Archive for August 2011
Sitemap is an additional page in a blog which has a list of links to each post in the blog. Need of a sitemap arises if a particular blog or site has 16 or more pages. Creating a sitemap is not difficult but it is unfortunate to state that most of bloggers have a common thinking that making a sitemap is useless and just wastage of time. Therefore I considered it important to describe importance of having a sitemap. Here are a few points that will elaborate the significance of sitemap for a website:
- Sitemap actually acts as a map for your site and makes navigation of your site easier. If your visitors lost among a number of pages on your site, they can take help from sitemap to find out where they are. Visitors feel relieved to find a sitemap and a link to particular page visitors are looking for.
- Sitemaps also help visitors to understand your site’s theme. When a visitor loads up sitemap, he is able to get the gist of site within a short period of time. This eliminates the need to read each and every page of your site and saves time of your visitors.
- By creating a sitemap, you actually generate a single page that has links to every other page on your site. As a result, when search engine robots hit the page, they follow links on sitemap. In this way, each page of your site will get indexed by search engines. Therefore a link to sitemap should be placed at a prominent location on first page of site. It is also beneficial in another way. When your site undergoes any change, sitemap makes search engines aware of this change. As a result, changes are also indexed faster.
- Having a sitemap is even more significant for new sites. In presence of a sitemap, you will have to rely less on external links which bring search engines to your site. For this, you need to be sure that hyperlinks in your sitemap are working.
- Sitemaps provide a full view of a website and its structure. If you need to add new articles or contents, you can consider the site hierarchy by having a view of your sitemap. This will help you having an organized site which will have everything classified according to relevance.
In short, having a sitemap increase page rank and manages to get required traffic. A correct sitemap also helps achieving SEO easily. Therefore, to increase users’ usability and having a sitemap is essential.
Being a freelance designer is wonderful but at the same time it needs to be understood that this market is so saturated and a designer needs something special to stand out from crowd. Here in this post, you will find some tips to become a successful freelance designer:
- You must have a unique personalized logo to be established. In absence of a logo, you will fade somewhere in background.
- It is impossible for a designer to become successful without having an online presence so create an effective online portfolio.
- Make sure that you have also created a tangible portfolio which you can give to others who want to meet you and see your work. Create print portfolio, business cards and resumes to establish your identity.
- Try to be bold and brave and do not hesitate in calling people and offering services. Be professional and have confidence in yourself that people will definitely recognize your talent and appreciate your skills.
- An important tool which can work for you and make you successful or unsuccessful is word of mouth. Compliments by those for whom you have worked earlier can help you a lot.
- Again I will insist to believe in you. Do not you ever underestimate yourself. If you will not have faith in your skills, no one would like to hire you.
- Try to sign up for social networks like twitter, facebook, digg and others. Start your own blog and also add comments on others’ blogs as well.
- Practice makes a man perfect. You must have definitely listened this saying. It is very true. Increase your confidence and skills by practicing. For this purpose, you can also join a group or community where you can make your skills fresh and up-to-date.
- Make your observation strong and pay attention to smaller things around you. If you find some advertising or graphic impressive, write it down. Observe new trends and collect design pieces wherever you find them.
In my opinion, these tips are enough for a designer to understand how he can become successful in the field. Follow these and become a successful graphic/web designer.
Graphic designing is an intellectual and imaginative process and consists of a series of steps. Today we will discuss all those steps which make a whole graphic designing process. I hope you will find this discussion helpful.
Before working on any kind of project, a graphic designer needs to become an investigator and researcher. He must gather information on all aspects from various resources. For this, he may conduct an interview with the client to know what his client exactly needs and how he can fulfill all requirements of his client. A graphic designer also needs to get answers of some questions like what message would he convey through his design and in how much budget he will fulfill client’s requirements.
After getting all information, a graphic designer may make an outline and get it approved from his client.
Before moving further, some graphic designers visualize their concepts while some move forward by making quick layouts. However it is better to visualize a concept before moving forward. Today computers have made this process quite easier as they have enhanced ability of a graphic designer to produce a conceptual work. Through computer graphic programs, designers quickly develop high-quality concepts for client approval.
Arrangement of Visual Elements
In next step, a graphic designer needs to know how to arrange visual elements to make a design. Purpose of arranging these elements is not just to please the eyes but it also means to create a design that looks meaningful and convey a message. So every element on a page must have a reason for its presence and purpose of its placement. Just for this purpose, graphic designers are given training in fields of typography, drawing, color theory and composition.
After making a design, it is suggested to designers to make multiple versions of that design so that client can choose the best.
Presenting Design to Client
Graphic designers must be able to deliver quality representation of their concepts to clients. This step actually involves physical presentation of work with an explanation of logic behind creating that particular design. Here designers may have to face criticism but they need to be open-minded and accept suggestions from others.
Revision of Design
As a result of presentation, clients may ask for making some changes in a design. So in this step, a designer makes changes according to client’s wishes and revises the design. This step does not necessarily take place once as a design may have to undergo several revisions before final execution.
