Category: Web Design Tips

Get your Small business website design right the first time

small-business-web-design

Small business website design

If you want to push the right buttons with your customers, read about the eight essential elements of an effective small business website below:

Have a Plan

If you build it on the web, they won’t necessarily come unless you have a strong sales strategy. In order to get the most out of your online presence, your website should be aligned with the overall sales and marketing plan for you business. Explore the options available – pay-per-click (PPC), email marketing, social media, blogs and search engine optimisation (SEO) – to decide what fits best with your sales plan.

Stay on Message

Potential customers usually spend less than two minutes on a website. It is important to have a strong pitch that incorporates what you are selling, and why you are the best at what you do. Remember ‘less is more’ on the net. Hone your message and make sure it comes through loud and clear in the visual and written elements of your website.

Make Getting in Touch Easy

Have clear ‘Call to Action’ buttons on your website. These may be in the form of ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Click for call-back’ buttons. Make it easy for potential customers to contact your company and ask questions. Don’t tuck your contact information away on an inaccessible page on the site. Web customers are impatient creatures and will move on if they cannot find legitimate information quickly.

Track Conversions

This is one of the easiest and most valuable website activities. Tracking conversions will help you grow your business and make informed sales decisions and forecasts based on the data you collect.

Tell Customers Who You Are

Understanding your customer’s aspirations and needs is important if you want them to connect with your business. Target your ‘About Us’ page toward your customer demographic and include quality information about the history, goals and successes of your business.

Go for User Friendly Design and Content

Don’t make your website busy. Elegant visual design and quality content that clearly and logically directs customer enquiries drives sales and encourages website exploration. Your website should be easily accessed on mobile devices – responsive design means your customers connect on any device, anywhere.

Choose a Robust CMS

Choose the correct content management system for your website. The following features are critical to eCommerce success:

    • Quick loading and easy to edit pages
    • SEO ready
    • Good support and update structure for software

Choose a Web Design Company

Last but certainly not least, partner with a web design company to get the most out of your eCommerce experience. Look for a company with experience and know-how. Ask how they will implement the eight essentials discussed, and check out their client websites to see if their style is in line with your requirements.

small-business-web-design

 

small-business-web-design

Adding Interactive Games to Your Website

Does your website need an Interactive Game?

The interactive games on your site don’t have to be complicated. They could be as simple as puzzles, a basic action game or a colouring page on a website directed at parents and children. A good example is this colouring page on the Hearing Club website.

There are several third-party websites that specialise in simple games you can import onto your own site for free. There are puzzle sites that will let you create your own. That way you can customise to your branding and image. Some games will let you modify them slightly with coding. This can help with sizing and colour. You want to be sure that you don’t load too many games on one web page as it could slow down your site.

While an embedded game is part of your web site, it is hosted on the original website it came from and not using your bandwidth. Your game will disappear if the original site takes it down. Be sure to get your games from safe sources to avoid buggy content.

In the past, games were built with Adobe Flash Player, but Google Chrome is planning to disable Flash by 2020. Games are now built in HTML5.

Before you download a game onto your website you need to be aware of any terms of use agreements or licensing. There may be restrictions or requirements on how the game is used. A free game may be free for the first few levels and then require payment to unlock the full game.

Small Business – Get Your Website Right First Time

small-business-website

Getting Your Website Right First Time

Your website is the first place many potential customers go when they are researching products and services. An effective, properly planned website is essential.

A well designed website increases traffic and turns inquiries into sales at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing campaigns. If you want to push the right buttons with your customers, read about the eight essential elements for an effective small business website below. We’re here to help, so please contact us if you would like more information about our web design services.

  1. Have a Plan

To attract traffic to your site, you need to have a strong sales strategy. In order to get the most out of your online presence, your website should be aligned with the overall sales and marketing plan of your business. Explore the options available – pay-per-click (PPC), email marketing, social media, blogs and search engine optimisation (SEO) – to decide what fits best with your sales plan.

  1. Stay on Message

Potential customers usually spend less than two minutes on a website. It is important to have a strong pitch that incorporates what you are selling, and why you are the best at what you do. Remember ‘less is more’ on the net. Hone your message and make sure it comes through loud and clear in the visual and written content.

  1. Make Getting in Touch Easy

Have clear Call to Action buttons on your website. These may be in the form of Buy Now or Click for call-back buttons. Make it easy for potential customers to contact your company and ask questions. Don’t tuck your contact information away on an inaccessible page. Web customers are impatient creatures and will move on if they cannot find the necessary information quickly.

  1. Track Conversions

This is one of the easiest and most valuable website activities. Tracking conversions will help you grow your business and make informed sales decisions and forecasts based on the data you collect.

  1. Tell Customers Who You Are

Understanding your customer’s aspirations and needs is important if you want them to connect with your business. Target your About Us page toward your customer demographic and include quality information about the history, goals and successes of your business.

  1. Go for User Friendly Design and Content

Don’t make your website busy. Elegant visual design and quality content that clearly and logically directs customer inquiries, drives sales and encourages click through. Your website should be easily accessed on mobile devices – responsive design means your customers connect on any device, anywhere, any time.

  1. Choose a Robust CMS

Choose the correct content management system for your website. The following features are critical to eCommerce success:

  • quick loading and easy to edit pages
  • SEO ready
  • good support and update structure for software
  1. Choose the right Web Design Company for you

Last but certainly not least, partner with a web design agency to get the most out of your eCommerce experience. Look for an agency with experience and know-how. Ask how they will implement the eight essentials above. Browse their website portfolio to see if you like their approach and they would meet your requirements.

We offer creative, compelling solutions designed to make your customers push the right buttons! Contact us today to discuss your needs.

Tips for Writing a Case Study

case-study

Tips for Writing a Case Study

Why do you need Case Studies on your site?

Assume the client does not have any intuition about your processes

Case Studies are designed to win the confidence of a prospective client. They need to see that you are capable of designing, developing and promoting their business through web development.

  • Its as simple as a walking them through the project
  • Outlining your creative strategy from conception to completion
  • Provide the rationale behind the design, UX and visual decisions

Documenting

When starting a new project, proactively think how you will document your processes for a written Case Study. Documentation is key, even in the form of notes and doodles. Keep it all for reference.

