Tag: web design

Build an animated split-screen landing page

Your landing page is a crucial element in your website layout. It is the first real opportunity you have to introduce your business, or the product you sell, so its design is key. Landing pages are designed with a single focused objective known as a call to action (CTA). The use of colours and images to complement the calls to action and the user experience is a must. 

  • See the working CodePen for this tutorial

In this tutorial, we'll walk through how to build an engaging landing page for a fictional fashion brand. It will be centred around a split-screen design with large images and animated transitions that happen on hover. This page will have two clear call to action buttons and we'll be using HTML, Sass for styling and a touch of vanilla JavaScript that uses the ES6 syntax. 

01. Get set up

Click the icon in the top right to enlarge the image

If you're using CodePen, make sure the CSS is set to 'SCSS' in the Pen settings. You can make this change by clicking on the settings tab, choose 'CSS' and change the CSS Preprocessor to SCSS in the drop-down options. 

Then we can begin adding in our HTML. We're going to wrap a section called 'left' and a section called 'right' within a container class, with both sections given a class of 'screen'.

02. Finish the HTML

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To finalise our HTML, we will add in a title for each section using an h1 tag. Underneath that we will need to add in a button, which would link to another page if this was a real-world project. We will give this a class of button to keep things nice and simple.

03. Explore Sass variables

The one thing we all love about Sass is the use of variables. Even though native CSS variables are getting more support, we will keep things safe by using Sass. We will put these at the top of our .scss, and you can choose whatever colours you want, but using rgba values will give us more flexibility.

04. Adjust body styling

Firstly, we will clear all default padding and margin to the body and then set the font family to Open Sans. This will only affect the button, so it doesn't matter too much what font we use. Then we will set the width and height to 100% and make sure that anything that overflows on the X axis gets hidden.

05. Style the section titles

It’s time to pick a Google font for the section titles – we’ve chosen Playfair Display. Then using translateX we can make sure the section titles are always centred on the X axis.

06. Make the CTAs stand out

Our buttons will act as our calls to action, so these need to be big, bold and positioned where they are easy to click. Both buttons will have a white border and an interesting transition effect. The default styles for both buttons will be the same, however we will change their colours on hover.

The main buttons will have a nice simple hover effect and we will use the Sass variables we specified for the colour, which will be a similar colour to the background of the page.

07. Set the container background and screens

Click the icon in the top right to enlarge the image

The container class will act as our page wrapper and we will set the position of this to relative, simply because we want to position the screens to absolute positioning. We will give the container a default background colour, but of course this won't be seen because we will be setting different colours to both screen backgrounds.

08. Add background images

Both the left and right sections will display an image, and you can find royalty-free stock images from websites such as Unsplash, Pixabay or Pexels (which I've used in this tutorial). To make things easier, I've used a free image hosting and sharing service called imgbb that we can link to in our CSS.

The right-hand side of the page will also display a background image using imgbb, and we will set the background colour to pink. Again, we set the background size to cover. This will allow us to cover the entire containing element, which in our case is the .screen class.

09. Add transitions and hover effects

The animation speed for our hover effect on both screens will be controlled by a transition that holds the value of our variable $animateSpeed, which is 1000ms (one second). Then we'll finish off by giving the animation some easing, which is an ease in and out that will help to give us a smoother animation.

What we want to happen now is that when you hover over the left screen, there will be a class added to that section using JavaScript (which we will write in a later step). When this class is added, then that screen will stretch to whatever the width of the variable we specified – which will be 75%, and then the right side will be set to the smaller width variable (25%).

This works exactly the same as the left side, where a new class will be added on mouse hover using JavaScript, and the right screen will stretch out accordingly. We also need to make sure the z-index is set to 2 so the CTA button becomes more prominent.

10. Move into JavaScript

We will be using a touch of vanilla JavaScript to help us add and remove CSS classes and we will also be using some of the new ES6 features. The first thing we need to do is to declare some constant variables. 

