All posts tagged “Checklist”

Buying a Resale Flat? Here is a Checklist that You Should Consider

When you decide to buy a resale flat, there are couple of aspects to be considered before buying a resale flat. For instance, if you are planning to buy a resale flat in Pune and checking out for…

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SkyTechGeek

Improve your designs with this 10-point checklist

Read more about Improve your designs with this 10-point checklist at CreativeBloq.com


This design checklist is a guide that I created for myself over time – it allows me to find the balance between the two extremes I face daily as a designer. At times I can get carried away and only focus on all the little details without seeing the project from a bird’s-eye view, while at other times I only think of the project from a holistic perspective, without really focusing on the important details. Following these 10 steps allows me to stay on track with multiple projects simultaneously, and allows for a healthier design process overall.
    




Creative Bloq

An Insightful Checklist of Validating Your WordPress Website

When designing a website on WordPress from scratch, it is necessary to put what seems an overwhelming amount of effort into each detail, no matter how small. These details might seem to be insignificant on the surface, but each of them play important roles when it comes to maintaining high quality appearance and function throughout each individual webpage.

An Insightful Checklist of Validating Your WordPress Website

Even after inputting each line of scripting and coding, there are still several additional steps that need to be completed in order to make sure that the website is effective and in good condition when it is published and posted. Validation is one of those important steps. The successful validation of a WordPress website can be the difference between a well-ranked workable website that runs on any platform, and a website full of bugs and broken images that no one will ever find.

What is Validation?

In order for a website to function and appear the way it should, the coding and programming within each individual webpage has to be developed and formatted correctly. Even the tiniest error can cause a ripple effect that could possibly compromise the stability of the entire website. To make certain all of the coding on a WordPress website is correct, it is necessary to run the webpage through a validator.

There are specific standards and rules that are outlined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) that must be followed by webmasters and web designers when creating their online content and site pages. It may be beneficial to think of these rules as analogous to the rules of grammar and spelling of writing a paragraph or even just a single sentence, according to Van SEO Design. Validating HTML and CSS both require the use of a validator, which picks out the errors in coding for revision. One of the most popular HTML validators can be found at W3C Validator, which can help clean up any WP site before launch. Properly validated your website can be an asset when it comes to search engines picking your website out of the mass on the Internet.

After running your website through validators, take the time to correct every error. To be certain, run it again. If no errors come up after validation, your website is HTML valid, which improves your ranking in search engines as well as improving the experience of using the website for potential customers.

One of the benefits of using WordPress to create websites from templates is that most of the coding is pre-completed. However, not all of these templates are free of errors. This is one of the pitfalls of WordPress in specific, that the nature of a website creator that is so easy to use is easy to trust. A web designer, even an amateur one, should always make certain to check every page of any WordPress site carefully with eyes and intuition as well as a validator.

The Effectiveness of HTML Validation

Regardless of how simplistic the language might seem, human errors can still lead to a wide variety of mistakes within coding that can escalate into major problems when it comes to the overall development of that website. No matter how well-versed a programmer is in WordPress design, the addition of plugins to various templates can cause mistakes that can only be picked up with a validator. These may be invisible to the naked eye, but severely damage the conception of a website in the eyes of search engine rankings, which can be fatal for a small business.

One common, harmless, and easy-to-fix error in the HTML coding of a WordPress website is the “Incorrect Nesting of Elements” error. This pops up when you feed a website through a validator for HTML and have attributes incorrectly nested — for example, for a piece of text that is intended to be both bolded and italicized, an incorrect nesting is <b><i>incorrect nesting</b></i>. A correct nesting would instead look like <b><i>correct nesting</i></b>. This is an easy fix. The more correct your website is in HTML and CSS, the higher it is likely to rank in search engines, especially when the errors are in linkage text.

Most common and harmless errors that only affect the positioning and correctness of a website, rather than the workability of the site itself, are related to image and appearance. One more serious, link-based example is “lack of alt value,” which means there was an absence of alt text included in a link. While this seems harmless, improperly linked text, especially in backlinks that can drive your website higher in search engine rankings, can be a damaging blow to a website’s searchability.

Plugin errors are also a traditional problem with WordPress for the uninitiated. A plugin can sometimes throw up an error where it fails to reach a directory. There are poorly-coded plugins as well available for WordPress, but those do not usually show up in validators. A more serious plugin error is the “Parse error: syntax error” error, which does show up in validators. Essentially, this means that if you did not install a plugin correctly, it can make your links and images broken, or possibly cause your site to fail to load completely.