Five Core Elements of the Case Study

  • Overview: Keep it brief, simple and quick to understand for skim reading. Include: main problem, overview of solution, and key results. Articulate the gist well in few words. Reader should get the gist of entire project in a nutshell.
  • Context and Challenge: provide a detailed description of the context that led to the creation of the project. Three main elements:
    1. project description and background: timelines, budgetary constraints, and purpose of the job
    2. the issue: the WHY of the project, what issue led to the conception of the project?
    3. project goals and objectives: what are the tangible goals of the project
  • Process: This is where you elaborate on the on how you worked the challenge into a solution. Its where you describe the concepts that led to design decisions. During this process you would have a good idea of the client’s customers, their industry and their competitors. You would have identified their strengths and where their message needed a boost to draw more attention to their site.
  • The Solution: In this section of your Case Study you include samples of your design. A screen shot of the Home page displayed on a few devices shows in one image your design’s mobile responsiveness. Also include samples of any other visual enhancers that show off your skills as a developer. Its also your chance to describe the unique attributes you have used to deal with challenges.
  • The Result: Business owners are most interested in the result. They need evidence that their money will be well spent. Its important to be able to show your design directly boosts your customer’s online traffic and/or sales goals. If your Case Study describes the analytics and statistics of traffic are directly influenced by your design, you are providing more evidence that your agency can do a great job for the next client.

What is a Content Management System (CMS)?

wordpress-logo

What is a Content Management System (CMS)?

A CMS is basically a software system that facilitates administration, authoring and collaborative content creation for web users who are not experienced with web programming languages. The three most popular CMS WordPress, Drupal and Joomla are easy to use and are often favoured by small businesses, individual bloggers and not-for-profit organisations.

The benefits of a CMS

A robust CMS enables users to manage documents online, administer changes to web content with little or no training, and create multiple author outputs. Most platforms have a range of presentation templates, which will vary depending on whether you want to build an eCommerce site or start a personal blog. The CMS controls your collection of web materials including documents, images and other media, and stores your content and metadata on a database.

CMS: The Good

WordPress, Drupal and Joomla offer:

  • templates that allow the user to insert their own content for an individual look
  • easy to edit content – most platforms separate content from visual presentation in the administration panel. This makes manipulating content easy for non-technical users
  • traffic control – user groups allow administrators to control registered users’ interaction. Anonymous users can be restricted or denied access, thereby circumventing issues with Spammers
  • regular software updates and the ability to add plug-ins to extend functionality
  • multi-lingual tools to increase your audience share
  • content syndication through the generation of RSS feeds and email updates to users
  • low cost and low maintenance: WordPress, Drupal and Joomla can be used for free, and the ease of use often means it is often unnecessary to employ a full-time software developer to manage your site
  • CMS platforms are excellent for search engine optimisation (SEO). Social media plugins, fresh content and RSS feeds can increase the number of subscribers on your site

CMS: The Bad

  • implementation for larger scale projects can be costly and may require further hardware installations
  • URLs on CMS can be unstable which could see them blocked by search engines

CMS: The Downright Ugly!

Before we go any further, both of the items on this list are avoidable. It is worth talking to a software specialist and spending some of the money you’ve saved elsewhere to avoid these ugly ducks!

 

3D Walkthrough features for your website

Matterport is a great 3D Walkthrough Feature on your website

We have been approached by clients to embed Matterport walk throughs into their website allowing visitors to explore architectural spaces in a virtual 3D format.

Matterport is a great digital solution for architects, real estate agents, and builders to showcase internal and external spaces to potential clients. It allows clients to navigate their way around a virtual interior and get a sense of how they would interact within the space of an existing building or floor plan for a future home or workspace. Rather than wait till a piece of realestate comes onto the market for inspection or the plans of architect designs to be built, buyers can get a feel for the internal space off site from anywhere in the world. This allows clients to see how they might occupy the space, modify plans to suit their personal taste, asses the fit of furniture or how they might occupy the layout of a workspace.

A space is scanned with a Matterport Pro 3D Camera, capturing the area in three dimensions and uploaded to a cloud based processor. The high resolution of panoramic images presents accurate detailed and beautiful light filled interiors. The result is just as if you were walking through the interior and looking around from floor to ceiling.

Matterport Scenes mobile capture is an app that is a tool for contractors to capture all or parts of a building or renovation job to record measurements without having to memorise or take notes.

With new navigation technology such as the Wayfinding apps, Google want images of every building inside and out is giving incentives such as better online visibility to companies and businesses that provide 3D walkthroughs of their properties.

Two of our clients have an embedded Matterport product:

Davin Bake Building and Design specialise in residential, commercial, renovations, extensions, high rise developments and shop fit-outs. Davin approached us to embed a Matterport 3D virtual tour on his website to showcase a high end domestic project. The result is a complete walk through of an elegant rural home in Central Victoria. This gives this gives Davin Bake Building and Design an extra edge over their competitors, an almost try before you buy taster, where customers can see the Davin’s craftsmanship, perfection of designed living spaces and mastery of mixed materials. Potential clients get an instant atmospheric feel of how their dream can be realised by employing this building company.

Becklegal is a central Victorian law firm offering a suite of legal services to the community. Beck Legal asked us to embed a Matterport 3D walkthrough of their brand spanking new offices to show off their builder’s work and to give customers a sense of confidence that they could expect a professional service from comfortable well fitted out offices.

Why You Need a Professional Photographer?

professional-photography

Why You Need a Professional Photographer?

Three good reasons a professional photographer will add value to your website:

If you want to stand out in the digital space and make a statement about your company vision and values, strong, original images that add to your business story are the best option for your website.

A professional photographer will take the time to capture images that resonate with your audience. While the expense and time may seem unnecessary compared to choosing stock images online, we have three good reasons why a professional photographer is worth the investment.

1. People appreciate the real

How many times have you visited a website and seen the same group of people walking together in business suits with their clipboards clutched in perfectly manicured hands, or noticed the same woman smiling beneath her headset? Exactly! Stock photos have become ubiquitous and rarely add anything of value to a website.

Basically speaking, stock photos are cheap, empty images that don’t enhance your website, and may make your audience assume your company is too lazy or cheap to bother with sourcing original content.

Using a professional photographer means you can use your team and resources to demonstrate the creative strengths of your company and showcase the products and services you provide. A talented photographer will uncover the ‘wonderful’ in your everyday products, and display them in a way that creates interest and admiration.

