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Everything OK: Is Your Website Valid, Accessible, and Fast?

27 mai, 2016 - 17:00

Web development is becoming more and more sophisticated. Aside from the correct markup of HTML and CSS, there are plenty of factors that don’t necessarily affect the look of a website, yet they can still influence a website’s success. This includes a barrier-free display of the content, as well as other components. Having all of this covered is difficult. That’s why there are many tools that help you get to the rating “everything OK”.

Classic Validators for HTML and CSS

First, you should make sure that your HTML and CSS source code is flawless. Here, the W3C offers a validator, which searches your HTML source code for errors, and displays alerts as well as suggestions for improvement. Aside from sticking to the syntax, there are other factors that you need to keep in mind when it comes to HTML or HTML5, respectively.


W3C Validator for HTML

Semantics play a big role especially when it comes to HTML5. Therefore, you should make sure that your website sticks to HTML5’s semantic rules. This includes proper placement of captions. Every “<article>” element should contain a caption. Multiple “<h1>” captions should be avoided. The W3C validator makes you aware of these things.

For CSS, there’s the respective validator, which makes you aware of markup errors in your stylesheets as well. Unfortunately, this one interprets vendor prefixes as errors, which is why an actually valid CSS source text practically is not sensible.

Check Accessibility

The aspect of accessibility is becoming increasingly more important. This poses a significant challenge to web designers and developers. For visually impaired people, a website has to meet specific conditions for it to be readable by screenreaders. This includes that content that can easily be detected is marked so that screenreaders can easily interpret navigation elements or border areas of a website.



The HTML_CodeSniffers tells you the state of your website’s accessibility

The HTML_CodeSniffer helps you find critical elements in your source code and checks in how far they are not barrier-free. While doing so, the tool keeps several standards in mind, which require different degrees of accessibility.

Safe Websites Preferred

The safety aspect is also increasingly important in web development. For instance, Google has already started to rate websites with SSL encryption better in the search results. Especially when personal information is transferred, which is mainly the case in social networks, and online shops, you should make sure that it is encrypted.


The SSL Report Informs You About How Safe Your Website is

The SSL report by Qualys SSL Labs gives you a quick overview on if your website is encrypted via SSL, and which other factors can pose a potential safety risk.

The website securityheaders.io tells you how so-called security headers are placed. Especially in combination with HTTPS, additional security gates can be erected, like making sure that a safe connection to a domain is kept stable, and is not accidentally switched to an unsafe connection. We’ve already presented Securityheaders.io in a more detailed review.

Speed is Important as Well

Despite the broadband expansion, you should always make sure that your website is loaded quickly even under less than optimal conditions. Especially when it comes to the mobile web, it is important to keep the transferred data as slim as possible, due to lower broadbands, and capped data volumes.

The Google PageSpeed Insights help you find out where optimizations of your website’s loading speed can be made. For example, the service tells you if the image’s file size can be reduced via improved compression, and if your JavaScript and CSS files block the page’s rendering.


GTmetrix Gives You Extensive Information on Your Website’s Speed

GTmetrix is an alternative to Google’s service. It works in a very similar fashion and shows you a percentage value of how fast your website is, and how much potential for optimization is given. To find out, over 25 parameters, which are relevant for speed, and can be optimized if necessary, are checked.

Testing Mobile Suitability

Last but not least, as we’re already talking about the mobile web, the question how well your website works on mobile devices is a factor as well. Google also has a special tool for this, which informs you about whether your site is “mobile-friendly” or not. The test for optimization for mobile devices gives you a short and brief information on if there’s need for optimization.

Is the web layout responsive? Are links and buttons big enough and have a sufficiently big gap between each other? Is the font readable? All of these factors are considered for the test.


mobiReady Shows How “Mobile-friendly” Your Website is

The website mobiReady also examines your website for mobile-friendliness. Here, it is simulated in desktop view as well as on three smartphone displays. As a result, you receive a score that compares your website to the biggest 1,000 websites in the world. On top of that, you also receive a bunch of hints on where your website is lacking, and where you can improve something.

Conclusion: Everything OK!

If you want to do everything correctly, you have a lot of work to do when it comes to design and realization. Passing all tests will be difficult, if not impossible, especially for websites with a complex design or content. Nonetheless, the services presented in this article are a good starting point to find weaknesses, and to patch up, or avoid significant errors.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

20 Fresh, Free HTML and PSD Templates plus UI Packs: Spring 2016

26 mai, 2016 - 13:00

Welcome to the Spring round of our free HTML and PSD templates showcase. As always we have put together a plethora of various design elements that only have one thing in common – they are all free to use. Other than that you will find a diverse variety of different elements for different use cases. We hope we have what you are looking for. Enjoy!

Blur-admin: Free Angular Bootstrap Admin Dashboard Template



Created by: Akveo Team
Features: Angular Bootstrap administration dashboard template, translucid elements, ultra modern style, uncountable components in its left sidebar menu.
License: MIT

Fitness: Healthy Blog One-page HTML Template



Created by: Bucky Maler
Features: Built with HTML5, Sass, JavaScript, Bootstrap 4, Gulp, Design by Blaz Robar, off-canvas right sidebar menu, responsive layout, engaging footer, and more.
License: Free for personal use

Alegian: Multi-purpose Landing Page HTML Template



Created by: Shahin Srowar
Features: parallax background, drag-and-drop page builder, very easy to customize, responsive layout, Mailchimp-ready, PSD included, and more.
License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

TravelReady: Responsive Landing Page HTML Template



Created by: Shahin Srowar
Features: Flat section backgrounds and elements, minimal icons, free fonts featured, responsive layout, medium and big thumbnails, background video, PSD included, and more.
License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

Sadaka: Flat NGO Website Template



Created by: Ouarmedia
Features: Flat design, big thumbnails, minimal style, hover effects, responsive layout, full-width automatic header slider, constant color scheme.
License: Free for personal use

Fitness: Modern One-page HTML Template



Created by: Templatemo
Features: Viewport-size automatic header slider, sticky and auto-faded top navigation bar, big postcards, big team member vCards, ghost buttons that appear on hover, parallax effects, full-width quote slider.
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

New Event: Modern & Clean HTML Template



Created by: Templatemo
Features: Eased fading and sliding entrance effects for all of its elements, clean style, full-width containers, parallax effects, screen-size header image, sticky top navigation bar.
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Spore: Free HTML5 Masonry Blog Template



Created by: Allie
Features: Full-screen sliding off-canvas menu, screen-size header image with seamless pattern overlay, masonry grid layout for its home page posts, responsive designs.
License: Free for personal use

Jobby: Gradient Mobile Sketch UI Kit



Created by: Stefano De Rosa
Features: Concept iOS Social App, gradient overlay, several screens, Sketch format, screens for login, register, menu, homepage, search, profile, and more.
License: Free for personal use

Sales Dashboard iPad PSD Template



Created by: Bradley Bussolini
Features: Soft dark scheme, glowy elements, left sidebar, dashboard administrator interface purposes, line charts, and more to discover.
License: Free for personal use

Cozy: Clean & Minimal Website PSD UI Kit



Created by: Dorin Andrei
Features: Clean style, several cards, menus, buttons, sliders, toggles, constant color scheme, beautiful complete typography, web template composition, PSD format.
License: Free for personal or commercial use

Carbon: Material ECommerce Mobile App UI Kit



Created by: Panagiotis
Features: 15 artboards, all elements in a separate file, well structured & named layers, vector-only shapes, Roboto fonts, Photoshop, and Sketch format file versions.
License: Free for personal or commercial use

Material Design Wireframe Sketch UI Kit



Created by: Dan Shipley
Features: 41 composed screens, Material Design style, screens for contact, eCommerce, text context, settings, maps, calendar, profile, chat, and more.
License: Free for personal use

Move: Dark & Purple Mobile Sketch UI Kit



Created by: Volodymyr Kurbatov
Features: Small mobile kit, high-quality screens for iOS, ease design flow, fully customizable templates, Sketch format, dark and glowy purple scheme.
License: Free for personal use

Stunning Collection: 50 Google Font Pairings



Created by: DesignShock
Features: More than 50 font pairing combinations, free-to-use Google Fonts featured on web and print design assets like blog entries, business cards, quote blocks, and more.
License: Free for personal use

Free Vector Illustrator IOS9 UI Kit



Created by: DesignShock
Features: 300 elements, fully vector-crafted elements, AI format, status bars, keyboards, navigation bars, native applications, and more.
License: Free for personal use

Nice Vector Color Line Icon Set



Created by: IconShock
Features: Vector based, playful and colorful style geometric shapes, vibrant color palette, soft outline, rounded line shines and shadows.
License: Free for personal use

Furie: Modern Car Brand Website PSD Template



Created by: Patryk W?sik
Features: Flat color backgrounds, big transparent background images, overlapping info cards, clean style, friendly typography, search bar, and more.
License: Free for personal use

Devio: One Page Portfolio Template PSD



Created by: Stefano De Rosa
Features: One-page portfolio website template, Material Design-inspired style, neatly crafted elements such as navigation bar dropdown, carousel, hover state card, and more.
License: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Virtus: Modern Dashboard PSD Template



Created by: Jakub Kowalczyk
Features: 5 well-layered screens, easily customizable, UI elements, typography, monochromatic color palette, all screens, and more.
License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Google AdWords: Successful Campaigns for Beginners

25 mai, 2016 - 15:00

In contrast to search engine optimization, Google advertising offers a clear time advantage with its AdWords offer: Once an AdWords campaign is set up and online, conversions and leads can already be gained from day one. As soon as the (good!) campaign is online, users can see it immediately after entering the respective keywords.

Thus, Google AdWords is an excellent opportunity to boost sales in a short period for both small and large businesses alike. However, mistakes that heavily limit the campaign’s success, and can make it more expensive than it needs to be, are easily made, especially by inexperienced AdWords users. For this reason, we’ve accumulated some tips in our recent blog article, which allow you to optimize your existing campaigns, or improve the setup of new campaigns from the start.

Empathize With Your Target Group!

Who do you want your ads to reach? Determine in advance, which target groups you want to aim your campaign at, and base the following actions on that decision. Only then, the respective keywords can be found, and the best possible ad texts can be written. For that reason, you should always keep the viewers that you want to address in mind, both before the launch of the campaign, and during the entire campaign lifespan, so that you can conduct optimizations accordingly, and to increase, or keep up your ROI.

Google AdWords: Find the Right Keywords!

Which goods or services does your business offer, and for which of these do you want to be found on Google? Good and, above all, relevant keywords are a must for your AdWords campaign. However, when it comes to the selection and collection of your search terms or phrases, you need to pay attention to a few important things, to get the most out of your marketing budget.

