Tips for Choosing a Good Web Design Company

Nowadays having a website is a necessity. Your website is responsible for projecting your business or personal image to the world. As a business it is important that your project an image of expertise, professionalism and quality products and services. Hence selecting the correct web design firm is very importance to the success of your website and business.

In the same way that a shop is set to display products or services in a professional and presentable way, your website needs to employ the same ethos. Your website creates a powerful first impression of your business and services and hence should be top-notch.

The money that you invest in your website is very importance and will lead to good returns and growth if you choose an experienced web developer. This is not to say that you should be ripped off or entrust your website in the hands of an amateur.

So how does one go about finding a good website design company? Sure searching online is one way to find candidates. However here are some tips that will assist you in finding a good web designer.

  • Speak to someone on the phone or face to face.
  • Select a company that has a good website themselves
  • Does the designer have experience in type of web development you require?
  • Does the company have a good track record? Look at their portfolio.
  • What do clients say about the web design firm or company?

Asking these questions and using these tips will help you find a good web developer that understands your needs and can deliver the goods.

Ethics and Etiquette in Web Copywriting

When buyers of a product read its web copy, they often form an impression of the entire business through it. They base their opinion through the language of the web copy writing they come across.
Every coin has two sides. The internet isn’t exempt from this fact. Web development and web copy writing have gained momentum, they have become much sought after skills. There is a down side though. How much faith can you put on what you read on the web?

A web copywriter may just present some facts in a believable manner but which may not be true. It’s not as if this hasn’t ever happened. What do you do then? Misleading information presented in the web copy harms the image of the organization behind it. For in a very real sense, the web copy writing of that product represents not only the product but also its makers.

This is where, old-fashioned as it may seem, ethics comes in. Being a web copywriter imposes on you a certain power. The power of the written word. There can’t be a hard and fast rule to gauge ethics and so, many a time you’ll find people shying away from buying products online, even of those deluged by marketing hype. A web copywriter has to be more informative and logical. An ethical approach to web copy writing keeping in mind etiquette reverses the declining public confidence in marketing.

If from paragraph one all you do is trying to sell your product, the web copy writing material is counterproductive to your sales purpose. Instead, when writing for the web, we must keep in mind the Internet’s informative aspect. The copy isn’t about giving a blow by blow summation of the product. You’ve got to stick to facts but also remember not to blandly launch sales pitches everywhere. Chances are that a too direct marketing approach may have the opposite effect.

People are turned off when they find too much of persistence and want of finesse on the other end. So, a web copywriter isn’t a salesman. Ethics as well as etiquette are the subtler qualities you need to reflect in your copy when writing for the web.

The moment the reader thinks you’re trying to snare him into buying something, you’re sending out negative vibes. Web development has to consider the structure of the internet and the fact that it is communication through the written word. If you have a polite style of writing and gradually introduce the product, it definitely reads better than launching headway into where to click and how much to pay.

Corporates too have realized the importance of ethics and etiquette on their websites, so if you want your copy to succeed you’ll have to keep these principles in mind when writing for the web. Ethics and etiquette in web copy writing and even web development as per studies, promotes long term business success and profit. So, such marketing content doesn’t merely rely on words but on attitude, character and manners as well!

OS X Utilities To Aid Any Developer

Apple’s OS X operating system offers a great platform for software, web or other developers. Combining an intuitive user interface (UI) with a BSD-based underlying architecture, Mac OS X is a pleasure to develop on.

Though as a child, I grew up around various computers, such as old Apple Macintoshes and IBM PCs, my Information Technology career started off predominantly supporting Windows computers. I love computers, no matter what the platform, and a lot of my troubleshooting and development skills were first honed on initial versions of MS Windows. When I first started using Apples though, I got hooked on their intuitive desktop operating system. From OS 7 on pre-PowerPC CPUs, through to the current OS X on Intel hardware, Apple has had a very different approach to the desktop environment and user interface design than their competitors. I find it enables me to be more productive and be less stressed while developing, designing, writing or being entertained. Here, I will present to the reader some lesser-known utilities built-into the OS X operating system which can especially help web developers in their daily tasks.

Locking the screen quickly from the menu bar

As a developer or any professional working on clients’ files very often, I like being able to quickly protect my screen from prying eyes. When I get up to grab a snack, go to the bathroom, etc, I am able to lock my screen quite quickly. While you can assign an applescript to do the same thing and assign it a shortcut key, I am happy to use the following method:

  1. Open the Keychain Access application ( This is inside the Utilities folder which resides inside your main Applications folder ).
  2. Open the Preferences panel via the Application menu.
  3. Set the “Show Status in Menu Bar” to enabled.
  4. Done. Now you may close both the Preferences panel and Keychain Access application.

Now at the top right hand side of your screen, you should see a tiny padlock icon. Click once on this to open the menu, then choose “Lock Screen” to ensure your privacy before stepping away from your machine. This is not the same as logging you out, so when you come back to your computer, simply press a key or move the mouse to prompt for your password and resume work as you left it.

Applescript for web developers

On Apple’s OS X operating system, there are, of course, many ways to do one task. But, there is also one way to do many tasks – it is called AppleScript. AppleScript has been made available by Apple since it’s legacy operating systems were sold. It allows for creating automated workflows between the OS X system and Apple software, and also 3rd party software, which has opened up scriptable control for some parts. An example workflow would be that every time you turn your MacBook on, it would automatically open your favorite news website and read you the first 3 headlines. While this may sound a little gimmicky, many daily tasks for web or software developers can be automated using AppleScript and save you hours of time and energy over the course of a week.

A great example AppleScript which my team and I use very often is a custom dialog which allows us to bring up a list of all our clients’ domain names ( 400 and counting! ). Once a domain name is selected from the list, we are presented with a myriad of options, including:

  • Open in browser
  • Copy URL
  • Copy IP
  • Copy user
  • Copy password
  • Display all info
  • Login to SSH
  • Login to SFTP
  • Login to FTP
  • Download SQL
  • Connect to SQL
  • Connect to MAMP SQL

These commands and more are a huge time saver and negate the need to input each domain’s information into FTP clients or lookup login information in a text file each time we need to connect to a remote server via the Terminal application. For SSH logins via the Terminal, we simply click the button to connect and AppleScript enters the appropriate commands sequentially, waiting for the required delay before inputting passwords, etc. This also eliminates the need for us to maintain security keys for each domain for each user in the company – a great time saver! For high latency servers, we can simply click the button to connect and go back to working on other things while AppleScript handles the slow, boring login process for us.

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