Tag Archives: web developers

These Are Why Using Flash Might Not Work for Your SEO

These Are Why Using Flash Might Not Work for Your SEO

When it comes to business, people in the business world are aware that having a website is now more important than it looks. Not only will it drive more new potential customers, but also real paying customers as well. With a website, a business can be more recognised and easily found by the target market. In order to reach to the target market, many business owners are now aware of SEO’s influence in the world of business, because a business cannot be separated from SEO. Therefore, business people are inclined to use SEO services to reach to their target market and get more real paying customers. However, there are some websites that cannot work well with SEO because of its design and components. The most common one that cannot “get along well” with SEO is the use of flash in a website.

A website that uses flash might be the one that looks beautiful and once you find that kind of website, you will find yourself attached to it, because, who doesn’t love animation? After all, almost all of us prefer visuals, right? However, some of us might not know that flash doesn’t really work well with SEO. Why? Well, if you are a business owner who has a website that uses flash, this article will make you think twice. Keep reading to find out why!

Search engines don’t get along with flash

Websites that use flash are difficult to be crawled and indexed by search engines, because a website fully implemented in Flash is seen as a single file. Search engines just wouldn’t be able to direct visitors to the proper page within that file.

Flash doesn’t care about users’ needs

While the ground rules of marketing focus on users’ needs, Flash websites ignore the basic principle of that. For example, a website using automatic sound that appears without users’ consent will make them uncomfortable, especially if they are in a work environment when browsing the internet.

Flash doesn’t work on mobiles

Flash will be useless when you use a mobile phone. This would cause confusion to users, especially the important part of your website’s information requires them to work on flash in order to see that. Well, you should reconsider the fact that over 3.5 billion people use mobile phone for the internet use.

Poor usability

Even though your website’s appearance might be appealing and attractive to some people, in terms of usability, it simply won’t help users. They can’t identify links that they can click, it can’t be searched, so it’s difficult for them to hit a back button within Flash content, and it’s hard for them to bookmark anything beyond the home screen; moreover, it’s impossible to navigate on a touch screen.

That’s why Flash is not good for your website, especially for your SEO. If your website is not SEO friendly, not only is it hard for Google to read your website, it is also hard for users to stay on your website for long. This will hinder you from gaining more traffic and more real customers in the future. Do you have a website that needs to be polished beautifully without any bad impact to your website? Feel free to contact us now.

Winning the Internet: A Primer on How-to Contents

Winning the Internet A Primer on How-to Contents

27 years after the first web browser was released to the public in 1991, debates on whether the Internet does more harm than good still rages on across all corners of the internet. The Cambridge Analytica scandal that is currently engulfing Facebook, quite possibly the biggest name in the digital world that isn’t Google, and the United States administration seems to shine a spotlight to proponents of that argument. Adding fuel to the fire, the more relatable case of the recent release of the mobile version of the popular online game Fortnite taking over students’ attention has brought the argument much closer to the homefront, with schools sometime taking drastic measures to confiscate students’ mobile phones. As with every debate though, there are always two sides of the argument and Google’s year-end report on Youtube highlights on why that video platform is so much more than just Logan Paul and cat videos. Spoiler alert, YouTube is also a valuable learning tool.

The report says that “how-to videos earn the most attention of any content category on YouTube, even more than music clips or gaming”. So yeah, before you go on a tirade on how millenials are wasting their youth on watching absurd sketch comedies on YouTube instead of reading Anne Frank’s diary, keep in mind that they might be spending their time learning how to fix that classic Monaro GTS sitting in your barn. Anyway, this also tells us that if you’re looking to increase the audience for whatever it is you do, it might be prudent to engage them with how-to contents of your own.

