Tag Archives: Web design

6 Hot Trends of Graphic and Web Design For 2016
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Trends in the design industry are always changing. They either improve or fade out similar to the clothing styles, hairstyles and other trending industries. Everything eventually evolves. Many of the design trends of 2016 were introduced in 2015, while many others returned with an improved version. You need to master these trends if you are working in the design industry. Here are the hot trends of graphic and web design for 2016:

 

1.  It’s all Getting Flat Again

Well, flat design has been on an upward and downward trend ever since its introduction. The trend is back with a bang this year yet again, replacing the skeuomorphic design trends of the past years. Flat design is simple, classic and focuses on the practicality of a design. Switch to flat design if you have not already!

2. Videos & Animations

Videos and Animations have replaced majority of the slider sections in websites. Not only do the animations and videos look beautiful from design perspective but are also among the major marketing trends for this year. You need to incorporate a catchy video in your website to score big this year!

 

3. Bold and Playful Typography

Typography continues to impact the design industry. Similar to 2015, the trend will continue. But this year, you will experience a lot of fancy scripts and complex scripts. Typography needs to reflect the overall theme of a design and an out of date font can make the entire theme look unprofessional. Make sure the typography you use across your print or web designs reflect the true nature of business.

 

4. Add Some Illustrations

Though formal images and photography are the most popularly used elements across the web, the trend is also switching towards artistic side. Many business brands are using illustrations in the form of vectors to get the message across their audience.

 

5. Hamburger Menus

The concept of hamburger menu was introduced in the mobile web designs for the limited space. The trend has caught up with the desktop version of sites. Many designers are focusing on the beauty of design without worrying about adjusting the menu. Achieving sleek and stylish look with hamburger menu has become easy.

 

6. Natural Photography Over Stock Pictures

Stock pictures still used on a number of websites today is slowly getting replaced with images depicting natural environments.  As a designer, you need to reduce the use of images and focus more on adding the glitz and jazz for a natural focus. Photographing real things will help you achieve just the appearance you are looking for!

You can let us know about the trends you think we have missed for this year.

Medialinkers, Web Design Agency in Atlanta has been offering innovative web design services since 2002. Contact Us for more details.

Graphic design service
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Some people are blessed with good idea while others aren’t. It is just the matter of your brain activity. You can increase your creative skills to design quality websites and other stuff by practising a few easy to implement activities. Medialinkers graphic design team suggests indulging into the following activities:

 

Take a Walk

Walking increases creative skills by 60%, as per a Stanford University study. Whether you walk indoors or outside, it will stimulate the creative matter of your brain to produce quality designs.

 

Go for a Run

Similar to walking, going for a jog or running a few miles has the potential to enhance your creative skills. Buckle up and start running.

 

Focus Your Thoughts through Meditation

Meditation helps in moving past the annoyances which may worry you each day. It will clarify your mind and help you direct your thoughts at one point. According to different studies, meditation helps people in becoming more imaginative.

 

Ask Opinion of Another Individual

Asking for the input of another person can open up new ideas and options for you. Moreover, they will help you look at the problem with fresh eyes to focus on the details that you may be missing out on.

 

Visualize

A lot of artists keep notepads beside their beds so that then can note down the ideas just when it hits them. Sit in a comfortable place and let your mind wander to hit some inspiration.

 

Start Writing Something

According to science, writing helps to stimulate the visual parts of a brain. This is because you picturize the scenes when writing which is why doing some search will jumpstart your artistic skills.

 

Focus on Blue or Green Color

Blue and Green color tones are an excellent way for enhancing the creative skills. A research found blue color to generate twice as many ideas for people than they otherwise developed looking at red.

 

Sitting Next to a Box

Sitting next to box will make you think outside the box. This may sound strange but is infact true.

 

Gesculate

People who talk with hands find it natural to gesticulate. Using both hands helps in shaping up new ideas.

