24 Jun 2015

EverWeb 1.8 – Image Optimizations Part 2

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In my last post I had a ‘Special Tip’ at the bottom. I got a lot of emails about this feature so I want to clarify what these new features in the preferences can be used for.

 

Optimize JPEG and PNG files

Optimize JPEG and PNG fiels on publishing with EverWeb

 

There are 3 image optimization settings here;

 

1. JPEG Image Quality

This option controls the optimization level of your JPEG files. The smaller this number, the smaller the JPEG files will be, however the lower the quality of your JPEG image files. The best bet is to keep it at it’s default of 80%, unless the JPEG image quality is very important to you. For example if you include high quality photos. But keep in mind, the 80% optimization usually provides very high quality images anyways

2. Optimize PNG Files

This option will reduce the file size of your PNG files without affecting the quality. This is a fantastic option to reduce your PNG images by up to 40%, sometimes even more. However, it does have the draw back of slowing down publishing since each PNG needs to be run through an optimizer.

3. Use Color Profile

This is a complex option but an important one. All web browser’s and devices (such as desktop, laptops, tablets and mobile devices) have different settings based on colors they can actually display to you. What you see on one device may not be the exact same color you see on another device. This all has to do with color profiles which can be modified from your system settings.

By using this option, you guarantee that your images will, for the most part, appear the same on all devices or browsers (or close to it). However, including this information increases the size of your images. If making sure your images look the same on all devices is important to you, keep this option selected. If slight variations in the color of images is OK, you can unselect this option to reduce the file size of your images.

You won’t see large differences with this option turned off, but if you are a professional photographer you will definitely notice it. If you are trying to match your logo image color to your page background color for example, without this option selected the colors may appear different in your browser, or on another device.

23 Jun 2015

Mobile Call Us Widget Update

No Comments Tips and Tricks

I have posted an important update to the Mobile Call Us Widget that I released last year. It now includes the call us images within the package. It is important to update this version, otherwise the image used can suddenly stop working at any time on your website.

Just download from the above link and double click it to install it. It will overwrite any previous versions you have.

If you were using it previously please pay close attention to the update. You will have to select one of the included images to use along with the widget, otherwise the image will not appear.

18 Jun 2015

EverWeb 1.8 – Automatic Image Optimizations

No Comments EverWeb

I wanted to cover a lesser publicized, but very useful feature in EverWeb 1.8. That is the automatic conversion and optimization of PDF, PSD and TIFF image files.

So many professional photographers use EverWeb and similar tools to show off their work. The problem is that they often import photos right from their camera or right from photoshop.

The problem with this approach is that the images tend to be huge and take up a lot of memory. They are also slower to load for your visitors and to publish to your site. It is never appropriate to use a PSD or PDF for an image to display on your site. Only if you wanted a visitor to actually download these files for editing or another reason. Never to just display to the user.

Of course, many people aren’t aware of this, and it isn’t something they should really be concerned about. That’s why I love the new auto optimization feature for PDF, PSDs and TIFF images when importing them into EverWeb.

You see, these image file formats contain a lot of extra information in them such as layers that only an image editing program can use. Often they can be 10x – 20x the size of a flattened PNG or JPEG file. There is no benefit to using images higher then 144 DPI (currently, this can change in the future) and extra layers on a website for display purposes. EverWeb can automatically optimize these images when importing them.

There is a trick to this feature though. When dragging PSDs, TIFFs or PDFs directly onto the design canvas in EverWeb, they will be automatically converted to PNGs or JPEGs depending on whether or not they require transparency. PNG’s are a heavier format (the have larger file sizes) because they can contain a transparent background.

If you drag a PSD, TIFF or PDF onto the Asset’s list, you will be presented with the option of adding them as an external file (that way you can use them as a hyperlink option so they can be downloaded) or optimize them for the web and add them to the Images list. An image that should only be displayed in a user’s browser, should always be optimized for the web for the best user experience.

EverWeb Image Optimizations Features

Automatically optimize your large images for the web

 

A very useful and important feature indeed.

I do wish we had the option to apply these optimizations to existing images in our assets list. If you have previously imported image files into an EverWeb project it would be very tedious to delete and re-import the image. There is no way, yet, to convert these images files yet.

