Archive for Web Design

22 Mar 2017

Coming Soon! Animation Effects in EverWeb!

No Comments EverWeb, Software, Web Design

Breaking News! If you’ve been to the EverWeb website recently or to the EverWeb YouTube channel, you’ll see some great news. The next release of EverWeb will include animation effects!

Although it’s only a ‘Sneak Peek’, the Home, Features and Pricing pages of the EverWeb website use animation effect really effectively to make features on each page really pop. The teaser video clip shows us just some of what’s going to be possible soon!

It looks like this is going to be one awesome release coming up! There’s no news of a date yet, but we’ll keep you posted as soon as we find out! It looks as if this is going to be a big release…

16 Mar 2017

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Master Pages

No Comments EverWeb, Software, Tips and Tricks, Tutorials, Web Design

I was quite surprised recently when a customer sent me their EverWeb project file and I discovered that it didn’t have a Master Page. The website was only seven pages in total so maybe it wasn’t a big deal. When I started browsing through the project I immediately realised that a Master Page would reap benefits, even with a relatively small website project.

Why Use Master Pages
Master Pages were one of the first major features added to EverWeb back in version 1.2. It was one of the most requested features that iWeb lacked and rightly so as it immediately gives you these great benefits…

  1. Design Consistency. Presenting your website with a consistent design on every page is vital when you want your visitors to easily navigate your site to find and discover what you want them to. Placing objects in consistent locations on your web page and using the same style approach for things such as titles, buttons, logos and so on is really important so your visitors don’t get a frustrating experience. Consistency should also extend to page settings as well. Having a consitstent framework to design your site in is easier for you as well as being easier for your visitors.
  2. Design Accuracy. Web design also needs to be pixel perfect. Have you ever visited websites where things like titles and buttons jump around a bit as you move from page to page. Or the background color changes slightly when it really shouldn’t? Your website should focus your visitor on it’s content, not the distraction of a poorly placed objects on the design canvas. A Master Page will instantly take these issues away and you’ll have a more focused visitor as a result.
  3. More ProfessionalYour website is often the first place potential and existing customers go to when they want to discover more about you, your company, your products or your services. Often it’s your calling card for the digital age. Creating a professional appearance is a must. If you have followed the first two points above, you’re already getting there. Take time to think about the design of your Master Page(s) as and test the results on mobile, tablet and desktop devices. If necessary create Master Pages for each environment so that you offer your visitors the right experience on all platforms. It’s the professional approach!
  4. Easier Website Maintenance and Updates. Having one Master Page to maintain and update rather than all of your web pages is a no brainier. Having just one page to update means you’re less liable to make mistakes. Updating many pages with the same changes is boring and repetitive which is where errors start to creep in.
  5. Saves Time. We all know that time is a valuable commodity to most people. Using a Master Page is the perfect tool for this. If you do make a mistake, or need to make changes or a quick website update it’s faster and more efficient to do so using a Master Page. All changes immediately get applied to any page that uses the Master Page so it couldn’t be easier!

Creating a Master Page

Creating a Master Pages is very simple to do – just click on the ‘New Master Page’ button in the blue Master Page section of the Web Page List. If the blue section is not visible, it’s probably because the splitter bar (right above the Project name) needs to be dragged down to reveal it. Next you will see the the Theme Template Chooser, so select the Theme and Page Style you want as you would do when adding any regular page in EverWeb. Note that you can’t make a Master Page from of a blog page style.

Once the new Master Page has been created it’s added to the Master Page section. Name the Master Page in the same was as you would for a regular page. In fact, use the Master Page in exactly the same way as a regular page. The only difference is that you will only add objects that you want to appear on all pages that are going to be using the Master Page. Typically, this means that the body area of the page is usually empty as this is where regular page content will go.

In my customer’s case, I took her company logo, tag line, contact details from the header and footer and the social media buttons she used and placed them in the Master Page in the same locations as they were on the regular pages. I then made sure that the Page Settings for content width, content height, header, footer, background color and browser background were set correctly. Again, that’s another real benefit of the Master Page. You only need to set up page defaults once.

Using your Master Page

Once you have finished your Master Page, apply it to all of the pages you want to use it with. To do this, select the regular page that the Master Page will be attached to. Next, on the Page Settings tab of the Inspector Window select the Master Page to attach using the dropdown menu in the Master Page section. You’ll see that the page changes, adding in the objects from the Master Page.

The objects that come from the Master Page all have a black page symbol in the top right hand corner meaning that you can’t edit them from a regular page. You can only edit these objects by editing the Master Page itself.

Now that you’ve applied the Master Page, you’ll probably notice that you have the same objects twice on the page. As the Master Page objects ‘sit’ underneath the regular page and can’t be deleted unless you edit the Master Page itself, you can delete the duplicate objects from the regular page so only the Master Page objects remain on the page.

