Getting the Most Out of Google Analytics

If you’re using Google Analytics to track visitors to your website, you might have noticed there’s a lot of data to look through when you log into that Analytics dashboard. Perhaps you keep life simple and just look through the default metrics that Google offers up on the first page. You know the ones – # of visitors, pages per visit, visit duration, bounce rate, visitor’s country, etc. These do offer insight into the overall popularity of your website, but … Continue Reading

The New Rules of SEO

Google Screenshot

So you want Google searchers to find your website on the first page of their search results. It’s simple right? Hire a Search Engine Optimization expert to perform some black magic and there you have it; your website is higher on the list, your traffic is up, a job well done! If only it were that easy. SEO has changed, and continues to evolve. Google is getting smarter – trying to “game the system” is no longer cutting it because … Continue Reading

The Power of Storytelling: Content Strategy Advice from the Experts

For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn

Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway once bet his colleagues he could write a complete story in less than ten words. His colleagues balked as they each put $10 on the table. Then Hemingway wrote a few words on a napkin. What he wrote illustrates some important principles about storytelling, which is a key component of a strong content strategy.… Continue Reading

3 Ways You Can Benefit from Information Architecture

Couple Dancing

If you’re planning on building a new website, there’s something you should know: it involvesdancing. See, there is a dance that goes on any time a successful website is developed. Among the dancers are two critical practices that intertwine: graphic design and information architecture. Graphic design is well appreciated, but what is this “information architecture?” What does it mean to spend time architecting information?… Continue Reading

Why I Love the Web Design Community

Flower in palms of hands

I Love the industry that I work in.  Wherever I have an internet connection, I have with me a booming community of people overflowing with resources to help one another out – for free.

Free stock images, free fonts, free tutorials, free code, free apps.  Endless galleries to browse for inspiration and a constant stream of blog posts collecting the best of the web conveniently together for our collective convenience.

To those bloggers, those wonderful curator’s of our community’s commonwealth, … Continue Reading

What If Websites Looked More Like Magazines?

Website super-imposed on magazine pages

You know how in a magazine, each article tends to have it’s own look and feel? The design directly supports the content, and will change from article to article. I think it works well for magazines, and I started thinking – Why aren’t websites more like that?

This could be a way of making an article more engaging and meaningful for the reader. Or it might just confuse readers. One thing is certain – With the rise of the iPad, … Continue Reading

It’s Time to Start Managing Your Website Without Code or Special Software

WordPress Logo

So you’d like to get a shiny new website…and you want to be able to add and edit the content yourself? Well then, make sure your website has a Content Management System (CMS) built in, or else you’ll have to call up your website designer every time you need to make a change (or rely on a tech-savvy relative who knows how to program HTML code). With the right CMS, you’ll quickly find that managing your own website can be … Continue Reading

Need Help Choosing a Content Management System? Why You Should Consider Open-Source

Open Source Logo

So you’ve been tasked with getting a new website built. Well if you don’t know already, you’ve actually been tasked with getting two websites built. The first website is the public site that members of the public see when they visit your web address. The second website is just for you and your team; it’s the content management system (CMS) that you will use to update the content on your public site.  If there’s one thing you should know about … Continue Reading

A Logo’s Evolution – Batman Through the Years

Batman logo comparisson

The evolution of Batman from the 1960s TV show through to the brilliant Batman Begins film series is a brilliant example of how subtle shifts in design can create huge differences in connotation. Take a look at this video from CollegeHumor showing the evolution of the Batman logo:

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WordCamp Toronto 2011: Creating Custom Back-End Processes

On November 5th, 2011, I had the great privilege of presenting at WordCamp Toronto 2011. You can download my presentation slides or watch the video on WordPress.tv.

I spoke about unlocking the hidden, powerful features of WordPress to better organize a website’s content, and make it more intuitive for clients to add and edit content. I showed how to implement custom post types, custom taxonomies, and custom fields. I also demonstrated how to modify the WordPress menu and how to … Continue Reading

Poster Design for Websites

One of my favorite podcasts is Boagworld. Each week Paul Boag and Marcus Lillington offer great advice for web developers. One of their features that has stuck with me talks about designing website homepages as if they were posters. Here’s a great example:

Here the goal is to present the key message of the homepage in a big, beautiful way, to really get your message across to the reader. The other pages of the website can be designed in a … Continue Reading

The Death of Flash?

Ever since Apple confirmed the iPad would not support Flash, a flurry of chatter has arisen about the future of this near-ubiquitous and much-loved plug-in. Steve Jobs has made it clear that he envisions a Flash-less future for the web, placing his faith in the up-and-coming HTML5 protocol. If you missed it, Steve published a public letter about all this in April 2010.

The letter really helped me to see how Flash Video could easily be replaced with H.264 Video, … Continue Reading