Welcome to 2006!
We're ramping up for the coming year with new technologies and cool offers.
More Cool Apps
Many of our clients have discovered animation as a powerful and versatile advertising tool. The animations on the Fisher Vineyards homepage can be used to link directly to wine tasting notes. These are small, text-based animations created as animated gifs. They're easy to design and easy to maintain. Animations with larger file sizes and additional interactivity should be created in Flash.
Remember the rules of focus. Users look at the items on your page in the following order:
- Anything that is moving
- and THEN text
If something is moving, it should be THE most important thing on the page. Big, red and blinking is not a good animation. We can help you create tasteful AND effective animations that motivate users to click through instead of go into spasms :-]
Please contact us if you're interested in learning more about these applications.
The most important question to ask when deciding on content-management is, "Will this make my life easier?" We believe in most cases, content-management software is expensive, difficult to integrate and more time-consuming than simply having a sound plan for maintenance.
The best content-management system (CMS) is thoughtful planning and organization, with a single person in charge of your site's content using a tool such as BBEdit, Dreamweaver or Homesite. Our sites are built in a simple, modular fashion so your content-changes, edits and refreshes are simple to undertake. Software becomes outdated very quickly, but if your site's code is in good shape, you'll be able to maintain it with ease indefinitely with any HTML editor.
However, if you have many contributors, you may benefit from simple content-management software. We recommend open-source packages such as Six Apart's Movable Type platform. The Galecia Group's website content is completely driven by Movable Type. Lori can login to the system through any browser and make updates to the site's content. Movable Type also drives Lori's weblog, Mentat.
There are many CMS options available for a wide variety of needs. Always consider the hidden costs:
Will a CMS waste my time?
The speed of updating text with an HTML editor is limited by your knowledge of the software and upload time to your server. The speed of updating text with a CMS is dependent upon these, plus the software's speed at performing functions, how many tasks are required in order to make and save a change and how many other users are on the system at the same time. Make sure to run through a demo of the actual system to find out how much time it takes to perform a simple task. Ask other companies using that system what they think of it. If your site is complex with a number of back-end features, a CMS may hinder rather than help you.
Will I have to hire someone to maintain the CMS?
Many of these systems are built with proprietary technologies that require experienced, well-trained and highly-paid people to maintain them. Look for open-source technologies such as PHP. Open-source technologies are built by the technology community, not an organization. They're typically well-documented and are less likely to become outdated over the course of a year. No matter what system you choose, you will need an experienced person to maintain it. Make sure you're not stuck with a system that will become antiquated quickly and require more and more elusive technology professionals to help you.
Will multiple content contributors water down my online message?
Multiple content contributors means a lack of continuity on your website, which looks unprofessional and is bad for user retention. Your online presence is extremely important. It connects you to a community in a way nothing else can. Designate one person as a content editor to periodically correct your website's messaging, spelling and grammar and to make sure you're putting your best face forward.
Is maintaining a website part of my team's job description?
Maintaining your website via an HTML editor or CMS can mean considerable training and a high level of user error. Take into account the amount of time each person will need to understand how to add/edit/update content and make sure they have the proper training.
It's time to update your copyright dates to 2006. We can quickly add a new line of code that will make this happen automatically in years to come. Let us know when you're ready, and we'll make the update for you. Note that some applications may not allow for automation code to work properly and will need manual updating.
What is a copyright?
Copyright is an ownership protection that covers forms of tangible expression. The creator has the exclusive right to display their creation in public as they see fit. Once the tangible thing is created and fixed in a format, it is protected by copyright. (Our lawyer friends out there, please see fit to give us a better definition :-] )
Our mission for the newsletter is to provide internet technology information that may benefit our clients. Let us know what you'd like to to see in Neekdesign News.
-- The Neekdesign Team