Short and general keywords are often faced with a lot of competition, as well as a high click price, and on top of that, they often don’t exactly display the product range of a particular business. Instead, especially with a small to medium sized budget, it is recommended to choose phrases that give a description of goods or services, and with that, address users that are already in the final stage of decision making. This increases the chances of users clicking the ad, and purchasing a product, significantly.

Before setting up a campaign, extensive keyword research is key (here, the Keyword Planner by Google can help you), to find relevant and suitable keywords for your business. When your company is a local business, it also makes sense to add the name of the city to the keyword, like Jeweler NYC or Nail Studio Detroit, for instance.

Google AdWords also allows you to add keywords with different keyword options which can be booked using certain symbols. As the keyword options influence the display of the ads, using them is highly recommended. Here, you can distinguish between the following options:

  • Broad match: Keywords and phrases that are added into the campaign without additions have the attribute Broad match. This means, that your ads are also displayed when a user searches terms that are different from your keywords. This includes abbreviations, typos, as well as synonyms or supplements.
  • Broad match modifier: When adding a plus (+) to keywords, this can limit their range slightly. Thus, ads are not displayed for synonyms, for example, when the term carries a +.
  • Phrase match: If you add quotes to keywords or phrases, they are saved with the option Phrase match. Then, they are only displayed when the order of the terms of your keyword phrases matches the one in the user’s search requests. Nonetheless, the amount of words before or after this phrase is unlimited.
  • Exact match: If you enclose your keywords in square brackets, they are assigned to the option Exact match. Then, your ads are only displayed when the user enters the exact words, with no exceptions.

Aside from the keyword options mentioned above, there’s also the option to refine your campaign with negative keywords.

Add Negative Keywords!

Whenever a user clicks your AdWords ad, it costs you money. Thus, it is important to design a campaign as precisely as possible, and only to display it for keywords that are fitting, and, in the best case, lead to a conversion. Here is where the negative keywords come into play. Negative keywords are words or phrases for which you don’t want the ads to be displayed at all. That’s logical, as the click on your add because of such a keyword would only result in wasted money.

Because you as a business want to sell your goods or services, you can exclude keywords like free, cost less, for nothing, and so on right from the start, for which there’s a separate slider. While doing so, also choose the keyword option “Broad match” for the list of negative keywords, to make sure that combinations of said words don’t lead to the display of your ads. For other phrases, the option “Exact match” is recommended, as it allows you to exclude specific word combinations.

Evaluate the Search Requests!

Do you know for which words your ads are actually displayed in the end? Although your campaign already has relevant, as well as negative keywords, it can always happen that an ad is shown for a wrong search phrase, which causes unnecessary costs. For that reason, it is recommended to check the user’s search requests on a regular basis, and to filter and save negative (or positive) keywords.

Write Appealing Ad Texts!

Generate more attention by directly addressing your target audience with the ad texts, making them curious about your products and services. Empathize with the user to get a feel for what he expects.

The ad texts are rather important when it comes to leading the users to your page, which is why it should be written in an appealing, brief, and grammatically correct way. For this, there are three lines available: Heading (25 characters), as well as two lines of text (35 characters each), which you should make as much use of as possible.

To do that, it is smart to include the keyword that the user entered in the Google search engine in the ad, as he will then gain the impression that he will find just what he was looking for on your page. Google offers the option to implement a keyword placeholder, which automatically integrates the search term when the ad is displayed.

Google AdWords: To Success With Know-how and Time

With the presented advice, you can optimize your campaign significantly, so that in the future, your conversions should become better. However, there are other important aspects that can’t be missing in a good AdWords campaign. It requires know-how and time (!), as only with regular control, and continuous adjustments of keywords, ads and so forth, you can achieve a sustainably successful campaign result.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Best of May 2016: Ten Free WordPress Plugins

24 mai, 2016 - 15:00

In May, just like every month, I searched through the official WordPress plugin index to find the most functional and appealing new plugins for you. I don’t do this entirely selflessly, however, as I myself find it very exciting to test new free WordPress plugins for my diverse projects. This month was very generous and brought a couple of interesting plugins to light.

1 – Posts For All Pages

Posts for all Pages allows you to have your posts displayed on other pages than just the index.php. You can let it help you show all posts of a particular category on any page you want to. This allows for the creation of multiple blogs based on certain categories in not time.

  • Developer: wpyb
  • Work in Progress: yes
  • Last Updated: 05.20.2016
  • Cost: Free from WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known Compatibility Issues: unknown
  • Developer Homepage: Unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org
2 – Engaging Convo

Engaging Convo is an innovative comment plugin which provides unusual features. For instance, your visitors can mark an area in your text and start a debate on it directly there. Thus, there’s no reason to scroll to the end of an article, just to be able to leave a comment. Additionally, it is possible to create multiple comment sections for various post areas, and the different sections can be accessed guided by the color in which the text segment is highlighted. Find a demo of the plugin on this page.

  • Developer: lazharichir
  • Work in Progress: yes
  • Last Updated: 05.21.2016
  • Cost: Free from WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known Compatibility Issues: unknown
  • Developer Homepage: Unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org
3 – Social Icon Widget

This widget brings you appealing icons to link to your social networks in the sidebar.

  • Developer:mostafiz
  • Work in Progress: yes
  • Last Updated: 05.19.2016
  • Cost: Free from WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known Compatibility Issues: unknown
  • Developer Homepage: Unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org
4 – UTM Switcher

The UTM Switcher is a useful plugin for online shops and all digital sellers. You can determine precisely from where your visitors came to certain pages, and then optimize them with customized content, like individual phone numbers e.g.. In digital marketing, it can be tough to find out which advertisement channel brings the best results. It could be Adwords, paid ads on Facebook, advertorials on blogs, and so on. This plugin helps you to find out which channel’s results are the best.

  • Developer: punchrockgroin
  • Work in Progress: yes
  • Last Updated: 05.18.2016
  • Cost: Free from WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known Compatibility Issues: unknown
  • Developer Homepage: Unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org
5 – TS Collections

TS Collections lets you activate or deactivate plenty of features with just one click. The following things can be influenced:

  • Move all JavaScript into the footer, including jQuery.
  • Force ASYNC for all JavaScript files, except for jQuery.
  • Automatic linking of Twitter usernames.
  • Mark comments with long URLs as spam.
  • Set the minimum comment length to 20 words.
  • Allow PHP in the text widgets.
  • Remove the automatic URL linking in the WordPress comments.
  • Remove the URL field from the WordPress comment form.
Plugin Details:
  • Developer: rktaiwala
  • Work in Progress: yes
  • Last Updated: 05.18.2016e
  • Cost: Free from WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known Compatibility Issues: unknown
  • Developer Homepage: Unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org
6 – Universal Icons

This convenient plugin allows you to display icons before or after a widget’s title. Supposedly, this works with any widget.

  • Developer: rktaiwala
  • Work in Progress: yes
  • Last Updated: 05.18.2016
  • Cost: Free from WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known Compatibility Issues: unknown
  • Developer Homepage: Unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org
7 – WallpaperChanger

The WallpaperChanger enables you to make wallpapers switch automatically, depending on the time of day. This means that your website can have one background in the morning and a different one in the evening, without you actually doing anything. This helps to set your site apart from others.

  • Developer: taniafi786
  • Work in Progress: yes
  • Last Updated: 05.18.2016
  • Cost: Free from WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known Compatibility Issues: unknown
  • Developer Homepage: Unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org
8 – Disable Blogging

Disable Blogging should be especially interesting for developers that often develop and sell pure business websites without a blog. The plugin deactivates the entire WordPress blog functionality. On top of that, all blog-relevant entries in the WordPress dashboard can be removed.

  • Developer: Fact Maven Corp.
  • Work in Progress: yes
  • Last Updated: 05.18.2016
  • Cost: fee via WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known Compatibility Issues: unknown
  • Developer Homepage: Unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org
9 – Pay-to-view

Pay-to-view’s goal is a fair web. This also includes the display of ads, as the owners of most websites need to earn money. However, advertisements are often annoying from the visitor perspective. Thus, the plugin displays a message for every visitor with an active ad blocker, asking them to pay one (1) cent per viewed page, to be able to enjoy the website without ads. If a visitor that uses an ad blocker is not willing to pay the cent, the plugin deactivates the ad blocker. The costs are charged at the end of each month. Every website owner has to decide whether he want to use this solution or not, as he might lose a couple of visitors. But one cent per viewed page really isn’t much.

  • Developer: AFairWeb
  • Work in Progress: yes
  • Last Updated: 05.18.2016
  • Cost: Free from WordPress.org
  • License: GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  • Known Compatibility Issues: unknown
  • Developer Homepage: Unknown
  • Download on WordPress.org
10 – Addonist WhatsApp Share

WhatsApp is becoming more and more relevant on mobile and thus also in online marketing strategies. That’s why it sounds like a good idea to make your articles shareable via WhatsApp as well. This could result in a wider spread broadcast of your content. Thus, the plugin adds a share button for WhatsApp to the posts. In the pro version, you can also add the button to WooCommerce products.

Conclusion

This month was very generous regarding new and exciting plugins. I like the comment plugin “Engaging Convo”. I was also impressed by the “UTM Switcher”, which I might use myself after I’ve integrated a shop into my website. Which plugin is your favorite of this month?

Find other recent plugins here:

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Survey: Typographic Trends 2016

23 mai, 2016 - 15:00

What’s popular regarding typography right now? Extensis, a provider of app solutions for font management, has conducted a survey in the creative scene and has come to impressive results. All the survey results, for which about 2,000 creative people from different branches were asked, can be downloaded for free in the PDF file Typographic Trends.

Fonts are Still Used for Printing

Jim Kidwell, who created the survey Typographic Trends for Extensis, has invited participants from the company’s customer database. That’s a smart approach as these are exactly the people that deal with fonts and typography every single day. Furthermore, that’s why it’s not surprising that 40 percent of the participants come from the graphic design sector, followed by print, advertising, and publishing.

An interesting aspect is that over 90 percent of participants use fonts for print, about 80 percent use it to design logos and two-thirds for the embedding in PDF files. The usage of fonts on websites is only about 55 percent, even though web fonts have been supported by all browsers for a couple of years now, and the supply of free and paid web fonts is rather large.

The survey doesn’t tell you whether the reason is the popular subscription model, which is commonly seen with commercial fonts, or not.

Typographic Trends: Serif Heavy Fonts are Very Popular, Fonts Without Serifs are Welcome in the Future

But which fonts are especially popular amongst graphic designers and advertisers? Here, serif heavy fonts are very popular amongst over 90 percent of the participants. This goes well alongside the trend that we noticed in graphic and web design. Whenever a design is supposed to be trendy, serif fonts are used.

Art nouveau fonts, as well as fonts with double or more additional lines, were rated especially bad. The negative rating is probably due to the limited readability of these fonts.

As every trend dies out at one point, Kidwell also asked which fonts are currently overused. Fonts in chalkboard style are some of the top answers here.