Because we will be using document more than once, we will set a constant variable called doc and store the document within that so we can keep the word 'document' nice and short.

Now we need to set three more constants that will store the .right, .left and .container selectors. The reason we are using constants is because we know we don't want to change the value of these, so using a constants makes sense. With these now set, we can go ahead and add some mouse events to them.

Using the left constant variable we declared in the last step, we can now add an event listener to it. This event will be the mouseenter event and instead of using a callback function, we will use another ES6 feature called Arrow Functions' ( () => ).

11. Add and remove a class

In the last step, our event listener added a mouseenter event that targets the main container class and adds a new class called hover-left to the left section element. With this called added, we now need to remove it when we hover off it. We'll do this by using the mouseleave event and the .remove() method.

Up until now we have done everything on the left screen. Now we will finish off the JavaScript and add and remove classes on the right section elements. Again we have used the arrow function syntax here to keep everything looking nice and tidy.

12. Make it responsive

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No project – no matter how big or small – should avoid being made responsive. So, in this step we will add some media queries to our CSS, and make this small project as adaptive to mobile devices as best we can. It's worth checking out the original CodePen to see how this works.

We've made sure that when the width of our page gets down to 800px, the font and buttons will reduce in size. So, to finish things off we want to target the height too and make sure our buttons move down the page when the page height gets below 700px.

Web design event Generate London returns on 19-21 September 2018, offering a packed schedule of industry-leading speakers, a full day of workshops and valuable networking opportunities – don’t miss it. Get your Generate ticket now.

This article was originally published in net magazine issue 305. Subscribe now.  

Read more:

  • 5 sensational new websites to be inspired by
  • Create an animated 3D text effect
  • 19 great parallax scrolling websites

Irish Graphic Design Industry

Although communication, not aestheticism, was the primary concern, one can still argue for the overall visual design of the prehistoric artists. With the 1584 Gutenberg Printing Press, graphic design took on a whole new meaning. Now, text, coupled with visual appeal, could reach a wider audience than ever before. Although the use was – at first – primarily for Biblical and other important writings, the trend would soon spread to visual-appeal. Graphic design, as we know it, didn’t reach its boom until the computer era. With companies finding it increasingly necessary to have a corporate identity solution, visually-pleasing logo, and an online presence, graphic designers are definitely getting all the work they can handle.

Today, graphic design and website design are two separate but closely related entities. Most all websites offer some visual appeal – that is, they include graphical elements. When one understands this, they can really begin to grasp the widespread effect that graphic design can have. Creating something with aesthetic appeal is a laborious task, when one considers all the elements of graphic design, along with the viewing audience. Attempting to convey an emotion or theme is especially difficult. Special consideration to the following principles is necessary – mood, style, message, and hierarchy.

Moreover, one must consider the audience. Although anyone can view a website, logo, or corporate identity package, only a few are really in the ‘target audience.’ With graphic design’s worldwide appeal, designers have developed geographic markets in which to showcase their talents.

With Ireland’s technology boom, a widespread graphic design industry has developed. A Google.com search for “Irish Graphic Design” yields almost 2 million results, a true testament to this unparalleled growth.

Web Design

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Benefits of Technology in Graphic Art and Designing

How interesting it is that being a graphic designer you can give a visual aspect to your imagination. For being a good designer, artists need to have good knowledge of visual arts, text font and types, colors, objects, theme of the design, etc. And when the technology is doing well for all, why graphic designers remain away from its benefits? Graphic art is a domain where the designer has the liberty to express the thousand words without uttering even a single one. It offers a way of visual communication which not only depends on the pretty looks, but also on the representation style and what object is hidden behind the creation of the artwork. In fact, it has given the numerous ways for visual representation of ideas.