2. Why look good when you can look great?

If stock photos aren’t your thing, it can be tempting to do it yourself or hire a keen amateur. Before you let your favourite employee loose with a camera – you know the one; that guy who is always doing the Instagram photo a day challenge – stop and remember that every website tells a story. Photos that are badly constructed, poorly lit and over- or underexposed can be just as damaging to your overall business image as badly chosen stock photos.

A professional photographer will have equipment, editing software, experience and most importantly, a portfolio. The importance of viewing the photographer’s portfolio cannot be underestimated. It is essential because you will be able to gauge how well their approach will fit with your vision. A portfolio will also reveal the expertise and scope of their work.

3.    Get the message right

Working with a photographer means you retain creative control of the message your website sends. This means you can set the mood and promote your brand through unique images that complement your content. Keep in mind that the photos you commission will make the first impression on your customers.

Taking the time to find the right photographer who can work to the brief and create an image that reflects your business personality and goals will be worth every marketing dollar you spend, and will also produce a website that attracts the right attention.

Five Beautiful Web Designs for the Health Care Sector

Five Beautiful Web Designs for the Health Care Sector

Websites dedicated to health care need not be sanitised digital spaces that remind your clients of a hospital. There is plenty of scope for creating inviting, responsive digital spaces that encourage your customers to engage and discover more about the health care options you have to offer. We have done some digging and found five sites that showcase great design aesthetics.

Better Health Channel

 

With a full-screen homepage featuring well-placed logos and crisp greens on a background of autumn colours, Better Health Channel has immediate consumer appeal. The Victorian Government site has two options for users to view information: a banner with clear drop-down menus, or simply scroll down until you find what you want.  There are plenty of interactive buttons on the site that allow viewers to upload photos, leave feedback, download free apps or connect via Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

One Medical

The One Medical site features high-quality images, beginning with video footage across the homepage of an average One Medical office. Prospective clients will find plenty of information by scrolling through the site, and the primary information for patients who have to visit a doctor quickly, presents in high-visibility ‘call to actions.’ The site has fresh colours and graphics but still feels warm and approachable.

Nudge Psychology

We love Nudge Psychology‘s gorgeous site that is so visually attractive we forgive its lack of responsiveness. The images cover the entire screen with a discreet navigation banner across the top of the page. Scroll down or click on navigation menu for a visual feast of fabulous images, contrasting primary colours and geometric shapes. Information is succinct, with contact buttons available on each page. There are also Twitter and Facebook buttons, and a You Tube channel linked to the site.

Redbrick Health

Healthy, outdoorsy images and a colourful vector-based design make Redbrick Health a user-friendly and attractive site to navigate. The homepage has a scrolling full-width bar with ‘call to action’ buttons for each image, making it easy to listen to participant stories, and find out about research and health plans from the moment you land on the site. The site has easy to find Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and RSS Feed buttons, and a drop-down menu that is clearly set out for ease of use.  The site’s certified Redbrick Ready is an innovative example of full device and app integration for an array of health services, including Virtual Health Coaching, assessments, and advice.

Family Psychology Practice

Last, but certainly not least, we showcase one of our own website designs for Dr Emma Butler, a family and children’s psychology practice. Created with a full-width homepage that feels both homely and uncluttered due to warm, earthy graphics and clearly compartmentalised sections. The site features two blogs and offers a variety of ways to contact the centre, and interact with the information provided. The aim of the design is accessibility, achieved through relaxed language and user-friendly navigation.

If you are a health care professional who is launching a website; try to make sure that your web design includes relevant, accessible information, easy to find contact details and credentials, and a responsiveness and style that is welcoming, instills confidence and trust. Keeping these basics in mind will help drive more traffic from the web to your practice door.

Visual Communication and Design

visual-communication

Logos, Branding and Web Design

As a communication designer, I particularly love the way that the internet has enhanced, nurtured and developed communication design for all kinds of businesses and organisations. It is my job to ensure that our clients are being heard and remembered, among the cacophony of competing messages everywhere on the Net.

Many of us spend an inordinate amount of time online, both in our professional capacity as well as in our personal lives. We are constantly online, scrolling quickly through news, messages and looking for particular topics – and usually we expect results immediately. If you are not quick, concise and precise with your information/message – it is lost in the ever competitive market for customer attention.

We are constantly inundated with Click Bait, screaming headlines of fortune and misfortune, numerous lists of ‘five habits of successful people’ or ‘do-it-yourself in a weekend’, so it is no wonder we have developed short attention spans. We have little patience with a website that loads slowly and we are likely to abandon a search, if a website does not offer us immediate results. If we can’t find what we are looking for, we go to another site with a better user experience. After all, there are many other choices available with the click of a mouse or a tap of a finger.

Still, it is impossible not to be disheartened by the unfortunate trend of needing everything immediately to keep up. It forces us to pay less attention to detail, research, the feasibility of our choices, and less obvious things like beauty, personal expression and long term value.

My thoughts on visual communication and design:

The quality of your logo and the effectiveness of communication flow on your website is paramount to your future business success.

Logo Design

Your logo is where your branding begins. Whether that is just your name in written form or a professionally designed icon or typo-gram. Your logo represents what you and your company stand for. Therefore, it is essential that it is both a fair resemblance of your intended message and, just as importantly your logo should ensure your brand will be remembered.

So what constitutes a great, memorable logo:

  1. A great logo does not have to be beautiful (beauty is in the eye of the beholder) – but it must be unique.
  2. A great logo must be simple and poignant enough to draw in pencil easily. Think, for example, of the golden arches of the  McDonald’s logo, or the simple swish in the Nike logo, or the eye-catching use of typography in the NASA, Chanel and ebay logos.
  3. It must be usable in a variety of formats, sizes and dimensions and it must be recognisable in black and white and in small sizes.

What do these logos all have in common?

In order to stay relevant you must ensure your logo is simple and memorable.

If you’re on the look out for some inspiration you can visit Logo Design Love here, which has thousands of inspirational and memorable logo designs.
If you would like to see some large companies who are simplifying their logo when they are undergoing a rebranding process Design Taxi has great examples.

BRANDING A WEBSITE

Working as a communication designer for a Digital Agency, I work primarily with branding and design for websites. Whenever we take on a new client, we ask them to complete our Web Design Questionnaire. This gives us a clear understanding of what our clients are looking for.

When considering the UX design of a website, I think of branding in a slightly broader view than is usually the case. For me, branding consists of your logo. It is enhanced by your font choices, colour choice, style of imagery, tag lines, ideals and messaging, the essence of your product and the personality of your company.