When you’ve completed this task for all pages in your site that are using the Master Page, publish the entire site using the File-> Publish Entire Site menu.

If you need it make changes in the future to all of your pages at one time, you’ll only have to do the changes to just the Master Page. Adding and working with Master Pages even on small websites is something that takes very little time, and will save you lots of time in the future!

if you have a question about Master Pages, please let us know in the Comments Section below. Thanks!

09 Feb 2017

Writing Your First Blog Post? Read This Before You Start!

No Comments EverWeb, Software, Tips and Tricks, Web Design

There’s a whole host of reasons why blogging is essential for your website. A regularly updated blog reminds your audience that your website (and by extension you and/or your business) is alive and kicking! It helps drive SEO traffic if fresh content is added regularly and a well written, and marketed, blog may foster a lively discussion forum. Blogging also helps define your website’s ‘personality’. We create websites with a particular ‘audience’ in mind, and your blog should reflect this. Lastly, a blog lets you expand on subjects that may be less core to your website, or where you want more in-depth coverage on a particular topic, product, idea and so on…

If you’ve just updated, or purchased, EverWeb version 2.0, now is the ideal time to start your own blog! EverWeb’s new blogging tool can be used straight away whether you have an EverWeb+Hosting account or your own hosting provider. There’s no setup needed. So, the technical part is easy and it may be that writing your own blog is the difficult part! Here are some thoughts and insights to get you started with blogging…

It’s a Learning Experience!
Writing a blog is always a learning experience and you’ll probably make mistakes along the way. Will your audience like what you write? How often should you post? What happens if you run out of inspiration or have writer’s block?

Undoubtedly you’ll have questions about blogging, most of which will be down to you to answer, e.g. you’ll post every Tuesday. The best advice I can give is to do your homework before you start. List the questions you have and try to find your answers through trusted friends, family and internet resources such as ProBlogger which is great for first time bloggers. In the example, blogging every Tuesday will help you post consistently. That’s good for you and good for audience building. People love consistency!

Focus Your Ideas
Blog posts need ideas! It’s usually best to have only one main message, idea or theme per post. This will focus you when you write. It also makes your post easier to read and understand for your audience. You’ll lose focus, and possibly your audience, if you have more than one message or idea in your post.

Keeping ‘one idea per post’ also means you have more ideas available for future posts. If you’re going to post on a regular basis this is important. There’s nothing worse than having a deadline and nothing to write about. Keep an ideas list to hand and always have a standby blog post ready for emergencies.

Know Your Audience
It’s important to always write FOR your audience, using an appropriate style and tone e.g. if you write in a formal style when your audience is ‘informal’, you may drive away your audience. Aldo be careful not to talk down, patronize or insult your audience either. It will drive any traffic away immediately!

The ideas you use in your posts should also be relevant to your target audience. Always keep your audience in mind as this will focus you and your posts. I always ask myself, what’s interesting for my audience, what’s new, what features should I look at and why? What’s the benefit? For inspiration, I’ll look at relevant sources e.g. when writing about EverWeb I may look at other EverWeb related articles, the EverWeb Discussion Forum, websites relating to SEO, web design and so on to keep on track.

The Blog Title and First Sentence!
Once you have your idea it’s time to start writing! This is often the most difficult part of blogging: the first words! It can stop you cold in your tracks. Try breaking through this block just by writing something – anything – as a first sentence even if it’s really bad! You can go back and change it later. The important thing is that you’ve written something! and you’ll probably find that the rest of the post flows easily. Finish by editing the title and/or the first sentence which you’ll probably find is now a lot easier to do.

Keeping Audience Attention
Humans have an incredibly short attention span and living in a world of soundbites makes it more challenging to keep your audience focused on your post. If you don’t hold your audience’s attention for 90 seconds they’ll probably get bored and go elsewhere. Try to make a strong post title and a first paragraph that engages e.g. set a question that you will answer later. Look at other blogs that inspire and engage you. What appeals about one blog post and not another? What keeps you reading or turns you away? Use the Editor Toolbar features such as bold and italics sparingly – just for emphasis!

How Much Should I Write?
It’s a common question but there’s no easy answer. There are a couple of things you should consider though. The first is that Google loves content! Preferably fresh, unique content. So don’t plagiarise content from other writers as Google will penalise you and you’ll probably get sued if you’re found out. The only exception is when you’re quoting in which case you should credit the author and content source anyway. And just copying and pasting your own content around the internet also won’t work.

Although Google loves content and it’s great for your SEO, quality content is where you should be focused. It’s more important than word count or SEO! If in doubt always remember quality above anything else!

