Website Design For Small Business Oversimplified By Web Design Tools

Website design for small business is being oversimplified by web design tools and content management software bundling up in the market. There is a widespread attitude of, “okay, I will do it myself” happening with regards to designing. In reality, designing is more than just adding pages and colors to your website. Just because you have the tools, it does not mean you will be able to do the job effectively. Yes you can make website; with only few clicks perhaps; but are you sure it is going to work for you?

Web Design

Photo: Chasing Daisy

Web Design Tools are not enough

Most of the hosting clients offer access to Joomla, WordPress and lot of other blogging or CMS platforms. Apart from these, there are several companies selling their instant website tutorials with WYSIWYG features. Anyone can develop a kick start website by using CMS tools and the available options. All you might think of is to put your Home, About Us, Contact Us, Services, and Products Page. However, your business needs more than these. You can even purchase a great looking theme from different Web Template Market but yet indeed; you will only get an standard structure, which may not reflect your business as the way it should be!

Flash and E-commerce Mania

With ample plug-ins available in the internet from WYSIWYG providers, you will manage to use them with the help of the user guides. You will create galleries for your products, decent looking generic graphics, eventually creating something that looks like a near professional website. Shopping cart plug-ins makes e-commerce appear dangerously easy. It takes professional experience to know whether you are using the right shopping cart format. Are you optimizing your product pages? Small business websites need to compete with peer small businesses and giant counterparts.

So within this competitiveness; you can’t be sloppy with your products selling portal. You can’t just use tools to make a website full of amazing animation and make yourself satisfied thinking – “My website is GREAT!” Well, few thinks like this unfortunately!

It’s not only about design any more. You need to place your content into right place in your website according to content priority for maximizing the visibility to readers. You need to know users browsing behavior. How visitors like to browse? Which types of color combination are best for readability? The tools generating your codes are not always accessible to everyone. Are your codes optimized for Search Engines? How about Social Media friendly website? Are you using semantic codes on your site? Is that accessible on mobile? See, so many questions come in front of you as a prerequisite! Can your tools handle all these issues?

Web Presence with Marketing Psychology

A website that has marketing psychology included in every phase of web designing is a must to eventually win in business. To get this done, you need to have your web designing jobs trusted to an online marketing company specializing in web design for small businesses. Having enough tools does not mean you can provide the best job ever. Of course, with practice you might be able to do it; however, you have more to think of about your real-time business than about web technology. Hire a professional website developer or coder and get busy with your own business.

Importance of Professional Web Coder

A professional coder will guide you though customized options for your business in terms of webpage appearance, the number of columns you need done for your business, colors, headers, background, designs, user-friendly navigation and more. The best of all they will be able to produce unique work.

It is very important to have a good-looking logo for your business. Your logo is second to nothing when it comes to representing your business. The internet is flooded with logo development tools as well. It is best to let the professional designer do the job for you. The designer charges are indeed once in a life time investment for the logo that will go places representing your business. When you work with a logo professional it is worth your investment.

Content is the King

Content is very important to speak your business to your clients. You do not want the language to be too complex. You want the content to speak your product and service in the most effective way. The content development team will take care of your needs.

Your website is more than designs, tags, logo and paragraphs about your business. It is your finest marketing weapon. To make the best use of it, you need an internet marketing company or a we design company. There are so many online services, where you can easily look for these companies or professionals. You can post your projects on Elance, ODesk or from Freelancer too! You can crowd source your new logo design from 99Design. Or buy Premium Web Templates if you are trying to avoid custom website design and development hassle. If you think you need some help from Web Design Experts you can get in touch SME Developers.

Your Turn to Involve

Let us know how you make your website? How these web design tools are helping you growing your business? Which method is best for you? Have you ever purchased any template? Do you know the basics of HTML or CSS? Have you ever tried to build one by yourself? What were the difficulties you faced? Lets start the discussion below. You can also suggest your point of views on our Facebook Page. Bye for now.

Photo Credit: Chasing Daisy

Time saver CSS tools and resources for web developers

As a website developer we have to keep our-self up to date and at the same time keeping personal resource database is a must indeed.Keeping yourself well organized is an asset. If you can use more time saving tools, it gives you time to think about other important things in life. On internet you may find so many tools for web development work-flow. It becomes quite impossible to choose a good one because almost all of them deals with same entity, yet usability, experience or accessibility may vary.

In this article I am going to write about some useful tools which may help web developers reduce their work load while working with CSS. References of these tools have been collected from various famous tech blogs. I tried to mix up different tools for different purposes.
Related reading
You may like to read one of our previous writing on CSS – All about CSS : Useful blog post on CSS3

CSS Processor

CSS Processor gives you the option to be more productive within short time. There are so many CSS Processor out there. Every single of them gives you extensive support based on their special ability to process CSS to it’s extend.