However before we begin any designs, I must first learn who your customer base is and what your customers are looking for when they visit your website. I consider all these things before I create my designs, both on printed material and your online profile, to ensure your communication is precisely targeting your audience.

A good branding package enables a designer to create a website which reflects a company’s message. Creating a website which is easy to navigate ensures your customers are more likely to have a good user experience when visiting your site.

Effectively branding your site

We provide clients with a series of layouts for potential landing pages, both in UXPIN and Photoshop. We often print out the designs so we can sit down with you and take feedback on the printed design. Here are some examples of recent, very different,  design suggestions for a leadership development coach.

Tips to create a memorable website:

  1. Provide your web designer with a fully fleshed out, completed questionnaire, providing as many details as you can on both your business and your style, and likes and dislikes.
  2. Ensure your logo and branding (colours, fonts, layout styles, image styles etc) are accurately reflected in the design.
  3. Make sure information is ordered according to relevance, in a manner that is both obvious and functional. Website user experience really is a case of “form follows function”. Perfection is reached when the branding achieves simplicity of user experience and memorable, unique and appropriate design.
  4. Less is definitely more. When you remove superfluous elements in your design, you enhance communication. This rule is valid for web and print design.

If you can express yourself clearly and quickly and do your best to add a little twist – something unexpected, quirky, fun, resourceful or beautiful you’re well on the way to having a successful digital presence.

Websites with some award winning UX Design:

A personal observation:

At the risk of sounding presumptuous, I would like to leave you with the following advice:

  1. Before you engage any professional, ensure you have had, at the very least, a phone conversation and you have seen samples of their work. Word of mouth from a trusted colleague or friend is always good quality control.
  2. Trust the advice of your web designer, UX designer or graphic designer. Many people experiment, providing designs and websites done by well meaning, non-professional friends and relatives. Although well intended, this method often leads to complicated and longer work flows during the building of your website (read: more expensive for you).
  3. If you have gone through the trouble of setting up a new business or organisation with all the work that it entails, it will be worth your while to present that as professionally and effectively as you possibly can.
  4. A good designer will always welcome your input – but try to trust them like you would your plumber. You want them to follow your wishes as much as possible, but if you don’t listen to their professional advice, it may lead to unintended results.
  5. Don’t always listen to fellow business owners or family when it comes to design. Just because one design worked for someone you know, it doesn’t mean it is going to work in your situation.

Remember:  It’s your business and your website, so it should reflect your organisation’s ethos, professionalism and personality.

Your Small Business & the Web Design Process

web-design-process

The Web Design Process

What you need to know before contacting a web designer

Your website is the first place many potential customers go when they are researching products and services so an effective, properly planned website is essential. A well designed website increases traffic and turns enquiries into sales at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing campaigns. If you want to push the right buttons with your customers, read about the eight essential elements of an effective small business website below

Have a Plan

If you build a business on the web, customers won’t necessarily come unless you have a strong sales strategy. In order to get the most out of your online presence, your web design should be aligned with the overall sales and marketing plan for your business. Explore the options available – pay-per-click (PPC), email marketing, social media, blogs and search engine optimization (SEO) – to decide what fits best with your sales plan.

Stay on Message

Potential customers usually spend less than two minutes on a website. It is important to have a strong pitch that incorporates what you are selling, and why you are the best at what you do. Remember ‘less is more’ on the net. Hone your message and make sure it comes through loud and clear in the design and content elements of your website.

Make Getting in Touch Easy

Have clear ‘Call to Action’ buttons on your website. These may be in the form of ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Click for call-back’ icons. Make it easy for customers to contact your company and ask questions. Don’t tuck your contact information away on an inaccessible web page. Online customers are impatient and will move on if they cannot find information quickly.

Track Conversions

Tracking site visits track the most visited pages on your site and the conversions to sales and inquiries is one of the easiest and most valuable website activities. Tracking conversions will help you grow your business and make informed sales decisions and forecasts based on the data you collect.

Tell Customers Who You Are

Understanding your customer’s aspirations and needs is important if you want them to connect with your business. Target your ‘About Us’ page toward your customer demographic and include quality information about the history, goals and successes of your business.

Go for User Friendly Design and Content

Don’t make your website busy. Elegant visual design and quality content that clearly and logically directs customer inquiries drives sales and encourages longer stays on your website. Your site should be accessible on mobile devices – responsive design means your customers connect on any device, anywhere.

Choose a Robust CMS

Choose the correct content management system for your website. The following features are critical to eCommerce success:

  • Quick loading and easy to edit pages
  • SEO ready
  • Good support and update structure for software

Choose a Web Design Company

Last but certainly not least, partner with a web design company to get the most out of your eCommerce site. Look for a company with experience and know-how. Ask how they will implement the eight essentials discussed here, and check out their client portfolio to see if you like the work they do and if it will suit your business.

We offer creative, compelling solutions designed to make your customers push the right buttons!

We’re here to help, so please contact us if you would like more information about our web design services.

Goodreads vs. Booktopia

Goodreads vs. Booktopia: What’s the difference?

Goodreads and Booktopia are all about books and reading, but that’s where the similarity ends. One site is dedicated to reader interactivity while the other is a dedicated online bookstore. If you’re wondering which site to join, read on!

Goodreads goodreads-logo

Goodreads is a seriously interactive, reader-orientated site, and it is dead easy to sign up and get started on choosing genres and rating the books you have read. Once you’ve rated a book, similar books recommendations begin to pop up. Be warned, you can lose hours on the net on this step alone, because the whole exercise turns into a lovely bookish trip down memory lane. Once you’ve rated twenty books, the site will recommend similar books and authors. This is a great tool for people who know what genre they like, but don’t have the time to keep up with the latest authors.

When you’ve had enough of rating books, you can work on updating your profile. It’s very easy to upload a photo, add links to your website, configure ereaders, add your Amazon account and find friends on Goodreads with social media. Click on the ‘Explore’ button and you’ll discover a hefty blog with author interviews, writing tips and book reviews, numerous groups you can join, giveaways, quizzes and famous quotes. You can follow an author or check out Listopia for some reading ideas (for example ‘Books everyone should read at least once’). Goodreads encourages reviews from readers and has the capability of automatically publishing any review you write to your blog (only for WordPress and Blogger platforms). Finally, if you are an author, Goodreads provides an Author Program that helps with book promotion and stats gathering.

