Archive for September, 2013

Making your website Retina Ready – The how to guide

Friday, 27 September, 2013

Just a few years ago, designers would not mind if a template has some rough edges like slightly pixelated fonts or images. They would simply not waste their time on getting it fixed as they knew it very well that people are not going to notice those trivialities. But things have changed. Now we have tables, iPads and other devices that people are using to browse the web. And thanks to Apple’s revolutionary retina support technology, people now can squeeze a page 50% or zoom in to 200% on a website almost instantly. Now imagine, how yours pixelated website will look when it will be stretched 150% on a table. That will be for sure a disaster. So, do not let that thing happen with you.

For a web designer, the aesthetics of a site is paramount. And it is the artists and web designers that retina-ready websites seem to appeal to. An innovative concept implemented by Apple, the retina readiness of a site is yet to be mastered by many.

Is it just a passing fad? Or, is it here to stay? Only time will tell. Whatever the verdict, it is best to have a clear idea about the fundamental questions. If you care about how your site looks, you need to find out the basics of retina-ready designs.

What is it all about?

Take a really close look at a blurry image when it’s blown up. You can see tiny dots that make up the image. Those are pixels. When too few pixels occupy a certain portion of the image, it gets blurred. This is pixelation.

When you blow up an image or an element, pixelation occurs and makes the view blurry and ugly. But on a retina-ready site, this doesn’t happen. The greater number of pixels on such sites gives you high quality, smooth visuals without a hitch.

Whether you are just an average person with no design knowhow or an expert web designer, a retina-ready website will look great, and undistorted, whatever browser type, size and scale you use to view it.
Retina Display

Image Source – Apple Website

Why is it at the centre of attention now?

The reason is simple; initially, web designs were meant for desktops or laptops. But things have changed. You can visit a website from a desktop, a tablet or a Smartphone. And the site must be suitable for them all.

The advent of responsive web design has made it important that you come up with sites that look great irrespective of the browser a user chooses. A web designer must overcome this challenge. And retina-ready sites do just this.

With the diverse range of browsers, a user can tap the screen to make a site appear bigger or smaller. When you make your site retina-ready, this won’t affect its visual quality. The greater pixels will ensure clearer, sharper images and elements.

Why should you give it a thought?

Well, just as you cannot ignore responsive web design anymore, it isn’t a good idea to ignore this concept too. The best advantage of this is that it offers quality images with bright colors and vivid details.

Moreover, on a retina-ready site and device, fonts won’t stretch out and become illegible. This happens when the screen is stretched out or scaled down. It will have a smooth, sharp look that is easily readable. Great for responsive designs!

Today’s trend in web design is all about simplicity and minimalism. But it’s possible to appreciate the subtle touches of a web designer’s creativity only when every element is perceptible. And retina readiness can ensure this.

Where do you begin?

To be retina-ready, you need a little of CSS and JavaScript. Your first step is to use Retina.js JavaScript script. This will tackle the question of where you get high-resolution pictures for your website.
retina graphics for your website

Image Source – Retinajs

The images are an important part of the change. But they aren’t all. You can use the tutorial available from PressCoders to make the next couple of changes. Using CSS and adding icons and buttons can be learned with ease from this lesson.

The Line25 tutorial can help you make retina-ready graphics with Photoshop and Illustrator. If you are running a little late, you may benefit from the MrGeek.Me tutorial on how to create the graphics in Adobe Photoshop CS6 in 4 easy steps.

And what’s more, if you aren’t retina-ready yet, your website is at the risk of looking ugly in front of people who have already bought the Apple devices. Though they represent only a tiny percentage of users now, you never know when tables will turn.

No one knows whether this trend will catch on or just pass by; but it’s a good idea to keep ahead of others. If it does catch on, you will know where to begin. Apple is at the top of this, but don’t let that deter you.