Logo Design
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We often discuss web design predictions for every year. As much as a website design is an important aspect of any business, logo is another crucial part. Though a logo is a small part of any business, it can take your brand to the next level. Some of the logo design trends suggested by the Medialinkers web design team are shared below:

  • The Monoline

Monoline design is actually a line art which forms a logo. Monoline logos are the logos crafted from a single line which does not change in weight. It can also be built with a single strand of wire. The monoline gives a bare bone look to the popular web iconography. Single monoline is a monotone giving your design an artisanal and crispy look without a clutter. The monoline nature lends itself to help build design work beautifully to make your brand pop remain legible. Of course, the monoline isn’t for everyone, some niches can work this look in better than some. The monoline is not for every person, but works really well in some niche. It is mostly suitable for food and beverage, salon and small boutiques. But it is versatile to work for other markets.

  • Wordmarks

Creating a wordmark logo is not a new concept. Popular examples include CNN, Coca-Cola, Disney and McDonalds. Wordmark logos are typographical in design working as a visual symbol for a brand. They are also minimalist by nature as far as type, color, shape and other design elements are concerned. Wordmarks are designed to deliver visual identity. When compared to the traditional graphical logos, it helps in increasing the brand recall to keep the design content within the text. This reduces the chances of clutter. Wordmark is used for a lot of niches but requires careful planning and creativity. The great thing about wordmarks is that they are timeless.

  • Negative Space: Don’t be Afraid to be Negative

Negative space is commonly used in the web design industry. The trend has made its way into logos as well. Negative space also helps in establishing balance to set harmony between used elements especially useful in logo made of multiple type and shapes. Negative space also adds to a design even when you are paying less.

  • Duotones

Duotone is a popular trend for logos this year. A lot of companies have started doing it.

  • Handmade Look

This year focuses on authentic and unique designs for a better user experience. The handmade look will become a common logo trend in 2016. As the name says it, the logos appear like sketched with designers incorporating a dynamic and playful look without any reason. The handmade design seems personable to make everything looks good.

WordPress 4.6 Doesn’t Feature REST API
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WordPress 4.6 Doesn’t Feature REST API

REST API 2.0 announced this morning features content disposition header parsing in addition to making use of compact links for embedded replies. It is available for a download here on Github. Full changes made to the API can be checked here. According to the REST API team, it will not be combined with WP 4.6.

The team says that 2.0 version will be released later in a few months from now and will guarantee backwards compatibility. It will help users to work without requiring any major upgrades.

The software was held in the beta version by the team for a long period to make sure if the breaking changes could be made to move forward.   Majority of these breaks occurred at the beginning of the version 2.0 lifestyle with a stable API at this point. For the merge core, the team decided to submit a merger proposal for 4.6 but wanted to move forward with 4.7

We also believe that the main WP objects are not essential to get the support for the proposal. REST API team is hoping to entice things for the developers with release of 2.0.  The merger of REST API in core WP depends on the number of developers joining their team.

Stay tuned for more details to Medialinkers web design blog.

WordPress vs. Google Blogger: Which Platform to Choose?
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Finding a right CMS is a tough process. You may have heard about WP, if you have interest in blogging. You may also have heard about Google Blogger, another popular blogging choice.  If you are a newbie blogger, choosing the right platform will help you in saving a lot of time and work. It is crucial to finding the pros and cons of every option to understand why business flourishes with an option, whereas the others are better off going to the opposite direction. You have to understand the key difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org to select the right blogging platform.  Kennesaw web Development company presents the comparison between the two platforms below:

 

WordPress.com & WordPress.org

WordPress.com is the free version of WP. It offers limited number of themes and plug-ins which means it is not a good option for serious bloggers or the people looking to grow business online. At the same time, WordPress.com is free and not a bad choice for bloggers starting afresh. It also has a wider audience giving your blog access to a wide network which you may not have otherwise.

