Posts Tagged ‘design’

Adobe’s Flash Videos now Searchable through Google & Yahoo!

July 4th, 2008

author: Jennifer

Talk to most website designers and most will tell you to be weary of Flash contents when building your site. While the temptation is great to use Flash to deliver an impressive and flawless presentation to your clients, such usage may also bring about other problematic issues. Perhaps the most pressing one of them all is the fact that search engines, like Google and Yahoo!, are not able to crawl through the dynamic contents in a flash set up.  This makes it impossible for search engines to rank these webpages and link users to them.

However, times have changed and technology is starting to catch up. Adobe System Inc. has just announced that they are releasing a customized version of its Flash Player software, which enables search engines, like Google and Yahoo!, to “see” the elements of the webpages embedded in the Flash files. While they have been indexing static texts and links on Flash sites for some time now, a lot of the newer ones are generated on demand.  By improving what search engines’ crawlers can recognize, it will enhance the user’s search results.  It is exciting to see that search engines are starting to look beyond indexing static HTML and move into dynamic data.

What this means for web developers is that they don’t have to avoid Flash like the black plague anymore and use it to establish aesthetically pleasing websites. With Flash, there’s a higher degree of freedom than sticking with HTML as it allows designers to place objects anywhere on the page without limitations.  This also eliminates the need for contents to be rendered correctly in each separate browser. Flash can also provide site visitors better interactivity. A myriad of multimedia can be added to the website, such as videos and sounds,  to enrich the experience. This is especially helpful in the application of a demo video for your products or even a spruced up home video to show friends and family!

While this is quite innovative, it is still in the early stages of development and one concern that has been circulating amongst receivers of the news is that this technology would still not be able to bring users directly to a specific page within the Flash site. Only time can tell if this launch will be successful for the future of search engines.  Nonetheless, this provides web designers additional options and makes the searching process a whole lot more efficient! If you’ve never considered building a Flash website due to the lack of ability to be searched, here’s your chance to try it out. Register a domain name with Doteasy today to get started!

Ways to Minimize Bandwidth Consumption

June 13th, 2008

author: Ling, Kathy

When trying to figure out how much bandwidth your website needs, the rule of thumb is:

[total size of website] x [number of visitors/month] = monthly bandwidth consumption

So, based on this formula, there are only two ways to reduce bandwidth consumption, either by the total size of website or by the number of visitors.

Since the purpose of having a website is to be seen by more people, reducing the number of visitors will not be a good meansure for minimizing bandwidth consumption. That leaves reducing total website size.

So what can you do to reduce the size of your website?

1. Keep pages simple, limit rich web content

Rich web content (ie. images, flash, audio, video) is a good way to make your website more attractive, but these files burn out bandwidth fast. If you need to include all those rich content on your website, consider offloading onto different servers (ie. third-party storage sites).

2. Limit downloadable files

Music files, .PDF files, flash or video files will consume most of your bandwidth allowance by just a handful of visitors.

3. Cleanup Your Codes

Many HTML pages contain unnecessary stuff: unneeded spaces, meta tags, tags, default values and elements. All these will make your web pages bigger without serving any real purpose.

Classic examples:

  • Image border – by default, images do not have borders. So adding the extra border=”0″ code is unnecessary.
  • Comments – many designers like to insert comments in their codes. It does make the file easy to manage later on, but try to keep comments short.

    <–! Footer –> instead of <–! This is the Footer and it contains links, banners… –>

Also, use a code validator to make sure your codes are as clean as possible.

Try these ones:

4. External CSS and Javascript

Make CSS and Javascript external whenever possible. This will reduce HTML file sizes as well make your website easier to manage.

5. Optimize images

Stick with GIFs and JPEGs. JPEG is best for images with gradients or glows. GIF is best for flat or simple images with one-color areas, such as logos. PNG is another format you can use.

Most people use monitors that have a resolution of 72dpi so there really is no need to use images with resolution higher than that.

Resize large images and/or use thumbnails. While the majority of the web uses a 1024×768 resolution, there is still a percentage of visitors using older, smaller monitors which have a maximum display resolution of 640×480. To make sure images do not run off the edges of any browser, I like to keep my images at 600px or less.

Use an image editor to crop unnecessary parts, create smaller versions or create thumbnails.

6. Keeps scripts efficient

Some scripts are known to consume a lot of resources. Try to use scripts that are more effective and efficient. Also, keep in mind that static pages are better than dynamic ones because static pages can be cached.

For example, if you are running WordPress, consider the WP Super Cache plugin.

Always make sure to deactivate any plugins or extensions you are not using.

7. Host news feeds externally

Consider services such as FeedBurner. This can save a large amount of bandwidth if RSS feeds are a popular feature on your website.

There are many great websites on the Internet that offers useful resources:

 

While 20GB (Doteasy Ultra Hosting) is certainly enough for most medium to large websites, if your website is exceptionally popular and you need more than 20GB of traffic a month, you might want to consider the unmetered bandwidth of the Doteasy Unlimited Hosting plan.

