Renda Harding Web Developer Portfolio Cape Town Wordpress Developer | Front-end Designer Fri, 18 Jul 2014 12:09:18 +0000 en-ZA hourly 1 How to create a successful online presence Fri, 18 Jul 2014 12:09:18 +0000 ]]> Build it and they will come? Not so easily. It takes time and effort to build an online presence. Be prepared to set a budget for ongoing marketing efforts, analytics and content management. Identify your target audience. Once you’ve identified their demographic characteristics, you can base your marketing on this information and tailor your content to address them. [caption id="attachment_473" align="alignnone" width="830"]structure-and-content-is-important Structure and content is very important. It can’t just look pretty.[/caption] It’s not just about being pretty. Know that the structure and content of your website is just as important as the visual design. A great design will only get you so far. Without substance, people will not visit or stay and search engines will not notice your website. Use social media as a networking tool. If people see the ‘human’ side of your business, this helps to build trust and connections. Optimize your website for mobile devices. More and more internet users are browsing the web via there smartphones and tablet devices. People want information at their fingertips. You simply can’t afford to miss out on this audience. [caption id="attachment_476" align="alignnone" width="830"]get-involved-in-your-online-marketing Get your hands dirty! Be involved in your online marketing.[/caption] Be involved. Train and empower your company to get involved in the online side of your business. Do not simply hire someone to “handle” it for you. Does your website have a blog? This is a very important and effective marketing tool. Use your blog to attract visitors, share knowledge and build trust. Adding new content on a regular basis will also boost your rankings on search engines. That being said… Make the most of search engines. Be sure to have great, unique content and be active on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. This way people will find you. Good rankings on search platforms helps to create credibility as well. [caption id="attachment_481" align="alignnone" width="830"]high-quality-content-is-important High quality content is important.[/caption] Have high-quality content. Be sure to have content that encourages site visitors to return in the future. It must be engaging and informational, or people will disconnect. The content should also reflect your brand’s tone and style. Surveys and competitions are also great methods of engaging your audience. Keep an eye on your analytics. You should be in the know about what goes on with conversions, popular pages, competitors and Google algorithm changes. If you want to make a success of your website, this is just as important as the accounting side of your business. With careful planning, good marketing campaigns and the steps outlined above, you’re sure to achieve great online success and help your business grow. Good luck!]]>

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How To Set Up A WordPress Website Mon, 14 Jul 2014 10:50:17 +0000 ]]> WordPress website. Where do you start? First of all, choose a domain name.
  • Find a domain name that’s easy to say and spell.
  • It should reflect your business name.
  • Do not use hyphens and numbers. They can be confusing and are often mistyped.
Find a reliable hosting company. Your hosting company should be able to register your domain name and display your pages on the web. A reliable hosting company will handle all server and DNS related issues for you. install-wordpress Install WordPress. Ask your hosting company if they can do this for you. If not, the following steps apply:
  • Download WordPress.
  • Set up a database and database user.
  • Add the database and user details to your wp-config file in your downloaded WordPress files.
  • Upload your WordPress files via FTP.
  • View your WordPress website in your browser.
  • Follow the instructions. Basically you have to fill in the title of your website, choose if it should be visible to search engines and create your login details.
Choose your theme.
  • A WordPress theme creates the look and feel of your site.
  • You can choose to use a theme to suit your needs or you can create one from scratch using a skeleton (blank) theme.
  • Nowadays themes are created to be responsive, so they should work on mobile devices as well.
  • Changing the theme of your website will not affect your content, just the way it’s displayed.
creating-content-for-your-website Change the settings of WordPress to suit your needs.
  • For example, you can change the Permalinks to URLs that are SEO friendly and easy to read.
  • Install the desired plugins, for example any contact forms, SEO plugins, newsletter signup forms… the list goes on.
All the steps up until this point you only have to do once. Phew! Start adding your content.
  • Make sure your content is relevant, interesting and fresh.
  • Use eye-catching imagery to attract visitors.
And Bob’s your uncle! Enjoy your WordPress website!]]>