WordPress.org is a self-hosted medium, which gives you control over site information to create your own domain name. It provides more options as it comes with a bit of fee.  However, you get access to premium themes and plugins to design and develop a site, the way you want.

Google Blogger is another free choice available to bloggers. However, all the information presented on a site is owned by Google. Like WordPress.com, it has its negatives and positives.  WordPress has its similarities with Google Blogger. When it comes to deciding between Google Blogger and some other choices, bloggers always stick to WordPress.org.

 

Benefits of WordPress.org

By hosting a site on WordPress.org, you are the owner of all your site and data details. This makes you decide what information is shared and when a site is shutdown. You also get access to thousands of plugins allowing you to add to a site. There are many layout options available which can be customized easily for a blog. It is also easy to move a site to another hosting option and to change a domain name without losing the important information. WP has an active community and a support system. You can fix the issues by searching on Google.

 

Benefits of Google Blogger

Google Blogger is free and does not include any hidden charges. The backup system is Google itself and is responsible for all the security and maintenance. You are also not responsible for your site’s security. Blogger is easy and simple to use compared to WordPress.

 

Drawbacks of WordPress.org

You are responsible for site security and backups. It requires money for maintenance and hosting.

 

Drawbacks of Google Blogger

Blogger has limited functionality and themes. It is also quite difficult to move a blog from Google to another location, which will likely lose your SEO, you may have worked very hard to achieve. There is also limited technology and support available for blogger platform.

You also do not own a site, which means that Google can close it down anytime. They can also close down the entire Google Blogger platform as they have shutdown many of their applications despite their success and popularity. Comparing the benefits and drawbacks of both mediums, you can say that WordPress is a better choice for bloggers.

 

Bottom Line

When starting out, you can either go with WordPress.com or Google Blogger, as both options are free and have many resources suited to the newbies. But for the long term goals, choose a self-hosted WordPress.org site. You can find a hosting for $12 a year making WordPress.org an extremely affordable option. This is also a reason why 25% of the users stick with WordPress.

 

You can also consult Medialinkers Web development agency to set up a personal or a professional blog for your needs.

responsive web design
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Mobile is the trending future technology. With mobile searches continuously increasing and surpassing the desktop searches, it is clear that all the sites must go responsive. However, there is an interesting debate between the responsive layouts and the in-app content via native apps. Check out how you need to present your site on smart gadgets for mobile search users, as suggested by Kennesaw web Design.

 

Value of a Native App

Smartphone users depend on native apps for using popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter etc. As the native applications run on a local operating system, these apps make the processing a lot smoother. The apps also follow UI guidelines, keeping the data consistent and naturally assumptive. Users have the basic knowledge to use sliding menus and tab bars.

Many publishers have apps available on the Google Play store and iOS covering blogs, social networks and webapps. Large sites such as Twitter and Facebook get more value from native apps compared to small sites.

Both are useful and preferred by end-users; however the only debate is, if a website functions better as a mobile application or as a responsive design.

 

Fully-Responsive Websites: An Over View

Responsive web design is a good thing. Web designers will not have to make anything extra to make a site go responsive. However, in terms of native apps, there are a few things you need to consider. Responsive sites are only limited to the browser’s rendering engine, meaning limited animation and reliance on the smartphones. On the other hand, native apps give all the features to the SmartPhone users. The animation libraries used by CSS or JS are powerfully used in the browser.

The same thing goes for putting input elements in forms in addition to security concerns and data transmissions. Many users prefer to use the Pinterest app over its site and same goes for all the popular web services such as Flipboard, Dropbox, Gmail and others.

 

Should a Site Provide a Responsive Layout?

This is the next question that is asked by many web designers. The main difference comes through user experience. You need to determine which method will attract more users and traffic. Also, mobile apps need time for programming and design. To have an app for your site, make sure it complements the responsive layout to offer real value to users.

 

Should you go for a Desktop-First or Mobile-First Approach?