15 best cross-platform and cross-device web application development frameworks

Friday, 13 September, 2013

The process of web design has been evolving and rapidly changing with new technologies and practices are being introduced each day. The advancements in electronics in India and around the world have resulted in the introduction of various devices and gadgets that could make your life easier. Whether it’s a smart phone, tablet, laptop, music player, eBook reader, gaming devices, television or even a wrist watch, the user interface or GUI is the deciding factor of its success. Almost all these next-gen gadgets has a built-in web browser through which we can browse the internet. The screen size, resolution, operating system etc. of these devices varies based on its primary use, here arise the basic need for a framework system that can help you in making your website cross-device as well as cross-platform compatible.

Previously we only had to care about different browser types and versions, but now there are so many other things to get mad about while designing a website. It’s not an easy task to make your pages cross-browser, cross-device and cross-platform compatible all at once by hand. Fortunately now we have so many advanced web application development frameworks available for free. These frameworks include all necessary elements that do the trick for you.

Here in this post we have collected around 15 high quality mobile web application development frameworks that can make your website render perfectly across all devices and platforms.

Sencha Touch

sencha touch framework
Sencha touch is the most popular industry-leading mobile application framework which helps developers create powerful web application that works on all platforms such as IOS, android, blackberry, windows etc. Using the advanced possibilities of CSS3 & HTML5 it provides the user with an incredible user experience.

Corona

corona web app framework
Corona is the best cross-platform mobile application development framework if you are looking to develop games, ebooks or any other business applications. Using corona SDK you can very easily create top class mobile applications in quick time. The corona starter SDK starter kit is completely free to download and use.

App Framework – Intel

intel app framework
App Framework is an Intel sponsored cross-platform mobile application framework, which has all its source hosted at gitHub. Intel App Framework consists of three basic modules they are, App Framework, UI and Plugins. Where App framework is a query selector library,  Ui is a UI-UX library for webkit browsers, Plugins consists of plugins built on top of the App Framework. It has a cross-device compatible clean and responsive HTML5 – CSS3 based user interface methodology.

Dojo Mobile

dojo web app framework
Dojo Mobile is another top quality HTML5 javascript web application framework which provides a modern native application look on webkit browsers. It has good support for platforms such as iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android and RIM smartphones and tablets. The new Dojo Touch APIs deliver a common set of touch events and the bases for all gestures such as swipe, scroll, pinch, rotate and tap.

Wink

wink mobile framework
Wink is a completely free and lightweight javascript toolkit for developing cool looking mobile web apps. The framework has all the basic functionalities which a mobile developer usually look for. In addition to all these, it has a set of common UI components to make you task easier.

RareWire

rarewire app framework
RareWire is a new generation mobile application framework which provides unique features such as, Content Management, Live App Updates, Collaboration, PDF Rendering, Push Notifications, Extendable API and much more. RareWire has a very simple and user-friendly online editor to help you in the development process.

PhoneGap

phoneGap framework for mobile
PhoneGap is a completely free and open-source mobile web application development framework using which you can easily create world-class web applications for the platforms you care about. It supports all common mobile features such as Accelerometer, Camera, Compass, Geolocation, Media, Storage etc…

Moobile

moobile app framework
Moobile is a mobile app development framework which is built on Mootools. This is a javascript based framewhich which uses HTML5 & CSS3 to enhance the user experience both on android as well as IOS devices. The framework is completely free to download and use.

Fries

fries mobile framework
Using Fries, you could easily create super stunning android like interfaces simply through HTML, CSS and Javascript. There are enough development toolkits for IOS, but this one is exclusively for Android. It is completely free to download and use.

Jo

jo web app framework
Jo is another open-source and free web application framework which lets you create simple but elegant native app look like web applications for IOS, Android, webOS, BlackBerry, Chrome OS & anything else using HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript goodness.

KendoUI

kendoUI html5 javascript framework
Kendo UI is comprehensive HTML5 – Javascript app framework for modern application development. It has rich jQuery-based widgets, a simple and consistent programming interface, a rock-solid DataSource, validation, internationalization, a MVVM framework, themes, templates and the list goes on. With Kendo UI you can easily create modern looking lightning-fast websites in a jiffy.