The world is changing with the changing technologies and gradually the use of brush and color is being replaced by the computer designing tools although the traditional art has its own essence. There are various advantages has been included with the integration of advance tools and technologies. It has provided a great medium to shape up the thoughts and experience. Now it is responsible for processing the visual data received from the real world or the virtual world. Rather, it can to create those objects and design which can’t be created in the real world. It does not put the limitations on the imaginations of the artist and they can draw anything and everything.

Technology driven graphic designing tools have brought multiple benefits to us and some of the benefits which make the document worthy are discussed below:

Precision

You can easily figure out the difference in every design which you’re creating with the help of tools. Unlike the traditional art here the smallest point will be very clear because traditional art puts the limitations as far as precision is concerned. The objects, dimensions, lines, grids, etc. can be put with perfection in the documents.

Clarity

If the two documents, one is made by the hand and another is designed with the help of graphic designing software are compared the difference is clearly visible. The second document is more clear and impressive and score better to convey the thoughts designer is trying to put forward. The more technologies are transforming, designers are obtaining better results.

Creativity

The output of the design depends on the execution of imaginations, but creativity is like the oxygen which imbibes the life into it. It completely depends on the imaginative skills of the designers that how unique they can think and in what way they organize and serve them on the white space. Designing tools offer a great range of possibilities which add excellence in the creativity of the artist.

Ability to change the thoughts into things

To create a unique and quality document it is the necessary aspect that you don’t have only thinking ability, but you should be capable of giving it the look and shape. It may be possible that you may think beyond the existing reality but what is the point if you can’t represent it. In fact a true and passionate artist can draw better what can be imagined and software applications to help them to bring their idea live. Technology tools are helping to actuate or change the thoughts into things.

Flexibility

Designing software give the flexibility to create, save and edit any image or media. In fact, you can develop multiple copies of the single document by changing its size, color, feel, etc. You can create a variety of designs with their wide range of tools and to do so, select the portion or object from the picture give it your desired touch. Moreover, they are very productive when you need to create similar kind of objects in various shapes and size.

In the coming next year, technology will continue to empower the abilities of the designers. It’ll help in planning and projecting ideas in the moving or still textual and visual content. They are the platform for them with immense possibilities to share their experience and communicate their ideas with the help of text and images. The technology has simplified and diversified the task of graphic designers, and now they can create digital visual media, save their original work and print it also. Ads in the newspapers or magazines, web pages are the visible examples of their work.

Graphic designers use the designing tools as a medium to convey what they think and experience with the help of text, objects and images with the motive to indulge the viewer in some kind of action. These tools are not only for commercial purpose rather they are the assistive hands for the artwork of the designers which help them to convey their emotions, represent their feeling, and presents the thought process of them.

Web Design

Why Does Website Design Require Skills?

The emergence of websites has just changed the outlook of customers towards the companies. The moment you have a low quality website, customers just don’t follow your products and services religiously any more. It’s true that websites are required in the same manner for business promotion by both new and existing businesses.

Now, it’s not everyone’s specialization to come up with a website design and oodles of skills are required for it. Not only, you need to have a specialized knowledge of this task but also need to know the exposure of a website on internet. Website designing is not just use of HTML techniques, but it is an art that is only acquired after constant practice and experience.

A website design company with experience knows the kind of design ideas that can actually improve the look and productivity of your site. Also, it does not consider the website design task as finished after implementation, but continues with it even after implementation through indulging in the maintenance, designing and development of the site. But, its expertise lies in designing the website intelligently, so that not many efforts need to be put in for search engine optimization for enhancing the popularity of the website. It also includes comprehensible content on the website for drawing customers that tells customers what are your inherent advantages not present with in other company. For a successful website design company, your website is designed with an aim of increasing your business which is reflected in its text, graphics and navigation of the website.

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Difference Between Web 1.0, Web 2.0, & Web 3.0 – With Examples

Like any other technology, the web is evolving and it is evolving rather quickly. Due to lack of standards, there seems to be a little bewilderment regarding its evolution and versions but the most acceptable stages of evolution are as follows:

 

  • Web 1.0
  • Web 2.0
  • Web 3.0 (Also known as Semantic Web)

So, what is the difference between these versions?