Designing for the websites requires paying attention to guidelines such as widest width and smallest width. This is a question asked by a lot of freelancers and the big-time creative agencies.  Mobile-first is a popular opinion, popularized according to Luke Wroblewski book. The method works by starting from the basics, increasing the functionality for the environments which are able to handle it. Many designers also prefer a desktop-first approach gradually scaling down to the features for a mobile screen.

However, there is no industry standard and you can choose which ever is easy to start the web work. Do not forget to make changes when required for improving the design.

 

To Consider or Not Consider a Mobile App

Creating a fully responsive site running on any screen will satisfy many users. Do you need a mobile app if you already have a responsive site?  Well, the answer is all about the user experience. It is also about offering the best form of consumption for a specific project on a mobile device. If you think your users would want a mobile app, go for it but if you think a site is more than enough then do not invest on a mobile app.

 

In short, whether you want to build a site, you need to go responsive whether you have an app or not, as it’s preferred by users and search engines over the desktop based sites. Consult with web development Medialinkers services for more details about responsive website and a mobile app.

social media by ML
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A lot of businesses today consider promoting their blog or web services via ads. Even though the different social media channels have also explicitly shared that without ads, the outreach stays limited; the advertisement methods unfortunately don’t work a lot of companies despite the placement of best efforts. You might have come across blog posts titled as “Are Twitter or Facebook Ads real or a waste of time or money” on your social media pages.

 

Social media sponsored content works, but for that you have to be extremely patient and run different A/B tests. This is the reason why small companies with limited resources are unable to get a big ROI from a paid campaign.

 

So, considering these aspects of sponsored advertising isn’t it better if you stick to the conventional and organic post outreach. Cross promotion is one great method through which you can easily get around the outreach issue via social media. This blog covers the main tips to assist you in cross posting your content successfully. You can also get a digital marketing company such as Medialinkers to handle the social media marketing work for you.

  1. Add Social Channels to Your FB Page

social image by ML

Most apps provide an option to customize the thumbnail of the tab so that it matches your business branding. The following are some third-party tools for adding tabs of other social networks:

Facebook allows integration of different social channels such as Pinterest, LinkedIn for the promotion of posts through social apps.  You can also customize the thumbnail to match business branding. Some good social apps that you can use are:

The social tabs will start appearing under the cover picture of your profile.  The visitors can click on the “More” dropdown arrow to navigate to the desired social channel.

  1. Use Brands for Cross Promotion

Search a brand that isn’t a direct competition to you.  Give them a free cross promotion. This will go a long way in building the audience for you.

For selecting a brand, consider the following tips:

  • Active Influencers
  • Has a Local Business Similar to Yours
  • Business indirectly relevant to your exact niche (Won’t be your direct competitors)

 

  1. Target Nonprofit organizations

You can write some posts and promote them through the nonprofit organization channels. These organizations have all types of audience and can work wonders in enhancing your post outreach.

  1. Email & Social Media Go Hand in Hand

Combine email and social media together. Email is still a popular communication channel for businesses. In fact email and social media have the same goals, to engage with the right audience. The best way is to add the social channels in your weekly newsletters and inform your subscribers about the new events and posts on your Facebook Page.

  1. Add a Social Plugin to Blog/Website

While people who regularly visit your website/blog will be following you on social media, there will be new visitors coming via search engines now and then. You can easily promote your social media posts to these new visitors.

 

The same can be done on social media for your website’s or blog’s content (you’re probably doing that already). Visitors who follow you on social media without coming across your website/blog will know what you post on your native digital properties.

 

People visit a blog regularly for the new information. Also, blog attracts a lot of readers through search engines over time. You can add these visitors to your social channels too by integration of social buttons on your website/blog. For more details, you can also read Search Engine Journal tips for promoting a blog on social media.

