News

Propel Bikes

Getting up to speed

Nothing to do with web design but wanted to say how pleased we are with our new carbon road bike from our client and great bike shop, Propel bikes. They supplied us with the lovely Merida Ride CF94 which can literally be picked up with one finger. I’ve ridden bikes all my life, but I would never have believed the difference a really lightweight bike makes to enjoyment. Thanks guys!

 

 

Guests go mobile at The Newhaven Enterprise Centre’s Networking Hub

The Newhaven Enterprise Centre welcomed Ian Cairns, Director of mobile website specialists, Incaweb, to its Networking Hub on Thursday 16th October. The event was a success, with 30 local businesses in attendance.

Ian demonstrated good examples of mobile-friendly websites and presented various ways of responding to the mobile revolution by pointing out pros and cons, as well as explaining the difference between responsive design, dedicated mobile websites and apps. Ian presented research that shows around 25% of companies with a website are currently using a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, and that the figure is thought to rise nearer 50% this year. Guests were surprised to learn almost 57% of people will leave a website if it takes more than three seconds to load.presentation

In addition, Ian also spoke about the importance for businesses to ensure that they have a responsive website and guests were given the opportunity to view their own company websites by using Incaweb’s mobile emulator. The emulator demonstrates how a website looks on various mobile devices, including iPhones, iPads, Android phones and tablets.

Roxanne Haid, Centre Manager at the Basepoint operated business centre, comments: “We were delighted to welcome Ian to our Networking Hub. It was a very useful session for SMEs who wanted to improve their websites, and ensure that it is working effectively for their business.”

Website security and passwords

What is a secure password and why do I need one?

Having your email or web account hacked is not a lot of fun and can result in considerable inconvenience, damage to your company’s reputation and possible loss of sensitive customer information. That’s why we always recommend that clients use a secure password to protect their website and email accounts. WordPress in particular, as one of the most popular web publishing platforms, can be a target for hackers looking to exploit weak passwords.

A secure password is often defined as more than 15 characters, preferably with added complexity i.e. a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and punctuation e.g. C-6</0];[$x/t{W.

Why can’t I use one password for everything?

If a thief gets hold of that one password, perhaps from an insignificant not very secure site that you’ve even forgotten you signed up to, then they have the keys to all your doors – your EBay, Facebook etc. That could cause some serious damage and financial loss.

How am I supposed to remember complex passwords?

One option is to get your browser to remember the password and log you in automatically every time. Here’s how you turn on password logging for Chrome, Internet Explorer and Firefox. However, using browsers to memorise your passwords can be a security risk in itself – if a thief gets access to your computer by hacking or if it is stolen then the browser passwords are easy to get at.

Another solution is to use a password ‘safe’ which protects all your passwords, logs you in automatically and often syncs to other devices such as phones and tablets. There are many commercial password safes such as 1Password and LastPass and the free open source PasswordSafe.

How do I make up secure passwords?

Sites like Strong Password Generator can help you make a strong password quickly.

Of course a password like C-6</0];[$x/t{W isn’t very memorable and even if you are using a password safe you still have to be able to type in the master password! In fact, length is a more important factor than complexity when it comes to making secure passwords and this article describes a method of creating secure passwords which are easily memorised.

Finally once you’ve made up your password you can check how secure it is.

Sussex Business Times features Incaweb

Sussex Business Times features Incaweb in “The Web design Business – Building Future-Proofed Sites”

The July issue of the Sussex Business Times features Incaweb in an article entitled “The Web design Business – Building Future-Proofed Sites”. We cover the importance for companies in developing an effective web presence and why responsive design should be on everyone business-person’s radar.

Read the full article on Page 17 here

Does your website work with Smartphones and Tablets? Free instant mobile health check for your website!

30% of visitors to your website will be using a mobile device like a Smartphone or Tablet. So what do they see when they visit your site?

Try our new free instant mobile health check for your website to view your website on iPhones, iPads and Android devices.

If your site doesn’t display properly then chances are it is not responsive – see Responsive Web Design for more information.

All Incaweb sites are responsive.

Tablet Take-over

It’s more important than ever to make sure your website displays properly on tablets and smartphones.

According to UKOM/comScore, more than a third (36 per cent) of people accessing the Internet now do so via tablets, as tablet ownership grew 63 per cent year-on-year from 11 million to 17.9 million Britons in February 2014.