You can buy books on Goodreads, but there is no ‘shop’. If you want to buy a book simply click on the image and purchase information is provided. The site keeps a record of your purchase history on your bookshelf, but the emphasis remains on stories and readers rather than selling, and quite frankly, that makes a refreshing change!


Booktopia booktopia-logo

With 70,000+ followers and a slew of Business Awards under its belt, Australian-based Booktopia must be doing something right! The site is dedicated to promoting and selling books, and boasts that a discount applies to all books offered on the site. It’s easy to sign up and not at all difficult to browse through clearly marked categories for the title of your choice. If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, a search bar and help centre will soon have you pointed in the right direction.

Booktopia has a dedicated blog, a newsletter for subscribers and links to facebook, twitter, Google+, and Youtube. There’s plenty to see and learn on the site, but it does not have the immersive interactivity of Goodreads. The blog has author interviews, reviews on upcoming titles and competition results, but all competition details and subscriber commentary happens on facebook, so if you want to talk back to Booktopia, you will have to do so through social media.

As you can see, each site has plenty to offer, but the approach they take is very different. If you’re a hopeless book addict like me, you’ll probably decide to sign up to both!

WordPress now powers 25% of the worlds websites!

Other web developers often ask why we chose to develop most of our sites in WordPress. Often it is with an elitist edge wondering why we would lower downground our skills to develop on WordPress. The thing is we can develop a site for 1/3 of the price of a Drupal or Magento site and have it up and running faster so your organisation gets online fast.

In saying that WordPress isn’t the most ideal site for large complex eCommerce systems (we use Magento) or government, universities and Apps. However if you’re a small business looking to grow your reach online then you can’t go past WordPress.

Don’t agree? Here’s the latest stats from November 2015

  • WordPress now powers 25% of the worlds websites.
  • The two closest CMS are Joomla and Drupal combined are used by 4.9%.
  • There are over 300+ Content Management Systems
  • Every 74 seconds a site within the top 10 million starts using WordPress
  • However of the top 1,000 websites in the world, WordPress’s market share drops to 30%. Which highlights our first point that WordPress is the preferred CMS for small- medium business where budget is a consideration.

cms-wordpress

Thanks to Matthias Gelbmann from W3Techs for the WordPress statistics seen here…

eCommerce Discussed Part #2: Processing Payments

digital-marketing-we-push-buttons

Processing Payments & your eCommerce store:

ecommerce-paypal

Processing payment programs are the least understood part of running an eCommerce store- solely for the reason it is completely bewildering! Most people turn to the old faithful Paypal, but people that use Paypal as their processing program will tell you its neither faithful nor inexpensive.

This is one area where you really need do your homework. Some Processing Payments programs have a free monthly account but you pay a higher transaction fee, others have a large monthly fee but the % they take is less.

Crunch the numbers and find which package suits your business.

Why do you need a Processing Payments program?

  • It is exactly the same as having a retail store, you need to connect your EFTPOS terminal (through a bank) so you can receive payments from customers via Mastercard, Visa, American Express and Diners.
  • Processing payment programs handle the credit card security aspect of your eCommerce store. The compliance involved in protecting your eCommerce store from fraud and hackers is too onerous for small businesses so you need to have a third-party handling this.
  • Tax Invoices will be handled by the processing payment program. When a customer makes a purchase they will be automatically emailed a tax invoice as will you. Advanced programs will connect your invoices with your accounting program such as XERO or MYOB. You pay extra for this feature but long term it will save you hours in double handling and bookkeeping.
  • Trust. Customers who see the logo of a well known bank or credit card company are more likely to purchase.

Questions to ask before signing with a Payment Processing company?

  • Does the payment facility include different tax rates such as 10% GST, VAT etc
  • Can you accept International Payments?
  • Is there phone support in case things go pear shaped (they will!)
  • How long will it take to get your money? Some payment processors take 3-5 days, others are 24-hours.
  • How secure is the payment gateway? What encryption program does the processing software use?
  • How well regarded is the company? Will potential customers trust the brand?
  • Can you add your own branding to the Tax Invoice templates?
  • Who handles disagreements with fraud and missing monies?
  • Where is the payment program hosted? Is it in a trustworthy country such as USA, UK or Australia?
  • How much are you charged if a customer asks for a refund?

What sets Payment Processing Software Programs apart?

  • Invoice syncing which automatically inputs invoices into your bookkeeping program
  • The Payment facility you choose needs to work with all manner of shopping cart software
  • Can customers automatically sign up to the mailing list when they purchase?
  • Inventory and stock control automatically syncing with your shopping cart program.
  • Saved Sessions- if a customer attempts to purchase four items and then gets distracted and visits your website 8 hours later, will the website remember their order?
  • Reporting. How easy is it to get critical sales data? Can it be exported via a csv file or a PDF?
  • Automatic backup so you can always get access to your sales data

What type of payment system should you use?

We recommend at least initially to use PayPal as the payment gateway if you are dipping your toe into the eCommerce world for the first time. It is by far the best known payment processor online, is secure and is easy to set up and install. It is less of a financial risk initially as there are no ongoing fees (for a basic package) but long term PayPal is expensive. PayPal seller fees are 2.9% + 30 cent transaction fee and takes 3-4 days to get access to your money. If you’re starting a new eCommerce store then spend your spare time on marketing than worrying about setting up a technical processing payment software program.

There are numerous other payment platforms all vying to take the reigns off Paypal. Some are horrendous, some are great and some are expensive. The payment processing options for the Australian market differ hugely from the US and Europe.

In the next installment we’ll be discussing the various companies that handle payments processing in depth.

 

Thinking of an Online eCommerce Store? Part #1: Freight Costs

Freight Costs & your eCommerce store:

As with everything in business you need to make sure you have planned properly and researched thoroughly, as a wrong decision in the design stage will cost you thousands and will lead to dozens of hours a week in maintenance, inventory control and double handling.

Determine freight & postage fees early on

Setting shipping costs can be rather difficult. You need to research the fees and costs involved in shipping around Australia and the world. There are numerous shipping options available, live shipping rates may work for a large firm, set-fee might work for small eCommerce stores.freight-costs-shopping-cart

Things to consider when setting your Freight fees:

  • Will you selling overseas?
  • How long does it take to pack each item? If packaging and handling takes an hour (such as artwork) then this needs to be factored in
  • How urgent do your customers want their product?
  • Can you use various carriers in different situations? For example you would use Australia Post for Australia-wide delivery, and a courier company for local delivery if its more cost effective.