CSS Validation

When designing a website through WordPress, there are two primary languages of programming in which a designer must be at least passably fluent: HTML and CSS. The primary purpose of the language of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is to separate the actual content posted within an online document from the presentation of that material. This can include everything from layouts and formats to fonts and colors, according to the W3C. As long as the CSS is programmed correctly, the content of the website can be easily accessed, several different webpages can share the same type of formatting and the overall structural content will not be as complex or repetitious. Whenever you are able to view the same web page on different devices with various screen sizes, known as Responsive Web Design, that capability is something that is provided through the CSS.

WordPress offers support in converting previously HTML-only websites into CSS, making it easy to change a page to a more responsive, more fluid design, one of the greater benefits of using WordPress. Just as with HTML scripting, there can be quite a few errors within the CSS that remain undetected as well unless the website undergoes a thorough CSS validation.

Not only can the overall appearance of the website be negatively affected by coding errors, but the website will more than likely not be able to function properly either. When establishing the rules for your CSS, there are so many different honest mistakes and small errors that can be made that can jeopardize the structure and function of the entire website. Even the most experienced CSS specialists and other IT professionals are still fully capable of making mistakes on any given day. The key is to make the validation process a normal part of your regular routine in order to quickly identify and resolve these errors in a timely fashion.

If the CSS is embedded within an HTML document, validate the HTML scripting and programming first to make sure that it is correct. If any errors arise, do not start any other type of validation until those flaws have been properly rectified. There are several different online CSS validation tools that can be used to quickly identify these errors on your behalf, including the W3C CSS Validator and the WDG CSS check validator, according to TutorialsPoint.com. Again, W3C is one of the more popular validators to standardize your website to exacting codes in CSS.

Links Validation

Validating featured online links regularly is such an important part of properly maintaining a website. Dead links can be devastating to business; a customer that clicks a dead link is much more likely to visit another website instead of continuing to search for live links. There is a wide variety of link checking and validation tools that are currently available online which can be used to thoroughly search through each of your webpages to identify broken links.

Have Friends, Relatives, and Co-Workers Check Your Site

One of the most effective, albeit overlooked, tools of validation is the opinions and feedback of other people. There are many different online tools and software programs that can be used to identify coding problems, scripting errors and broken links. However, none of those things can compare to the real-time, honest feedback from an actual person that has taken the time to thoroughly examine your website for themselves.

Amateur users will primarily focus on the overall accessibility and user-friendliness of the website. These are the people that will provide you with the type of feedback that your customers and clients will have when they visit your website as well. Use the feedback that you receive from these trustworthy friends and relatives in order to improve the overall efficiency of your website while those validation tools work hard to enhance its quality.

Conclusion

A company’s website is often the first opportunity to connect with prospective customers. There is not very much time to make a great first impression that will captivate their attention and keep them interested in learning more about what your company has to offer. Within two-tenths of a second they have already formed an opinion about your company’s brand and their first impression of your business is determined and reinforced all within the first three seconds, according to a study conducted by the Missouri University of Science and Technology. The last thing that you should want is for a series of coding errors or an overall lack of user-friendliness and overall accessibility to cause you to ruin this golden opportunity that you have to win those people over.

Visit us at InstantShift.com

PSD to HTML


InstantShift

Anagrama: Checklist Identity and Collateral

Another great identity project by Anagrama, this time for Checklist, a company that specializes in custom event planning.

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Design Work Life

Checklist for On-Site SEO Post Penguin and Panda

google penguin and pandaWorried about the Panda and Penguin algorithm updates de-ranking your site and causing it to fade into the digital haze? It’s understandable; you’re not the only one who is and lots of sites have already suffered the ranking consequences of applying bad on-page SEO to their sites despite the changing face of search rank metrics.

However, don’t get too worried just yet; fixing your page so that Google Penguin and Panda aren’t a major worry isn’t really that hard or complex if you have a list of the key steps you need to take at hand. Apply the following starting today and keep applying them from now on to make sure that your SEO at least doesn’t suffer thanks to a bad profile in the eyes of Google.

1. Content is Fleshed out and Rich

Both Panda and Penguin hate badly written, low quality content that doesn’t actually deliver the goods and instead simply exists to please a search bot with the minimum SEO requirements that used to be the case. This includes content that’s spammy, pure advertising, really thinly written and content that’s stuffed with keywords to the point of being unnatural and hard to read.

Forget all that and write your content to please your human fans! Make it informative, densely packed with information and as unique as possible. Also, aside from being sure to include your main keyword a time or two through natural writing, forget keyword percentages and using the same phrase on every second line.

2. Well linked Site Structure

Your internal link structure needs to exist and it needs to be interconnected in such a way that lets a user (or search bot) navigate your pages in a flowing hierarchical order or at least easily access everything important without hunting for it. This means that you should make absolutely sure to include easily navigable in-content links and menu links in such a way that every page of content is easy to find from almost every other page within no more than a couple of clicks.