Today we will discuss making a web page header in GIMP. You can easily use GIMP to create web page headers in different structures either simple or multi-layered. Let’s have a look on some simple steps involved in making web page header in GIMP:
- Select File and then New to create a new workbook. You will see a pop-up box appeared in front of you named Create a New Image. This will allow you entering settings which you like to add. Size of a typical header is between 700 and 900 pixels wide. And as far as height is concerned, it is 75-200 pixels. To set X and Y resolutions to 100 pixels per inch, click on plus sign icon so that it may reveal Advanced Options.
- You can color background of web page header by using Bucket Fill Tool. This option will be available in main toolbar and will help you filling entire background. To beautify the header, you can insert a picture or design either. If you want to insert a ready-made graphic, you can select File and Open as Layers to locate desired file. After selecting the image, click Open.
- Now it’s time to add text. For this, click on Text Tool in main toolbar. Click on web page header where you want to insert text and then type your content. All types of text settings will be appeared on toolbar which will help you choosing font size, font style and font color. Sometimes you may want to add a large title along with a smaller subtitle. For this, insert two text boxes so that each line can be customized separately.
- Now you will want to position all the elements. For doing this, you will use Move Tool which exists in main toolbar. Select Windows and then Dockable Dialogs and then Layers to view Layers dialog. Select thumbnail of a layer which you want to move in Layers window. Now click on image and use keyboard arrow keys to move text or images making sure that Move Tool is selected.
- After doing all this, you will save your work using picture file extension which will be supported by your web page such as .png or .jpg. You can also save file by using GIMP workbook extension .xcf so that you can edit your file in future if needed.
This is a simple process of making a web page header in GIMP. Hopefully you will find it easy to follow.
Like other forms of designing, web designing is also a challenging task as designs change rapidly with the passage of time. A web designer, therefore, needs to remain updated with latest trends in web designing. Today, websites are designed in an entirely different and interactive way. The purpose of designing a website is now to attract and engage user. So a cotemporary web designer is required to understand all these concepts. Here I am going to explain some tips which will prove helpful in becoming a better web designer:
- To attract users, a web designer can create an attractive design but it will only help to grab preliminary attention of users. Encouraging users to stay on your page will need something more to do. For this, you can design an interactive yet appealing website. Provide users with some actions to do so that they can become interested in exploring your site further. Only text-based website makes the users feel bored so encourage users to execute their preferred action on your website. Using interactivity needs cleverness because something new has to be unfolded with each click.
- While designing website, attention is given to better colors and layouts, but there are also some other common but important elements which need consideration. Let’s take the example of site map. A usual site map we see on different sites contains site details in link and text formats. To make this element inimitable and improved, a web designer can make site map in a more imaginative way. For example, images and can be used to make a user interested in viewing site map.
- If you are having a website which majorly grows with advertisement revenue, your page will have a number of ads being displayed on it. When a page has so many ads, most of them fail to capture attention. Here again website interactivity can be used. You can attract the user by creating a banner which may have a peel off design instead of a simple design. User will now peel off layers to read the note under it.
- Being a web designer, if you have to design a shopping website, you will need to be very careful because in such websites users are not directed towards the exact items they are looking for. And a user will not have much time either to go through each category to get required information. Try to present all the elements together in such sites so that user can visit all in search for required information. This will keep user engaged and will motivate him to perform an action.
In all the above points, emphasis has been laid on interactivity. Interactivities really work for your website and make it a canvas rather than a simple HTML page. How to get ideas on using interaction? For this, you can pay attention to some good websites having interactive elements.
Most of people think that once they have established a website, it will attract clients and customers magically. This is not true at all. Websites are needed to be promoted and advertised so that they can effectively attract customers. There are a number of websites which compete for visibility so getting your website noticed may become difficult. But there are a number of tips for advertising your website. Here are these tips:
- Always remember that content is king. You may attract a large number of visitors with appealing content but at the same time, you need to keep your website content up-to-date to get visitors coming back again and again. Use new and fresh content to keep your website updated. By doing this, you will give a solid reason to visitors to come back to visit your website.
- A message sent from your business via email or letter must contain your website address so that more and more people may become aware of your website. When you will provide your website address in your routine communications, your existing customers will find your website easily and will definitely use it. You can also add your website address on your business cards.
- Interact with your customers through your website. For example, you can conduct different contests and surveys. This interaction will keep your customers interested in your website.
- Use off-line publicity to generate traffic to website. Sponsor an event for a not-for-profit organization and send press releases for business news and updates. Or you can also get a feature in a business magazine. Don’t forget to highlight your website address in all these ways of communication.
- Try to get your website listed in relevant directories-those directories which are related to content of your website. You can also set up link exchanges with other related websites. Links will help you in driving more traffic to your website.
- Users like those websites which are easy to be used. Website navigation should be easy so that visitors can find their required information quickly. If you have a large product range or simply a large website, make sure you have a search option available on your site.
- Last but not the least; ask your customers for a regular feedback on what content they like to see on website. It is necessary because it becomes difficult to analyze pros and cons of your website if you work on it daily. Visitors will help you finding defects in your site and thus will help you improving your site.
These were some easy, simple but useful tips to promote your website I an effective manner. Hopefully, you will like these.