Marmalade

marmalade mobile app
Marmalade is an award-winning, cross-platform, cross-device framework enables developers to reach more platforms and more devices with a single code base very quickly and effectively. The Marmalade SDK ensures greatest performance with minimum development effort. Loads of chart-smashing games rely on Marmalade, from casuals such as ‘Cut the Rope’, ‘Plants vs Zombies’ and ‘Draw Something’ to high-performance titles like ‘Call of Duty’, ‘Need for Speed’, ‘Pro Evolution Soccer’ and many, many more.

ViziApps

viziapps framework
ViziApps lets you create cross-platform compatible high quality web applications with very limited programming knowledge. Using ViziApps, You can create, design, test, and demo any number of your own mobile apps.

Junior

junior app framework
Junior is a front-end web application framework for building HTML5 mobile apps with a native look and feel. It has basic support for features such as CSS3 Transitions, Swipable carousels, backbone.js, Ratchet CSS UI components and much more…

Enyo

enyo web app development
Enyo claims to be one of the best light-weight and fast mobile app development framework. It is completely free to download and use Enyo. You can easily create apps for all major platforms such as IOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry etc.

11 Ravishing and bold wordpress themes for you

Sunday, 8 September, 2013

Looking for a dynamic and winsome WordPress theme? Bored of all the trash that they put in the name of interesting and compelling templates for your WordPress sites or blog? You may have stumbled at the right place as below we are going to discuss about some of the actually most brilliantly designed and functionally bulletproof WordPress themes. If you are freelancer, an active blogger, a design professional, or a corporate business owner or agency, you should definitely follow the post. Who knows, you might actually be looking at a brand new theme for your blog or website.

Here we have collected more than 10 Exceedingly Bold and Ravishing WordPress Themes for you to download. All these themes are linked to its original source. All these themes have its own copyright terms of usage, please read this terms and conditions before you download these themes for personal and professional use.

1. Jade by Restored 316


Jade carries a perfect mix of simplicity and style and allows the users to own an intriguing website or blog seamlessly. The theme is completely responsive and works perfectly well with a number of mobile and handheld devices and conventional desktops and laptops. It contains 6 different options for layout and 7 different color scheme options, and provides a lot of options for the users to experiment and customize the same.
Preview & Download

2. DW Argo


DW Argo by Design Wall is a bewitching and fully responsive theme available for design professionals and owners of online magazines. It is a compelling WordPress theme which allows the online magazines to shine out in terms of content display and aesthetics. The theme has a herd of interesting features like off canvas navigation, sticky header, easy digital downloads and a lot more.
Preview & Download

3. Ajeeban


Ajeeban boasts of a par excellent responsive excellence and is the best fit for your blog or website. The theme in itself is mesmerizing of the sorts and breath taking, besides there are various options available for the users to fully customize the aesthetics. Its responsiveness allows it cast a beautiful visual spell on various handheld devices, and it comes in three different color schemes, to allows the users to play with the aesthetics. Lastly, it contains all the powerful features prerequisite for the modern day theme, such as masonry and jQuery powered grid systems, custom menus and sliders, message boxes and a lot more.
Preview & Download

4. Frame


A photographer’s delight, Frame is a photography WP theme and encompasses amazing features for image galleries, efficient and self guided administration, color management and extended documentation etc. The theme is powered by HTML 5 and CSS 3, and comes with complete platform responsiveness and retina ready display. It includes various other features like Ajax contact forms, masonry style galleries or portfolio pages and advanced grid systems etc.
Preview & Download

5. Craft WP Theme


One of the preferred choice for design and creative agencies, Craft is fully responsive and retina ready WordPress theme ideal for graphic designers, freelancers, various design professionals amongst others. The theme is built by the combined power of CSS 3 and HTML 5 and entails all the modern day features like graphics with high resolution, advanced option panel, masonry style of blogging, Ajax pagination and portfolio pages and a lot more.
Preview & Download