Web 1.0: The Internet before 1999, experts call it Read-Only era. The average internet user’s role was limited only to reading the information presented to him. The best examples are millions of static websites which mushroomed during the.com boom. There was no active communication or information flow from consumer of the information to producer of the information.

Web 2.0: The lack of active interaction of common user with the web lead to the birth of Web 2.0. The year 1999 marked the beginning of a Read-Write-Publish era with notable contributions from LiveJournal (Launched in April, 1999) and Blogger (Launched in August, 1999). Now even a non-technical user can actively interact & contribute to the web using different blog platforms. This era empowered the common user with a few new concepts viz. Blog, Social-Media & Video-Streaming. Publishing your content is only a few clicks away! Few remarkable developments of Web 2.0 are Twitter, YouTube, eZineArticles, Flickr and Facebook.

Web 3.0: It seems we have everything whatever we had wished for in Web 2.0, but it is way behind when it comes to intelligence. Perhaps a six year old child has a better analytical abilities than the existing search technologies! Keyword based search of web 2.0 resulted in an information overload. The following attributes are going to be a part of Web 3.0:

  • contextual Search
  • Tailor made Search
  • Personalized Search
  • Evolution of 3D Web
  • Deductive Reasoning

Though Web is yet to see something which can be termed as fairly intelligent but the efforts to achieve this goal has already began. 2 weeks back the Official Google Blog mentioned about how Google search algorithm is now getting intelligent as it can identify many synonyms.

For example Pictures & Photos are now treated as similar in meaning. From now onwards your search query GM crop will not lead you to GM (General Motors) website. Why? Cause, first by synonym identification Google will understand that GM may mean General Motors or Genetically Modified. Then by context i.e. by the keyword crop it will deduce that the user wants information on genetically modified crops and not on General Motors. Similarly, GM car will not lead you to genetically modified crop. Try out yourself to check how this newly added artificial intelligence works in Google. Also, there are many websites built on Web 3.0 which personalizes your search. The web is indeed getting intelligent.

Web Design

The Secret Design Keys to Increasing Your Website Conversions

We all know that the overwhelming majority of all ads and websites on the internet go unnoticed and unclicked. ComScore tells us that only 16% of display ads ever get clicked! Why?

Bad design.

What does this mean for you, the business owner and online advertiser? It means that it is almost certain that your advertising money is being wasted, and your business is missing out on the most lucrative market in the world. There was a time when you could put a simple sales page up on the internet and expect it to convert well. That time is gone. With the internet being flooded by everything from Elephant Back Scratchers to Cactus Pants, your product is lost in the noise.

With people becoming more educated and more wary, good design has become your most important tool in selling your products and achieving your goals.

Any time we critique a website or consult with a business on their websites performance, we have a list of over 40 keys that transform a poor performing website into one that converts. Here, we are giving you 5 of those keys to start getting your online business into shape.

Key # 1 – The Connection & The Story

People are tired of being sold. They want a connection. They want to form a relationship with you. Nobody wants to land on a website and be told that they should buy something, without even really knowing that much about it, or about you. Tell them a story. Never view every visitor as a potential sale, view them as a potential relationship with some kind of opportunity that may arise from it.

Key # 2 – The Next Step

You have someone on your website, fantastic! They have a quick look, then disappear back into the virtual world. You need to give someone a clear path to what you want them to do next. Not just a "Recent News" list, get them going where you want them to go. Every step you take someone into your step is another step to developing a great relationship with them. Do not expect people to land on your site and then explore everything.

Key # 3 – Further Contact

One great thing about a website is the ability to collect a list / database that you can then use to distribute information and get potential sales and customers. That's right, the subscription form. They key with this is to not hide it down in the footer. You want people to connect with you! If you know you need it to make a list, actually make a feature out of it! We have found, on average, that if you place a subscription form "above the fold" (visible without having to scroll down) the opt-in rate increases 10% without a single other change.

