Picking colors for your website is an important part of web design.  The color combinations you use with your content on each page can have an effect on visitors to your site –helping attract them or turn them away.  There are several things to keep in mind when selecting colors for your site.

First consider your audience.  Younger people, especially children, might be attracted to brighter colors, while older people tend to prefer more moderate tones. Think pink is a women’s color.  Think again. Online studies tell us that blue is the common favorite color of both men and women.

What is the purpose of your site? Purple is a very powerful color, and it can usually be found in small amounts in many websites, logos, and other products of design.  An interactive site would have a bolder palette than a website offering financial advice. A web hosting site could go with bold or less bold colors, depending on the audience it’s intended to attract.

When it comes to business conveying the right image is important. Think about the kind of image that you want to portray to visitors and the right message for your company, organization, or product that you want them to get from your site. Do you want to convey to your potential customers that your product or information will provide them with financial security or wealth? Do you want your website to portray how professional your corporation is and that you are devoted to your customers? Gray for example can be a powerful element of a professional company website. Gray reminds people of reliability and maturity and helps to establish a sense of trust among customers.

Next consider the usability factor. Contrast between text and background can affect how easy it is to read text.  If the contrast isn’t high, such as with a light gray background and dark gray text, some people will have difficulty reading the text. A dark background can also make the text hard to read. If the text is difficult to read because of the colors used, a large percentage of the audience could be alienated. A color that looks good by itself might not work well with another color. Red and blue, for example, appear to vibrate when next to each other when viewed on a computer screen.

These are a few of the considerations when deciding on color for your website. In our next blog we look at how colors you use can appeal to visitors’ emotions.

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SSL means Secure Socket Layer.  The certificates are used to secure websites so that third parties cannot intercept information transferred between your computer and their website.

Here is how a SSL works: Every SSL Certificate is created for a particular server in a specific domain for a verified business entity.  An SSL Certificate is issued by the Certificate Authority (CA), a trusted authority.  When the SSL handshake occurs, the browser requires authentication from the server.  A customer sees the organization name when they click certain SSL trust marks (such as the VeriSign Secured™ Seal) or use a browser that supports Extended Validation. If the information does not match or the certificate has expired, the browser displays an error message or warning.

SSL certificates are usually used by e-commerce businesses, banks and other operations that involve credit and debit card transactions. SSL certification is a must in these cases, to keep financial details safe as it is being transmitted. Without an SSL certificate, hackers could easily access and misuse personal information.

An SSL certificate can and should actually be used by any website that uses a form or other method to transmit information. From a simple e-newsletter sign-up to an account login, any transmission should be protected by the basic security offered by an SSL cert.  If you use FTP to transfer files, use any shared work flow or project management software you should also consider getting an SSL certificate.

SSL certificates protect your control panel login, network traffic, any transfer of files, databases and much more. Basically, if your website collects or handles any information you want to protect from hackers or intruders, you should purchase
SSL Certification.

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There are many options when building web pages today. Most people focus on what they think they should be doing – and ignore everything else. Effective design and creating the best pages also includes making sure you know about things that you would be better off without.  So in order to avoid some common issues with web pages beware of the following pitfalls:

Browser Specific Versions: Make sure your site isn’t designed for only one browser. Designing a websites that doesn’t function on all browsers properly is a bad decision.  Many people still use Internet Explorer, but many more are using Firefox and Chrome.  If you limit your pages to only working on one browser you will be eliminating a large segment of visitors from viewing your site they way it was designed to be seen.

Widespread use of Flash: Flash can be a great tool, but there are many usability issues with Flash.  Flash isn’t viewable on mobile devices and many search engines don’t index Flash content well.  Customers don’t like sites where the back button doesn’t work. This frequently happens with Flash websites.

Video that starts automatically: Most people, even if they like video on websites, don’t like it to start automatically. If you do have video and/or sound on your website that starts up right away at least have a way to turn it on and off that’s easy to find (preferably easily seen at the top of the page.)

Lastly, keep your navigation simple and visible.  Hidden or disguised navigation may seem like a clever idea, but can just frustrate users.  Turning your “about us” page link into a photo of something will just be too hard for anyone to use and figure out.  Rather than intriguing them you’ll lose them.

So remember things you don’t do – can be as important as the ones you do when designing your site.  Always take time to think about what makes your site pleasing and simple to use – for everyone.

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