One of the tactics SEO specialists offering SEO services would tell you to increase organic traffic, whether it’s for your website or YouTube channel, is to offer quality content. Of course, quality here is relative, as it highly depends on your intended audience and sometimes, contents that are considered good aren’t necessarily the ones your audience is looking for, but given how almost everyone have and will encounter some problems in their life, dabbing in how-to contents are as close as you can get to a surefire bet in the crowded world of digital marketing. Now, there is no definitive step process you could take in making quality how-to contents but there are definitely some general pointers to get you started, so without further ado, these are some of my how-tos in making how-to contents.

  • Know Your Subject

Pretty much a given but the sheer importance of this part means that it still bears mentioning. How-to contents establish your authority in your field so making sure that you possess the necessary knowledge and expertise and knowing how to express it to your audience is pertinent. Trust is the world’s strongest currency and this is the first step in building that.

  • Be Specific

Don’t be like IKEA. Simple, universal design like their instruction manuals might work for mass, ready-to-assemble furniture but if you’re looking to establish trust with your audience, make sure to provide detailed steps in your article and/or video.

  • Be Concise

Sounds contradictory to the point above but keep in mind the attention span of your audience. You don’t want to intimidate people by presenting them with something that makes them feel as if they’re being told to read War & Peace. It’s a balancing act and one that would surely come with repetition.

  • Be Relatable

Used as a way to build intimacy. Remember, you’re writing for people and bland robotic statements are a big no-no, even Alexa and Siri knows how to make jokes. Personal anecdotes and popular references are my go-tos when it comes to this.

  • Do a Trial Run

The litmus test for what you just wrote or shot. Either get someone else to do it or try to do it yourself if it’s the only available option. If the results aren’t as intended or the step they’re taking isn’t consistent with what you had in mind, then there are changes waiting to be made. A good how-to should work for everyone, or at the very least, the majority of your audience.

Now as I’ve said before, this wasn’t intended to be an example of a how-to article but the hope is that this could at least provide you with a solid base in making how-to contents of your own. Blatant marketing and in-your-face sales pitch aren’t always welcomed but displaying your expertise and providing your audience with the added value of an actual education, no matter how small, could go a long way in establishing a relationship with your audience, not to mention the traffic it could generate as more and more people pop how-to queries each day.

4 Brilliant Image Optimisation Tips

4 Brilliant Image Optimisation Tips

A fast loading website is what everyone is looking for; no one loves to wait even for a little more seconds to have their site loaded. Therefore, many web developers and web designers think about how to make faster loading websites. This situation can be obtained through many ways; one of them is to focus on image optimisation. With a good image optimisation, many believe that a site can load faster.

So, whether you’re building full-size e-commerce websites or simply learning a few tips about it, you have to make sure  your images load faster.

Be Selective and Preload Critical Images

First, you need to take a look at your site, then identify if there is any critical image asset.  In most cases, logo or hero images are usually the critical image assets where the preload resource hint comes in. Preload is actually a way of hinting to the client that an asset should be retrieved before the browser parser would otherwise discover it. Therefore, you can use it for almost everything, but most of all, it works amazing for preloading critical imagery. The example below will show you how to use it in the HTML <head> element on order to preload a hero banner image:

Image optimisation

Furthermore, you can also use preload in an HTTP header:

Web design tips

Below, we present two screenshot rolls of the same page loading in Chrome. You can see the different result between the two, since one scenario uses preload to load a hero banner image, while the other doesn’t.

web design tips 2

Tips for web designer

From the example above, with preload the banner image appears in the browser window half a second faster, since a quick one liner gives the browser a head start.

Tips to optimise images

Different from optimising JPEGs or PNGs, SVGs are comprised of text, specifically XML markup which means that typical optimisations you would apply to text-based assets can and should also be applied to SVGs. Beyond that, to tamp down the size of SVGs, you can use an optimiser, such as SVGO. However, if you are not only using vector artwork, but also creating it, you can automatically simplify your artwork to reduce the amount of anchor points in paths via the Simplify dialog window.

