Small Business Website Design & Development Solutions In Greater Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Georgetown, Woodbridge, Vaughan, Richmond Hill
Web Development Solutions, Internet Marketing Strategies, Managed VPS Hosting, Website Design For Companies In Toronto Ontario Canada
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is a non-profit organization and has long been recognized as a guiding light to provide a framework of best practices to facilitate Internet elemental organization. Ultimately its goal is to ensure all technologies developed for Internet use should be accessible and usable by anyone, anywhere, on any device capable of Internet access. They provide a comprehensive set of essential decision analysis tools to be used by developers to ensure a project is being produced to recommended standards.
There are two very useful decision analysis tools provided by W3C. There is a cascading style sheet validator; CSS Validator, and a document type definition (DTD) validator more well known as the W3C Markup Validation Service. It is not important which document type individuals have chosen as a foundation of their projects. It is important that a chosen DTD conforms to elemental syntax for any given document type. Commonly encountered DTD's are typically HTML 3.2, HTML 4.0, HTML 4.01, HTML 4.01 Frameset, HTML 4.01 Transitional, HTML 4.01 Strict, XHTML Basic 1.0, XHTML 1.0 Frameset, XHTML 1.0 Transitional, XHTML 1.0 Strict, as well as the most recent XHTML 1.1 (summer of 2009). As I write this presentation it also appears that future standards may be placing more emphasis on HTML 5 rather than continuing to extend on capabilities of XHTML. I have no understanding of why this is so.
One more worth mentioning is the W3C Link Checker Validation Service. Practicality of this one may indicate whether or not a webmaster is making sure that all internal as well as external hyperlinks are leading to somewhere. There are search engine optimization benefits to be gained if all is well.
So grab a URL of your favourite online hangout to take it for a test drive. Using W3C decision analysis tools helps to determine how much effort has been put into producing a high quality domain conforming to recommended standards. To make it easier you can just follow my W3C link at the extreme bottom of this page called “Valid XHTML 1.1”. Afterward you can then compare results with sites of your choice. Invalid results may cause a webpage to be inaccessible to some browsers thereby potentially shutting out a visitor who may have otherwise become a customer or client.
If you need to perform a quick decision analysis of an ability of an SEO Copywriter to produce optimized text run it through a keyword density tool such as at addme.com (you do not have to give your name or email address to use it). I would have to prepare a separate presentation to explain how I make use of it. That is not the purpose of writing this. I just want to bring it to your attention. It may help you in your decision making process. It would be easier if you try it out your self then analyze results obtained. I recommend to first select “Show Advanced Options” then deselect “use default stopword list” prior to running an analysis. Give it a try using some of my pages. You'll see very highly optimized text. Use titles of any of my pages to have an indicator of what a presentation is supposed to be about. Do corresponding results closely match in density? Excessive repetition of unnecessary words will also dilute effectiveness of targeted keywords. I do make frequent use of a keyword density tool in my daily writing. Additionally, I use other methods to ensure content is optimized but I can't give away all my secrets to competitors reading this!
Decision analysis tools to determine page load time are useful in a number of ways. First of all it is practical to determine if file sizes are unreasonably bloated possibly due to excessively high image resolution, html page sizes, as well as CSS files and scripts. Large files sizes may be indicative of a lack of attention to detail during a development process. It is very important to apply as much compression to images files, CSS files, and html files to reduce load time to a bare minimum. Another way of making use of it is that a long page load time may be an indicator of a poor server performance. A slow loading server may possibly be caused by oversold shared hosting services. Information portals do not look favourably on slow loading pages. If they send their visitors there it will result in a bad user experience. An excellent page load time tool is provided by WebSiteOptimiztion.com. It even provides a page load time for 14.4K, 28.8K, 33.6K, and 56K modems.