Six Options for your freight costs:

  • Live Shipping Rates: Some advanced eCommerce stores have a live shipping rate ie. the customer types in their postcode and the goods they are purchasing, the weight is calculated which informs the customer how much they owe in shipping fees. This has been fairly limited in Australia but Australia Post is slowly coming around.
    • Issues: Customers don’t know the full cost of a purchase until the last minute in a sales process
    • Benefits: You can accurately keep on top of your shipping costs
    • Issues: The development time and budget to design a live shipping rate will be greater than other freight cost options.
  • Free shipping: If you know how much shipping will cost, you can factor freight costs into your cost margins. This approach suits larger dollar sales.
  • Free Shipping for orders above $100: This is an incentive for customers to increase purchases.
  • Flat Shipping Rate: One fee for all orders no matter how big or small.
    • Issues: This can get costly if many customers order from far flung places
    • Benefits: Easy to understand costs for the customer so they know immediately how much costs will be.
  • Various Shipping Rates: Depending upon your main delivery locations you can set shipping rates according to weight or general location.
    • Benefits: Accurate shipping costs so you’re not out of pocket
    • Issues: Can be complex to the casual viewer.
  • 2 Different Rates: You can have one rate for standard 3-4 day delivery but you could have a second price for next day delivery.

As you can see there is no simple solution to creating an eCommerce store.

If you’d like to discuss the various aspects of setting up an eCommerce store further, why not get in touch?

Considering an E-Commerce site?

11 things to consider when developing an E-commerce site

E-commerce. It’s been a buzz-word of the retail industry for the last decade or so. It seems so easy to get an online store and start making money. Customers come to you, via your website. What’s not to like? Every retailers dream, right?

In reality it’s not so simple as all that, of course. And who gets the blame when the website finally goes online and fails to attract the hordes of buyers? The developer, of course. So here are some tips to consider before embarking on the e-commerce journey:

1. Is your business the right business for an e-commerce site?

This is the most important point I want to get across, for the client, the developer and everyone’s peice of mind.

Not every business will benefit from an e-commerce web presence.

This point is, unfortunately, the most difficult to get across. Especially when the client has been reading about the (seemingly) instantaneous wonder stories of other online businesses, or their partner/family/friends have succeeded. An e-commerce presence just doesn’t guarantee success on its own. Make sure you understand the background work needed to attract people to your website – and I don’t just mean SEO and high Google ranking either. Customers only buy from vendors they trust and this can take time to build a rapport and reputation online.

Some good questions to ask yourself before engaging a web design company:paypal-logos

  • Does your business already have a strong mail-order identity – state, national or international?
  • Are the products easily transportable and is shipping simple?
  • Where do your customers come from already?
  • How much time are you prepared to put in promoting your e-commerce site? For example:

So, presuming you are still keen to go ahead with the web site and you understand that it’s not a licence to print money, the next most important step – and sadly, one that many people don’t grasp– is:

2. Have clearly defined boundaries, or price points, with your web designer.

E-Commerce is complicated, mighty complicated so get everything in writing, understand what’s included in your fixed contract and understand what isn’t. Remember the more customisation you want, the more you’ll be paying for your website. Often building features and functions at the beginning of the web design process will save money in the long term so understanding what you want right from the start is vital. I would suggest writing a wish list that includes everything you could possible include if money was no object, then a realistic list and finally a bare bones must have list to give your web designer. In this way you have stated your ideal situation so you can negotiate with your developer what you really need and what you don’t. Often some jobs that look difficult take 15 minutes and functions that look easy take 5 hours so its always worth checking.

3. Does your website appeal to the customer?

Does the style, layout and imagery project your companies image correctly?

  • Does it look professional?
    • A clunky or cheap looking site gives the idea of a less reputable business. A good guide is that if you notice the layout, it’s probably distracting from the business and products. Think about professional-looking colour palettes – the colour schemes used by large corporation sites have been carefully researched to provide the most trustworthy impression. It may seem silly but the point of layout is to feature the content, not the layout itself.
  • Is the logo prominent?
    • The logo is an identifier that customers, either consciously or subliminally, recognise as the symbol of the business as a professional entity. We want to remind customers that they are here to buy products, not just surfing the web, so the logo needs to be prominent without distracting from the business of the site. The logo also helps the customer trust the site as a genuine place to purchase items and not a scam.

4. Is the site easy to navigate?

That is, is it easy for clients to buy the product they want? A clear menu system is imperative, as is multiple places on the site where they can be linked to the products pages. Articles and featured posts are also good for this.

And once we get there, do the products have information that is easy to read? A good system lists thumbnails of products on an index page, then clicks through to an individual product with features and benefits in the product information. What is the difference between a feature and a benefit?

  • Features: clear, simple attributes of the product
  • Benefits: reasons why this product might be good for you

For example, a packet of Toffee Crunch biscuits might state:

  • Golden toffee surrounded by crisp oats, covered in pure milk chocolate (feature)
  • The sweet toffee combines with the smooth chocolate for a chewy, crunchy biscuit experience (feature)
  • In packets of 6, 12 or 24 (feature)
  • Great for morning tea with the ladies (benefit)
  • 98% fat free and only 150 KJ per crunch (benefit)

5. Is shipping clear and simple?

Shipping is the most complicated aspect of e-commerce. How do you manage shipping items of different sizes in the one shipment? What about areas that you can’t ship certain items to, like fruit? Do you use a courier or the postal service, and do you give customers the choice? And even though most customers are used to the idea of shipping at an additional cost, how do you compete with the big boys offering free shipping?

The logistics of shipping are so varied and specific to different businesses that I can’t help much right here – the best advice I can offer is to ask your customers what they want. Customers love being asked their opinion…

The other best advice I can offer is FREE SHIPPING. How do you do that? Work out your average shipping costs and simply factor that in to the price of your items. Free shipping not only makes the customers feel like they are getting a bargain, it completely simplifies the calculation of the total shipment price.

Complicated extra prices are a real turn-off to customers – there’s nothing more depressing than watching your customers get to the final checkout only to find they don’t go through with the sale once they see the final figure.

Factoring shipping into the product price actually gives the customer a clear picture of how much things will cost. Clear and simple.

6. Make sales taxes clear to understand

Whether it’s Sales Tax, GST, VAT or whatever the tax on the purchase price is, customers like simplicity and clarity. Include the sales tax on the product price listed on your site rather than slug the customer with the extra tax % at the checkout. You’ll need to show the tax amount on the invoice – most e-commerce systems will allow you to so this, or check with your country’s tax office for instructions how to make the calculation in reverse.