If you are using Illustrator CC, you can find this dialog’s menu by going to Object>Path>Simplify. By reducing Curve Precision, it is possible to remove extra path points in your artwork. If you want to remove extra path points in your artwork, you can reduce the Curve Precision, then optionally adjusting Angle Threshold. For example, if you reduce the Curve Precision of as little as 6%, you will remove 54 path points. Therefore, whenever you want to improve the appearance of your artwork, you can use judiciously.

image optimisation tips

Please remember that this tool will run aggressively, so at first, you might need to lower Curve Precision too much and once you are carefully crafted, artwork will devolve into a blob. You’ll read the rewards, as long as you strike the right balance.

Convert Animate GIFs to Video

Everyone loves a good animated GIF, since they can convey almost any sentiment using that. However, in terms of loading, they can really make your loading run so slow. Therefore, image optimisers such as gifsicle can help you shave off excess kilobytes by converting those GIFs into videos and embed them in the HTML5 <video> tag. The ffmpeg command line utility is well suited for this task:

brilliant tips to optimise images

The example of the commands above takes a source GIF (animated.gif) as input in the –I argument, and output videos with a variable bitrate maximum of 512 Kbps. In a test, a 989 Kb animated GIF is able to reduce to a 155Kb MP4, a 109Kb OGV, and an 85Kb WebM. This makes all video files comparable in quality to the source GIF. Therefore, since the ubiquity of <video> tag support in browsers, you can use these three video formats, as follows:

Image optimisation

If you want to try the command above, remember to order your <source> tags, so that the most optimal format is specified, and the least optimal is specified last. Therefore, you will start with WebM videos first, but check the output file size of each video and go with whatever is smallest first and end with whatever is largest. So, wait no more to install the FFmpeg if you don’t have one.

Lazy Load with Intersection Observer

Most of us may have done lazy loading images, but many lazy loading scripts use CPU-intensive scroll event handlers. Such methods can contribute to sluggish interactions on a page. In fact, older hardware with less processing power is even more prone to the ill effects of this type of code. Even though execution throttling does help, it’s still messy and rather inefficient workaround for determining when elements are in the viewport.

Fortunately, with Intersection Observer API, you can have a simpler and far more efficient way to determine when elements are in the viewport. Below is the example of some basic lazy loading image markup:

<img class=”lazy” data-src=”/images/lazy-loaded-image.jpg” src=”/images/placeholder.jpg” alt=”I’m lazy.” width=”320″ height=”240″>

Here, we would like to load a placeholder image in the src attribute, and then store the URL for the image we want to lazily load in the data-src attribute.  The <img> element a class of lazy for easy access with querySelectorAll is given to top it all off.. Then, we can simply use this code:

document.addEventListener(“DOMContentLoaded”, function(){
if(“IntersectionObserver” in window && “IntersectionObserverEntry” in window && “intersectionRatio” in window.IntersectionObserverEntry.prototype){
elements = document.querySelectorAll(“img.lazy”);

var imageObserver = new IntersectionObserver(function(entries, observer){
entries.forEach(function(entry){
if(entry.isIntersecting){
entry.target.setAttribute(“src”, entry.target.getAttribute(“data-src”));
entry.target.classList.remove(“lazy”);
imageObserver.unobserve(entry.target);
}
});
});

elements.forEach(function(image){
imageObserver.observe(image);
});
}
});

Here, we bind code to the document object’s DOMContentLoaded event in which this code will find out if Intersection Observer is supported by the current browser. We can grab all img elements with a class of lazy with querySelectorAll and then attach observers to them.

The observer contains reference to the elements we’re observing (entries) and the observer itself (observer). This code hinges on each observer entry’s is intersecting value. The observed element is intersecting returns 0, when the element is out of the viewport. It will return a value greater than 0, as the element enters the viewport. Then, we can swap the content of the image’s data-src attribute into the src attribute, and remove its lazy class. You can remove the observer with the observer’s unobserved method.

By using this method, you are choosing a much more easier method than mucking around with scroll handlers. So, hopefully, the methods above can be the best alternatives for you to optimise your images. Good Luck!