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Top Five Features of An Outdated Website

Posted on: 1/24/2011 3:50:54 PM under Web Design » Tips 
 

Is your website outdated?

If it is, you could be in serious trouble. Sales will decrease, if you are selling products. Phone calls will decrease if you are selling services. Link juice will decrease, if you’re selling (or giving away) information.

Think about it. How do you feel about visiting an outdated site? Will you be willing to buy their products or services? Probably not. The reason is that we need some level of trust, especially from people we don’t know (and may not even live in our city) before we’re going to plunk down money on something they say they will deliver.

If we don’t have that trust, we won’t do it. And the outdated site is one clue that something might not be quite right…

This isn’t just a slow erosion either – like the “broken windows” theory, you could find your business going south right quick.

It’s easy to see on other people’s websites that they are in desperate need of an upgrade. It’s always more difficult to see it on our own sites, simply because it is hard to be objective about it.

However it can be easier if you break it down into some simple “it is, or it isn’t” features that can help you decide whether or not it’s time to update your website.

Broken Links – If you have links on your website to other sites, periodically go through and make sure they are all working. Some people assume that visitors will let them know when a link is broken. Chances are, however, they will not. Dead links could lead to dead sales for you.

Your Top Selling Products or Services Aren’t Featured – If you are known for your purple widgets, but all you can see on the first page is yesterday’s red widgets, there could be a problem. Worse yet, there are products or services on your website that you no longer offer. Make sure your website reflects your business.

Your Portfolio is Old – Do you have sample projects dating back to the 1990’s on your website? Not only does this show neglect, people might start to wonder what you’ve been doing all these years! Update your website to include your most recent projects, and even feature one or two on prominent pages like your Home page, About page, and blog.

You Are Getting Fewer Visitors (and Conversions) – Check for these signs: a drop in website visitors, a drop in conversions, a drop in time spent on your website, a rise in your bounce rate – these can all point to dated content and/or design. It can also be a sign that Google is dropping you in the page rankings. That’s never a good thing, and you want to stop that from happening now. A redesign and some basic SEO techniques will help keep Google AND your website visitors happy.

Your Website, Well, Just Looks Outdated – You’ve seen those vintage websites, haven’t you? Old designs are easy to spot a mile away... unless it’s your own. Ask some trusted colleagues, friends, and family (yes, in that order) to take a quick peek and offer honest feedback. Better yet, hire a web professional to do a full website review for you to point out where your website is lacking. (DMXReady offers this service here… http://www.dmxready.com/?product=project-scoping.)

How about you? What turns you off from a website and makes click the “Back” button faster than you can say “The X-Files”? Click on the Post Comments link above and let us know!

The DMXReady Team

 
 

Practical Guide to Classic ASP

Posted on: 1/7/2011 4:02:43 PM under ASP » Resources 
 

Recently came across this little guide to Classic ASP:

http://manas.tungare.name/articles/asp/

It’s actually a great resource for the beginner, detailing how Classic ASP all works. In fact, it may be too detailed for the average user. But it is so well laid out that you can easily skip the “technical” parts (like setting up the virtual directories if you’re working directly on a server) and get to the programming.

A well-thought out tutorial that’s easy to understand and contains lots of great examples.

The DMXReady Team

 
 

More Fearless Predictions for 2011

Posted on: 12/31/2010 9:21:50 AM under Web Design » Resources 
 

Previously (http://blog.dmxready.com/index.asp?ItemID=126) we predicted that minimalism would continue to sweep the web design world in 2011. Here are some other fearless predictions for the New Year.

More and Better Use of Typography

Finally, we are getting our hands on some new web-friendly fonts (weren’t they predicting this for 1996…?) so that we can incorporate text and typography into our web designs. Using more diverse fonts will likely explode next year, though expect growth for the next several years.

One little addition: most of the typography use we’ve seen has been in headlines, not surprisingly. Expect to see new typography in body text as well in 2011 (maybe too much…)

Less Content

Most people see the web as a depository for “free” content – because you don’t have to pay for printing costs, storage, postage, etc., the idea is that you can write as much as you want.

But what most web designers don’t realize is that all content comes with a cost: time. And the more time a visitor has to spend on your website to find what they are looking for, the more likely they’ll click that “Back” button.

There are some good cases for putting up lengthy content pages – instruction guides, blog posts, “For More Information” pages and the like. But you’ll see these more on the secondary levels. The primary levels will be tight and concise to attract the most people.

Designers Can (or Will) Stop Caring About IE6

Admit it: you’ve been cursing IE6 for the last several years. If there just wasn’t so many people still using it…! 2011 will be the year you can stop writing those CSS exceptions and special codes.

Mobile Websites Will Finally Get the Attention They Deserve

Take a look at your website on your BlackBerry. Can you read it? Is it easy to get the information?

Even though designing for the mobile web has been around for several years, many websites have yet to create mobile versions of their websites. Are they as pretty? No (which may be why designers are resistant to creating them). Does someone lost in Manhattan trying to find a particular store on their BlackBerry care about pretty? No. They just want legible information that a mobile website can give. More companies will realize this, and oblige.

“Cloud Computing” Will Slowly Replace “Social Media” as the “Place to Be”

There was a gold rush of companies over the last year or two trying to get their businesses front and center on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. That will continue, but in 2011, the concern will shift towards what cloud computing means for their businesses.

“Friendly” is In

There are many design trends that affect everything from sidebar use and positioning, colors, nav bar use, Flash use, and more.

One of those trends seems to be the see-saw in themes. About four or five years ago, “corporate” was in – nice clean lines and colors. That led to things like Magazine-style.

In 2011, “friendly” will be in. This will include lots of references to “green” websites and companies. It will also mean cartoony (but slick and professional) icons, bright colors, and interesting text usages (see Typography above), all framed in a minimalistic way. The style will say hip, fresh, yet professional.

There you have it: some bold predictions for 2011. From everyone here at DMXReady, we wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

 The DMXReady Team

 
 

Add a Star Rating System to Your Website

Posted on: 12/10/2010 11:54:29 AM under ASP » Scripts and Tips 
 

You’ve seen those star rating systems on places like Amazon.com and even photo galleries giving you the opportunity to provide your own opinion on something. They’re a great interactive tool, and useful for other visitors to see how good that something is.

Well, you can add a Star Rating System to your own website using Classic ASP. 

Here's one from Chris Hardy that looks pretty sharp. You can also Google "Classic ASP Star Rating" to find more...

http://www.chrishardy.co.uk/asp/scripts/accessible-star-ratings/

The DMXReady Team


 
 

Special HTML Characters and Their Codes

Posted on: 11/24/2010 11:46:00 AM under Web Design » Resources 
 
Often you'll add a symbol in your code that makes your whole page go... loopy. Maybe you get the wrong symbol, maybe it disrupts your code altogether.

One way to fix this is to use the actual ASCII code (or friendly code) to make everything line up nicely.

Here's a cheat sheet for you of some common symbols and their codes.


What You Type

What You Get

©

©

®

®

 

"

"

&

&

<

<

&gt;

>

&#145;

&#146;

&#147;

&#148;

&#149;

&#150;

&#151;

&#95;

_

&#152;

˜

&#153;

&#154;

š

&#155;

&#156;

œ

&#35;

#

&#36;

$

&#37;

%

Bookmark this page so you can come back any time!

Happy coding,

 
 
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