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Articles in Category: Website Design

Website Content Management Systems

Posted in Website Design

Website Content Management Systems
A website content management system (CMS) is software used to manage the creation of structured web pages for a website.

Content Management System software keeps track of all of the content on your website and utilises a database, for example Mysql. The content in these websites can include text, photos, music, video, and documents. The greatest advantage of using a CMS website is that it requires less skill or knowledge to add content to your website once the web design and functionalities have all been set up.

What does this mean for "flat/static" HTML websites?


The old static HTML style sites work for small 'brochure' style websites and websites that plan to stay unchanged for long periods of time. The major downside of this is that "google"
is NOT going to rank your site very high. This old method of making websites requires each static HTML page's content to be coded inside the page which can often be assited with the use special editing software.

Any changes to the look and layout of such a website require you to work within the single page of code. To make changes to the overall design of the website you need to make the same changes on each and every page within the website. This can be very expensive if you have this done on an hourly basis by a professional. What you can do with a static website is also very limited when compared to what a CMS website has to offer.

Why use a Content Management System


A CMS website allows for pages that are dynamic, in that they separate content from presentation and layout. The content of a page is separated from the menu, words and images used on each web page.

The design and layout is controlled by the front end template that you see on the website which can be dynamically changed per page (no coding of each and every page is required), and the words and images are inserted by the database at the time the page is rendered on the internet.

A CMS website allows for quick and easy updates to the content, as well as systematic organizing and collecting of information.  You are also able to grow your website over time and add functionality such as a shopping cart, slide shows and photo gallery.

With a CMS website you can add articles/blogs without any coding knowledge. If you can write a letter in Microsoft Word or send an e-mail, you can create and publish an article using a CMS software run website. If you later decide you want a new look and feel to your website this can easily be done with a new template that can be designed for you and then updates your entire website.

Static HTML websites often have a lower startup cost than a CMS website, but the cost of maintenance and updates to a "flat/static" website can make it far more expensive in the long run. All the websites disigned and developed by Niche Website Solutions utilise award-winning content management systems (CMS).

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS 3.0)

Posted in Website Design

Website Design

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS 3.0)
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a style sheet language used for the the look and formatting of a document used on a website. Its most common application is to style web pages written in HTML and XHTML.

CSS enables the separation of document content from document presentation, for elements such as the layout, colors, and fonts. It can also be used to allow the web page to display differently depending on the screen size or device on which it is being viewed.

CSS specifies a priority scheme to determine which style rules apply if more than one rule matches against a particular element. In this so-called cascade, priorities or weights are calculated and assigned to rules, so that the results are predictable.

Browsers have not been great at reading CSS in the past, but Internet Explorer 9, Firefox 10, Safari, Opera and Google Chrome are fairly good at the implementation of CSS 3.0.

Whats new in CSS 3.0

1. Border Radius

This box should have rounded corners for Firefox, Safari/Chrome, Opera and IE9.

2. Text shadows

Users of Webkit (from Safari 3+), Opera, Firefox, Konqueror or iCab should see a grey drop-shadow behind this paragraph.


3. Box Shadows

Firefox, Safari/Chrome, Opera and IE9 users should see a grey fading shadow under this box.

4. Opacity/Transparency

5. Custom Web Fonts

Users will see this text rendered with the Broadway font, with this part in Broadway Bold.

HTML 5.0

Posted in Website Design

Website Design

HTML 5.0
HTML5, the next major revision of HTML, the language of the internet, is set to revolutionize the way web developers and designers create websites and the way visitors use them.

Development of HTML stopped in 1999 with HTML 4 and was brought back to life when three major browser vendors—Apple, Opera, and the Mozilla Foundation—came together as the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WhatWG) to develop an updated and upgraded version of classic HTML.

Old elements like <div> remain, but now HTML markup elements include <section>, <header>, <footer>, <nav>, <article> and more. New media elements include <audio>, <video>, <source>, <embed> and <track>. All these new elements are easily learned by simple analogy with elements the designer already understands.

Very importantly, HTML 5 was explicitly designed to degrade gracefully in browsers that don't support it. Browsers now have tabs, CSS, and XmlHttpRequest, but their HTML renderers are stuck in 1999. The Web can't move forward without accounting for the installed base. HTML 5 understands this. It offers real benefits to page authors today while promising even more to page readers tomorrow as browsers are upgraded.

Click here to see how well the browser you are currenlty using measuers up to what what HTML5 offers and also find out which browsers may be better. The HTML5 Studio has fourteen demos that show off some fanciful sides of HTML5 and CSS3, which can be viewed here.