Key # 4 – The Visual Experience

Here it is. Design. The largest key to making a website a success. Content is not enough anymore – the design of it is integral. You can double your sales overnight by simply changing the look of the website. So many of our clients have come to us with a website they have made themselves, or gotten made for as little as possible, asking why it is they are not working. Then with a redesign they start to experience online success, without changing any content. You want to be professional? Look the part.

Key # 5 – Credibility

People want to trust you and trust your products. One of the best way to do that is show them testimonials, logos, partners, etc who have experienced your work in the past. Testimonials are huge! Reviews on Amazon can make or break a product. The same goes for you! Get good reviews and testimonials and publish them on your site. Even better: have them as videos.

Remember that your first impression with a website visitor is the most important. Having a bad experience may mean they never come back. Give them a great experience.

Good luck and I hope you experience the success you deserve!

Web Design

A Tale of Search Engine Optimization

There are a lot of people on the internet everyday who do not understand how it works. To them, yes it is a network, a search engine that miraculously connects them to all the information they need, to social networking and media sites for their entertainment, for work. Yet beyond managing their email accounts and perhaps their Facebook or Twitter with regular updates and activities, they really do not understand the principles on which something like 'Chicago website design' for example would work as a keyword that starts off a meta search across multiple bases when put into the Google search box.

So how does it work? It is a tale that starts with some great innovators and IT guys who came up with search engines. These are systems that search the World Wide Web for any kind of information, images, video, audio or other kind of files, for web pages, even for websites. These search engines release a Web Crawler, also known as a spider to go into web directories and other stored caches of pages that are relevant to the keyword that they are searching for. Then they pull back and display what they found in order of page rankings of the site and the relevancy of the matter in relation to the keyword, for the Internet user to browse at leisure.

Google is one of the world's most used search engines. Others do exist though, and they also have several features unique to them that appeal to browsers according to their individual preferences. Ask.com, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, etc are just a few of the better known and well used ones, but there are smaller ones that exist specifically for certain kinds of specialized search. Video games are one good example. The spiders or web crawlers of those search engines are linked up to game portals and games.

As such, search engine optimization becomes the part of the story where websites are literally 'optimized' so that they have the best interface, content, web pages and most traffic with a lot of links increasing their page rankings throughout the web. This is a field that is called 'internet marketing'. It creates healthy Chicago website design and SEO and maintains it at a good, strong level where search engines regularly rank it higher than the other thousands that are out there. Websites either handle their own web design Chicago and SEO, or hire SEO specialists and agencies to handle it for them.

Domains, portals, pages, content, links and great user interfaces for browsers need to be regularly updated and cleaned up, maintained. This is a full time job that can be handled by a company or business's own IT department with possibly the help of an SEO consultant. However, if they do not have their own outfit which can deal with it for them, it is best to contract it out. Long term white hat SEO strategies for Chicago Website Design and SEO are the best way to go and to always stay in the top ten or twenty of any search engine's search results over the years. It is much the same as a healthy advertising and marketing strategy in the real world, but online. That is, it is internet marketing and it has become as serious as real world marketing to any commercial or private enterprise that wants to make it to the top.

Web Design

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How to Have an Attractive Website Design Done

Times are tough now especially with almost everyone making their presence on the internet. Each individual owns a website or blog disregarding the fact that they are involved in some business or not. People prefer to create their personal blogs and websites that enable other people to not only know about them but also help them to know something more about something or the other useful topic. This boom of making a web presence has led to high competition in the field of website designing and has made it essential for each one to own a smart and attractive website. Portland Oregon website Design Company is experts at creating just the perfect online solution as far as the website designating is concerned.

There are pools of website designing company that has come up recently in Portland, Oregon state but not all are good with their job. Therefore, it is essential to make a wise choice while assigning your website design or re-designing work to any of these companies.