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Infographic: Things to note before you develop a website Mon, 07 Jul 2014 14:46:51 +0000 ]]> 26-things-to-note-before-you-develop-a-website Source: Pixaal]]>

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Design Tips: Typography Thu, 26 Jun 2014 13:50:28 +0000 ]]> Tips on choosing fonts:
  • It is important to take your time when choosing a font, otherwise your design will look rushed and unpolished.
  • Use a clear, readable font that is appropriate for your content.
  • Although there are many options available, don’t overdo it. A combination of two web-safe fonts is sufficient. Sometimes less is more.
Fonts can be divided into two main categories: ‘Serif fonts’ and ‘Sans Serif fonts’. Serif Fonts
  • Serif fonts have a small line attached to the end of a stroke in a letter or symbol.
  • These fonts are very effective as headings.
  • They create an ‘old’ style.
  • Studies have suggested that Serif fonts are easier to read in printed media.
Sans Serif Fonts
  • Sans Serif fonts do not have the same lines as Serif fonts (‘Sans’ is the French word for ‘without’).
  • These fonts are simple and clean.
  • They are easy to read.
  • Sans Serif fonts work well in smaller font sizes too.
At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference. Here is a nifty little infographic from the guys at UrbanFonts about the battle between Serif and Sans Serif fonts. The designers of these websites got it right: Flint Boutique flint-boutique-website Caava Design caava-design Knuckles Industries knuckles McDonalds My Burger mcdonalds-my-burger Why you love Christmas why-you-love-christmas Brancott Estate Pioneers brancottestate Hugo Mingoia — UX & UI Designer Hugo-Mingoia Vintage Hope vintage-hope Revelation Concept revelation-concept Go Nocturnal go-nocturnal Crop The Block crop-the-block  ]]>

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Video: A Powerful Marketing Tool Mon, 24 Mar 2014 11:59:05 +0000 ]]> What can video be used for? More and more modern businesses are using videos to:
  1. demonstrate their products or services,
  2. introduce their team or staff (the real people behind the business)
  3. give instructions or “how-to” guides
  4. put a human face to a brand or
  5. offer an “insider’s look” into the business by showing footage of their offices or processes.
Viral Marketing Video is great for branding and product awareness as well. It has the power to go viral very quickly. “Going viral” is when something gets distributed on social media platforms, attracting attention and discussion. An excellent example of a video that went viral, is the ‘Take This Lollipop’ campaign, warning against the dangers of sharing personal information on Facebook. Their website has 15,156,102 likes. Was their campaign successful? You decide for yourself… And social media platforms for videos are no longer limited to Youtube.  Other popular platforms that have appeared on the scene recently include Google+ Hangouts, Twitter’s Vine and Facebook’s Instagram Video. Statistics Still not convinced? According to comScore Inc, a global digital market measurement service, the average internet user watches an astonishing 186 videos a month. Considering how many internet users there are, the power of this platform is mind-blowing. Improve your search engine rankings According to Ariane Fisher, co-founder of Storymix Media, Google owns YouTube and places higher value on inbound links from their own platform. So you can be certain that Google will index your video if you upload it to Youtube. Let video help you with your online marketing. As you can see, it has many benefits. Happy filming!]]>

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WordPress: a powerful CMS Wed, 05 Mar 2014 07:06:02 +0000 ]]> WordPress Stats (Jan 2014) there are 74,959,942 WordPress websites in the world. That’s quite impressive. So why is it so popular? It’s an open-source framework… Which means that it’s free to download and use! And there are loads of free plugins available for any extra functionality you might need. On that note… There’s a plugin for (almost) everything. Need a contact form? An event calendar? A newsletter sign-up form? Spam protection? Chances are there’s a plugin for that! And if there’s not, the code can easily be customized to suit your needs by a developer. The framework is powered by MySQL and PHP. Yes! WordPress is highly customizable! Everything in the WordPress framework is customizable, from the look-and-feel to the functionality. Anyone with a bit of coding background can change the design of a WordPress website. If you’re a skilled PHP-developer, the possibilities are endless. WordPress is very user-friendly. It’s very easy to use the CMS. If you can use Microsoft Word, you can use WordPress. You can edit content, upload media, schedule posts, add events, galleries… the possibilities are endless! And it handles media very well. Videos, jQuery, Google Maps and images are just some of the media that can easily be inserted through the WordPress CMS. It’s easy to update. Wordpress releases a new version of the framework every few months. It can be updated with the click of a button. The same goes for plugin updates. Search Engine Optimization. Because it’s easy to make regular content updates on WordPress, it is very search engine friendly. Google frequently crawls WordPress websites, so it tends to rank well. So that’s WordPress in a nutshell! Feel free to contact me if you need help with your WordPress project.]]>

