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Monthly Archives: February 2015

What are 5 things I can do make your website better.

5 Ways to Make Your Website BetterWith the introduction of HTML 5 and CSS3 in October of 2014 and the focus of content by the search engines such as Google and Bing,  it has never been more important than it is in today’s internet environment to have your website error free and for each page to meet search engine criteria.

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Table Tags HTMLI’m amazed how many websites are still styled with table tags. Table tags are easy to recognize, just take a peek under the hood at the HTML coding for the site. You will see an abundant usage of <tr> and <td> tags throughout the website. From the front side, the design of the site may look outdated and the body is  narrower, around 600 pixels, whereas 1000 pixels on most sites you see today.

Table tags where first introduced in 1993 by Dave Raggett as a proposed mark-up for layout design consisting of rows and columns, much like an Excel spreadsheet, and with that HTML 3.0 was born.

The style is easy to learn and many novice designers still use this technique today. However, table tags still have its place in the modern websites, but not as a design factor. Anytime you need a spreadsheet to display a list or need to display anything in a form, tables are your answer but should be avoided as your base for designing your website.

CSS stylesheets were introduced at the same time as a means to style the tables. They could be internal – meaning that the coding is place in the page itself or externally – meaning the code had its own page such as style.css and could be shared by many different HTML pages that needed similar design features. External stylesheets created a faster a more efficient website.

In 1997 HTML 4.0 and CSS2 was launched and the W3C recommended that table should no longer be used as a primary source of design. Table design should be replaced with a block element design that can be ‘floated’ on the page using a <div> element which we still use today.

In 2013 HTML 5.0 and CSS3 was launched to meet the need of mobile usage and the need to simplify many commonly used CSS attributes as well as introduce some new attributes.

Throw Back Thursday – Fix My Photo

Fix My Photo built in 2007 Fix My Photo .com was a static style tutorial website that was built back in 2007 which stayed live until 2013.  The site actually generated a token amount of income even though the site was built mostly as a learning tool.

You can’t see this on the front page but the site uses an interactive Flash player where you can rollover some text and an example of that correction would be displayed. The site was broken into 3 sections depending on the difficulty  of the image repair: Basic, Intermediate and Advanced and each page had it’s own interactive flash player. Lastly is had a contact page (no contact form) just information. I generated all the navigation button by hand and was a fun site to build.

The site was still built using external Cascading Style sheets (CSS) and ‘Divs’ instead of tables.   We have never designed a website using table and I am surprised how many website, even today, are build using tables.

Alt-TagsAfter looking at several WordPress websites ‘alt tags’, I noticed that even though we had gone through the entire site and added alt tags when they were missing and placing keywords within our alt tags, I notice a common problem.  The alt tags were missing from most of the image sliders, even though we had added them in the ‘Media Library’.

With many of these plugin’s, they don’t take the time to add the alt tag into the coding for SEO purposes.

I thought I would cover how we fixed one site that was using Custom Fields with an ACF (Advanced Custom Fields) :Repeater Field that we had inherited from a different designer.  The repeater was on the front page and the original coding looked like this: Continue reading

Special Hearts - My first website before GTL web designBefore GTL Web Design, There was a family of 4 that was homeschooling their 2 children in the high desert in California, just north of San Diego County.  My wife was part of an online homeschooling community that shared ideas.  One platform that that many of them started using was a fairly new blog….WordPress.  One tech savvy mom was teaching everyone how create their own self-hosted WordPress blog/website and my wife followed suite.

One day I heard…..”Honey,  can you help me”,  that’s synonymous with a huge add to the ‘honey do’ list!  And so it was, In fact, eventually became GTL Web Design.

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