Due to the proliferation of new devices, two-thirds of people online now access the Internet using a PC/laptop and one other device – such as a smartphone or tablet – with more than half (57 per cent) saying their tablet is their ‘go-to’ device to access the Web at home.

Flat Website Design

Flat design is one of the main trends in the web design industry currently. This site is a based on a flat design.

Basically, flat design means doing away with all the drop shadow, embossing, gradients and textures that have been part of the web design canon for so long. Instead, flat design uses block colour and inventive typography to highlight information and functionality. Minimalism and simplicity are the key words here and the absence of distracting artifacts allows designers to focus the user on the content itself, rather than the page infrastructure.

In fact, flat design as a trend has been around for a while but several things have accelerated its use. Firstly the increasing use of high-resolution tablet displays which favour clean boundaries and graphics and can make some of the traditional design tropes, such as drop shadow, look a bit old school. The use of flat design by Microsoft for its app-based Windows 8 Metro UI has also given a big boost to its acceptance. And the widespread adoption of flat layouts in responsive web design has further blurred the distinction between desktop and mobile user interfaces.

win8flatmetro

Windows 8 Metro UI

Flat design has perhaps developed as a response to over-reliance on skeuomorphism, the use in interface design of features from real-life objects (shutter noises on smartphone cameras, calendar apps that look like desk diaries etc.) Of course, flat design doesn’t work for every application or website and it doesn’t have to be a purist thing – semi-flat or flexible flat design allows for some drop shadow or texture to be used to create a bit of distinction or help the user navigate the page.

Responsive vs Mobile Websites vs Apps

One question we are often asked by clients is ‘do I need a mobile site, an app or a responsive site?’ Each has a different role to play in making sure that you communicate with clients in an accessible and functional way. This article looks at the differences and benefits of responsive vs mobile websites vs apps. Let’s start with responsive design..

Responsive Design

Responsive DesignResponsive design is the most practical solution for websites with medium complexity.

Your website adjusts automatically to the browser size. So, for instance, your site might display as 3-columns on a desktop, 2-columns on a tablet and 1 column on a smartphone.

All the layout will change automatically, including menus, headers, footers etc. If you are looking at this site on a desktop computer, try pulling the browser window in from the right and watch how the layout changes.

Apart from the fact that your clients will have a good experience regardless of what device they use to visit your site, another big advantage is that you have only one website to build and manage and everyone can access the same content, whatever device they are using.

Google also likes responsive design and recommends it as ‘best practice’ as there is only one URL and one set of content to index so it’s good for your SEO strategy.

Mobile Apps

By Wrike Inc. (http://pinterest.com/wriketeam/screenshots/) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsApps are useful when you have well-defined and limited application to deliver e.g. a game, searching a train timetable, booking a theatre ticket, tracking a cycle or running trip etc. They can dispense with unnecessary information clutter and allow the user to focus on the specific transaction in hand.

Buttons and menus are optimised for small screen sizes and as apps are written specifically for particular platforms e.g. Android phone, iPhone etc., they can be fully device compatible.

However, creating apps can often require a serious commitment in time and money. You have to consider not only the initial design exercise, coding and testing, but also the cost of developing for multiple platforms simultaneously.

Apps also have to be updated regularly to match changes in your requirements and to keep up with new hardware and operating system releases.

So if you have a great application idea which really benefits from being accessed on the go, an App may be just the thing.

It need not be expensive or complicated to create a simple app. But, good design and usability are important. Whether you dive in and teach yourself, hire a development team or go to a developer agency, don’t underestimate the task.

Mobile Websites

BBC mobile siteA mobile site is a site designed specifically for a smaller screen.

When the user goes to a particular URL, the web server can usually detect the device being used and can serve a special mobile site optimised that particular screen size.

Where an organisation has a very large website with a lot of information to present, a mobile site can be a practical way of reducing complexity and making it more accessible from a small-screen device.

Often the mobile site will be a cut-down version of the desktop site that doesn’t offer all of the menu options of the full site. For that reason they usually provide a link to the full desktop site.

Another disadvantage is that the mobile site will have a different URL and content to the desktop site and this can cause difficulties and confusion when search engines index content.

The mobile site is developed in parallel with a desktop site, so it is a considerable additional overhead to design and maintain.

Nowadays, the majority of mobile sites are developed by organisations with very large desktop websites, where the amount of content makes it worthwhile to offer a more manageable, optimised, alternative. For smaller organisations, mobile sites have been largely superceded by a single website with responsive design.