6. Big Gallery Photograph – Portfolio WP Theme


As already being indicated in the name, this is a brilliant choice of WordPress theme to highlight and showcase the images and pictures on a grand scale, which has been made possible with the creative and well though after use of JavaScript and CSS3. The theme is cut out for photographers and those who wish to highlight their work via images and pictures, as the theme takes care of the same and allows different sliders for the website owners to choose from, and ensure that the theme isn’t cut short or stretched etc. Users can also auto adjust the images, if they so shall desire. And since we are talking about your desires here, you have complete liberty to play the slideshow, play music or switch it off, as per your likings.
Preview & Download

7. Nocturnal


Nocturnal is one of the renowned names in the audio or music category of WordPress themes, and is a much preferred choice of various music bands, Disc Jockeys and nightclubs etc. The theme renders full support to custom font library of Google, offers a unique slide out widget panel and comes with up – Down – Right – Left arrow key support. Besides, we have the sturdy Ajax functionality to take care of the pagination and full screen image in the background.
Preview & Download

8. Origin


Origin is a fun to visit and engaging theme for our WordPress users. It is able to engage the users and inspire them to unravel the depths of the website, based on its grid based imagery system. Also, the theme is entirely responsive and functions smoothly on various smart phones and handheld devices. The best feature of the theme is that the multiple images which it displays can be used actually tell a story and increase the engagement and excitement levels of the users in the myriad endeavors of the business. The theme is best suited to meet the requirements of artists and photographers who needs to showcase their work, or for the bloggers and those involved in communication etc, in order to improve the engagement levels of the users.
Preview & Download

9. Agency Pro


A stunningly beautiful theme for WordPress websites, Agency Pro allows the users to amply showcase their multifaceted attributes and skills, team and other hobbies. The minimal and focused design is the best strength of this website, and it gives a professionally cut out and focused appeal to the business. Besides, the theme is laced with various other significant features like a slick and feature rich full width slider, a 100% percent responsive outlook giving it maximum exposure on smart phones, tablets, desktops and other handhelds, and a lot more.
Preview & Download

10. Jarvis


Jarvis is a brilliant responsive and one page parallax theme which is an ideal match for building a strong and bold cooperate identity and brand image. Interestingly, it is quite a favorite of corporate agencies, self assured freelancers and nonprofit organization. Besides, this astonishing theme is also jam packed with various essential features such as – 12 different homepage styles, six different styles of navigation, total background support for videos and a subscription support for Mail Chimp.
And lastly, the BONUS that you have been waiting for:
Preview & Download

11. Mila


And well, who does not like a bit of a bonus, a supplementary addition to the list? And actually, although our list was previously complete, the moment we laid our eyes on this petite little beautiful WordPress theme, we just could not stop ourselves from including the same. Mila is a well optimized masonry based WordPress theme, which has gained a lot of acclaim for providing excellent user experience. This fully responsive theme allows the website owners to fully broadcast several pages, and also give them enough liberty to deactivate the same at any point. The theme options allow the website owners to opt for a different page layout each time they desire.
Preview & Download

And End Note
So now we have done our bit and the ball is in your court. Do let us know your thoughts and perceptions about these themes that we share, and perhaps share with us your experience in using the same, in the comments section below. We shall wait for your comments.

This guest article was written by Mike Swan, who is a specialist Web Designer at Markupcloud Ltd. a PSD to HTML Conversion Company. He possess a huge experience in technology domain and loves all things comes under web Design niche. He is trying to spread his intangible knowledge to maximum people he can, in order to make a parallel platform.

4 Astounding ways to boost the performance of Joomla website

Friday, 6 September, 2013

It is almost enthralling, owning a powerful and feature rich Joomla website and playing around with its multi faceted attributes and features to leverage from the online world. However, if you have witnessed a bump on the road, and you find your website not performing as nice as it is supposed to, you may want to check its performance.

