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There are specialized terms referring to all sorts of aspects of web design. For someone just getting started in web design, or someone looking to have a site designed, all the technical jargon can be overwhelming. Especially the acronyms.
Below is a guide to industry terms that should get you well on your way to understanding what web designers are talking about. In addition, we've provided some resources for each term to give you more in-depth information.
Accessibility. Basically, this is the ability of a website to be used by people with disabilities, including visually impaired visitors using screen readers, hearing impaired visitors using no sound, color blind people, or those with other disabilities. A website with low accessibility is basically going to be impossible for those with disabilities to use. Accessibility is particularly important for sites providing information to those with disabilities (healthcare sites, government sites, etc.), though it is an important aspect to consider when designing any site.
Non profit websites share many of the same best practices as any website. They need to be user friendly, easily navigable, and use appropriate fonts, colors, and other design elements. But often a non profit website needs to offer more than your typical corporate site.
A non profit's website needs to make it easy to find out more about their cause, to donate money, and to become more involved. It needs to make it easy for media contacts to find the information they need and the contact information of key personnel. And it needs to do all this in a way that's inviting to the organization's targeted donors and/or volunteers.
Below are a list of best practices for designing non profit websites followed by some examples of non profit websites that are getting things right.
WordPress is often thought of as just a blogging platform. But it's capable of so much more. Even WordPress' documentation includes an entire section on using WordPress as a content management system. Because WordPress is such an easy-to-use platform, it makes sense to consider using it as a platform to build just about any kind of website, a portfolio website included.
Whether you're a photographer, graphic designer, Web designer or any other kind of visual artist, WordPress makes an excellent starting point for developing your online portfolio. And with the wealth of plug-ins and ready-made themes available, you can usually get a perfectly presentable website up and running in a matter of hours.
Here are additional links that may be useful when designing your portfolio website.
Making the switch from print publishing to digital publishing is a big step. But as costs for everything from paper to shipping increase, making the jump to digital is becoming more appealing to publishers of both newspapers and magazines. It's a complicated process, though, and if not executed effectively, it can leave readers feeling alienated and disenfranchised.
Not exactly what you want, considering that it can be more difficult to attract and retain digital subscribers than to sell something outside of the virtual world. Below we discuss some things to consider when making the switch. Research up front will prevent headaches down the road.
FTP'ing is a fact of life for Web designers and developers. Some Web design programs have built-in FTP utilities, but they may not always quite meet your needs. Sometimes you just want to upload a file, image or something else that doesn't require any coding. Opening your usual coding application seems like a big waste of time in that case.
The applications below range from basic clients with little more than upload and download capabilities to fully featured clients that include advanced file management features and the ability to work with Amazon S3 and WebDAV. There are solutions for everyone, both paid and free. Price seems to have little to do with functionality, though it does often make a difference in the amount of support available.
These applications range from basic Web-based FTP applets to fully featured FTP clients that do everything you would want an FTP program to do. Almost all of them include support for SFTP and FTPS in addition to regular FTP. Some also include support for WebDAV and Amazon S3.
There is a huge variety of project management applications out there. Most are general purpose apps, not aimed at any one industry. But there are a growing number of project management apps aimed specifically at one industry or another. Applications geared toward creative types are becoming more readily available, and some of the offerings are really quite good.
Many of these project management apps have built in code repositories and subversion browsers (or are built around them). A few have built in bug and issue tracking. Others include more than just basic project management. All of them can help you keep track of activities and team members. There are both free and paid options. Some have very slick interfaces, and some are modeled more after desktop applications. All are relatively easy to use and easy to set up.
Below are 15 useful project management applications, almost all of which are targeted directly at web developers, designers (both web and graphic) and other creative types. The last one is not geared specifically at creative types, but is the most unique project management application I've found, and was included on that basis as well as its potential usefulness for designers and developers.
Image captions are an often-overlooked element of Web design. They’re often thought of more in terms of function than form. As long as they include the proper photo credits or identifying information about the image subject, not much more thought is given to them.
But image captions are a great place to add a bit more style to your website or to give some unique insight into the subject of the image. Whether the captions are for photos on a news website or design samples in a portfolio, they present an opportunity for reinforcing the overall look of the website. When done properly, they can even add more visual interest and become a distinguishing trademark of a particular brand or website.
There are two basic kinds of photo captions. There is the simple, minimalist, down-to-business style. These usually have a simple sans-serif font in white, black or shades of gray. They are usually positioned either to the side or below an image, though sometimes they overlay or are above it. This type is commonly found on news websites but is also seen in portfolios and other websites.
The other major style is more graphic. This often include effects, such as the caption only appearing on a mouse-over or a “Details” button displayed that leads to the full caption. While fonts are still generally sans-serif, much more color is used, and the captions are often overlaid on the actual image. These types of image captions are generally seen on portfolio websites of designers and ad agencies. Of course, there are websites that use a crossover-type image caption, displaying elements of both styles.