Additionally, create a text based link structure, No Flash or Java since the Google bots will completely miss it and fail to index your valuable content pages.

3. No Over-Optimized Anchor Text

So, we just mentioned properly linking your site pages but now we need to explain that it’s also important that you also link them the right, post update friendly way. What this means more than anything is that you need to avoid over-optimizing your anchor text –the text that’s used to form your actual on-page links. Instead of repetitively using the same keyword or phrase for every on-page link, diversify and make your selection of anchor words naturally fit with the flow of your content. Penguin in particular will appreciate you for this.

4. Low Bounce Rates

A bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that arrives at your site and immediately leaves because they don’t like what they found for some reason. This could be caused by all sorts of things including but not limited to: annoying flash introductions, auto-playing videos, music that auto-plays and can’t be shut off easily or a lack of the content the viewer was looking for. Another cause of high bounce rates is poor usability that makes navigating or loading your page difficult and slow.

Whatever the cause, if your website analytics is showing you a high page bounce rate, start tweaking things until you’ve gotten it to lower down as much as possible, preferably below 50 to 40%.

5. High Social Media Optimization

Are your site pages well integrated with social media, especially the important platforms like Twitter and Facebook? If they aren’t then they should be. While Google doesn’t directly measure social integration as part of its Penguin or Panda criteria, they do play an important part in good page optimization since both updates are very keen on organic page sharing as part of their ranking metrics. Thus, the more socially integrated your valuable, useful content is, the more likely it is to be shared by people across their social media accounts or even on their websites. This will raise your SEO profile down the road.

6. No Links to Content Farms and Other Low Quality Sites

Just as Google doesn’t want your site to be a low quality URL that’s full of thin, spammy content, it also doesn’t want to see you linking to other sites that have those exact qualities. Thus, look through your on-page content and if you see that you’ve been heavily linking to content farms or websites that promote spam and other “dirty” tactics, you should really think about getting rid of them. Failing to do so may not directly influence your rankings but it’s probably better to be safe than sorry, especially in light of Penguins scrutiny of bad link structures.

About the Author

George Zlatin is a co-owner of DigitalThirdCoast.com, a digital marketing firm from Chicago. When he’s not helping people improve their online presence he loves spending time with his 2 kids, teaching them about everything the world has to offer.
Website : www.digitalthirdcoast.net


Web Design Fact

A Checklist: Setting Up And Configuring Your New Mac

Mac OS X comes with the "Migration Assistant" that helps you migrate your previously customized settings and configurations from your Mac to your new one. It sounds like a good idea but if you want to avoid inheriting legacy files and some of the old problems that come with, you might want to start afresh.

In fact, setting up a new mac just requires a few tweaks here and there. To make it easier for you, we’ve set up a checklist for the things you need to do when setting up your new Mac.

If you are customizing a fresh copy of Mac OS X, then this post is for you. We’ve got in today’s article, or should we say checklist, some 15 things (plus a bonus mini checklist for designers and developers) you may need to do pre-installation and post-installation. We hope you will find it useful.

Pre-installation

Here are some of the information you need before initiating the installation process.

1. Have your Mac-related credentials ready

If this is not your first Apple device, chances are you already have an existing iCloud ID and/or App Store ID.

icloud setup

If you wish to have your emails, contacts, calendars, Safari bookmarks, iPhoto photo streams properly sync’ed, you’ll need your iCloud ID. If you wish to be able to re-download previous purchased app without paying again, you’ll need your App Store ID.

2. What to name this new Mac?

During the installation, you’ll be ask to fill in the username and the computer’s name. The username should be a no-brainer; but pay a little attention to the latter. Your computer name will show up in networks you connect to as well as if you are a Terminal user. You can get them changed later, for one reason or another, but it’s better to get it right from the start.

We suggest using the naming convention of: [Firstname]‘s [Device].

Here are some examples:

  • Yourname’s Macbook Pro
  • Yourname’s MBP15
  • Yourname’s MBPr
  • Yourname’s iMac
  • Yourname’s iMac27
  • Yourname’s Macbook Air
  • Yourname’s MBA

3. Is your Internet connection working?

To get your iCloud properly set up, you’ll need a working Internet connection. The installation can be done without an Internet connection, but it’s best to get everything set up complete from the very start.

Post-installation

4. Perform a system update

Apple releases updates from time to time, so there is a chance that the new OS installed has yet to be updated with the latest fixes. Check for a system update before doing anything else to avoid double work. Do it once, twice, or until there’s no update required.

check for system update

5. Have your mouse and/or keyboard pheriperals ready

If you’re not a fan of the trackpad, then this is the step when you get your mouse connected.