When it comes to which fonts the people want to see in the future, fonts without serifs, being the complete opposite of the still very popular serif fonts, are in the top position.

Typography: a Very Emotional Matter

The survey Typographic Trends didn’t only allow the participants to answer via multiple choice. They were also able to communicate their thoughts on the presented font styles. Kidwell has published a collection of these thoughts and comments as well.

Kidwell has published ten participant’s opinions for every single one of the 14 fonts that represented one style each. The opinions include interesting views, as to why someone especially likes or dislikes a font. Here, it becomes evident that typography is a highly emotional issue for designers.

One participant can’t contain himself when it comes to chalkboard fonts, and comments the following: “… please destroy all of these fonts.” Many creative people will be this passionate about fonts, especially when it comes to very unpopular ones.

Mainly Purchasing Fonts From the Big Suppliers

Another fascinating segment of the survey deals with the question where and how the participants purchase fonts. Here, it becomes apparent that there are three large main suppliers that have the edge over the competition. MyFonts, Fonts.com, and Adobe are by far the most popular providers. If you keep in mind that MyFonts, and Fonts.com both belong to the Monotype group, the font market is basically shared between two large companies.

Smaller providers only have minuscule shares which, for the most part, lie below five percent.

Most of the participants license entire families, just when they are needed. It is very rare that entire libraries are licensed, or that only open source fonts are used. The fact that about 6 percent of the asked people don’t license fonts at all is left open for you to judge.

Conclusion

On a total of 31 pages, there are plenty more interesting results on fonts, and how they are used at the moment. The survey Typographic Trends also answers the question which font designer is currently at the top in the eyes of the participants. You can get the results of the study Typographic Trends on the Extensis website. All you need to do to download the file is enter your email address.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Best of May 2016: Ten Free WordPress Themes

22 mai, 2016 - 13:00

April showers bring May flowers, is a common proverb. It might just suit your WordPress website. In this article, I’ll, once again, introduce you to ten free WordPress themes that I consider the best of the month. This gives you a sound basis for the decision whether you want to give your website a new look or not. Of course, all themes are responsive and adjust to all output media.

1 – IsleMag

This theme fits magazines, news pages, personal blogs, and photographer portfolios. It provides an adjustable background, sliders, and it is prepared for Google Adsense. According to the developers, the theme is very well adjustable.

2 – Travel Eye

Travel Eye was specifically developed for travel businesses, hotels, and anything similar to that. Unique about this theme is a drag-and-drop system, which allows you to compose your pages the way you want to. On top of that, there are many settings through the theme customizer.

3 – Revive

The Revive theme was made to be suitable for many different purposes, and can be customized to your needs regarding colors, background, blog layout, and sidebar.

4 – Foodhunt

Foodhunt was specifically developed for restaurants, but it also works for bars. The theme looks like a lot of attention to detail was paid, as its design is very appealing. The free version provides a lot of features, like a full-area “Hero Slider”, color options, parallax effects, and a lot more.

5 – Infinite Photography

Infinite Photography is a theme dedicated to photographers. However, it could definitely be used for portfolios as well. If needed, all the photos open in a lightbox. The homepage itself, the colors, and the logo can be customized.

6 – Canapé

Canapé is the restaurant theme variant by Automattic, the company behind WordPress. This stands for optimal code quality and durability of the theme, but nonetheless, themes by Automattic are known for a rather limited scope of features. However, missing features can be added via plugins in arrear, and then will be available for the next theme as well.

7 – Moon

Moon is a pure, but appealingly designed blog theme. The minimalism in the layout directs your focus to the content. The header, colors, and the theme’s background can be edited. It comes with four additional widgets on top of that: Instagram, Dribble, Flickr, and a Tabbed Post Widget.

  • Created by: NhatQuang
  • License: Free for personal and commercial purposes | GNU General Public License
  • Prepared for Localization: Yes
  • Demo: Moon Demo
  • Download from WordPress.org
8 – Poris

The Poris theme is another theme developed to be a pure blog theme. As an addition, you also receive an author box below the posts and an appealing variant for similar articles.

  • Created by: themewarrior
  • License: Free for personal and commercial purposes | GNU General Public License
  • Prepared for Localization: Yes
  • Demo: Poris Demo
  • Download from WordPress.org
9 – Gem

The Gem theme is intended for many different purposes, but it is guaranteed to work well as a business theme. The free version on WordPress already offers plenty of features, but if you are quick enough you can make an even better bargain. The theme’s premium version is currently available for free.

10 – Tortuga

Tortuga is the right theme for magazines, news sites, and personal blogs. It comes with many options, like various post layouts, tons of theme options, sliders, and additional widgets for the main page. You can fully customize it to your requirements.

Find Further Recent WordPress Themes Here:

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Blisk: The Browser for Developers

20 mai, 2016 - 17:00

Nowadays, all modern browsers are equipped with extensive developer tools. Among other things, they help you check HTML and CSS, as well as debug JavaScript. They also allow you to have your web layout displayed in different resolutions. These developer tools ease the work of web designers and developers significantly. However, this can be done in an even more comfortable and faster way: Blisk is a new browser that was specifically created for developers.

Always Keep an Eye on Mobile Devices

Once you downloaded and installed Blisk, it should remind you of Google Chrome at first sight. That’s not surprising, as Blisk is based on Chromium, which is available to the public under a free license.

The biggest difference to Chrome and other browsers becomes evident when accessing a website. Blisk always displays the website in desktop and mobile view at the same time. In the right half of the screen, the page is shown as a classic desktop version, and on the left, the mobile view is shown.


Split Window for Mobile and Desktop View

For that, you choose from a line up of common smartphones and tablets. For example, this allows you to easily switch from an iPhone 6 to a Galaxy S3 to see how your website is presented on each device. The website is always shown in a mockup of the respective device to make the appearance as realistic as possible.

The display on mobile devices can be further controlled in touch mode, where controls are done via taps and gestures. While Chrome offers this option as well, it is not as polished as it is here.

Synchronized Scrolling

In order for you to be able to optimally compare your website in desktop and mobile view, your website is scrolled in parallel on both views. This saves time, as you don’t have to scroll each view to get to a certain point on the site.


Menu Bar to Activate and Deactivate Special Features

If you don’t like the synchronous scrolling, you can simply turn it off in the settings. The menu bar contains a special button that takes you to the setup with the settings in which you can turn this feature on and off.

Auto Refresh for Altered Content

Another very handy feature of Blisk is the auto refresh. It automatically makes the browser reload a website when the HTML or CSS source text of the page has changed.

To do that, you need to set up a so-called watcher for a domain. Add the root directory with the local data of your website to a domain. Additionally, also define file extensions that you want it to react to. HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files are chosen by default.


The Setup for Auto Refresh

Whenever one of these files changes in the local index, Blisk automatically reloads the website with the entered domain. Those that run a local server, or automatically save files of their web project from a local file system to a server, will enjoy this function a lot and save a lot of time by not having to manually reload over and over again.

More Features in the Works

As Blisk is still new, not all announced features are available. There are a couple of features that need still to be implemented. This includes the option to create screenshots of websites, as well as a video capture feature.

An analytics feature which is supposed to measure the compatibility and performance of a website across devices is also in the works.

Classic Developer Tools

Of course, Blisk also includes the classic developer tools that you know from Google Chrome. You can still check elements, and have access to cookies and the storages of your websites.

Although Blisk doesn’t have its full scope of features yet, the browser is already an interesting alternative to Chrome for developers. It makes a lot of things easier, faster, and more beautiful. On top of that, Blisk is free and will supposedly gain a couple more interesting features.

At the moment, Blisk is only available for Windows. Apple and Linux are said to follow, however.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Small Victories: Free Instant Website Out of Your Dropbox

19 mai, 2016 - 15:00

Using cloud storage for the display of your website is a quite obvious thing to consider. Thus, it is rather surprising that there are not too many services providing offers that pick up this idea. The new service “Small Victories” does just that. Throw a bunch of files into the Dropbox and look what happens.

Small Victories: Simple Flatfile CMS in Your Dropbox

Small Victories is a very slim, free to use CMSaaS (Content Management System as a Service), created by the creative people at the New York-based design agency XXIX.co. The concept is simple. You grant the service access to your Dropbox account. After that, Small Victories creates the main folder, under which the individual websites appear as sub-folders. Move the files that you want to cumulate to a website into these sub-folders. In its absolute basic iteration, that’s all there is to do.

The websites are then available to the public as a subdomain of smvi.co. You can also activate a password protection via a manual entry in a file named settings.txt if you find that necessary. Quickly initiate updates by updating, altering, or extending the respective files in your Dropbox. Every change in the respective Dropbox folder will be mirrored live on the respective website shortly after.

Instead of subdomains, you can also use a custom domain. For that, you need access to your domain’s DNS records, which pretty much every host I know of provides without any issues. Ten years ago, that would have been a different story.

Small Victories: Bringing Structure Into the Design

Of course, it’s going to be very rare that you don’t care how and in which order the content that you dumped into the Dropbox will be displayed. Regarding that, the creatives of XXIX.co have put in plenty of thought.

For one, you can choose one of six different templates to create a rough structure of your content. For the presentation of images, for example, the template Slideshow would make sense, one pagers are predefined with the templates Homepage or Campaign.

Further structure your designs by sticking to logical naming conventions. For the one pagers’ backgrounds, use a file named background.jpg, which will automatically be recognized, and placed as the background. Determine the order of the files that you want to be integrated by numbering them in the form of 01-image.jpg, 02-text.txt, for instance.

Small Victories then displays the data in this exact order. General filters, like sorting alphabetically, or by file date can be done via entries in the settings.txt of the respective site. You can either edit it manually, and move it into the Dropbox, or by using the admin page that is set up for each site.

It’s even possible to distribute image captions. To do so, name a text file identically to the respective image, like image-1.jpg, and image-1-jpg.txt. Small Victories is even prepared for using custom fonts or fonts from Google Fonts and Typekit.


Picture: Example of a Photo Gallery Created Using Small Victories

Those that know CSS and JavaScript well are not limited at all, as Small Victories allows them to realize anything that they are capable of programming. jQuery is provided by the service by default and doesn’t require explicit referencing.

Small Victories: Well-Documented

Small Victories comes with a sufficiently detailed documentation, which introduces you to the process in a very detailed way, and can answer all questions that may come up. Thus, there’s not much to criticize about Small Victories when looking for a simple flat-file CMS.

