Archive for category Web Design
Another low budget brochure website done under a week. A database driven site, so the client can change all the texts and photos of the site as they wish using the custom designed back-end, content management system.
I had second thoughts on posting this site on my blog, but whats done is done, so be it. So don’t comment on the design aspects of the site! It’s done as the client wanted and it perfectly serves their purpose. “To communicate to our clients, our products and services.”
I wish businesses would dedicate a good budget for their online presence, but I guess its not in most peoples priority list. Anyways, enjoy www.colorbank.com.mv!
P.S. Thanks to Azu (http://finifenmaa.wordpress.com/) for helping me out on tidying the back end, I simply lost interest.
The coding and designing work of http://www.sandymaldives.com or http://www.sandyislandmaldives.com is complete! This is another low budget website with a host of back-end features. The site is designed and hosted used LAMP, like all other sites. Design and content are separated using CSS, HTML and MySQL. Among the features of the site includes ability to browse resorts by price range, lodging type and location. Additionally alphabetical listing and a complete list of the resort is also available. As for the safaris, it is the complete list of safaris along with alphabetical listing.
As the site is designed in a way that the client can change and manipulate each and every aspect of the site. Hence, most of the data entry is left for the client and the preparations are underway. Expect to see more complete information and new images in the coming days.
As for the administration panel, is divided into updating the resorts, safaris, about us and Maldives data. In addition the client can create their own categories, price range and others. Resorts and safari information can be added and edited with upload of unlimited photos in any given category. All of these done without leaving the site or without the use any external upload program! All images will be automatically resized and thumbnail.
If you are a designer you already know that right fonts can make a big difference to your design! The default fonts are used by all, a unique touch can always be shown by a unique font! So when ever I need a font I head myself to http://www.dafont.com/! Da font has more than 7400 fonts that you can use either for personal or business use! So to interest you, here I am showing some of my personal favorite fonts!
After installing Vista Ultimate, for some odd reason I was unable to install Adobe Photoshop CS 2. Tried in vain to reinstall, only led to frustration. While looking for a solution on March 27 Adobe have unleashed the creative suite 3 product Line. What a coincidence? And it specifically says that it supports Vista, hmm… Can’t wait to try this.
Starting way back in 1997 when messing with friends faces was a miracle, I have been using Photoshop, lets say I am an addict. I have worked on all versions. I will humbly agree that there is nothing like Photoshop, as far as image editing is concerned. Its final product quality and creative possibilities are limitless. It is as smart and creative product as the user…
The newer Photoshop CS3 comes in two flavors, the standard CS3 and the CS3 Extended. The only difference is the extended version have additional tools for 3D editing and motion-based contents and performing image analysis… It is rather a mixture of Photoshop, Premier and a bit of web, scientific and architect needs, added from here and there.
For right now, I will be concentrating on Photoshop CS3. Similar to early versions Photoshop do not introduce any mind boggling differences between versions. Again, there is only a handful of new features. Including smart filters, quick selection, refine edge tools, improved vanishing point and black and white conversion. For details of these new features visit the adobe website.
I am already doped for the mere thought of it. Only very few enjoyments are comparable to few hours of digital image manipulations with Photoshop.
It took a while to get version 1.1 of vista website up and running. Mostly was stuck with ActionScript and PHP integration. It was a real pain in the ass when it comes to actionscripts. So I decided to invest some time in learning it, got a Total Training for advance flash 8 CD and spend nearly 5 hours learning it. It ain’t that hard but its more object oriented programming. I have rewritten the feedback and booking engine to accommodate new changes.
Version 1.1 have incorporated some of the planned additions including the following
– A new homepage, a lot of design tweaks to other pages, a flash animation in the homepage with the latest offer and a more corporate feel. A lot of small graphics like icons and colors has been changed, including logos of resorts.
– A database driven drop down menu, this menu’s color and style can be changed any time using CSS.
– Customer review system for the resorts. Now our customers can send in their reviews and experiences of the resorts and share it to other customers.
– Translation of the website using Astalavista
– A special offer page.
– A photogallery, currently only safari photos are loaded, all the resort photos will take some time to be updated.
And to list few of the future planned activities
– Resort Photogallery
– Revisit the map and redo it
– Revisit the customer comment system, if required develop a moderation system and other cool features.
The recently launched vista website (vistamaldives.com) was not properly indexed in most of the search engines for days. Hence, upon a search it was showing up the old pages, this means a lot of our customers will be directed to a page not found error, oops! We thought this will scare them and we don’t want that, as we are a good company. So I ran a test by visiting “www.microsoft.com/cool“, “www.cnn.com/cool” “www.bbc.co.uk/cool” to see what they are doing. Guess what, they have custom designed page not found (or error 404) page. Aha, this is exactly what I wanted. But how to do that? It came out to be fairly simple, 4 step process. Here is what I did (note: I have no idea if this works on IIS, but it works on apache).
Step 1. You will need a file called .htaccess in the root folder of your web server. So first create the file .htaccess. (Note: Windows Explorer will not allow to start a filename with a dot. Your options are to use command prompt to rename/create the file or upload the file in whatever name you want and rename at the server side).Step 2. Enter the following line in the .htaccess file using your text editor
ErrorDocument 404 /errors/404.html
Where 404 is the error code and /errors/404.html is the name of the directory/folder and file you want to be directed when a 404 error occur (note: I have a directory/folder called errors there).
3. Upload the .htaccess file to the web server root (top) directory/folder. (If you already have this file, than it is probably needed so try editing it, don’t replace it as some CMS uses this file. This means download the file in the server to your computer, edit it and upload. I am assuming you know what your are doing here).
Step 4. Design your error page relative to the file name used in step 2 and upload it to the proper folder.
This works like a charm, try this “www.vistamaldives.com/cool”
Now some tips on designing the error catching page. Just be creative but useful to the customer.
1. Don’t just redirect the customer to another page, like homepage, this is like devils work.
2. Explain what happened and give the customer options (but don’t be too tech).
3. Most well known websites give a search option, so if you have one, this is a good place to have it.
Some useful links
- Error 404 wiki Definition
- A site devoted to error 404 with some samples
- List of all error codes in the web world
- How to design a perfect 404 (advance stuff)
- Creating an error 404 page
- More advice on error 404
- A collection of creative error 404 pages
Good Luck with error 404
It was frustrating to find out that the newly uploaded Engsol website doesn’t display as expected in IE6. Screw Microsoft, all this work for hours and back to drawing board because of IE6 rendering dilemma. Lets cool it and tackle this. As I have recently upgraded to IE7 (which apparently shows the page as desinged) on my computer. So I have been Googling for hours to find a way to run both IE6 and IE7 on my PC simultaneously for testing purposes. Guess what, I stumbled upon the multiple standalone installer by Yousif Al Saif of tredosoft.com with IE3 thru IE6. This is by far the easiest and fasted way to setup multiple IEs out of more than 50 odd websites on this subject. This comes with all the needed title markers and registry fixes, in a single easy installer package. It even comes with special files to keep PNG scripts working in IE6 for proper testing. Wow. So if you are in the same boat as me then install IE7 from MS first, then go here for more instructions. All thanks goes to Yousif, a time saver!