“Unmetered” means your bandwidth consumption is measured for statistics purposes only. You are allowed to use as much traffic as the network supports. For an extra couple dollars a month, this plan offers a peace of mind, especially when you just launched a new marketing campaign and are expecting a bit more than usual visitor traffic.

Get Dad a little “WWW” this Father’s Day!

June 9th, 2008

author: Jennifer

Historically, males tend to indulge in more expensive hobbies. For example, cars, aviation, golf, and beer drinking. So if buying a brand new Ferrari, splurging on a golf vacation down in Florida, or throwing an all out party is not within your budget for this year’s Father’s Day celebration, then have I got good news for you. How about something that can combine all of Dad’s hobbies in one place, something that cannot be canceled because of rain, and best of all, won’t require you to break your little piggy bank?

Too good to be true? Think again.

This Father’s Day, get Dad the perfect gift with a personalized domain name and a ready-to-go Doteasy hosting package!

For as little as $25/year, Dad can enjoy countless hours designing a website that is devoted to his beloved hobby. Whatever he is into, he can now connect with fellow car enthusiasts (or golf fanatics or party animals…) from all over the world, using Doteasy’s free Forum and Blog Applications! He can also share pictures of his interests and show off his beautiful family (that’s you) on the Doteasy Hosted Gallery. Even if Dad is new to the internet, don’t worry because our Website Creator will walk him through everything he needs to know about starting a site.

So don’t disappoint Dad with another tie this year. Surf over to Doteasy.com and sign up for a personalized domain name! Keep in mind that Father’s Day is just a few days away!

Your Photos Do Look Better on Your Own Website

June 2nd, 2008

authpr: Kathy

There are many options available when it comes to sharing your photos online. There are flash photo galleries (ie. SimpleViewer), open-source gallery scripts (ie. Coppermine and Plogger) and third-party hosted galleries (ie. Flickr and Smugmug).

Each of these has their own pros and cons and most often your choice is based on the following considerations:

1. Do you have the time and knowledge to install and configure the script and edit any HTML/CSS/PHP codes so that the gallery behaves the way you want it to?

2. Does it matter if your photo gallery is on a third-party website that has links and ads plastered all over it?

3. Are you familiar with Flash or XML-editing?

But did you know that there is a simple photo gallery solution that can give you the pros of the above options but doesn’t require Flash, scripting or database skills and most importantly, it is on your own Doteasy no-ad website?

The Doteasy Hosted Gallery is the newest member of the Doteasy Hosted Applications family. It is similar to the Doteasy Hosted Forum and Blog whom many of you have tried and fell in love with. The Hosted Gallery is a simple, one-click installation, no scripting or database, easy-to-use photo gallery solution from Doteasy.

Go ahead and activate your free Doteasy Hosted Gallery through Member Zone today. The gallery tutorial will be available very shortly.

Are META and ALT tags still important?

May 28th, 2008

author: Kathy

If you’ve ever wanted to rank higher on the search engines, you’ve likely stumbled on many guides on Search Engine Optimization, or SEO.

In general, most of the SEO guides will include a “good SEO” checklist:

  • Links
  • Content is King
  • Sitemaps
  • Keywords in your URL
  • H1 instead of H2

And you’re probably wondering what about META tags.

Background Info

The META tag was a way to insert text into an HTML page that is only visible to search engines crawlers. Four of the seven major crawlers in the mid-1990s supported the META tag. Unfortunately, the tag was widely abused and many of the early crawlers dropped the tag from their ranking equation. Many people also believe that newer search engines never even considered meta keyword tags in their ranking logarithm.

So, is META tags really not worth the trouble or time anymore?

What Google has to say

As Google is the dominant search engine, we want to see what Google has to say about META tags.

Here are some articles found on the official Google Blog:

So, now we know Google does consider the Title and META description tags.

<meta name=”description” content=”A description of the page”>

This tag provides a short description of the page. In some situations the META description is used as a part of the snippet shown in the search results.

For more reading:

<title>The title of the page</title>

Although the <Title> tag is not technically a meta tag, it is often used with the description tag. The contents of this tag are generally shown as the title in search results and in the user’s browser when visiting the page or viewing bookmarks.

For more reading:

Example:

Doteasy.com Search Result on GoogleDoteasy.com Search Result on Google showing Title tag and Meta Description tag

What about ALT attributes?

ALT tags are “alternative information” source for images on your website. Not all intended audience see the images on your website: people who have chosen to disable images in their browsers, people using text-to-speech browsers, and search engine crawlers. The Google crawler, or Googlebot, does not see your images but rather it looks at the ALT attribute for a text equivalent of the image to determine what it is about. Thus having an ALT attribute is useful especially for Google Images ranking.

For more reading:

Did you know…

The Doteasy Website Creator supports META tags and the Image Utility in your Doteasy Hosted Blog supports ALT attributes.

Even though META tags and ALT attributes do not play a big part in your search engine ranking, it’s always better to have proper tags than no tags at all.