  • You must choose a company that can make you a website which is attractive to the customers and also enhance your company or business’s reputation.
  • The web design company must be able to design, set up, and also manage all kinds of websites such as static HTML websites as well as Flash-based interactive websites.
  • The company must have a streamlined process to design the website as per the client’s requirements.
  • The company must also allow the client to have its say in the making of the design and should fully direct the final product.
  • The company should have expertise in all the designing as well as developing aspects of the websites.

Along with website design, it is also important to place relevant content on the website and this work can either be assigned to a professional writer or the website design company might get it done from the reliable resources. If you are looking for a website design then look no further than Portland, Oregon website design since they have all the essential experience and expertise in creating the most attractive websites.

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Would Our Web Designer Sell Us A Junk Design?

Junk just gathers dust
Web designers are in the business of selling web designs. That is the first principle of business for a web design firm, as it is for many other types of businesses. There is nothing new here except that the whole purpose of a web site is to create business for the owner, and a site just gathering dust does not do that.

No one says that a web design needs to create direct sales for any business but it must connect with the business owner’s market and engage that market. If the site doesn’t connect with the market it is just junk collecting dust. It may be a beautiful piece of work but it’s still collecting dust.

Part of this problem is our responsibility as small business owners. We didn’t go to a web designer and say, “I need a web site designed for my web market.”

Instead, most small business owners say, “I need a web site designed for my business.”

Our market doesn’t care about us
The difference is about the focus our words create and the intent that gives to a project. And when the focus is on our business it is not on our market. Thus, we end up with something we are thrilled with even though our market is not impressed and doesn’t care.

What our market cares about is their problem, not the looks of our web site. They are not going to share our web site with others because it looks cool, but they will share when our business web site helps them and educates them about our industry and how to make the best choice for their needs.

Are we being educated on our marketing options?
The chances are that our web designer doesn’t really want to go there. Instead they jump right in to giving us a good look at their portfolio and suggesting how they could customize and come up with something totally original for us.

And our fault is that we go for this – not knowing any better.

But it’s not really our fault. We go to experts to get the best information and all too often we are talking to a professional that has a conflict of interest. This is where the web designer is advising us about the very product they sell. We may never get clear information about what all our choices are.

For instance:
If the conversations never touches on the low cost, or no cost, of “Pull Marketing” then we are not getting all of the available choices.

If the conversations never come around to discussing the differences between a demographic market and a virtual market then we are not seeing our real needs.

If the conversations never get around to discussing how to define a marketing profile for our web market (not just guessing about our virtual market) then we are not getting to use the best of what a web site can offer our business.

And there are more if’s that the web design industry does not talk about. Web designers don’t talk about our market other than to ask us to describe them. It is so much easier for them to design something for us. So most small business owners end up with a beautiful site that is headed for the scrap pile from day one.

To design for our web market a design firm would need to know how to discover things about our virtual market that even we don’t know. They would need to know about virtual markets and why they are different. Web designers need to know our market’s shopping habits, what our market values the most and which values we have in common with our market. But web designers, trendy or not, don’t give us any of this.

The solution is in market segmentation
This is just another term for psycho-graphics. Segmentation divides a whole geographical or national market into 7 segments where each has a psychological profile that describes the segments shopping habits, values, likes & dislikes as well as general beliefs. These are better tools to work with on the web.

Reverse engineer
We could also stand back from our own business and ask that business a few questions to discover things about the market it serves.

  • Doesn’t our business provide solutions for a market?
  • Doesn’t our experience include the pain and distress our market feels?
  • Can we name our market’s biggest problem?

Once we have put words to the solutions we provide and for who we provide them for then we are well on our way toward knowing who our web site should be designed for.

We do not have to accept trendy web designs that have no appeal to our market. These just sit and gather dust. We want a site that engages our market and this means engaging our market.