Check, Check and Double Check
If you read anything on the Internet, even from professional news websites, you’ll find articles littered with spelling and grammar mistakes. It’s frustrating to continually pick through mistakes. To avoid posting ‘mistakes’, when you’ve finished your post, save it then then walk away from it. If possible, get someone else to proof read it for you. If that’s not possible, come back to it later, read it through again and then correct any mistakes.

The other tip is to learn about how you write e.g. I know I am bad with ‘its’ and ‘it’s’ and when to use them and when not. For me, it is (it’s!) a blind spot I always check for now when I write. Try listing your own weaknesses so you can correct your copy before publishing!

Summarize
It’s always good to round off your post by coming full circle to answering the question you first posed. In this post, it’s that writing your first blog post is a learning process and that preparation before you start will reward you and your audience. You’ll make mistakes for sure, but even if you do, it’s a learning experience!. With blogging there is no rule book, but a few tried and trusted guidelines will help get the creative juices flowing! Good luck with your blogging.

If you have any hints and tips to share please drop a line below in the comments section. I’ve only scratched the surface here, so feel free to have your say! Thanks!

24 Jan 2017

EverWeb version 2.1 is Out NOW!

2 Comments EverWeb, Software, Tips and Tricks, Web Design, Widgets

EverWeb’s just been updated with the public release of version 2.1. The new version focuses on improvements to the new blogging environment, an upgrade for the Contact Form Advanced widget and some great small but really useful UI enhancements! There’s also number of under the hood improvements as well as the usual maintenance and stability fixes. Here’s a summary of what to look out for…

Blogging
EverWeb’s blogging feature adds a new section in the blog main page widget so you can include a link to your full blog archive. The option lets you set the name of the label you want to use and includes options for left, center or right alignment on the page. There are also a various minor fixes and enhancements mainly relating to Google Fonts, WordPress imports and Facebook commenting.

Contact Form Advanced Widget
The Contact Form Advanced widget debuted in EverWeb 2.0 and gets an update in version 2.1 with some new features. Perhaps the most important feature is the option to enter SMTP details in the Widget Settings. This is designed to improve reliability of receiving emails. It’s highly recommended that you fill in this section when using the CFA widget. There’s also a help button in the widget that will take you to an EverWeb knowledgeable article if you need help or guidance.

In EverWeb 2.1 the CFA widget now includes the ability to delete form options and reorder control options.

The most important fix for the Contact Form Advanced widget is that the ‘Reply To’ address is now set correctly. If you are using the CFA widget in EverWeb 2.0 or 2.0.2 it’s recommended you upgrade to 2.1 for this important fix.

Workflow Enhancements
The latest version of EverWeb includes some really handy keyboard tricks to improve your workflow.
If you hold the Command+Option keys down when dragging an object, EverWeb doesn’t change the selection. This means that, for example, if the object is covered by other objects it’s now easy to move the selected object.
The second keyboard trick is to hold the Command+Shift keys down when dragging or resizing an object. When you do this, all of the objects beneath it will move down so retaining the page layout that you originally created. This is a great time saver and highly recommended!
Other useful UI tweaks include Function+Arrow keys now work in the EverWeb Design Canvas and the addition of a ‘Rename’ option on the sub menu that appears when you right click on the Project file name in the Web Page List.

We’ll take a walk though the first two workflow enhancement features soon as well as a complete walk through of the new SMTP Settings of the Contact Form Advanced widget.

Updating to EverWeb version 2.1
You can update your version of EverWeb using the EverWeb-> Check for Updates… menu, or directly from the EverWeb Download page. The download is available in two forms, OS X 10.7 and Higher and OS X 10.6.

Before you update your copy of EverWeb, please remember that updates are free if you have purchased EverWeb less than one year ago, or have a valid updates & support plan if your EverWeb version is more than one year old. More information can be found on the EverWeb Download page.

In the meantime, let us know if you have any questions about the update or if there’s anything else you need to know about EverWeb!

24 Nov 2016

NEW! iWeb to EverWeb 2.0 Website Conversion Service Launched!

No Comments EverWeb, Software, Web Design

If you’ve developed an iWeb website you may be thinking of converting it to EverWeb, especially now that EverWeb version 2.0 has an all new blogging environment! So now is a great time to switch over, but even though there’s an easy Import facility built in to EverWeb 2.0, you may not want to spend the time and effort redeveloping your website.

RAGE Software, the makers of EverWeb, has the ideal solution for you! The company’s just announced the launch of a new service where they will do all of the work for you! The service will convert your iWeb website to EverWeb using updated features such as Master Pages, SEO features, mobile page optimizations, advanced contact forms, popup window and much more. So you get an updated website with modern day features included!

The EverWeb website has more about the iWeb to EverWeb Conversion service and includes a Contact Form to complete to get a quote for the conversion work.