The catch: Small Victories pursues a collaborative plan, and wants to allow multiple participants to work on one site together. That’s why it can’t work from the folder Dropbox/Apps. The folders in there can not be shared with others. So, to allow others to edit your website, the main folder has to sit outside of the app folder. This makes it necessary to grant Small Victories full access to your entire Dropbox. Depending on how you use your Dropbox outside of that, it is possible that you don’t want that to happen at all. However, keep in mind that it is always feasible to create a new Dropbox for the sole purpose of using it as a container for Small Victories, and it’s free at that ;-)

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

SEO: Optimal Images for Google Image Search

18 mai, 2016 - 10:00

There are plenty of articles on the optimization of text content for the best possible keyword ranking. However, the importance of image content is often underestimated or not mentioned at all. The best article wouldn’t be anything without pictures. At least, it would be incomplete. Additionally, visual elements help us understand the content of articles much better, and this is the point at which every webmaster should realize that image content is extremely valuable for search engines as well. On top of that, there’s not only the Google web search but also the Google image search, which also has a lot of potential to permanently increase your website’s visibility.

Advantages of Google Image Search

In the following, to clarify the value of Google image search, we want to show you four arguments for optimal images:

  1. Increases the website’s visibility
  2. Secures market shares against competitors
  3. Adds value for customers and search engines
  4. Boosts Conversions
1. Increase the Website’s Visibility

For many webmasters, “visibility” is written with a capital V, and the value is often used to measure the success of onpage optimizations.

Specific optimization of image content in articles, infographics, diagrams, and so forth doesn’t only increase the value for readers/customers, but also for the search engine. These small and slight optimizations help the search engine recognize what the image elements show the reader. If the engine understands what the images display, it boosts the value of a well-written article so much, that it receives a better placement within the Google SERPs. Additionally, the optimized content is also better placed in the Google search engine. The better the content is optimized, the better the rankings in the image search, and thus, the better the website’s visibility.

The development of image visibility, as well as other areas, can be measured by the SISTRIX tool, for example.

The following graphic shows how the development of image content (yellow graph) looked like on Google.de.


Source: Sistrix Blog

2. Market Shares and Competitors

The goal of a profit-oriented website has to be to increase the market shares within its branch and to receive all the reachable competition advantages with that. This is especially interesting when competitors are not even active in certain areas yet, and this is where the Google images search comes into play. Often, your competition is not set in this area at all, or only very slightly, which is your chance to lead traffic to your page via optimal images.

On top of that, every webmaster knows that there are overpowered behemoths in plenty of branches, which claim a majority of traffic from the organic Google search. This is another point where Google image search comes into play, as these giants often ignore this source of traffic. This is your chance to gain additional market shares.

Let’s take a look at the whole thing in an example of one of the most popular diving areas:

When searching for “Tauchreisen Raja Ampat“, the website of the tour operator scuba-native.de comes up as the 15th result. Thus, a majority of customers is lost to competition.


Source: Google.de

Now let’s look at the top third of the Google image search, where scuba-native.de has a much better ranking than most of its competition.

As we can see, scuba-native.de has by far the most images in prominent positions. Most competitors that were still on page 1 of the organic search are barely present. As especially scuba travels to Raja Ampat are expensive trips, they are directed to a high society target audience that will inform themselves about the travel in detail, the tour operator will have further chances on valuable traffic through the many optimal images.

3. Added Value for Customers and Search Engine

The added value for customers and search engines is significant. Everyone knows it: an article or a product description without images delivers less information than articles and products with images. On top of that, content without images can become annoying rather quickly, leading to a higher bounce rate, which results in a negative signal for the search engine, and a negative influence on the ranking. Thus, you definitely have to turn the negative signal into a positive one.

When the bounce rate drops, and the visit duration on your website increases, the search engine will know that the search result was the right one for the customer. In addition to that, it also receives information on the content of the website, which makes it easier to rate. This can also have a positive influence on the rankings and the visibility of your website.

4. Increasing the CTR

The added value of articles/products with related image content is evident. Here, every webmaster should ask themselves: would I blindly buy a product that was not shown to me before, or that I couldn’t see clearly? Or would you rather decide for the product that you saw an image of, or that displays its purpose in a positive way?

The answer should be clear as there are only very few customers that are willing to buy a pig in a poke.

Thus, every webmaster should be aware of the value of increasing the CTR with optimal images.

But be careful: as for every optimization, a healthy balance is essential. Using as many images as possible is not always recommendable. For example, when images overload a product and thus distract from the purchase, you have to think about the placement. To avoid an overload, you can set up a passive gallery, like the one that Amazon runs for its products.

How Image Optimization Works Image Descriptions

The keyword density is raised via the distribution of relevant keywords for image content. This procedure helps the search engine to categorize the content of a page. With a proper amount of relevant keywords that were tailored for an article, a better ranking of the article in the SERPs can be achieved.


Source: Sunliner.de

Image Size

When images are too small, the image search ranks them poorly, or not at all. I recommend a minimum length of 300px for one of the sides. The other side’s length depends on the format. The optimal image search format is the 4:3 horizontal format.

Image Name / Path Name

Pictures should have a sensible name, to enable search engines to categorize them easier. A talking path is also recommended (Hyphen as a divider).

Image Captions

Pictures should have meaningful captions so that Google can assign them better. In the optimal case, the image caption is in the same CSS class as the picture.

Alt Tag

You should always assign useful alt tags to pictures, which is already being practiced:

Picture Sitemap

An XML sitemap for images eases the work for Google, and should exist where all relevant images are stored.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

High Speed: Really Accelerate WordPress Websites [#5]

17 mai, 2016 - 13:00

This little series is about the things that really accelerate WordPress websites, moving them into the millisecond area of loading speed. A lot of manual work is required, as we found out in the last article. In this part, we’ll do the touch ups that are still left. We’ll tune URLs, put Jetpack on a diet, transform the website into static HTML pages via caching, and make videos load last.

Performance: The Right Permalink Structure

Permalinks in WordPress can be changed at will. WordPress allows us to create any structure we can think of. The natural structure of the WordPress permalinks is called messy URLs, as no clear structure can be recognized. A link right after a fresh installation would look like this:

http://www.noupe.com/?p=123

This structure is not really readable by human and machine, and thus, people started using readable permalinks with keywords.

http://www.noupe.com/example-post/

With WordPress, creating these links can be done very quickly, and at the moment, this structure is still the most popular one. However, many other arrangements are possible, like a date, the category, or tags, for example. This is not smart, though, as permalinks can drain your server’s resources massively. Who would’ve expected that? In general, you can say that strongly altered permalinks are bad for the performance.

Of course, this doesn’t increase the loading time by seconds, but in conjunction with other performance eaters, it is measurable. Link addresses with simple IDs are significantly faster when there are many entries in a blog, or at certain times where the visitor traffic is very high.

Google Pays Close to No Attention to the “Talking” URLs

Times have changed, and Google itself doesn’t seem to care about the talking URLs anymore. The opposite is the case, as Google itself has started to use simple IDs in their URLs, instead of keywords. This can be seen on YouTube and Google+, for instance. Google switches over to paying attention to user friendliness, fast loading times, and good content. The old tricks with the talking address, optimized with keywords, don’t work anymore. Thus, it makes sense to consider using short and fast URLs, and changing the structure for existing projects as well.

Switching Permalinks to Simple IDs

Recently, Google seems to value short URLs more than others. This is a personal observation of mine since I switched my permalink structure from talking to simple IDs on my Democratic Post. Since then, I’ve been receiving more traffic via Google. Thus, I recommend using a simple permalink structure with IDs. Changing the structure for existing projects is no problem either, as WordPress takes care of the necessary redirections from the old to the new URL. A link ID would look like this:

http://andreas-hecht.com/466/

The following screenshot shows the appropriate settings:

Make Videos Load Last

Making videos load last doesn’t make the website significantly faster regarding the pure loading time. But the website builds up significantly faster. At least, the visitor will gain the impression that your blog loads rapidly, as the visible area of the site is displayed far more quickly. To achieve that, the loading of the video is simply moved to the end. When a video happens to be integrated directly into the visible area, a white frame will show for a short period, in which the video will be displayed after it has loaded completely. Now, the loading of the website is not interrupted by videos anymore. The code is very minimal, and consists of two parts:

The Code Snippets for Your Theme’s functions.php:

Part 1: The PHP Function

One click opens the Gist at GitHub

Part 2: The JavaScript Code

One click opens the Gist at GitHub

The second part of the code is only loaded on the page of the article. Those that use videos on pages or the homepage also have to adjust the snippet to their needs.

Caching: Switching a Blog to Static HTML Pages

Even a regular caching speeds your website up quite a bit. However, the PHP interpreter is still called up with every page visit. If you want a really fast website, you need to switch the caching of your website to the creation of static websites. Then, the PHP interpreter is avoided, and the demanded page is immediately called up. This really makes a difference, but it does have its disadvantages.

Advantage:

Each page is loaded a lot faster; the website becomes really fast.

Disadvantages:

No scheduled articles are possible anymore, as the PHP interpreter is avoided.

Solution:

A decent alternative would be calling up the WordPress file wp-cron.php (located in the main index of the WordPress entitiy), using a server cronjob (ask hoster), or a service provider like cronjob.de. – Cachify Wiki

Creating Static HTML Pages Using the Plugin Cachify

The free WordPress plugin Cachify is the fastest caching plugin for WordPress websites if set up correctly. In conjunction with a .htaccess extension, it creates a GZIP-compressed HTML version of each of a blog’s pages.

Cachify Download on WordPress.org

The .htaccess file can be found in the WordPress main index. The required extension for Cachify has to be copied in above the WordPress rules. Please make a backup before editing the file.

One click opens the Gist at GitHub

The Required Settings of the Cachify Plugin

A Diet for Jetpack

Jetpack is a great plugin, as long as you are careful what you activate. I use the plugin very consciously and only have a few modules enabled. On my Democratic Post, the following modules are active:

  • Shortcode Embeddings – for Youtube, Flickr, and other services
  • Website Statistics – for a fast overview of the most viewed articles in the dashboard
  • Additional Sidebar Widgets – for the display of the most popular articles (Top Post Widget)
  • Data Backup – for the VaultPress backups

Jetpack’s bad reputation as a performance eater comes from the fact that the plugin loads a stylesheet or a JavaScript or both for each of its possible functions. Unfortunately, it is not possible to decide which scripts and styles you want to be loaded, and which ones you don’t want as you might not even use them at all. Thus, you need to manually decide what is necessary. For me, the plugin loads exactly one JavaScript and not a single CSS file.

I’ve copied the CSS that’s necessary for the top post widget out of the Jetpack CSS file and implemented it in my style.css. Afterward, the Jetpack CSS was prevented from loading.

Part 1 of the Jetpack Optimization: Control Over the Modules

The Jetpack modules can easily be controlled using the plugin, and can also be prevented from automatically activating. Every module that was deactivated doesn’t load scripts anymore. An overview of the settings:

Download Module Control for Jetpack

Part 2 of the Jetpack Optimization: Preventing CSS from Loading When It’s Not Needed

Jetpack loads tons of CSS files that are not required in all cases. My website doesn’t need a single one, which is why I deactivated them all. The code for that was written in a way that individual elements can be deleted from it when you need them.

