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SEO Snapshot

November 7th, 2011 22 comments

Most people have a general idea of what SEO is, but most people don’t really understand everything that goes into it. SEO, short for Search Engine Optimization, is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the “natural” or “un-paid” (organic) search results. On the surface this sounds fairly straightforward, so what is really involved here. The people at response mine interactive have put together one of the best snapshots of SEO I’ve seen in a long time. Take a look and it will give you a much better appreciation on what’s involved.

SEO Snapshot Image

Favorite Firefox Extensions for Web Designers

August 13th, 2009 3 comments

I am a huge fan of the Firefox browser, not just for its stability, but also for its numerous add-ons that make for a truly customizable experience. For web-developers or anyone who works with websites there is a myriad of add-on choices at your fingertips. While there are many more options than what I have listed here, these are some of my favorites that I use on a daily basis.

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1. Web Developer Extension

The Web Developer extension has a number of essential tools that allow for easy troubleshooting and code checking within the Firefox browser. After installation a toolbar and menu will be added to your browser with multiple web developer tools such as: clear session cookies, element information, image file sizes, & ruler. One of its best features is the CSS editor. Want to try a different font, color, background, margin, etc., just open the CSS editor to edit CSS on the fly and see changes instantly.

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2. Colorzilla

Colorzilla is an advanced Eyedropper tool that takes all the guesswork out of identifying a particular color on a web page. This extension allows users to obtain color readings from anywhere within a browser window for use in other programs. It also has a built-in palette browser allowing for the creation of custom palettes based on other web pages. Color readings are shown in both RGB and Hex formats.

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3. MeasureIt

MeasureIt is a Firefox add-on that allows users to draw out a box measuring the height and width of any element, or anything for that matter, on a webpage.

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4. FireShot

FireShot allows for the creation of screenshots of visible or entire web pages. After a screenshot has been copied to the clipboard the image can be copied to another program or its built in editor has options for copying, editing, annotating, and saving.

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5. Personas for Firefox
For those looking for more than the usual drab gray browser window check out Personas for Firefox. Personas allows you to customize the look of your browser with hundreds of artist created skins or for those looking for the truly personal touch you can create your own.

Firefox is an award winning browser that has tons of add-ons that allow users to customize their browser to their own unique browsing needs.

Favorite Web-Based Design Tools

July 5th, 2009 2 comments

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I’ve been talking a lot about Gaming and Search Engines in my previous posts so I thought I would change directions this time and do a post on design. For the first entry on this topic I thought I would share some of my favorite web-based design tools. If you are ever in the mood to do some designing on the computer and are away from your pc (and assuming there is a computer with an Internet connection around) you can turn to these web-based options. While these tools wont replace your Adobe products they are quite powerful and can get you by in a pinch. And best of all they are free! Here are some of my favorites.

design-pixlr

Pixlr is an advanced online image a photo editor. Supported image formats include .jpg, .jpeg, .gif, .png, .psd, and .pxd (pixlr’s native format). Upon opening the program those familiar with with Photoshop will be greeted with a familiar layout and tools such as the lasso, wand, clone stamp, and smug tools to name a few as well as many advanced filters. And most importantly it supports layers. While no sign-in is necessary files can only be output as .jpeg, .png, .bmp. and .pxd layered formats. No PSD yet. A new feature to the program even allows users to use pixlr to edit photos in facebook directly.

design-sumopaint

Sumo Paint is a powerful vector web-based painting application. Like pixrl you are greeted with a familiar layout and tools, and layers are also supported. If you don’t want to create an account .jpg, .jpeg, .gif, and .png formats can be uploaded and files can be saved as .png and .jpg. However, you will need to create an account if you want to save layered files which are saved in Sumo Paints native file format.

design-colorlovers

COLOURlovers is best described as a color and design community that monitors color trends. One of the best tools on the site called COPASO. COPASO is a color palette tool that helps users develop color themes. Options include a color picker, photo tool, and a color theory wheel. If you create an account you can even save your palettes to your computer for use in other programs.

design-aviary

If your looking for all your tools in one location, Aviary is the site for you. Web based options include:

* Phoenix (Image Editor)
* Toucan (Color Palettes)
* Peacock (Effects Editor)
* Raven (Vector Editor)
* Falcon (Image Markup)

While these web-based options will not replace programs like Illustrator and Photoshop they can be quite helpful and even get the job done when these programs are not available. And for those just starting out they can let you explore your creativity without the hefty price tag.

Some additional screenshots.

pixlr

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sumo paint

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colourlovers

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aviary

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