In the previous paragraph I mentioned oversold services. Now I will provide you with domain tools information to determine if this may be contributing to a slow loading webpage. You need to examine a server environment to determine how many other domains are sharing an IP address as well as server resources. It is not uncommon to see shared servers piled up with hundreds or even a thousand or more domains competing to use available server resources. This practice is becoming very common. At risk here is that if many of those sites suddenly become busy simultaneously a server is prone to slow down to a turtle's pace. Or worst yet, your online business may become inaccessible due to a server crash. Practical decision analysis tools to assess server capacity can be found at Domain Tools. Just plug in any URL such as mine “www.ataraxiswebdesign.com” to perform an analysis.
IXQuick is a meta search engine that queries numerous other portals simultaneously. It then returns very concentrated results (7 pages or less) of high ranking domains based on your keyword selection. Results are based on a broad sample of numerous search engines rather than just one. Essentially, if a domain is appearing high in results across many search engines there is a good probability that people who put it together have done a good job of applying effective optimization techniques.
Analysis tools like that may be useful when assessing a portfolio of a developer to determine how successful they are at gaining high placement in query results for sites of their clients. To demonstrate of how it works give it a try using search terms; “Brampton massage” or “Brampton spa”. High in results you will see “www.pure-essence-massage.com” from here in Brampton -- it is a project in my portfolio. To try one of your choice go to it's homepage, right click somewhere where there are no pictures and select “view source” or “view page source” then have a look at the meta keywords tag near the top. There you will find keywords a designer or developer deemed to be important to page content. Simply take those 2 or 3 keyword terms and plug it into IXQuick Metasearch to determine if a domain ranks high for its targeted search term. If it does then a developer has done a good job of search engine optimization. She may be able to do the same for your online presence assuming optimization wasn't performed by a third party.
Browser shots are very useful developer resources. We need to be sure pages we are constructing will display properly across all browsers as well as within various versions of those browsers. I use it frequently to check potential CSS issues related to Internet Explorer 6. It is well known in developer environments as a beast of a browser. It does not conform very well to W3C standards. Some developers have such a disdain for it that they may purposely ignore it in their work thereby potentially shutting out about 20% of visitors if there is an incompatibility issue. 20% is an approximate percentage of users who still use version IE6 on their computers (summer 2009). That is a potential 2 out of every 10 visitors. In my opinion that is too large of a percentage to ignore. It is equivalent of turning away 2 of every 10 customers walking into your bricks and mortar shop just because you do not like how they are dressed! They offer a choice of many browsers as well as various versions. Do not waste too much time there. Just deselect all near bottom left side of page then only select IE6 to examine a domain of your choice. Depending on time of day it may take about 15 minutes to see results displayed. If IE6 can handle it then it should be ok in all browsers. Visit Browser Shots Tool to give it a try.
If a developer wants to get ahead of the crowd they are going to need these following few browser plugins. They all run from within FireFox (every self-respecting developer should be using it), so it must be installed. Afterward there are three essential plugins to make a developer's job much easier. My favourite is the Firefox web developer plugin extension. Next is Firebug, I don't use it as much but it is a prerequisite for Page Speed which plugs into it. If you prefer you can go dig them all up as add-ons for FireFox but you will have to find them yourself.
Ratios will provide insight into an amount of source code there is under the hood versus visible text. There is no magical number to aim for here. A general consensus seems to be that a good ratio is 25% or higher. I feel 35% or higher is more desirable. High ratios are often an indicator of separation of content from hyper text markup language (HTML) structure as is accomplished by using CSS. It is a preferred practice. Pages with a lot of text will produce high text to code ratios. Search engines will generally interpret it as a page chock full of useful information. Assuming proper optimization techniques have been applied, they will probably propel it high into their results. There is a good text to code ratio tool available at RankQuest.com
Intention of this presentation is not to be critical of other designers, developers, or development companies. Regardless, I know it will empower those of you those services by placing some of those individuals or companies (my own included) under a microscope. In a few instances it may inevitably shed an unfavourable light on some. I have no responsibility to any other entity and how they choose to apply their design and development abilities or manage their businesses. Ultimately, being open and honest about design, development, and hosting best practices may encourage others to adopt similar work methodologies. That will effectively help the Internet grow into its fullest potential as the ultimate research resource. It will also promote fair value for paid Internet information technology services.