One click opens the Gist at GitHub

The Final Result: A Really Fast Website

The First Run With the Pingdom Tools

The Second Run With the Pingdom Tools

With all the settings we made, we’ve created a website that loads in a matter of milliseconds. Nonetheless, we would not be done at this point, as a lot more is possible. I could forgo the top post widget or the large format images for my ebooks. The de:comments plugin for the comments could be deactivated, and I could use the WordPress comments with a caching for the Gravatars. On top of that, I could kick out the ad blocks from Google Adsense and Plista.

A loading time of 300 milliseconds would certainly be possible. But that is not practicable, in my opinion.

Really Accelerate WordPress Websites: the Series Related Links:

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Content Strategies to Increase E-Commerce Success

16 mai, 2016 - 13:00

Today’s article is about content strategies for online shops. In this post, we’ll tell you why it is wise to think long-term and goal-focused as an online shop, as well as which content strategies are recommendable to generate more traffic and achieve success.

The Basics of Long-term Content Marketing

The foundation of successful content marketing is usually created with a strategic placement of the shop on the market, a clear USP, and by communicating this USP through ads and other means of marketing communication. The brand itself should already be established on the market as well. Individual content marketing on this basis can boost authority and strengthen the brand.

Furthermore, the target audience should be defined. Only those that know their customers, and target them appropriately, can achieve significant success with marketing measures.

However, knowing your customers is not always an advantage, the opposite could also be the case. The potential clients can only build trust, and recognize the expertise behind the shop when they know who runs it. This can be done by informing your target audience with professional and trustworthy content, and by delivering expert knowledge on the branch on a regular basis. This way, you show that you are an expert on the topic, and, at the same time, you strengthen the bindings of your customers to your assortment. Regular blog posts and insights that report from the daily work routine (for example a post with images of the business’ Christmas party) help you build trust and underline your team’s humaneness.

Building on these basic marketing activities, there are several fitting content strategies that are authentic and convincing with true added value. In the following, we’ve collected some essential content strategies.

Content Marketing With a Strategy: How to Increase Your Traffic! Strategy 1: Product Descriptions That Raise Excitement

Product descriptions might be toilsome, but their effects are certainly worth it. With an informative product description, you can display your every product as positive as possible. You should answer all questions on the product, directly communicate the asked-for information, and provide a decision-making help when it comes to the purchase. You should definitely avoid lists in note form as well as duplicate content. To strengthen trust, and to set yourself apart from the competition, you should include manufacturer or product information.

Strategy 2: Category Texts With Outlasting Information

Present a product assortment to your website visitors, inform them about offers, and strengthen the internal link structure of the shop using optimized category texts. Category texts can be characterized to be durable and informative, and are used for optimization, as well as the improvement of the usability.

Strategy 3: Provide Helpful Answers and Tips in a Blog or Guide

Internet users are always searching for information and solutions that can help them in their everyday life. All thinkable problems ranging from “how to get fuller hair” to “guide to the installation of program XY” are possible. Think about your assortment and put yourself into the user’s position. Which product-related or general questions come to mind? Authentic and informative solutions display a chance to convince shop visitors. On top of that, varied guides and articles that are commented and liked increase the social media presence of your business.

Strategy 4: Expert Knowledge From A-Z

The expertise is not only underlined by guides or blog posts: indices and lexica with helpful word explanations that suit the shop assortment’s branch can provide real added value and convince the visitors. The information boosts the trust in the store, and at the same time, the most relevant keywords can be covered. Another good alternative would be an FAQ area, which lists the most important customer questions. These relevant issues can be chosen from past customer questions, as well as from research results in forums, as common questions can increase the traffic significantly because the people that are looking for an answer to said question will end up in the shop as well.

Strategy 5: Binding Customers With Quality Content and Improving Rankings

Quality content with a diverse design, e.g. with a good mix of text, images, and videos, binds users. It increases the visit duration and lowers the bounce rate. According to the user behavior, Google can draw conclusions about your content’s relevance. Thus, your ranking can increase when the visit duration increases, putting the page at a higher spot in the search results, which will then be followed by increased visitor traffic.

Strategy 6: Finally, You Should Always Combine Variety and Dynamics

Not just the content should be diverse; you should also use different channels for its distribution.

Using a Combination of the Following Channels is Very Promising:
  • Corporate blog that is accessible directly from the online shop (via subdomain, for example)
  • Ebooks in PDF format that are available as a (free) download
  • Posts on Facebook and Google+, that are geared with each other
  • Videos on Youtube, that address potential customers on an emotional level

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Cartoon: In Ten Years From Now

15 mai, 2016 - 10:00

Today I refuse to work with any new tool that takes more than a little effort to learn it. The reason is simple. In the last 25 years of building web experiences for clients, I have learned one thing for sure. You never stop learning, and each new tool has a life span that’s shorter than that of the average mayfly. Putting too much effort into any tool is wasted time in the longer run, nowadays. In the past things were quite different.

 

Do you remember the days when Macromedia Flash was the next big thing? Okay, the browsers needed a plugin, and that was an obstacle at first. But after a relatively short while, almost any browser out there had been voluntarily equipped with the infamous Flash plugin and developing for it became a mega trend. Right from the start developing for Flash had absolutely nothing to do with web standards. Not at all. But still it made its way. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

There were even agencies who built their whole business model on Flash and specialized as much as they could. Where are these today? Flash is a good example of how a bad concept became way more successful than it should have. Its extinction was in its DNA right from the beginning. Anyway, should our fortuneteller have made this prediction ten years ago, you might have probably laughed about it.

Let me know what you think in the comments below. Were you one of those Flash developers that made everything move for no deeper sense at all?

By the way, we have many more cartoons for you here.

Catégories: News dév web

SEO: 7 Rules of Thumb for Internal Links

14 mai, 2016 - 10:00

Internal linking is a great tool for any website owner, but its potential often is not maxed out. Thus, this article is supposed to give you an overview of the advantages on well thought-out internal links, as well as a couple of rules of thumb.

Internal Links and Their Purpose

Internal links, which are placed in the main menu, create an additional navigation option within the website, for both the users as well as the search engine’s crawlers. The internal links allow the user to quickly access the relevant pages. At the same time, a smart link structure shows the crawler which content on the website is the most important.

The second aspect could easily make you place as many internal links as possible, but that behavior will cause a conflict when looking closer at it. The user wants to find links that are relevant at that moment, meaning a connection to the content that he’s currently dealing with. If you randomly place links on the target pages, this will not be the case, as the chance of creating off-topic connections is high.

In general, you can say that the user should always be in focus when it comes to a conflict between optimization for the user, and optimization for the search engine. Thus, the first rule for internal links is the following:

1. Internal links have to be relevant to the topic, and should only exceed the topic border when the connection is logical.

To find appropriate connections, you should ask yourself which pages could be helpful for the user, and when in doubt, leave the link out.

To assure that the user can make optimal use of the alternative navigation, the links should be recognizable as such. While this highlighting is only a piece of advice for the user, it is a necessity for the search engine. As missing highlighting of a link is against the Google guidelines, the following applies:

2. Internal links have to be marked.

This can be done by underlining, changing the color, or similar highlighting.

The second advantage of internal links is that the crawler receives an overview of the most relevant keywords, as well as categorizing help of the target page from the anchor text before visiting them. The result:

3. The anchor text of an internal link should describe the target page as good as possible.

Here, using money keywords is recommendable, as they allow you to describe the link destination in the most accurate way. On a high amount of links, you should vary between money keywords, and other keyword groups, however.

Example:

Keyword Group Keyword Example Money Keywords Audi A3, A3, the new Audi, Audi A3 Variant, … Brand Keywords Audi, Audi AG, audi.com … Compound Keywords Introduction of the new A3 by Audi … Other Read our review of the new Audi A3 here

When it comes to external links, you should be careful, as using money keywords is rated negatively there.

It is a known fact that external links are an important ranking factor for Google. When a high-quality website links another page, this will positively affect the ranking of the latter. Of course, there are many sub-pages of a website, that are not linked to by external links, and thus, they can’t benefit from the strong quality signal.

Here is where the internal linking comes into play again, as the power that a page receives by a link directed to it can be transferred to any desired target by placing an internal link on it. This power is also called link juice. This way of distribution allows you to power up landing pages as well. The link juice inherited via internal links can be passed on through further internal linkings.

When placing the links, it is important to make sure that the most relevant pages get the biggest share of link juice, as otherwise, it can happen that sub-pages with similar keywords compete with each other in ranking.

4. The internal link structure should result in a clear prioritization of sub-pages.

To not lose the overview, you can create a table with prioritized topics, categories, or products, for example:

Priority 1 Audi #1: A3
#2: A6
#3: … Priority 2 BMW #1: 316
#2: 520
#3: … Priority 3 Volkswagen #1: Beetle
#2: Touareg
#3: …

However, you shouldn’t place too many links, as the power of a sub-page is distributed to all links that are placed on it. With an increasing number of links, each individual link becomes weaker. The correct link count on a sub-page depends on the size of the website. For instance, an average value for a shop’s product overview page is 300 to 400 internal links. If there are too many links, using pagination pages is recommendable. For a flowing text on a sub-page, the average is two to 10. Overall, you should stick to the following rule:

5. Only place as many internal links as necessary for a proper navigation.

Because of the distribution of link juice, I strongly disadvise from linking the same target on one content page multiple times. Due to the additional connections, all links on the page are weakened. At the same time, however, the search engine only counts the first link to a page, meaning that you lose valuable link juice.

6. A link to a specific target should only be placed once on a sub-page. Exception: When linking the same destination multiple times drastically improves the usability.

Additionally, you need to keep in mind that the internal links on a sub-page are rated differently by Google. The higher the chances of the user clicking the link, the better it will be rated. Links that are within the important content of the page have a much larger influence than links in the footer.

7. You should pay attention to a sensible placement of internal links.

As you can see, the topic “internal linking” comes with a variety of trip hazards. Aside from the mentioned aspects, a small negligence can cost valuable link power. Thus, to finish this article off, here’s an overview of mistakes that can be avoided easily:

  • Internal nofollow links: the transferred link juice is not counted.
  • Links to 404 pages, aka broken links: the link juice is led into the void.
  • Links to 302 redirections: the link juice is not passed on.
  • Placing canonical tags on paginated product overview pages that link to page 1: the links on the following pages are not counted anymore.

Although internal linking is a complex topic, it is a must for every page owner to deal with and make use of its high potential.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Flexbox Patterns: Ready-To-Use Building Blocks for Your Design

13 mai, 2016 - 13:00

If you ever delved into Flexbox as an alternative to the classic CSS box model, you probably don’t want to go back. The hitch is, that you need to deal with it in-depth, and who has enough time for that these days. Thus, we’re often stuck with old methods of getting things done, just because we know how to reach the goal using them. Let’s change that. Today, I’ll show you the project Flexbox Patterns as a quick introduction to Flexbox.