Read that last line again. It’s like saying, “If nothing changes… then nothing changes.”

If our web site doesn’t engage our market it’s just junk

No matter how beautiful and pleasing it is to our eyes.

And it is our job to make sure that our web designer is going to think about our market and what would be best for our market but we shouldn’t really expect this to happen. The reason for this is that there is no one that knows more about our business than we do, but we need to stop listening to the professionals who are only thinking about us.

A professional web designer may not deserve all the blame for junk web site, except that they are the self proclaimed experts and they expect that we will listen to them. Therefore, the first rule of hiring a web professional is to not let them design our web site.

There is, of course, a great deal more to learn about our virtual market and how they think, what their shopping habits are, what their values are and what they believe in. There isn’t room in one article to cover the web as a virtual marketplace or market segmentation to develop a market’s profile. You will find this information in other articles.

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Annual Website Review & 10 Point Website Maintenance Checklist

Many of us start off the year determined to make the new year a better, happier, and more successful one of the last. It's a time to take stock of our lives, analyze where we are now, and plan for where we want to be next year. It's resolution season.

It's also a great time for businesses to assess themselves and to make goals for the new year. This includes the review, analysis, and update of the company website. Here are a few things you can do as you evaluate, assessment, and plan for a better year for your website and your business:

  1. Download a copy of your website and back it up onto a CD Rom or DVD. Take a few minutes now and schedule to regularly download and backup a copy of your website through the new year. Schedule monthly or quarterly backups if you make regular changes and additions to your site, or, at the very least, bi-annual or annual backups. Having an archived copy of your website on hand is essential if you ever need to replace or reinstall your website and it gives you an on-going business archive of your website and the changes made to it through the year.
  2. Review and update any copyright dates and / or time references through your website. Do a "find and replace" for last year's date on your site, or better yet, spend a few extra minutes now to program your website to update all dates and time references automatically so that you will not need to manually update them in the future.
  3. Review your domain names. What domain names do you currently own and when do they expire? Is the registration information for your domain name up to date and correct? By keeping your domain name registration contact information up to date and correct (especially all email contacts), you will be sure to receive timely notices, announcements, and renewals and you will be better able to manage and maintain your domain name effectively and efficiently.
  4. Review all company contact information on your website. All names, addresses, telephone #s and extensions, and email address should all be double checked to ensure they are up to date and correct. Double check that all email addresses listed on your website route to the correct person at your company.
  5. Check the links (both internal and external) on your website. Broken links are a sure sign of a neglected and out of date website. They can also be a tremendous source of frustration to your visitors and make a (very!) Bad impression. Check and double check all links, both on and off your website, to ensure all are working and up to date.
  6. Test your website forms. Pretend you are a customer (or potential customer) on your website and complete and submit each form on your website. Ensure that the data submitted is received properly and is forwarded to the correct email address at your company. If your forms include automatic replies, check that the replies are up to date and contain correct information. If your site contains a shopping cart, test your cart functionality and all checkout forms.
  7. Update your privacy policy, site terms of use, and disclaimers to ensure that they are up to date and reflect your corporate policies and comply with any new laws.
  8. Examine the overall design of your website. Is the design and / or layout outdated? Does it adequately reflect your brand, or the level of professionalism and service that your company provides? Is the site easy to use and navigate through? Is your website a marketing tool that serves your company well?
  9. Analyze the content on your website. Remove outdated or incorrect content and replace with up to date and correct information. Make goals for how you can improve your website and make it an even more valuable communication tool for your customers, your sales force, and your employees. If you are not yet utilizing social media, begin to plan how your company can utilize new marketing and communication websites and social media in the new year.
  10. Review your web statistics and SEO. Take the time to perform an annual review of your website statistics and compare over the past years. What steps can you take to increase your website traffic? How well does your website come up in search engines? Are you utilizing basic SEO techniques on your website to help increase relevant traffic?

Web Design