not everyone will have a smart phone, so will your QR code work with an iPad or another portable device?
- Don’t put a QR code on all of your advertising material; users will feel like you’re just trying to push them to your website.
- Think about where the code will be displayed; in some countries, you can access the internet in train stations whereas this is impossible in others.
When it comes to web development and QR codes, it is important that you have experience in making these unique codes before you go about sticking them all over your company’s advertising material. Developing a code that can be read simply through a photograph is quite a complex task, and it is one that should not be taken on lightly.
There has been a rise in the amount of people accessing the internet through their mobile devices, the most popular of these being Apple’s iPhone. This has led to changes in the way that web development tasks must be undertaken, as websites must now be compatible with a number of different screen sizes. But how do you get started?
The first step is by immersing yourself in everything iPhone. It is impossible to develop a website or an app for this platform unless you are familiar with how it works, and the best way to do this is to become an avid user of the phone for a few months. Look at how the touch screen works, and experience how iPhone uses animation to improve its responsiveness.
The second step is by planning what you are trying to achieve with your iPhone website or app. What sort of functionality do you want to explore with the web development stage? What sort of solutions are you looking at utilising? This is very similar to planning for any other type of platform, so is a step that you should already be familiar with.
The third and final web development step is by visualizing what the finished website or app will look like. You will need to take the general appearance of an iPhone website or app and then add your own unique twist to it. Fortunately, there are a number of tools and gadgets available online that make visualizing your website or app for iPhone much easier.
With more and more people accessing the internet from the smartphones, web developers are finding themselves required more and more often to create websites that cater to these devices. This creates a number of problems for developers who are forced to change the way that they work and code to ensure that smaller screens are catered for.
But how can web developers overcome these challenges and ensure that they provide a mobile-friendly experience with all projects that they work on?
- Customised CSS coding is a good way of adjusting the content of an existing website to fit onto a smaller screen.
- Create stylesheets that hide elements that are unnecessary for mobile users; this reduces the clutter of a smaller screen.
- Use the <viewport> meta tag to enable users to flip the website from portrait to landscape viewing.
- Download some of the tools on the market that enable developers to test how their websites are working in mobile and other small screens.
Even though the increase in the use of smartphone devices for internet browsing has created a number of challenges for web developers, there are a number of tools and techniques out there that enable these challenges to be easily overcome. With internet access via mobile devices expected to rise over the next few years, developers could use all the help they can get.
There is a saying in the web development industry that goes something along the lines of: “Good developers copy. Great ones steal.” This suggests that a lot of people believe that there is nothing unique left to be created. Does this imply, then, that ‘stealing’ code is acceptable? Perhaps not, as you can see from the other two types of developer out there:
- Web development copiers
Often, the copiers are seen as being at the bottom of the development pyramid – they are the novices who haven’t yet come up with any of their own useful code yet. There is nothing wrong with doing this – it’s a great way to learn what different pieces of code does to the website as a whole, until you get to a point where you can do this without copying.
- Web development stealers
This generally occurs after a developer has copied another’s code and begun to understand how it works – they realize that coming up with something similar (on their own) is much harder then it looks. These people then begin to steal their code, carefully concealing their sources so that no one can trace their deception.
- Web development strugglers
These are the developers who try their hardest to avoid copying and stealing other’s work. They are aware of the fact that it is near impossible to create anything unique in this day and age, but they try to do so regardless. These people instead try to draw inspiration from other areas of life.
Seeing as there are 3 kinds of people in the web development industry, it does seem to suggest that stealing is not the only way to come up with great code and websites. It should be the strugglers, then, that are considered as the truly great developers, the copiers the good ones, and the stealers the bad ones.