Flexbox: Diving Deeper

If you have the time, make sure to watch the free video tutorial on which I reported for the colleagues at t3n here. You’ll receive 160 minutes of essential knowledge.


Flexbox Patterns: Landing Page

We’ve already talked about Flexbox at Noupe here. In the article, we covered the topic of creating a responsive comment section with Flexbox.

Flexbox Patterns

Thankfully, the interface designer CJ Cenizal has also looked into Flexbox and started a collection of ready-to-use best practices on the website Flexbox Patterns. At the moment, there are only about a dozen of finished modules available. However, the project has just started out, and the available modules already cover the most important application cases.


Example: Alternating Rows Via Flexbox

Cenizal gives a detailed and understandable explanation of what he did, the way he did it, and why he did it for each module. The respective code snippets are also included, as well as the working examples of the elements. Generally, all UI elements are usable via copy and paste, but Cenizal recommends using them in the context of a semantically correct concept, such as HTML5 elements, for example.

Flexbox Patterns has gotten a lot of hype ever since it made its way onto the landing page of Product Hunt. At least that shows that there is a significant demand for a service like that.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Best of 2015: 100+ Free WordPress Themes

12 mai, 2016 - 13:00

Among numerous content management systems, WordPress is the one that grabs the biggest piece of pie. It is a favorite choice whether you need to create a simple personal portfolio or a sophisticated online magazine. Even eCommerce projects can be built based on it. Its massive regularly updated repository of plugins, modules and themes is one of its main advantage over others. There is not a lot thinkable missing in it.  What’s more, in this particular case, free does not mean poor quality. Themes that are available without charge can boast of modern design, high functionality, and a handy interface. To prove this in practice, we have gathered the 100 best WordPress themes of last year.

Best of 2015: 100+ Free WordPress Themes Business Responsive Theme


Creator: dessign
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

ShopIsle


Creator: themeisle
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Azero Shop


Creator: themeisle
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Founder


Creator: Ben Sibley
License: GNU Public License version 2.0.

Author Theme


Creator: Ben Sibley
License: GNU Public License version 2.0.

Tracks Theme


Creator: compete themes
License: GNU Public License version 2.0.

Chosen Theme


Creator: compete themes
License: GNU Public License version 2.0.

Cosimo Theme


Creator: crestaproject
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Elementary


Creator: academia themes
License: GNU Public License version 2.0..

Retro Theme


Creator: organic themes
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Natural Lite


Creator: organic themes
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Swell Lite


Creator: organic themes
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Apex


Creator: Ben Sibley
License: GPL license.

Harmonic


Creator: Automattic
License: GPL license.

Legal


Creator: faster themes
License: GPL license.

The Shop


Creator: athemes
License: GPL license.

Alizee


Creator: athemes
License: GPL license.

Fontana


Creator: athemes
License: GPL license.

iTek Theme


Creator: Brian Harris
License: GPL license.

Poseidon


Creator: themezee
License: GPL v2.

Tortuga


Creator: themezee
License: GPL v2.

Bloog Lite


Creator: 8degree themes
License: GPL v2.

Flatter Theme


Creator: Ocean Web Themes
License: GPL v2.

CloudPress Theme


Creator: ocean web themes
License: GPL v2.

Newszine


Creator: ocean web themes
License: GPL v2.

Oblique


Creator: themeisle
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

RokoPhoto


Creator: themeisle
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Amadeus Theme


Creator: themeisle
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Passionate Theme


Creator: daisy themes
License: GPL v2.

PhotoBook


Creator: daisy themes
License: GPL v2.

Easy Blog


Creator: daisy themes
License: GPL v2.

Ascent


Creator: themeora
License: Use this theme on unlimited domains for commercial or personal projects.

Oren Theme


Creator: themeora
License: Use this theme on unlimited domains for commercial or personal projects.

FitClub


Creator: theme grill
License: GPL v2.

FoodHunt


Creator: theme grill
License: GPL v2.

Envince Theme


Creator: theme grill
License: GPL v2.

ScrollMe


Creator: Access Keys
License: GPL v2.

Pine Theme


Creator: slicejack
License: GPL v2.

Datar Theme


Creator: Walter Pinem
License: GPL v2.

Sabina


Creator: Walter Pinem
License: GPL v2.

Tribute Theme


Creator: ydesignservices
License: GPL license.

Showbox Responsive Theme


Creator: dessign
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Sold Responsive WooCommerce Theme


Creator: dessign
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

ProBlogg Theme


Creator: dessign
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Personal Blog Theme


Creator: dessign
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Agency Responsive Theme


Creator: dessign
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Kiyoshi


Creator: felixdorner
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Leadsurf Lite


Creator: sketch themes
License: GPL v2.

Philomina Theme


Creator: wastronauts
License: GPL v2.

Gossip Theme


Creator: shuvo586
License: GPL v2.

Dyad


Creator: Automattic
License: GPL v2.

Publication


Creator: Automattic
License: GPL v2.

Directory Starter


Creator: Paolo
License: GPL v2.

TrendMag


Creator: kopa theme
License: GPL.

Aqueduct Theme


Creator: howlthemes
License: GPL.

Impronta – Blogging Theme


Creator: quema labs
License: GPL v3.

Tography Lite


Creator: quema labs
License: GPL v3.

Vito – Blog Theme


Creator: quema labs
License: GPL v3.

Clean Box Theme


Creator: catch themes
License: GPL.

Viral Theme


Creator: HashThemes
License: GPL.

Illustrious Theme


Creator: cpothemes
License: GPL.

One Page Theme


Creator: Access Keys
License: GPL.

Politics


Creator: rescue themes
License: GPL.

MaxStore


Creator: Themes4WP
License: GPL.

The Monday


Creator: AccessPress themes
License: GPL.

FotoGraphy Theme


Creator: AccessPress themes
License: GPL.

FashStore Theme


Creator: AccessPress themes
License: GPL.

Olevia Theme


Creator: made4WP
License: GPL.

Resi Theme


Creator: ModernThemes
License: GPL v2.

Proper Lite


Creator: ModernThemes
License: GPL v2.

Hired


Creator: ModernThemes
License: GPL v2.

Gridsby


Creator: ModernThemes
License: GPL.

Sensible


Creator: ModernThemes
License: GPL.

Portfolio Gallery


Creator: webdorado
License: GPL.

Mallow Theme


Creator: FancyThemes
License: GPL.

Good


Creator: FancyThemes
License: GPL.

Relativity Theme


Creator: MagikPress
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Allegiant Theme


Creator: cpothemes
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Silvia Theme


Creator: theme junkie
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Bulan WordPress Theme


Creator: theme junkie
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

BiancaA


Creator: theme junkie
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Riba Lite


Creator: MachoThemes
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Hitccock


Creator: Anders Noren
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Rowling


Creator: Anders Noren
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Lovecraft


Creator: Anders Noren
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Skrollr


Creator: Fabien Quatravaux
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Personality


Creator: OrdaSoft
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Divina


Creator: Pasquale Bucci
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Flat Shop Lite


Creator: justpx
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

SKT Bakery Lite


Creator: SKT themes
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

MK Theme


Creator: Level9themes
License: GPL v2.

Tailor WordPress Theme


Creator: Faster Themes
License: GPL.

Seasonal


Creator: Shaped Pixels
License: GPL.

Quest


Creator: pacethemes
License: GPL.

Patio


Creator: fikrirasyid
License: GPL.

Studio


Creator: Catch Themes
License: GPL.

Toivo


Creator: FoxLand
License: Declared as Free, no proper license given.

Origamiez


Creator: Colours Theme
License: GPL.

InfiWord


Creator: infismash
License: GPL.

One Page Scroll


Creator: HooThemes
License: GPL.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Ionic vs. Pure Cordova: Three Reasons Ionic Wins

11 mai, 2016 - 15:00

Saying that one particular type of mobile development (native, cross-platform or hybrid) is the only right way to create mobile apps is similar to saying that only one programming language is the most suitable for coding. As project requirements are always unique, while tools and technologies have different qualities and, what’s more, constantly evolving, nothing can be just black and white.

That’s why, even knowing that hybrid development has a large scope for improvement, we at ScienceSoft keep an eye on its progress and are delighted to see what the Ionic framework can offer developers today.

What’s Ionic?

Used for hybrid development in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, Ionic allows to quickly create powerful and beautifully designed mobile apps that can be deployed through Cordova. Ionic is built on top of AngularJS and, apart from helping you build a solid app structure with it, uses Angular directives for all its components. As a result, component implementation gets simplified to several lines in HTML.

How Does Ionic improve Cordova Development?

Ionic wraps all Cordova commands and lets you work with any Cordova plugin or additional package. Along with it, you have the following three advantages over Cordova-only development.

#1: Slick UI and UX

Ionic is a perfect fit for the easy and fast development of a simple but trendy design with everything you may need already included in the framework kit. At your disposal, there are dozens of templates, over 80 mixins, 700+ standard icons and lots of built-in UI elements such as headers, footer bars, buttons, grid elements and more. This is definitely a better start than the empty app screen you see in Cordova.

You also get all the UI components: lists, navigation, action sheet, pop over, “pull to refresh” as well as other features that you can implement in your app by writing two or three lines of code. What’s more, the code commands are relatively simple and can be easily recognized by developers. You definitely would know what “ion-infinite-scroll” or “ion-refresher” is.

But in case you stumble upon something unclear, Ionic is ready to help you out with its official documentation and active support community.

A More Convenient Development Process

The ‘serve’ feature is present in both Ionic and Cordova and allows developers to access an HTTP-server to test the application code in a desktop browser. However, working with ‘cordova-serve’ is rather inconvenient as it doesn’t let you launch the test from your initial www-folder and forces you to create an app build first.

Things are different with ‘ion-serve’. You can edit your code in the app folder and immediately see it altered since the app prototype tab is refreshed automatically after every single change. A similar effect can be achieved with Grunt in Cordova, but unlike the out-of-the-box Ionic feature, it’s far from being perfect.

Higher Performance of the Final Product

Compared to Cordova-built apps, the Ionic code creates more powerful and higher performing applications. With jqLite, a fraction of jQuery, it takes a minimal DOM manipulation, and native hardware acceleration is enough. Ionic optimizes animation effects and tunes up the GPU work to achieve the best processing time. Hence, those milliseconds of tap delay that are present in all hybrid apps (due to the bridged gap between the app and the native SDK) are cut in half, and the application gets to perform more vigorously.

Conclusion

Ionic may be referred to as a mere Cordova wrapper, but it actually brings hybrid development to the next level. Besides being a useful tool for creating a beautiful design, it also eases the development process and powers up the application’s performance. If you want to know more about app development on Ionic, feel free to contact ScienceSoft’s mobile application developers.

