Colour inspiration

Palettron.com website
Click on the image to visit the website

I am currently working with a group that have independently created a logo. The logo contains a set of colours that to my eye are not naturally harmonious. The relationships between some of the colours don’t work for me, the problem is I cannot say why.

I have to add here, like most people from an IT/ Engineering background, I should be the last person to question someone’s colour choice. My wife frequently comments on mine, as does my daughter. Continue reading Colour inspiration

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Adding a Twitter Feed

Many of the organisations I work with manage social media marketing through Facebook and Twitter. I know from my own experience that you reach a different and frequently younger audience through Facebook and Twitter compared to relying on people visiting your website.

For my local village association we have around 900 subscribers that receive a newsletter each month, and around 350 subscribers to a Facebook group. By checking the demographics in Google Analytics we know that the majority of website visitors are aged 35+. We reach a younger audience through Facebook. The behaviours are different, the conversations are different on Facebook compared to the discussions associated with Posts.

I have recently installed two plugins that repeat the Facebook and Twitter activity on your website. They are easy to set up provided you are logged into your respective accounts. On this article I am going to refer to Twitter.

Where to put it?

Continue reading Adding a Twitter Feed

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How not to take a photograph

Images on websites can carry subtle messages, and can be used to help push the key messages to viewers. I recently received some images for inclusion in a site that were taken by an enthusiastic supporter of a charity. While there were quite a few images, the ones I felt I could use were only a very small proportion.

The main reason is that a poorly formed image can actually send the wrong message to visitors on your site. Unless the image is impactful and /or appropriate, I will generally not use it.

I have listed some tips and common pitfalls where your volunteers take images for you, or you try to use them on your website.

Focus

A blurred image, particularly that part of the image that should be very sharp will not look very professional on a website. Blurred images often occur because of camera shake rather than focusing on the wrong thing. Indoor images can suffer in this way because the shutter speed is very slow (less than 1/50th of a second). You can get around this by using a flash or by using a higher ISO setting. Panasonic compact cameras offer a feature called intelligent ISO that looks after this for you. Continue reading How not to take a photograph

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New Tutorial Videos Added

I often find that I spend a lot of time going over the same things with different people. That was why I set up this website in the first place. If I get enough requests, then I can create a video. I have not added any since the site started, but I have just created some more, and bought some things up to date.

For full details go this page:  Video Tutorials (You will need your password to access it).

Of note, particularly for new clients are:

An introduction to Divi, this is the premium template I am using on new premium sites now. It is very flexible and powerful. I give an overview of a website, and show you from the inside how it is constructed. It is different from conventional editing that most of you are used to, but do take a look, it is the future! You can see it in Video Tutorial 11. Continue reading New Tutorial Videos Added

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Editing with a cache or …..

Why can I not see my edits?

On some sites I have started using a Cache plugin. A Cache in computer terms is the temporary storage of something that has been built, so that the next person that needs it can pick it up quickly, it does not need to be rebuilt.

The times we are talking about here are measured in 10’s of milliseconds, but they all count.

WordPress is a content management system. The backend is powered by a database. When you request a page, the page has to be built before it is “served” to your browser. This means it is slower than a hard coded HTML page or website, which is built and ready to go but not dynamic.

Caches also work within your browser as well to accelerate the browsing experience. If I have the stylesheet for a website already in my browser because I have visited the home page, I don’t need to download it again the next time I open a page. This saves time as well. The browser makes these decisions, it is transparent to the user.

However while using a cache accelerates the user experience it can sometimes get in the way of editing. Recently I have seen examples where I am pretty sure I have edited something but I cannot see it on the website. Through experience, I know the item has changed and can prove it by using another browser. However it is very frustrating, particularly if you are a newbie, and not that familiar with how these things work. So read on for some tips…… Continue reading Editing with a cache or …..

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Event Calendar and Small Screens

A problem has been reported about access to the Events Calendar when editing events. If you are using a Windows 10 laptop, the website may not display the same as it displays on an HD screen even though the screen resolution is the same (1900px x 1080px). I am not sure why this is, but I have seen the symptoms on my Windoze 10 Laptop which is small but has a high resolution screen.

Below I describe the problem and show an example of the problem on a screen and then advise how you can get around the problem.

Continue reading Event Calendar and Small Screens

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Electronic Forms

Using Google Sheets for online forms

form-elements

I have been looking at using Google Docs which are a set of online web based applications. Currently you can create forms, spread sheets, presentations and text based documents online. They do not offer everything that is available with MS Office however they offer greater flexibility to website users because you do not need to have MS Office installed on your computer or device.

You can download a PDF version here.

The main problem is that if you have a moderately complex form it will generally mean it has to be presented in one of the following formats:

Continue reading Electronic Forms

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New Home-Start Template Available

Following some work on another project I have developed a new low cost framework for Home-Start sites. This is now the 5th generation for Home-Starts from when I started around 5 years ago.

Responsive site
Desktop/ Laptop display
Responsive display
Same site displayed on a phone

Some people do not like the heavy dominance of the orange sidebar in the old Home-Start Lite site template. The new design is cleaner and brighter with more white in the background, and more open than the former design, although the former design is still available  if anyone wishes to use it.

This has been built largely because of the demand for low cost responsive websites. It also compliments the premium Home-Start websites I have been building over the summer and autumn period. The premium sites have a lot more work involved in creating them, so I felt it was necessary to continue to provide an entry level solution.

 

The new template is available to existing Home-Start websites for a single fee starting from £60  (up to ten pages) to swap the templates over and change some of the layout to fit the new style. Your content can be retained in this framework. Higher page counts will be based on £5/ page.

I also upgrade the contact form to a new style of form.

I can also import an old website, even those not built in WordPress to this new framework. Contact me for more details if this is of interest.

In case you are curious there is no Home-Start Seething, this is a demonstration website only for the purposes of displaying this example. 

 

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Creating a button

This post is for the more confident editor who is happy experimenting.

Below are two links, they are both the same, however one has a class assigned to it. They both go to the same place, all I have done is added some CSS styling information to it and stored it in the website as a “class”. Now, where ever I use a special instruction associated with a link and assign it the class=”pseudobutton” it will appear as a button that responds to what the user is doing with the mouse or cursor.

I am a link with no special formatting

I am a link with the class “pseudobutton” applied

It may appear complicated, but taken step by step it is really very simple

CSS

Your website styling is defined in a number of different ways, the most important one is in a style sheet. It can also be defined in the page content itself, here is an example: bold, red and italic, or within the template code for a page. It is normal practice to hold it in one or more stylesheets, this allows you to change the look of your website.

Continue reading Creating a button

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