6. Adjust trackpad scrolling direction

If you work exclusively with the trackpad, you need to calibrate it. By default. when you scroll down, the trackpad page scrolls down. if during the test run, it doesn’t feel natural go to System Preferences > Trackpad > Scroll & Zoom and uncheck "Scroll direction: natural"

trackpad natural scroll

7. Setup sharing settings

Do you want to share screen with another Mac? Are you working with peers or have a need to share your local files with them? Do you need remote access to this Mac when you are away? Or is there a need to share other pheripheral devices (scanners, printers, etc) this mac is connected to with other people on a local network?

sharing setting

If you answer ‘Yes’ to any of this, then you might need to visit System Preferences > Sharing to check/uncheck your preferences.

8. Clean up the menu bar

Like any operating system, Mac includes pre-conditioned selections of apps to make things easier to access. if you are the minimalist type, preferring a clean menu bar, you might want to:

  • remove the sound icon (System Preference > Sound > Uncheck Show volume in the menu bar)
  • remove time machine icon (System Preference > Time Machine > Uncheck Show Time Machine status in menu bar
  • view clock as analogue (System Preference > Clock > Select Analog)

9. Personalize your menu bar

Want to display your name on the menu bar like what you see in the image below?

minimal mac menu bar

It’s simple. Just do the following:

  1. System preference > User & Group
  2. Click Login Options
  3. Select Show fast user switching menu as..

10. Enable access for assistive devices

There are some productivity apps for example, TextExpander, which requires access to Mac’s assistive devices option. If you anticipiate using such apps, it’s advisable to turn them on. To do this, go to System Preferences> Universal Access > Check Enable access for assitive devices.

11. Lock system preferences

To avoid accidental changes to the settings you’ve made, it’s good to lock the settings in system preferences. Upon locking, no further changes can be made unless you click to initiate an unlock option which requires a password.

lock settings from changes

12. Remove unwanted icons on your dock

Dock is a convenient way to fire up apps you use on a regular or daily basis. However, default installation of the Mac provides you a set of suggested apps on your doc regardless of whether or not you actually will use them. If you don’t use them, this becomes a source of flutter.

You can remove unwanted apps on your dock, by holding the icon and dragging them upwards to remove them.

remove from dock

13. Remove unwanted apps

If for some reason you got a Mac with a lower spec which gives you less storage space, you might want to remove some of the default apps you are not going to use.

To remove apps efficiently from Mac, we recommend appzapper.

Here are some default apps you may not require (depending on one’s needs of course) and therefore can remove to free up some significant amount of storage space:

  • Garage band
  • iMovie
  • iPhoto

14. Show hard disks on desktop

By default, your Mac keeps your desktop clean. That means that the icons or shortcuts to hard disks, devices or networks you are connected to as well as the discs you’ve mounted are hidden or invisible.

If you want to have these icons displayed on your desktop but have no idea how, do the following:

  1. Select Finder app
  2. Go to Finder > Preferences
  3. Check the required items under Show these items on the desktop under the General tab.

15. Customize desktop icon, grid and text size

Whether you want smaller icons on your desktop so you can fit more, or bigger icons so they are more noticable, either approach are customizable via desktop configuration menu. Just right click on on the desktop, then choose Show View Option.

adjust desktop icons settings

You can experiment with ‘Icon size’, ‘Grid spacing’ and ‘Text size’ to customize them to your preference. Select ‘Snap to grid’ to allow your icons and folders to fall nicely into the grid you set with less effort.

Essentials for Designers / Developers

I – Install java run time

Java run time may be required by a couple of applications you’ll be installing later, the Adobe Suite of apps in particular. Click here to install it.

II – Install Git

The default Mac OS X does not comes with Git. Click here to download and install Git on the fly.III

III – Get your browser of preference

If you are not a fan of Safari, it’s probably time to download an alternative browser.

And here are the links to get Firebug installed for various browsers:

And That’s It!

Will all of this set up, you’ll be heading over to the App Store, browse through your Purchased tab to re-download and install applications you’ve previosuly purchased.

Alternatively, you can also:

  • Spice up your desktop with some wallpapers. Check out our collection of Wallpapers.
  • Get some free apps for your Mac. Check out our collection of apps here and here.

Did we miss anything essential? Let us know with a comment. Now go have fun with your new Mac! .

Related posts:

  1. How To Make Siri Say Anything
  2. Setting Up POP3 Email With iPad [Quicktip]
  3. Guide to: Installing Firebug in Major Browsers and iOS Devices
  4. How to Turn Gmail Into Your Default Emailing App


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