About the Author

Vadzim Belski is Head of Web Development Department at ScienceSoft, a software development and consulting company headquartered in McKinney, Texas. With over 13 years of experience, he has been taking part in web projects with a primary focus on large-scale IT engagements, such as Viber (an instant messaging and VoIP app with 700 mln active users), Globus VPN Browser and others.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

High Speed: Really Accelerate WordPress Websites [#4]

11 mai, 2016 - 13:00

In this small series, we talk about the things that really accelerate WordPress websites. Google Page Speed Insight is not relevant for us, as this is purely about speed. We want our website to enter the millisecond area. We’ve laid the base for this in the first, second and third part. Today’s episode is about the delivery of CSS and JavaScript files.

CSS and JavaScript Play a Major Role When it Comes to Speed

Aside from images and graphics, CSS and JavaScript files and their correct delivery are a determining factor of how fast a website can be. The amount of files that have to be loaded also influences loading time. I can only recommend turning off all plugins that you don’t really need. Most plugins come with their own data overhead, and soon, the theme has to deliver 15 to 25 CSS and JavaScript files.

Especially multi-purpose themes suffer from this disease. A good example would be the popular premium theme Enfold by Kriesi, as it needs 17 JavaScript files on its own. These themes can become rather fast as well, but they can’t enter the millisecond area. A theme with few files and only the necessary plugins is the best precondition for true speed.

WordPress Websites Really Fast: the Idea Behind Today’s Article

Today’s article is about the “correct” delivery of static data. JavaScript can be treated automatically, while manual work is required for the CSS files. We will remove all CSS data from the automatic loading, and let them load manually, in a way that is important for website speed. The style.css file will be loaded in the header after it was freed from unnecessary trash. All other CSS files will be loaded in the footer.

This causes the website to load rapidly. With this type of data treatment, the landing page will load extremely fast, and the subpages will become as fast as the integrated media and ad blocks allow them to. However, the visible area of the subpages will load in the blink of an eye, giving the visitor the impression of an extremely fast website, even though it might take a second or two for the subpage, meaning the individual article, to load.

Which Files are Loaded Where?

It is very important for you to find out which CSS files are needed where. By default, CSS is loaded on all pages. As that is complete nonsense, you need to find out where the stylesheets are truly needed, in order to accelerate your website. For example, the CSS of a contact form is only needed on the contact page. CSS, which is required to display image galleries is either needed on a special gallery page, or on each single article with a gallery in it.

Thus, note carefully where each file is necessary. Because we’ll only integrate them where they are needed.

External CSS vs Directly Implementing CSS in the HTML

For my website Democratic Post I’ve found out that the direct implementation of the CSS into the source code slows down my website more than when I integrate an optimized and correctly versioned file. However, this can be different for your website, so you should simply test both variants.

CSS and JavaScript – Part 1: Removing Query Strings

WordPress ties in static resources at the end of the file (?ver=4.5) via so-called query strings. Generally, this is a good idea that is supposed to make sure that these static resources like CSS and JavaScript can be cached, and don’t have to be newly loaded every time the website is accessed.

http://server.example/wp-content/themes/hemingway/style.css?ver=4.1

However, the parameter is always critisized as a problem for effective caching by speed test tools like Pingdom, because the static content of URLs with parameters is not always stored in the cache, but has to be obtained from the server every time. We’ll avoid this problem later on, with a correct versioning. But first, we’ll remove the query strings from the files. Enter the following code in your theme’s functions.php:

One click opens the Gist at Github

CSS and JavaScript – Part 2: Bring JavaScript Into the Footer Safely

JavaScript being loaded in the footer doesn’t always work perfectly for every cache plugin. Nonetheless, it is absolutely necessary, which is why we’ll help with a small snippet. This code snippet also belongs into the functions.php of the theme, or into a custom site plugin.

One click opens the Gist at Github

CSS and JavaScript – Part 3: Dequeing and Removing All CSS Files

As we want to manually move the CSS to the right spots, so that the loading time can benefit from that, we first need to free all CSS files from the automatic loading via WordPress. After we’ve done that, your theme shouldn’t load any CSS files anymore. For that, we need to trick a bit, as we need to find out its ID in order to remove a stylesheet. Under certain circumstances, you even need to search the IDs in the plugin files.

Afterwards, we need a code snippet that removes all CSS files. However, the first snippet doesn’t work on all files, which is why I added snippet version B. One of the two will definitely remove the CSS. First, try version A and then, if it doesn’t work, try version B.

These snippets also belong into the theme’s functions.php or into the custom site plugin.

One click opens the Gist at Github

CSS and JavaScript – Part 4: Versioning CSS Files Correctly

For this, there may be different solutions, some of which might be more comfortable. However, I chose this solution, because I can determine exactly when I want the files to load due to the manual integration of the CSS files.

What You Need File Versions for

Correct versioning of static files is necessary for optimal caching of resources. This way, we can make sure that the file is, for one, only loaded on the first page visit, and also, that when a file is changed, the new version is instantly loaded as it has a new file name now. Once we’re done, the files in the HTML source code will look as follows:

/wp-content/themes/democraticpost-1.3.0/style.1457278063.css

One click opens a higher resolution.

Part 1: The Code for the functions.php

One click opens the Gist at Github

Part 2: The Code for the .htaccess File

The .htaccess file that is located in the WordPress root index, has to be adjusted. Please make a backup of the file before adjusting! Afterward, the WordPress area is replaced by the following.

One click opens the Gist at Github

Part 3: Manually Compressing All CSS Files

As this task can not be done using a caching plugin, we need to do it ourselves. Please make backups of each file before you start this process. Having done that, open the CSS files using an HTML editor, copy the entire content, and add it into the provided field of the CSS compressor. The right setting for this is “highest”. After the tool has compressed the CSS code, we enter it into the style.css file and save it.

In order for the automatic versioning to work, we have to adjust the small code snippet for the output of the CSS files. The following adjustment belongs into the link area (href=””):

<link rel="stylesheet" href="<?=auto_version('/path/to/style.css')?>" />

For instance, the right path could look like this:

/wp-content/themes/democraticpost-1.3.0/style.css

Part 4: Integrating the Files in the Right Spots

First, the Style.css is implemented in the header. The easiest way to do that is by opening the header.php file of your theme and then entering the link in the head area. Please pay attention to the correct spelling of the data path. If it’s not 100 percent correct, the browser will not find the file, which will cause a 404 error.

Style.css

One click opens a higher resolution.

All Other CSS Files

All other CSS files move from the header to the footer, so that the visible area of the website loads instantly. On top of that, the files will only load where it’s absolutely necessary. We place the files above <?php wp_footer();?>.

One click opens a higher resolution.

Controlling where exactly a file is loaded is done via the tags is_single and is_page. Under certain circumstances, you can also combine both tags, as I did in the upper area. The upper three files are loaded on single posts on one page. The general structure looks like this:

One click opens a higher resolution.

The screenshot shows that the respective CSS file is only implemented in the post with the ID 4368, and that it’s not loaded anywhere else.

WordPress Codex: Using Conditional Tags Correctly

The Treatment of JavaScript

This is the easier part. If we want to be exact, like we were with CSS, and only let the files load where it’s necessary, we require a small premium plugin. It’s called Gonzales and currently costs 19 USD. The plugin places itself in the toolbar that you see when you log in and access your page. The plugin allows you to log each resource on every page, or only on certain ones. With a little effort, you can exactly determine which JavaScript file is loaded where.

A Screenshot:

One click opens a higher resolution.

Bundling and Compressing JavaScript Using Autoptimize

After that’s done, the JavaScript files are assembled and compressed. The free plugin “Autoptimize” is a perfect fit for this task. The screenshot displays the required settings:

Conclusion

Those that kept their eyes on the ball up to this point, have already significantly accelerated their WordPress websites. However, we had to learn that a website that loads very fast takes a lot of manual effort. Maybe there are some more intelligent and comfortable solutions to certain tasks, but there’s always room for improvement. In any case, the CSS is now optimally cached by the browsers, and thus, it’s only loaded when the page is accessed for the first time. Every other page visit will be significantly faster.

The next and final part in our series of how to really accelerate WordPress websites will deal with a few smaller tasks that still need to be done. Among other things, we’ll make the popular Jetpack plugin get a move on. Depending on how and which features of Jetpack are used, it can definitely be extremely fast, and not slow down the website. Nonetheless, this requires a couple of adjustments.

Really Accelerate WordPress Websites: the Series Related Links:

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Fontea: Using Google Fonts in Photoshop

10 mai, 2016 - 15:00

The canny tool creators from Source are back. Fontea is a recently published plugin that allows you to use all Google fonts directly within Photoshop. Fontea works starting from Photoshop version 2015 on up and is free. An extension for Sketch is also announced.

Comfortably Use Google Fonts on the Desktop

Years ago, I presented ways to download and locally use all Google Fonts, to be more flexible. However, the complete download is a heavy load, and thus won’t be a good alternative for most people. The advantage is that the solution is entirely free.

An alternative to that is the tool Skyfonts, which I presented here. It allows you to select individual Google Fonts that you want to synchronize, meaning download. Here, the hitch is, that you have to choose the fonts on the service’s website. After that, you can synchronize them. As long as you stick to Google Fonts, Skyfonts is free as well.

Fontea Makes Using Fonts in Photoshop Easier

The new tool called Fontea only works with Photoshop, while the previously mentioned solutions work on the operating system level, and are thus able to provide fonts for all programs. However, I found out that I don’t need the fonts in other programs. I use Photoshop to create design prototypes. That’s where I need the Google Fonts, and not in Microsoft’s Office, where they only slow down the font selection.

Fontea is currently available for download on Mac OSX and Windows. It works from Photoshop 2015 and up. Designers that switched from Photoshop to Sketch will be happy to hear that a Fontea version for Sketch is on the way.

The download and installation of the less than 50 MB heavy package is done as usual. Fontea recognizes the installation path to Photoshop on its own, but it can also be manually bent to other paths.

Once installed, you can find Fontea in Photoshop under Window > Extensions > Fontea. Once clicked, one of the usual levitating windows appears on the right side of the editor. The way it works is very simple. Mark a text layer, and then click on one of the fonts in the Fontea window. After a bit of waiting, the entered text is displayed in the chosen font. That’s it.

To ease handling hundreds of fonts at once, Fontea comes with a bunch of tools. For one, you can limit the font selection to one of six categories. The tool also allows you to search via free text. You’ll find the fonts you used last by clicking the icon “Recent.” On top of that, you can mark fonts as a favorite with a single click, making sure that it is added to the respective favorite list.

Please keep in mind that in order to use it, a Source account, which you set up fast and easily when you first use Fontea, is needed. You can choose Facebook, Twitter, or Github for the OAuth authentification. If you don’t want to do that, use the classic email and password combination.