7. Adding and editing products

You need a system that allows the client to easily add, remove and edit products and information. Thankfully there are some great systems out there that are user-friendly for anyone with a good grasp of how general business works. Most Content Management Systems like WordPress and Joomla have e-commerce plugins that interact directly with the CMS framework to treat products just like other content you might manage with those systems. Don’t get stuck developing a beautiful, customer-focused site that forces you to continually manage the content because the client can’t get their head around it!

If you’d like some more detail about what E-Commerce platforms we recommend in what situations click here.

8. Inventory management

Inventory management is a must for any e-commerce websites. Most mail-order warehouses are plain boxes on shelves – a large store will have a warehouse manager who might be able to tell at a glance how stock levels are, but an e-commerce website might not be so simple. You will need to know when stock levels are getting low in the warehouse by a reminder on the screen, not when they process a paid order to find there’s none left in the box left on the shelf.

This is especially important for clients who manage a retail shop in addition to their e-commerce site, which brings me to the next important point to consider:

9. The e-commerce site as a Point of Sale

Let’s take the common example of a client who has a good retail presence, and is planning to expand into web-based ecommerce. They have a simple numerical cash register with buttons for product types – they enter the type and price of a product at the register, then print a report at the end of the day of the sales. This then gets manually reconciled to their accounting package weekly and new stock ordered. Monthly sales reports are generated and reconciled to the register reports.

Then the client sees how efficient the e-commerce site does all that for online transactions and thinks, ‘surely that could work in my shop instead of my register’… And it can! Well, some do it better than others. But it’s definitely possible and something to talk to your web designer about.

10. Adding customers to your mailing list

It might seem a bit cheeky but your getting your customers’ information at the checkout – so why not offer them, there and then, the chance to be added to your mailing list?  They can be updated with special offers, discounts, advance notice of new products, that sort of thing… And many systems can integrate with your favourite mail client so it’s as easy ticking a box.

11. Research, Research & Research

There are so many competing platforms & software that run E-Commerce websites that it is a minefield that is as bamboozling as anything online. Each platform has their own special benefits but they also in all likelihood have their own negatives. Some handle shipping well, others handle inventory well, others are cheap, others are scalable, some can have product ranges the size of a department store but no one platform is perfect for everyone so make sure you do your homework.

If you would like some advice about whether an E-Commerce website is right for you why not get in touch?

 

QR Codes: Are they suitable for your business?

What is a QR Code?

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QR Codes, in a nut shell, are new age bar codes. QR stands for Quick Response. To access the information embedded in the QR code, scan the QR bar code with your smartphone. Once scanned, QR Codes send the information contained in the code to your phone. It’s a quick an easy way for people to get more information about a product or service, save things the info while on the go and even sign up to a mailing list.

QR Codes are hugely popular in the US, Europe and Asia. Australia has been slow on the uptake of QR Codes but it’s slowly creeping into the marketing strategy of large retailers, government and commercial events.

QR Codes can be used in a huge variety of ways. Some of the most common ways that QR Codes can be used are:

  • Magazines: A magazine article may be too long to publish in print version and only give a synopsis of the topic. To give readers the opportunity to read the full article the magazine may put a QR code at the end of the printed version. This Read More code will go into more detail on their website so people can read articles more in depth than a publisher can justify in a text format.
  • Business Promotions: such as coupons or discounts. Invite potential customers to scan their code so they get 10% off your services.
  • Art Galleries: Art galleries often have many art works on exhibit and it wouldn’t be possible to have tags with extensive information accompanying each piece. This is where a QR code comes in. The QR code would have the information about the work, year of production, a bio of the artist and any other relevant facts. All the gallery visitor needs to do is scan the QR Code with their smartphone and they’ve got all the info they need.
  • Guerrilla Marketing: Is there a lamp post you’d like to glue a gig poster to or tack onto an overcrowded community notice board? All you need is a QR Code with the gig details that punters can scan with their smart phone.
  • Packaging: Some companies are beginning to incorporate QR codes on the back of product packages. This could link to their website, a competition or a discount for being a repeat customer.

QR Codes won’t suit every business as people must have a smartphone in order to access QR Codes but with the uptake of smartphones growing by the day QR Codes might have a great application for your organisation.

If you’d like more information about QR Codes why not get in contact?

Shared Web Hosting

Shared Web Hosting vs Dedicated Hosting vs VPS Hosting

We can often become overwhelmed with the number of options available when it comes to web hosting. There are so many sellers, resellers, oversellers – how do we cut through to find out what we really need?

It all mostly comes down to three kinds of hosting option – Shared hosting, Dedicated Hosting and VPS Hosting. These all refer to the way your site is hosted physically in the host’s server itself. When considering hosting, we’re thinking not only about the amount of space our website needs, but also how many people can look at it at once, plus how much information is allowed to be downloaded from your website per month – that is, server space and bandwidth.

Shared Web Hosting

Shared hosting is the most common way to have a website hosted. The server itself is shared amongst a number of websites, relying on the fact that many smaller websites never use their full quota of space and bandwidth. Often hosts offering shared web hosting are, in fact, a reseller of server space bought elsewhere – which explains the large number of cheap hosting providers who offer very similar packages.

Shared web hosting can be a great option for personal sites and small businesses – it’s a cheap way to get your small site hosted, especially if you are looking for a web presence but don’t expect to have a lot of large files transferred (ie media streaming) or lots of people trying to access your site at the same time.

Shared web hosting is not good for larger businesses or e-commerce sites though. Larger businesses may find that they have issues with bandwidth – even though sites on shared hosts may be offered a particular bandwidth limit, in reality this is often oversold, as hosts allow for the unused amount in shared host sites. So even though you may think you have up to your limit, if all the other sites sharing your server experience a high demand at the same time, your clients may not be able to access your site when required.

The prevalence of reselling also means that you may not know the physical location of the server your website is hosted on. Because shared host sites all share the same IP address, if your site is sharing space with a disreputable site, simply sharing the same server could mean your SEO ranking is affected. It’s possible to have a site on a shared server with a unique IP, though usually costs more.

Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated hosting is just as it sounds – one server dedicated to one website. Dedicated hosting offers more choice regarding the operating system and management of the server, better security – both security of your data and of the physical location of your data – and is good for larger e-commerce businesses, corporations and high-bandwidth websites (such as video streaming).