Wordpress image by medialinkers
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4 in one website are powered by WordPress. This means that 25% of the web today uses WP. This latest information has come online from the W3Techs, which measures the usage and market share. Today, WP is actively used by 58.7% of the websites, whose content management systems we know about.  This makes it 25.0% of all the available websites. Even though the numbers fluctuate over a period of months, this trend has only grown even though at a slow rate for WP.

 

This number would be well passed 25% by the year’s end. The opportunity lies in the 57% of the websites which don’t use the identifiable CMs as yet. However, it lays foundations of more than half of the market share but the growth rate is still quite impressive. This means that as WP continues to gain the primary position, it would be targeted by various attackers and would continuously face the security issues through its lifetime. For solving this, you would have to update your WordPress to the latest available version.

 

W3Techs use different methods for providing the above numbers. The w3Techs doesn’t scan the entire website. For limiting the impact of the domain spammers, the top 10 Million sites are investigated depending on the popularity of the rankings offered by Alexa, using a 3-month average ranking.

 

The W3Techs excludes the subdomains and redirects the domains so that it isn’t counted. WP powers 25 percent of the top 10 million sites, and these effectively represent the entire platform. If you are looking to develop a WordPress site, then all you have to do is to contact the WordPress team at Medialinkers. Medialinkers has served a large number of clients through its web design and WordPress Services, and you can read the Medialinkers client reviews here.

Medialinkers Panda recovery tips
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Thousands of penalties are charged by Google every month and just as you have imagined, these penalties have a large impact on your site.  However, regardless of how nasty these penalties are, you can still recover from your site if you choose a thorough penalty recovery method.

The first couple of hours post is very critical. Even though a penalty is scary, you don’t have to do something rash for jeopardizing the entire process, so rather than rushing into a recovery mode, you require a solid foundation instead of jumping to a hasty action.

What do you need to do?

 

Don’t Go into a Panic Mode

 

It sounds surprising, I know, but you need facts to act on.

 

You Have Time

 

You have plenty of time for the recovery and must under no circumstances rush at all. If you act too soon, then the manual penalty which your site has received may as would take longer than necessary.

 

Not All the Time

 

The term “manual penalties” is handled by real people, instead of Google bots. This means there are special people who are reviewing your work to assign a penalty to you accordingly. They have got a complete record when the penalty was put in place and what its status is. However, if you respond in a rush to the penalties, then you would probably receive an automatic response “denied”, as its very unlikely that you complete the entire checklist for lifting the penalty in a short time.

 

So instead of assuming the link analysis work, disavow file creation, removal requests, Google would only think the opposite, which you are trying to get out of penalty without going through any hard work.

 

Also, your site is in the red list of the penalized sites which Google starts monitoring closely. The manual penalty takes a lot of recovery time, for a site, from a few weeks to a few months. This means that if you try to get a reconsideration request within a day or two, you would do more harm than good. This is why; act wisely by spending time without getting into a panic mode.

 

Lifting the Penalty

 

Lifting your site and work out of a penalty is possible. You just have to play your cards right. It can also work for you even if you are not an SEO genius. With the help of some time and some SEO knowledge, you can get the work done without hiring any expensive agency. Penalties are part of SEO’s life. But this doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the world for that particular site. They can easily be lifted.

 

Penalties Can Expire

 

In case, you don’t do anything, your penalty might expire. This is because there are no hard and fast rules on the issue. However, this is not a recommended solution. You have the possibility that penalty would vanish after some time, but it doesn’t mean that site there and do nothing.

 

Find Out Exactly Why You Received the Penalty?

 

Google penalizes sites for some reason. In case, you get to the root cause of the penalty, you can step closer to getting it repealed. In case, you ignore this step, you would sabotage the efforts.

 

This means that as a goal, you need to find out what Google says about your manual penalty. Also, as the manual penalties are inflicted by actual people, you have to find out why you received it and what message you have received regarding it from the Google spam team.