Special Tip: For JPEG and PNG images you can actually further optimize them when publishing your website. Go to the Preferences->Publishing and you will see a setting for JPEG image quality and ‘Optimize PNG Files’. These options will help you automatically reduce the size of your image files so they appear faster for your visitors. I have been told that using the Optimize PNG Files will result in slower optimizations and uploading because the images are put through an optimizer on each publish. If you are OK with the slower publishing times (times depend on the number of images and size of your site), select the ‘Optimize PNG files’ option.

16 Jun 2015

EverWeb 1.8 Comes With eCommerce, Dynamic Shapes and More…

No Comments EverWeb

Wow, EverWeb 1.8 is here with a huge number of improvements and new features!

First up, it now comes in two versions. One version for OS X 10.6 and one for 10.7 and later so make sure you get the right version for your operating system.

So let’s go slowly and talk about some of the new features in 1.8, because there are a lot.

Paypal/eCommerce In EverWeb

Up first is the new eCommerce features. The Paypal Widget looks like it got a lot of attention in this release with new features;

  1. Provide product options with custom prices
  2. Provide options that don’t affect pricing
  3. Allow your customers to specify a quantity for each product
  4. New shipping options
  5. Custom URLs to direct users after a successful purchase
EverWeb 1.8 Paypal eCommerce Options

EverWeb 1.8 Paypal eCommerce Options

These new options give you an amazing set of controls for your EverWeb store. For example, if you had a product that came in 3 different sizes; small, medium or large, you could let your customer choose their size and charge a different price for each selection.

Additionally you can add options for your products that don’t require different pricing. For example, if your product came in different colors you could allow the user to select their desired color.

The new EverWeb Paypal options also include some shipping features. However, often you don’t need to have shipping specified per product, rather you’d want your shipping specified for your entire store. If that’s the case you can actually set up global shipping options from within your Paypal account.

 

Full Width Elements

A very cool, and highly request features in EverWeb 1.8 is full width objects. This means that as your browser is resized, the elements set to full width will expand with the browser. This allows you start making dynamic, flexible website designs.

I think this is a good start towards responsive website design in EverWeb.

In fact, you can also add more dynamic background options from the Inspector->Page Settings->Browser Background section. The new ‘Stretch’ and ‘Scale to Fill’ options let you stretch an image in your browser background making some cool effects for your visitors.

EverWeb Dynamic Background Images

Specify new stretch or and background fill options

These new features can easily be seen in some of the new, free templates now available in version 1.8. Go to the EverWeb menu and select the ‘Check for New Templates’ option. The new templates will now appear in the ‘Add Page’ window.

Asset Sorting/Searching Features

A new feature I’m excited about is the new sorting and searching features of the Assets list. A new search bar makes it easy to locate your assets as well as the new options to sort by; File Size, Date Added, Name or Custom make it much easier to work with assets.

I do wish that we had the ability to put assets within directories but I am sure that is in the works for a future version.

A really awesome new feature it the ability to quickly find unused assets as well as locate which pages are using a selected asset.

The most useful new feature though is the ability to select multiple assets at once for dragging within the EverWeb window, image gallery, image slider etc… This saves a lot of time when creating image galleries.

EverWeb Asset Management

Sort Assets and Find Unused Assets

A lot More…

There are a lot more features in EverWeb 1.8. I’ll be covering them over the next few weeks. There’s auto saving and backup to make sure you don’t lose any projects. There’s a lot of improvements to the Image Slider like captions and linking specific slides to a URL. There’s new optimizations for images on importing and publishing and so much more.

I’m excited about this release! I think it shows a lot of really great new features and improvements.

What do you think about this release of EverWeb? Let us know in the comments section….

27 May 2015

Google Mobile Search Results Update – Important Tip For EverWeb Sites

No Comments EverWeb, Tips and Tricks

With Google’s new update regarding search results on mobile devices, it is now even more important for EverWeb users to take action if they not done so yet.

Many users are using mobile phones to find businesses through Google, so making sure you have a mobile website has never been more important.

The new change will basically ‘favour’ websites that are mobile friendly, which Google hopes will in turn provide a better user experience (in terms of browsing on a mobile phone). Google can tell whether or not your webpages have mobile counterparts, so if you don’t want to lose out on that mobile traffic, now is the time to make the change.

Below is a video tutorial that will cover this change and let EverWeb users know what needs to be done in order to stay relevant in the world of mobile surfing.