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Responsive Website Design: What You Need To Know Fri, 07 Feb 2014 10:45:07 +0000 ]]> web portfolio and drag your browser window to a smaller size. You will see that the website ‘responds’ to the size of the browser window. I found this really cool infographic that explains the whole concept in detail. responsive-website-design Infographic Courtesy of Hall Internet Marketing]]>

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Tips for Mobile Design Mon, 20 Jan 2014 17:28:59 +0000 ]]> Images via Pinterest Optimizing your website for mobile devices is big news (and basically a ‘must-do’) these days. Think about it – people want information now, any time anywhere. So they grab their mobiles or tablets to find what they need on the internet. There are a few things to keep in mind when creating a website for mobile devices: 1.    Built a responsive website rather than a separate mobi-site. This is probably up for discussion, but in my opinion a responsive site should work on all devices, including tablets, ipads and smaller computer screens. Separate mobile sites rely on detection scripts that are not always accurate.  Also, by building a responsive website, your website should adapt easily to new devices and you won’t have to rebuild everything within the next couple of years. 2.    Have the same information on your mobile site than on your desktop site. The whole point of having a mobile site, is to offer easy access to information. Therefor it should have the same core information as your desktop site. 3.    Provide a friendly user-interface. Remember that the user will not use a mouse to browse your mobile site. Be sure to create buttons and clickable elements that are large enough to touch with a finger. There is also no need for hover states. Keep the design ‘clean’. You don’t want to clutter up a 320 pixel screen with unnecessary design elements. 4.    Provide easy navigation. The user should be able to navigate through your website with ease, even on a mobile device. Your navigation should always be visible, even if it’s just a button that the user can click to display the menu items in a dropdown. Remember: mobile websites do not have to be complicated. Keep it simple. Happy designing!]]>

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Weird Stock Photography: From Bad to Worse Wed, 16 Oct 2013 13:52:58 +0000 ]]> These guys really hit the nail on the head. was started by two art directors who, like me, work with bad stock photography on a regular basis. Basically they take absurd stock images and point out the… um… obvious flaws. Here are a few my favourites: Family Sitting in Kitchen getty-critics-family-sitting-in-kitchen
Apparently in North Korea you have to give a radioactive urine sample before you drink smoothies. Because what idiot would pour glasses of lemon peel water when there are delicious smoothies about to be made? And why are they so far from those delicious smoothies? Is that a Bluetooth blender? Completely off topic, but, it’s really cruel to make fruit watch their fruit family and fruit friends get eviscerated right in front of them. Even more not cool is to point and laugh at them. Did that dude put cherry tomatoes in the blender? Is that why no one’s pressing the button? Maybe they should just stick to the radioactive lemon peel urine sample water.
Close up of family eating hotdogs getty-critics-close-up-of-family-eating-hotdogs
The guy and girl are pretty pumped about tandem eating that lettuce dog. But the little girl is more excited about eating your soul.
Family cleaning house getty-critics-family-cleaning-house
If you ever walked in on David Lynch’s family cleaning a house this is what it would look like. A vacuum that was used to suck up hair from a murder in 1973 operated by a guy styled by le chateau. Blair Witch time out in the corner. Ghost mom manning the body bag station, while Damien air punches the shelving.  Most importantly, what kind of party calls for only one piece of decoration? Saw 7: The Birthday
For more stock photography weirdness, have a look at 60 Completely Unusable Stock Photos and 23 Incredibly Weird Stock Photographs. It’s random, weird… and completely unusable.]]>

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