 

Luckily for you, Google has 11 types of Manual Action Penalties:

 

  1. Unnatural Linking to Your Site
  2. User-generated spam
  3. Spammy structured markup
  4. Hacked Site
  5. Cloaking and/or sneaky redirects
  6. Thin content with little or no added value
  7. Pure spam
  8. Spammy free hosts
  9. Unnatural links to your site
  10. Unnatural links from your site
  11. Hidden text and/or keyword stuffing

The most common penalties include unnatural links to your site, thin content with little to no value and unnatural link to your site.

 

What do these penalties mean for you?

 

Unnatural Links to Your Site

 

This penalty means a partial penalty. Just your site’s portion is under a penalty. Even though, it is a manual penalty, you still need to do the hard work for getting the links removed.

 

Unnatural Site Links

 

This is the type of penalty which affects the website completely. Google assumes that you are engaged in a black hat SEO. This means that you are being charged with a full penalty that would diminish your rankings and your traffic. You can handle both the penalties, in the same way, through removal, analysis, and disavowal. However, the effort and time you pour into a particular penalty would vary based on the different severity levels.

 

Read Google’s Message Carefully

 

Google would send you a complete message notifying you why you got a certain penalty in its penalty report. This means that the short links are of no value to the ongoing link removal efforts. In the different client cases, the analysis by Google is accurate.

 

You need to look into Google’s message carefully and then make a strategy according to it for getting your site penalty free.

 

Downloading the Links

 

As link penalties are the most common type of penalties, the blog discusses those here. For lifting the link penalty, you need to analyze your backlinks. You have different reporting tools such as Majestic SEO, ahrefs, and Moz for getting an in-depth view of your linking profile. Every tool has its differences, but you can use each of these tools for a different purpose, or you can download the data from all these tools to sort out the duplicate links and then take an action from there.

 

Conclusion

 

After, you have the links in the file, you can go through them to analyze if those were spam, low quality or irrelevant links to your site. You can disavow the links, but first review everything in detail. Always remember that starting out in a right way is the right way for doing everything right. For more assistance and help, you can hire a professional agency such as Medialinkers. Read the Medialinkers Reviews to find what the clients are saying about it.

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A lot of web designers who freelance have no time to work on marketing tasks such as SEO. What they do is create and build everything to later incorporate SEO, but by that time, things have already become quite difficult. This is the reason why, you need to learn just the basic steps for taking SEO work in parallel to your site’s optimization, so that when you get time later on, you can do a deeper optimization in future.

 

Incorporating SEO from the Start

 

The best thing you need to do is to create your site’s outline listing the top level navigation and then listing the content for all the areas. Create a clear structure which would be easy for the people to navigate.

 

Using Long tail Keywords

 

When creating the topics and pages of your site, you need to think about writing the content around the business terms. For example, cat parks is a term relevant to the readers if you are running a cat blog. You can also use location for making it even better such as cat parks Atlanta. The longer the keywords are the better are your chances of getting ranked.

 

Focus on Sitemaps

 

Sitemaps are really important for your site, as they tell the search engines to navigate through your site, just the way you use street signs for navigating on the roads. The sitemaps have a strong impact on the search engines. With the help of the search engines, you can get a complete picture of your site in milliseconds without having to do any guessing, leading to more targeted traffic for your website.

 

Use Keywords in your URLs, Descriptions and Page Titles

 

The site URLs and Meta tags must use the keywords you are using for the promotion of your site. These are three ways for telling search engines what the site is about and who it is important for. The long tail keywords offer a clear signal about the page you are presenting.

 

Using Google Search Console

 

Previously known as the Google’s Webmaster tool, is now called Search Console. It’s the easiest way of monitoring your site’s backlinks, and also for telling Google what your site is about. With just a block of code, you can integrate it into your site and gain Google’s trust.

 

If you are a complete beginner and want to know why SEO is important, you can check the slides below or consult with Medialinkers Web Design Company in Atlanta.

 

 

Medialinkers An Atlanta SEO Services Company from MediaLinkers