Below we have discussed 4 amazing tips for you to enhance and keep a tab on the performance of your Joomla website. Please read ahead to discover the same: 

  
 

Tip 1 – About time you bid adieus to unused extensions and plugins

To begin with, let us just take a moment and refine and remove the clutter which has made its way in our simple, beautiful and enchanting Joomla sites over the year. No matter how many other features we may suggest, until and unless you get this step right, the website will always fail on the performance front.

The reason why we are concentrating so much on this step is because first of all, you owe this to your website – to keep it clean and away from anything redundant, obsolete or irrelevant and useless in any one way or the other. And secondly, for the simple reason that a well-organized website performs wonderfully well on all of the web browsers.

And now, if you are concerned of removing the applications and extensions etc which you don’t think you would use anytime soon anyway, you can simply create a backup of the existing system and then remove all that you don’t require. And how much difficult is it to take the plunge anyway, once you know the way back home?

While the first time or light weight users should concentrate on removing third-party extensions, the seasoned developers should concentrate on un-publishing core plugins of Joomla.

Tip 2 – Bring home an Uptime monitor

One of the basic requirements of a good performance enhancement campaign is a robust response time baseline, and the best man for the job is an uptime monitor. An uptime monitor provides an enriched wealth of information regarding the performance of the website, it notifies you when the website is down and depending upon which monitor you have, you get various other privileged information about the performance of your website as well.

The prime attribute of an uptime monitor is to bridge the gap between analytics of the website and its performance. A good uptime monitor to use would Pndom; now it may cost you a bit, but various features such as sign up options, free management of a single website, real-time notifications, graphs and a lot more.

Tip 3 – Explore the benefits of a CDN Connection

A host of performance related issues can be solved with the right CDN connection in place. A CDN connection fundamentally provides a different source for the web browsers to download the files on the website. You may contact your website hosting services provider to activate the CDN. For a website which receives a lot of views on a daily basis and is only poised to grow in the future, a CDN connection makes the most sense.

Tip 4 – Ensure you have switched to Caching

Not all of us understand Caching exactly, and often develop a lot of notions around it. Caching is simply storing the last displayed web page. Each time a user clicks on the website, the site is then expected to retrieve the entire information regarding database and PHP, and subsequently showcase the same in HTML. The process is repeated each time a new user clicks on the website. But with caching in place, Joomla does create the page for the first viewer, but subsequently saves it and hence readily makes it available for the visitors who follow. You may simply switch on the Caching option from the backend of your Joomla website, or download extensions for the same. Although caching improves the performance of the website, it may get a bit tenacious if you have various interactive features on the website, and you may want to hire the services of professional Joomla Development Company to supervise and enhance the performance of the site, or perhaps develop the same from the scratch.

An End Note

Before you go ahead with the optimization task, ask yourself whether you are comfortable with doing all the technical stuff yourself or not; because if you are not comfortable, then contacting an expert Joomla Programmer would not be that bad an idea. A lot of enterprises and self-employed people hire Joomla Programmers to take care of any development or enhancement work that may arise with this particular system.

And now, please let us know whether you tried these steps and if you found these tips & tricks useful, in the comments section below.

This guest article was written by John Pitt, who is a veteran developer for a leading outsource Joomla Development company & provides concrete information about all advanced development services. Hire Joomla Programmer from Xicom for advanced W0rdPress development services.

5 Startling facts making Drupal an SEO friendly platform

Tuesday, 3 September, 2013

Our perceptions have an interesting way of often tricking us into turning a blind eye towards something which is substantial, omnipresent and quite resourceful. We all know that Drupal is a CMS of abundant, and it is difficult to find another open source platform which is potent enough to match the capabilities of this platform. However, we let opinions of a few convince us into believing that there must be something wrong or amiss with this otherwise spectacular and superlatively power packed system.