Fontea: Clear Recommendation

In my test using Windows 10 and Photoshop 2015, everything worked perfectly fine. The response time of about two seconds after choosing the font was definitely acceptable, given that my internet speed is rather lacking.

As neither Fontea, nor the included fonts cost any money and are some of the most popular fonts in web design, there is no reason not to use Fontea. Just try it yourself. If you’re a Sketch user, be patient. Fontea is already in the works for you.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Simple State Manager: Responsive Web Design Made Easy

9 mai, 2016 - 15:00

Media queries allow you to react to changes in width and height of the browser’s display area. When the browser window is changed on desktop devices, or when a mobile device is changed from portrait to landscape mode, fitting stylesheets can be applied immediately with CSS and media queries. Control the behavior of the media queries via JavaScript using the JavaScript tool Simple State Manager. That’s useful, as now and then, it is necessary to react to size changes of the display area via JavaScript.

The JavaScript Simple State Manager by Jonathan Fielding from London was first presented in June 2013 and has experienced a rapid development since then. The Simple State Manager (SSM) doesn’t have any other dependencies aside from JavaScript and is designed to be fully available with a simple link integration or via a browser.

Simple State Manager: Defining States

Assuming that you’ve correctly implemented the SSM in your document, this is how we continue. First, so-called “States” need to be defined. Within these states, the width of the display area to which the SSM should react to is determined. Here, define the minimum and maximum values. A reaction to the display area’s height is unprovided for. However, most of the time, the width is a more important factor when it comes to responsive layouts anyway. In addition to that, we assign an ID as well as a function that is activated when the state’s conditions are met, to each state.

sssm.addState({ id: "mobile", maxWidth: 320, onEnter: function() { document.getElementsByTagName("body")[0].style.backgroundColor = "red"; } }).ready();

In the example, a state with the ID “mobile” is created. The function defined within it is triggered once the maximum size of the browser window is larger than 320 pixels. In this case, the background color is altered. The unique thing about this is that the “Simple State Manager” doesn’t only check once which states are appropriate for the current display area. Instead, it rechecks whenever the viewport changes. In the example, this means that the function is executed once the viewport’s width is less than or equals 320 pixels.

Aside from the option “onEnter” that always triggers a function when the state condition is met, there’s the alternative “onResize”. Here, the function is only called up when the size of the panel changes. When loading the page with “onResize”, the state would not be considered.

Reacting to Multiple States With the SSM

Of course, it is possible to define multiple states to meet the requirements of different resolutions and mobile devices.

ssm.addStates([ { id: "mobil", maxWidth: 320, onEnter: function() { document.getElementsByTagName("body")[0].style.backgroundColor = "red"; } }, { id: "desktop", minWidth: 321, onEnter: function() { document.getElementsByTagName("body")[0].style.backgroundColor = "green"; } } ]).ready();

In the example, two different states are defined. One that makes sure that the background is green for a window width of over 320 pixels and the other to turn the background red for a lower width.

SSM: Debugger as a Bookmarklet

The “Simple State Manager” scope of functions includes many other options that allow for an extensive reaction to different size situations. This way, it is possible to delete states or alter them at any time. Additionally, you can request the current state.

There’s a debugger that can be called up as a bookmarklet which allows you to test the states. It informs you about the amount of defined states, as well as all assigned settings and functions. This way, you gain a quick overview on whether everything is labeled correctly or not.

SSM: Browser Support and Plugins

The Simple State Manager runs on all standard browsers and doesn’t require any other libraries like jQuery and co. However, the Internet Explorer is only supported from version 7 on up.

Extend the scope of functions even further using plugins. For example, there’s one that works together with the jQuery lightbox plugin “Colorbox”. This enables you to control from which window size images should start being loaded via “Colorbox”. The Simple State Manager is distributed under the MIT license and thus, is free to use for private and commercial purposes. Participation in the project is wished-for and organized via Github.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

3D Within the Browser: Seen.js Creates Complex Graphics and Animations for Canvas and SVG

8 mai, 2016 - 15:00

HTML5 and JavaScript provide all functions needed to create complex graphics and animations within the browser. For that purpose, the JavaScript library “seen.js” offers a broad array of options to build complex 3D worlds in the browser. “seen.js” is independent of jQuery or other libraries and constructs impressive 3D objects and sceneries on the basis of HTML5 Canvas and SVG. 3D within the browser, without any plugins…

Turn Simple Surfaces Into Complex Sceneries With Seen.js

Getting started with “seen.js” is not exactly easy, that’s due how versatile the library is. In return, the options are much more impressive. Let’s start at the beginning: first, the JavaScript library has to be integrated. Although “seen.js” works without any other dependencies, CoffeeScript should be incorporated as well. That’s because the complete “seen.js” documentation and all examples are based on CoffeeScript. In the following, we’ll create a canvas, meaning a “<canvas>” or “<svg>” element. After that, we’ll bring it to live via CoffeeScript.

&lt;canvas width="640" height"425" id="seenjs"&gt;&lt;/canvas&gt;   &lt;script type="text/coffeescript"&gt; … &lt;/script&gt;

In the script above, we set up a canvas element which is supposed to be used as the drawing area for “seen.js.” The base for 3D objects are the so-called “shapes”. These shapes can be defined regarding size, color, and form. Aside from the development of custom shapes, “seen.js” also offers simple, predefined shapes. This way, spheres, and tetrahedrons can be used, among other shapes.

sphere = seen.Shapes.sphere(1).scale(100)

In the example, a simple sphere that consists of multiple triangular shapes is defined via “Shapes.sphere()”. The number within the method determines how complex you want the sphere to be. The larger the number, the large the number of displayed shapes. The sphere’s size is defined via “scale()”. The value “1” is the smallest possible size.


Two spheres with different amounts of shapes

In the next step, the sphere’s color is defined.

for flaeche in kugel.flaechen flaeche.fill.color = seen.Colors.rgb(0, 145, 190, 255) flaeche.fill.metallic = true flaeche.fill.specularColor = flaeche.fill.color

Here, a for-loop is used to assign a color to every single area of the sphere. The attribute “color” determines the – you guessed it – color. Here, we have multiple ways of defining a color. “Colors.rgb()” assigns a color via RGB including an alpha value. Alternatively, the color can also be entered via “Colors.hrs()”. Adding the parameter “metallic” makes the surface look metallic. In this case, the color determined via “specularColor” is used as the reflexion paint, instead of a simple light reflexion.


Two Spheres – One With and One Without a Metallic Effect

In the following step, the sphere is added to a model via “Models.default().add()”.

objects = seen.Models.default().add(sphere)

Subsequently, the scene into which the model – the sphere in this case – is placed, is defined.

scene = new seen.Scene model : objects viewport : seen.Viewports.center(640, 425)

Above, the sphere is added to the scene using the variable “objects.” “Viewports.center()” defines, where the sphere is centered. In our example, we want to center the sphere within the drawing area, which is why we entered the measurements of the “<canvas>” element.

In the final step, the scene including the sphere has to be rendered and assigned to the canvas element.

seen.Context("seenjs", scene).render()

This is done using the “Context()” method. The ID of the canvas element, as well as the scene, is entered. Finally, everything is drawn onto the HTML5 Canvas via “render()”.

How to Create Multiple 3D Objects With Seen.js

We can place as many 3D objects in one scene as we want to. For that, we first need to create a new “shape” object.

pyramid = seen.Shapes.tetrahedron() pyramid.scale(50) seen.Colors.randomSurfaces2(pyramid)

In our case, we use “Shapes.tetrahedon()” to define a three-sided pyramid and bring it to an appropriate size with “scale()”. The color is chosen at random via “Colors.randomSurfaces2()”. In the next step, we assign the pyramid to the variable “objects” using “append()” and “add()”. The sphere is already in there.

objekte.append().translate(-25, 25, 100).add(pyramid)

Then, we place the pyramid in relation to the sphere with the “translate()” method. Without “translate()”, the pyramid would receive the same center as the sphere.


Two Objects in One Scene

The methods “rotx()”, “roty()”, and “rotz()” allow you to rotate single, or all objects in the space.

pyramid.rotx(30) objects.roty(90)

In this example, the pyramid is rotated by 30 degrees on the x axis. At the same time, all objects in the scene are rotated by 90 degrees on the y-axis.


Rotated Objects

3D Animations With Seen.js

The defined objects can now be animated within the scene with little effort. To do so, we simply add the “animate()” method to the “render()” method. Then, an event is used to define the animation’s course.

seen.Context("seenjs", scene).render().animate() .onBefore((time, deltatime) -&gt; objekte.rotx(deltatime * 1e-4).roty(0.5 * deltatime * 1e-4)) .start()

Above, we defined an event that is called up before each frame change via “onBefore().” The time as well as the deltatime are transferred. In our demonstration, all objects are moved using “rotx()” and “roty()”. They rotate around their own axis, with the rotation around the y-axis being faster.

How to Create Custom Objects With Seen.js

In “seen.js”, there are multiple ways of creating custom objects. One being the “extrude()” method. Here, areas that form an object together are defined in a three-dimensional space.

arrow = seen.Shapes.extrude([ seen.P(0, 0, 0) seen.P(1, 1, 0) seen.P(1, 0.5, 0) seen.P(2, 0.5, 0) seen.P(2, -0.5, 0) seen.P(1, -0.5, 0) seen.P(1, -1, 0) ], seen.P(0, 0, 0))

As seen above, we use “Shapes.extrude()” to create a simple arrow. The coordinates are defined with the method “P()”. It contains three coordinates each, to specify one point each on the x, y, and the z-axis of the space. For more complex shapes, “seen.js” supports the wavefront format. That’s a file format to save geometrical shapes. It is used by many animation programs and is a good choice for that reason.

$.get "something.obj", {}, (content) -&gt; something = seen.Shapes.obj(content, false)

In the JavaScript shown above, we use jQuery to load an object file in the wavefront format. The file’s content is transferred to the “Shapes.obj()” method. This method interprets the format and displays a 3D object for “seen.js” based on it.

The Many Other Options of Seen.js

“seen.js” provides plenty other ways of creating objects, changing their appearance, and making them move. For instance, there’s the option to view a scene from different points of view. On top of that, various light sources can be defined. Due to different events, there’s the option to react to events like mouse movement and clicks.

Seen.js: Free and Well-Documented

“seen.js” is available under the Apache license. That means it’s available to anyone for free. On the “seen.js” website, there are plenty of examples that give a good impression of the options that “seen.js” comes with. Even though the documentation is extensive, getting started is not easy. Mainly considering the current low-poly trend, looking into the library is worth it as following this trend allows for the creation of some very impressive graphics and animations.

(dpe)

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Yves Bresson, ingénieur en informatique, consultant freelance, spécialisé dans la création de sites web (CMS, PHP, Ajax, jQuery, Bootstrap, HTML 5, CSS 3) et d'applications mobiles (iPhone, Android). Voir le profil de Yves Bresson sur LinkedIn