Cerysmatic Design | Blog

10 April 2013
Top 5 fixes for your website 
An occasional (nerdy) hobby of mine is to "inspect" websites I come across make a note of the Top 5 things I would do in order to improve them. There are of course many reasons why a website may not be quite right but the "Top" Top Five faults are (at least in April 2013) (and in no particular order):

1. No persistent navigation on every page

You have a website but the navigation is flaky, jumps around all over the place or is just plain missing once you leave the home page. There should be a logo and navigation on every page, normally at the top (if you want people to see it).

2. No metacontent (or no relevant metacontent)

Your website is about "selling widgets" but your title and other metacontent talks about "making gadgets" (or worse, there is no title and/or metadescription). A further category here, I'll call it "2a", is the "why have 10 carefully selected keywords when you can have 30 completely random ones" syndrome.

Writing metacontent is not a magic cure-all to send your website to the top of the rankings. It goes hand in hand with the content on the pages themselves.

3. Images with text used instead of text

Doing this is just plain lazy and/or stupid. Allied to not having any ALT tags on the images this is the equivalent of creating a totally secret website that you don't want anyone to discover. I'm not saying not to use images for navigations or for content, obviously they are part and parcel of good design tactics but you should never use an image to show text that's part of the site's content.

4. Inappropriate use of Flash and/or widgets/gadgets that don't work on all systems/browsers

Yes, I love your website but why did you overload it with unnecessary Flash and not give me an option to view it as html?

5. No "News" or other up to date content

This one's a bit more to do with how your site is maintained on an ongoing basis. Do you want people to keep revisiting the site? If so, a News section that you update on a regular basis is a must. Blogging tools like Blogger or Wordpress are great for this type of facility and they remove the need to have programming or coding experience in order to update the site. Content written in blogs normally gets injected straight into Google, almost in real time. It's a no-brainer.

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09 April 2013
Do I need a dynamic website? 
One of the most basic decisions when considering a new website project is what type of architecture (or, in more basic terms, engine) to use to drive the whole thing. The size of the site is important here as it is not really worth creating an elaborate dynamic engine to drive 10 pages of content. However, if the content is there or it will be there in the future, the dynamic PHP-driven sites are definitely the way to.

Cerysmatic Factory started off life as (shudder) a frames-based site way back in the mysts of time. The internet was young and, hey, I didn't know any better or how to do any better. Years passed and I was introduced to PHP by an old friend. The site was in a heavy period of expansion and frames were clearly very passé (and, let's face it, downright annoying) so it was time for a change. And so the Mark II site was born. The header and navigation were still separate from the content but everything was brought more into the modern era and people didn't send me messages saying how annoying the frames were.

Some problems still lingered, mainly that the metacontent was same regardless of which page was being selected. This meant that search engine optimisation was being compromised. A further conceptual collaboration on a metacontent-harvesting system resulted in every page being optimised to within an inch of its life.

More time passed until eventually there was so much content (1800+ pages) that I decided that what would be really great would be if every page had its own related set of highlights content. Further collaboration ensued conceptualising and delivering the new, enhanced PHP engine that you see on the site today. I still don't profess to totally understand PHP but I now know enough to manipulate it and make the occasional tweak. I can't your PHP site from scratch and make it sing and dance but I have a very good template which does very well thank you.

See also ltmrecordings.com for an example of a large dynamic site.

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03 April 2013
Welcome to Cerysmatic Design 
Gathering together all my website design work in one place, the new Cerysmatic Design site acts as both a showcase and a shop window. Feel free to look around and to contact me if you have any questions or specific site requests.

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Features

  • Dynamic or static websites to meet your needs
  • W3C-compliant HTML and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
  • Fully tailored metacontent to ensure high quality search engine optimisation (SEO)
  • Google Custom Search integrated
  • Easy to maintain, even for those with little IT experience
  • Full integration with modern social networking (Twitter, Facebook, etc)

Previous Posts

Top 5 fixes for your website
Do I need a dynamic website?
Welcome to Cerysmatic Design