Posted: Oct 16, 2009 @ 12:15am
Determining what colors to use for your website or logo is an important step that deserves some thought and consideration.
Keep in mind what certain colors represent and the feelings they create to ensure that those are in line with the image you want to portray for your company.
Wassily Kandinsky was one of the first pioneers of color theory. Kandinsky believed the following colors communicate the following qualities:
- Yellow – warm, exciting, happy
- Blue – deep, peaceful, supernatural
- Green – peace, stillness, nature
- White – harmony, silence, cleanliness
- Black – grief, dark, unknown
- Red – glowing, confidence, alive
- Orange – radiant, healthy, serious
Keep in mind that is just one man’s belief on color theory. Here are some other thoughts on color:
Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love. Red is a very emotionally intense color. It enhances human metabolism, increases respiration rate, and raises blood pressure. It has very high visibility, which is why stop signs, stoplights, and fire equipment are usually painted red.
Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation.
To the human eye, orange is a very hot color, so it gives the sensation of heat. Nevertheless, orange is not as aggressive as red. Orange increases oxygen supply to the brain, produces an invigorating effect, and stimulates mental activity. It is highly accepted among young people.
Yellow is the color of sunshine. It’s associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy.
Yellow produces a warming effect, arouses cheerfulness, stimulates mental activity, and generates muscle energy. Yellow is often associated with food. Bright, pure yellow is an attention getter, which is the reason taxicabs are painted this color. When overused, yellow may have a disturbing effect; it is known that babies cry more in yellow rooms.
Green is the color of nature. It symbolizes growth, harmony, freshness, and fertility. Green has strong emotional correspondence with safety. Dark green is also commonly associated with money.
Green has great healing power. It is the most restful color for the human eye; it can improve vision. Green suggests stability and endurance. Sometimes green denotes lack of experience.
Blue is the color of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven.
Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body. It slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect. Blue is strongly associated with tranquility and calmness.
Purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. Purple is associated with royalty. It symbolizes power, nobility, luxury, and ambition. It conveys wealth and extravagance. Purple is associated with wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery, and magic.
According to surveys, almost 75 percent of pre-adolescent children prefer purple to all other colors. Purple is a very rare color in nature; some people consider it to be artificial.
White is associated with light, goodness, innocence, purity, and virginity. It is considered to be the color of perfection.
White means safety, purity, and cleanliness. As opposed to black, white usually has a positive connotation. White can represent a successful beginning.
Black is associated with power, elegance, formality, death, evil, and mystery.
Black is a mysterious color associated with fear and the unknown (black holes). It usually has a negative connotation (blacklist, black humor, ‘black death’). Black denotes strength and authority; it is considered to be a very formal, elegant, and prestigious color (black tie, black Mercedes)
Posted: Oct 15, 2009 @ 10:47pm
I’m often asked by customers if I can add a .pdf file to their website. The answer is yes, but most of the time I would advise against it.
Here are my Top 9 reasons why you should create your content as pure html instead of linking to a .pdf:
- Users must download and install the PDF reader, Adobe Reader. This process may be too complicated for the more novice PC user.
- .pdf’s often look terrible on screen.
- .pdf files are usually larger than a simple HTML version and take much longer to download. .pdf’s use more memory and CPU power, which is a problem for older computers.
- They can surprise visitors who were expecting to be taken to a Web page.
- Your audience is limited with a .pdf because it doesn’t work on all platforms - e.g. handheld browsers.
- .pdf information is less accessible than HTML, e.g. for those with vision impairments.
- .pdf’s are designed for printing, not browsing or spreading information. When the user does a copy-and-paste of text, it all ends up in one blob with paragraphs, lists, etc. all mushed together into one unformatted paragraph. Often the entire selection doesn’t show up in the clipboard. Problems with hyphenation and multiple columns, etc. often crop up.
- Images are embedded, so they aren’t easy to pull out as a .jpg or .gif file for reuse.
- .pdf’s are not as search friendly.
With that said, there are some instances when having a .pdf on your website is acceptable.
- Regulated forms
- Documents for printing
- Securing documents
- Document downloads
In all cases though you should indicate that the link is a .pdf so that the user is not caught off-guard. Click here to see how to display a .pdf link.
Posted: Oct 15, 2009 @ 10:08pm
The hot new catch phrase in the online world is SEO. I’d like to take a few minutes to describe what it is and, more importantly, how you can improve the SEO for your website.
First, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which basically boils down to improving the results when someone searches online for keywords that relate to your website (at sites such as Google or Yahoo!). Let me preface all of this by saying there is no magical way to get to the top of search listings. Expectations need to be realistic from the start - SEO is a gradual process that takes time. Be patient.
The idea of SEO revolves around ensuring that the reputation of your site is measured accurately by the major search engines, such as Google. Google determines where a website appears in a search for a specific keyword term by its “PageRank.”
“PageRank is a trademarked mathematical algorithm developed by Larry Page, founder of Google. It takes into account the importance of sites that cite your website’s links as well as how many external links from other important sites you reference; combines these measurements with how links are worded as well as where the links occur, and comes up with a numerical ranking of how your site measures up to others within its keyword targets. The other large search engines, such as Yahoo!, Alta Vista, and Lycos use similar algorithms to measure the popularity and importance of a website.”
I’ll break this post into three lists: stuff that your web designer should be doing to increase your SEO, stuff that you (the site owner) should be doing to improve SEO, and lastly, stuff that you should not do.
These are my Top 12 things a web designer can and should do to increase SEO:
- Create and submit a Sitemap to Google.
- Use descriptive page titles for each page, such as “About Us - mv|creative Web Design”.
- Use descriptive links (i.e. use “click here for mv|creative” instead of “click here”)
- Use header tags (h1, h2, etc). Make sure every page has at least one h1 tag.
- Try to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or links (if you have to use images for textual content, consider using the “ALT” attribute to include a few words of descriptive text).
- Make sure that your ALT attributes are descriptive and accurate.
- Check for broken links and correct HTML.
- Submit your site to Google (and other major search engines).
- Avoid duplicate content.
- Use description and keyword Meta tags (this is not nearly as important as it used to be, but still worthwhile). Keep each to under 200 characters and make each description unique (i.e. “Golf Lessons Philadelphia” is far more beneficial than “Golf Lessons”).
- Add robots.txt to your root directory (only if you want to hide specific pages).
You (Site Owner)
Even though there are a lot of things the web designer should do (above), the most important things to improve SEO are determined by YOU and they all have to do with CONTENT, CONTENT, CONTENT:
- Create a useful, information-rich site. Simply put, if you have good content on your website - stuff that people will want to read and link to - then you will see great search results. Other people viewing and linking to your website is the best and quickest way for your website’s ranking to improve.
- Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it.
- Within your page’s content, create relevant links to other important sites.
Don’t try any shady stuff. Old meta tag and title tricks that may have worked way back when no longer work. In fact if you try to use them today it will backfire and Google will punish you.
- Don’t submit your site to link farms
- Don’t use hidden text
- Avoid “keyword stuffing”
- Avoid Flash-only navigation
- Avoid frames and nested tables
Posted: Oct 7, 2009 @ 9:55am
Hello, my name is Mike and I own a freelance website, graphics, and logo design company called mv|creative.
I plan to post periodically about a number of different topics relating to websites and design that will hopefully inform and educate those who are trying to build a website or looking to have a website designed for their company.
mv|creative is proud to offer the following services:
- - Custom website design (valid html, css)
- - Custom Logo Design
- - Custom Graphic Design
- - Web Hosting
- - Social Media Integration (Blogs, Twitter)
Contact us for more information on our design services or to schedule a no-charge consultation.