Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has been a huge buzzword among marketers for years. The reason for this is that search engines can be legitimate sources of mountains of traffic for your site and the higher you rank on them the better.
The problem that arose in the early days of SEO was a blatant abuse of the system. What began as a few innocent tricks to earn more visitors morphed into questions of etiquette and heated debates regarding what should and shouldn’t be allowed. The web design community has come a long way in the past decade but there are plenty of marketers that still follow the tactics of the 90s either through ignorance or defiance.
Today we’ll briefly look at how to engage in SEO in an ethical manner by pointing out five key techniques to avoid.June 29th, 2010 Posted in Web Standards
This article will discuss the history and future of the web and what implications that has for how device testing will begin to play a larger role in the obligations of web designers.
As the presence of web enabled devices increases the key question that will arise relates to not only whether or not your design will function on a given device, but also (and perhaps more importantly) how high the quality of the experience will be on that device.May 5th, 2010 Posted in HTML, Web Standards
Today we’ll look into the web design practices and trends of the single biggest name in software to see if we can learn anything about some mistakes to avoid in our own work.
Feel free to comment to either agree or disagree with the suggestions below. As professional designers your insight is valuable and I look forward to your thoughts.May 1st, 2010 Posted in Accessibility, CSS, Web Standards
Making your website accessible to everyone is not only a moral duty, it’s a legal obligation. Many organizations, including the International Olympic Committee, have been sued for not making their websites accessible enough. With 50 million Americans suffering from some disability or other, improving your site’s accessibility makes clear commercial sense too.March 19th, 2010 Posted in Accessibility, Web Standards
How do you begin building a website?
The majority of developers probably start from scratch or pull in a few resources from previous sites. The more organized among us have developed a custom toolbox from which to begin a site that proves to be an essential part of their workflow.
This will be the final article in our series on HTML5. This go around we’ll have a brief look at which new HTML5 technologies major browsers are officially supporting and go over some techniques you can use to take advantage of the new elements in your coding today. Finally, we’ll discuss how you should start preparing to support HTML5 in all the sites you build from here forward.October 26th, 2009 Posted in HTML, Web Standards
In the last article, we looked at a number of new elements introduced in HTML5 and how to implement them properly. In this article, we’ll again be discussing a set of new elements but this time we’ll be examining only those HTML5 elements that represent a significant semantic change to the way you structure your sites. This article will cover how to use each of these new elements in a way that will bring much needed relief to the div-itus that plagues the structure of so many sites today.October 23rd, 2009 Posted in HTML, Web Standards
A couple of days ago we posted an introduction to HTML5 and briefly covered some of the content we’ll be outlining in this series. Today’s post, which is the second in the series of four, will take a look at how to use six of the new elements in HTML5: canvas, article, audio, video, meter, and mark.
Keep in mind that HTML5 is not exactly ready for widespread use – so don’t go changing anything on your site quite yet. Be assured that HTML5 is in fact coming soon, therefore these concepts may prove useful in the near future.October 21st, 2009 Posted in HTML, Web Standards
The next iteration of HTML has been met with excitement by some, loathing by others and confusion/fear by everyone else. Love it or hate it, HTML 5 will soon define how you build websites. This is the first article in a four part series that will introduce HTML5 and its basic features as well as explain the key differences from HTML4.01 and XHTML 1.0 so you can start preparing yourself and your sites for the transition. Over the next week we’ll be focusing on three major areas:
1. New Elements
2. Semantic Changes
3. Getting it Working Today
This article will briefly introduce each of these topics to prepare you for the in-depth articles ahead.October 19th, 2009 Posted in HTML, Web Standards
Semantics is a word which strikes fear into many a designer’s heart, but it need not be a difficult or complicated topic. It concerns meaningful expression, avoiding presentational markup and using appropriate and meaningful tags where possible.
Essentially, designing and writing HTML code in a semantic way is as simple as keeping your HTML concerned with the content of the page and not the layout. Some of the simple steps below will help you to ensure that you stay semantically pleasing to search engines, spiders and visitors:
Ensure that your page title tag is descriptive and meaningful. Ensure that it changes for each page of your site to reflect the content on that page.
It’s possible to define your page’s headings with div and span tags, but that doesn’t convey any meaning that it is a heading. Using h1 to h6 tags to differentiate and style the headings on your page is much better.
By default, tables and forms are not very semantic and can be very general. They also lack accessibility for those using non-standard browsers. For tables, ensure that you use the thead tag to explain the columns of your table. For forms, adhere to using the label tag to describe what each input, checkbox etc is there for.
It seems like it gets said over and over again, but use alt attributes for all your images to ensure that they are described within the page content – both for the benefit of search engines and disabled users.
Using semantic code won’t make your website look any different and it won’t directly benefit your readers in any way. One direct effect you may see is that search engines spider your website in a more correct and effective way.
Also, semantic coding is paving the way for the future. New devices, software and applications will be around in the next 5, 10, 100 years that still use the content on the web to power them. Semantics set the standard which future systems will adhere to and interpret, so future proof yourself!July 16th, 2007 Posted in Accessibility, Articles, CSS, HTML, Web Standards