VPS – Virtual Private Server

A Virtual Private Server is a server partitioned so that each partition operates as if it is a dedicated server. It’s a compromise between shared and dedicated hosting: cheaper than dedicated hosting, as the hardware is shared – yet appears to the client as a dedicated host.

VPS (and related Cloud technologies) rely, in the same way as shared hosting, on clients not using their total quota of space and bandwidth (which is predominantly the case in the real world). A good host will manage their servers to avoid traffic ‘bottlenecks’ or too much traffic for the server to handle.

VPS is good for medium to large e-commerce businesses as it combines price with private service – though not suitable for all clients as some software doesn’t run well in a virtual environment (like other virtualisers or emulators, for example).

Conclusion

As with anything: research, research, research and remember you get what you pay for!

At Explainafide we’ve used dozens of different web hosts from across the world for a variety of clients with different needs, budgets and locations. We’ve finally settled with an Australian web host company Rack Servers based in Brisbane who provide great service, technical know-how and servers that work 99% of the time.

Check Rack Servers out here…*

If you would like to get unbiased web hosting reviews then the Whirlpool forums are packed full of tech savvy people far more knowledgeable than I, all discussing the good, the bad and the downright unethical of web host companies large and small.

*I like the guys at Rack Servers so much I’ve started writing for them*

 

JQuery Explained

Thinking of using JQuery for your next Web Design?

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JavaScript is a programming language that enables web pages to be more dynamic or interactive. It’s development has seen web pages go from simple static pages of text and images to useful applications and interesting graphics.

JQuery is a library of JavaScipt functions collected to make coding in JavaScript easier and faster for programmers. It’s a collection of common functions that programmers originally had to code directly in JavaScript, but that were so popular or useful that standardised versions were created and stored in one document, which can be called in any webpage.

The official JQuery website www.jquery.com defines jQuery as ‘a fast and concise JavaScript Library that simplifies HTML document traversing, event handling, animating, and Ajax interactions for rapid web development.’  These are all the things that JavaScript has developed to achieve – reading and manipulating HTML and CSS, allowing databases in XML to be managed, and allowing information to be passed from the user (or client-side) to the server. The beauty and popularity of JQuery is that instead of having to write a complete function or mini-program, JQuery has these functions easily accessible with a single ‘word’.

The ‘official’ definition divides the types of functions available in JQuery into groups:

JQuery for Document traversing

Allows reading through the webpage and retrieving information about it, for use in other functions. For example:

  • A word or paragraph count function
  • Analysing a news-feed for keywords
  • Finding the elements of a page for debugging code

JQuery is used for Event handling

Performing functions when the user clicks a button or enters information in a form. This includes:

  • Simplified mouse events (such as hovering)
  • Dedicated form information processing functions
  • Mouse tracking functions
  • Filling out online forms- see our web design questionnaire that used JQuery

JQuery can create non-Flash animation

With JQuery you can manipulate the CSS of elements to create dynamic style changes. Typical functions are:

  • Fading in and out
  • Moving objects around
  • Adding or modifying the style of specific style types, for example: making all italics bold or highlighted
  • Changing all elements of one colour to another colour
  • Allowing the user to make screen theme style changes to their preference

Ajax interactions through JQuery

AJAX is a framework for exchanging information between different web languages, ie HTML, CSS, JavaScript & XML that allows parts of web pages to be altered without reloading the entire page. JQuery contains AJAX event handlers, shorthand code for common functions and data functions that manipulate information into the correct format to be sent across languages.

 

JQuery has become one of the most widely-used JavaScript libraries and is considered a standard part of JavaScript by many programmers, a testament to its versatility and incredibly useful collection of functions. A must-have for the palette of any serious web programmer.

If you’d like to read more on our ever expanding Web Design Glossary click here.

The world is running out of website addresses!

Stop Press!

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I’m sure you’ve read the headlines- great headline, but slightly mistaken. The world is running out of IP Addresses but not domain names so you can relax. But why did so many media outlets run stories on the web running out of space?

Here’s a simplified explanation of IPv6 and the issue with IP Addresses.

Every computer, tablet, mobile and modem connected to the internet needs to have a separate IP Address. This IP Address is a unique number that sets your computer apart from any other. The only problem is with so many web enabled gadgets that the actual number of IP Addresses available is estimated to run out by the end of 2012. So the big wigs that set the rules for the Internet have introduced IPv6 to eliminate the problem before most people even know about it.

It’s basic maths really, currently each device has an IP address such as: 123.456.789.012  however, soon devices will have many this many digits 1234:5678:90ab:cdef:1234:5678:90ab:cdef as their IP Address and therefore the sheer number of devices that can have a unique IP Address will increase exponentially.

This will mean that your internet enabled Car, Mobile, PC ,TV,Radio, and even your fridge will be separated from the rest of your devices including your router so you should be able to communicate with each device independently of one another.

This will be fantastic news when you want to set your microwave to pre-cook a meal from the office, spy on your kids to see if there are doing their homework and most importantly, record that must-not-miss rerun of Judge Judy!

If you would like to know some more detail about IPv6 we’ve just written an extensive post on the Rack Servers Blog explaining the technical side of IPv6. 

What is HTML5?

Is HTML5 worth your while?

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HTML is the code used to program what you see on the screen when you view a website in a browser. HTML5 is the latest incarnation of this language, which has been in it’s previous form since 1997. With such an increase in the use of video, audio, graphics and animations in websites, HTML5 has extra commands to make programming this easier, and also to make websites more compatible with different browsers and search engines.

A large reason for the development of HTML5 audio and video is to replace third-party software like Flash, which uses up bandwidth and computer power – plus can’t be read by search engines like Google. HTML5 uses the computer’s own audio and video capabilities, which today’s computers handle easily – speeding up web pages and allowing information in web pages to be used for searching and statistics.

HTML5 is widely supported by the main browsers

Though different browsers support different features.

The main features that are generally supported by all the main browsers are:

  • Advanced graphics
  • Embedded video (though video formats differ between browsers)
  • Embedded audio (again, audio formats differ)
  • Animation

As new versions of browsers are released, we get ever-closer to a standard implementation of HTML5 (and it’s partner, CSS3) so that all these new features can be used across the board, no matter which browser you use.

There are however a few questions about how HTML5 handles mobile, but where there’s a demand there will always be code monkeys catching up.

Either way you better get acquainted with HTML5.