Less CSS

LESS CSS Css Processor

LESS is an extension of CSS. You can write LESS code just like you would write CSS, except you need to compile it to CSS. LESS uses existing CSS syntax. This tool got some mindblowing option like Variables, Mixins, Nested rules, Operations and many more. See there Docs

Sass

Sass - Syntactically Awesome Stylesheets

Sass makes CSS fun again. Sass is an extension of CSS3, adding nested rules, variables, mixins, selector inheritance, and more. It’s translated to well-formatted, standard CSS using the command line tool or a web-framework plugin.

Turbine

Turbine decreases css development time and web developer headache

Turbine is a PHP-powered tool that introduces a new way for writing CSS. It’s syntax and features are designed to decrease css development time and web developer headache. Have a look at their Docs

CSS Porcessor

CSSP extends the CSS language to help you develop and maintain sane CSS code. Now you can do what you’ve always wanted to do in CSS:

* Define constants in CSS files, and use them throughout your codebase.
* Import constants from other files.
* Emit browser-specific CSS code.

IE Converter Tools

Still Internet Explorer holds major market segment in browsing software. Though developers try to avoid IE for their development purpose, but good developers try to keep in mind their website should be all browser’s fruit! Below you will find few tools which helps you eliminate problems that we face while writing CSS for IE.

Selectivizr

Selectivizr - CSS3 pseudo-class and attribute selectors for IE 6-8 (20100925)

selectivizr is a JavaScript utility that emulates CSS3 pseudo-classes and attribute selectors in Internet Explorer 6-8. Simply include the script in your pages and selectivizr will do the rest.

IE6 CSS Fixer

A tool specifically designed to ease the pain of the ie6 css debugger. If you want to read up on all the specifics, I advise you to check the articles on the ideology, the specific fixes and the scope of this tool.

CSS Optimizer

Compress, optimize your CSS code to load your website faster. Most of the developers now using these tools for optimization, hence YSlow is a popular tool for testing CSS size and loading time which can be used along with Firebug for Firefox browser. It gives you and option to cmpress the whitespaces within inline codes, but for even better results I will suggest using following tools for your optimization.

Clean CSS

Clean CSS

CleanCSS is a powerful CSS optimizer and formatter. Basically, it takes your CSS code and makes it cleaner and more concise.

CSS Optimizer

Online CSS optimizer

Online CSS Optimizer/Optimiser is a web tool for reducing the file size of cascading style sheets. In order to save more space optimized files would be messy even so you may output it as a file.

CSS Drive -> CSS Compressor

Use this utility to compress your CSS to increase loading speed and save on bandwidth as well. You can choose from three levels of compression, depending on how legible you want the compressed CSS to be versus degree of compression. The “Normal” mode should work well in most cases, creating a good balance between the two.

CSS Frameworks

Who like to write down same CSS-Code or any other Markup twice? It’s very common scenario web developer has to face repeated classes and ID’s used on previous projects. CSS Framework gives you the way of using reusable predefined styles for your new project. Below I am going to showcase few of them.

Blueprint CSS

blueprint css : a CSS Framework

The framework offers an easily customizable grid, sensible typography, a typographic baseline and a stylesheet for printing. It also uses relative font-sizes, provides a CSS reset and is supposed to be cleaned of code bloats. (Recommended by Sven Lennartz on Smashingmag)

960 GRID SYSTEM

960 Grid System

The premise of the system is ideally suited to rapid prototyping, but it would work equally well when integrated into a production environment. There are printable sketch sheets, design layouts, and a CSS file that have identical measurements.

Elements

Elements - A Down to Earth CSS Framework

Elements is a down to earth CSS framework. It was built to help designers write CSS faster and more efficient. Elements goes beyond being just a framework, it’s its own project workflow.It has everything you need to complete your project, which makes you and your clients happy. Read the Overview for more information.

Few other CSS tools

Below you will find source of different tools with different functionality.

Blueprint Grid CSS Generator

Blueprint Grid CSS Generator

This tool will help you generate more flexible versions of Blueprint’s grid.css and compressed.css and grid.png files. Whether you prefer 8, 10,16 or 24 columns in your design, this generator now enables you that flexibility with Blueprint.

Colors Palette Generator

Upload an image to generate a color palette based on the image’s primary colors. Useful for quickly grabbing a particular color within an image for inspiration.

W3C CSS validation service

W3C validation for CSS, This is the ideal place to check your CSS script’s validity. While valid you will get a W3C Valid CSS badge

You will contribute now

I tried to include most common yet useful tools that we frequently use over development purposes. It is for sure you may have already gathered even better resources for your CSS job. Please share with us your valuable experience about these tools. For those who are still thinking of using such tools you can always check with us or leave a comment so that we can refer you with better tools. Please subscribe our RSS feed and help us grow.