One of these opinions (or misconceptions rather) goes to saying that Drupal is not really a SEO friendly solution. Well people stemming such mal conceptions either are not completely aware about Drupal or perhaps they are talking about some other system that we know nothing about. Because in our opinion Drupal fares convincingly well on the search engine front, so much so that it gives the rest of the system a tenacious run for their money. While amongst the three popular CMSs, the name of which we have grown so much accustomed to hearing – Joomla, Drupal and WordPress, WP takes away the prize for being the most SEO friendly system, Drupal happens to be a close second; and well, never mind Joomla, as soon as we discover something worth sharing about the its SEO features, we’ll update you (pun intended!).

5 Facts That Makes Drupal an SEO-Friendly Solution:

Here in this post, we are going to analyze the 5 different factors intrinsic to Drupal development environment, which makes it a hotshot SEO friendly solution. Chances are, these factors may have skipped your notice, and so you should make sure that all of these points are employed and optimized to provide your website with maximum search engine exposure. You may also think of hiring a Drupal Development Company for doing the same.

1. Complete liberty to create SEO Friendly URLs

Quite unlike WordPress, Drupal gives complete freedom and explicit control to create customized and SEO friendly URL structures. Every node (content element) created in Drupal can a receive a URL alias (customized URL) and while the WordPress supporters are going to site “Permalinks” in the defense, let us just burst their bubble by stating a mere fact that WP-Permalinks are not as specific and flexible as URL aliases provided by Drupal.

Besides, with Path Module, one of the many Drupal modules in place, you can come up with rather clean and Keyword optimized URLs, should you ever require doing that. The module is available on official sites for download.

2. Thorough Optimization of Page Titles

drupal pathologic modulePage title is merely a line in the HTML that defines the page. And perhaps it is the most important line that you are ever going to write about the page, as it plays the key role in letting visitors know what the page is all about, summarizing the page for the online users and for the search engines and with the proper use of keywords in it, the page title and significantly improve the search engine rankings of the website.

After carefully accessing the name of the website and its slogan, Drupal provides automatic page title generation and also offers individual node title for each of nodes. And if the content is rather complex, it lets you customize the automatically arranged titles. The Page Title module of this platform allows you to enjoy total control over the titles, write your own titles wherever a piece of content exists, predefine a pattern which should be employed for creating SEO friendly titles in future.

Any SEO expert would tell you that Page Title is really important for the fate of the website, and it is sort of awesome that Drupal gives you enough scope and flexibility to control the same.

3. Inexplicable ease of content creation

Content is the backbone of any SEO campaign and without having to use even an iota of coding, you can easily turn up with multi faceted content types and develop customized views. This is made possible with the CCK (Content Creation Kit) and Views modules, and it supports a myriad of content types such as podcasts, tutorials, articles, regular blog posts, new stories, sales forms and a lot more.

4. Easier improvement of the aesthetics with PHP Templates

An efficient theme is required not only to improve the aesthetics of the website, but also to organize the entire data for the search engines to read it thoroughly, and most importantly to retain the visitors flocking down to the website. Drupal makes use of PHP templates, which makes it very easy for the site owners to customize and enhance the aesthetics of the same. Besides, theming in Drupal is much simpler and easier than theming in WordPress.

5. References and Resources: Drupal is only flourishing

Lastly, we would like to bid adieus at a warm and positive note. With so many sites migrating to Drupal CMS ever so often, we can be rest assured that the CMS isn’t going anywhere. Also, the makers are hell bent on lowering the learning curve, as they have provided so many free resources and references for a Drupal Developer to learn and grow his potential through the same.

At anytime, if you ever feel stuck with your Drupal site, you can be rest assured that there will be either an online resource of a Drupal developer from its flourishing online community, to help you out with the same. Thus, opt for professional Drupal Development and enjoy all the benefits that this system has to offer.

This guest article was written by Jason Roiz, who is an enthusiastic creative writer and a web developer working with a leading OSSMedia Ltd. company. You may hire Drupal developer to expedite your web development projects.