Our Focus Online blog article for this week will focus on one of the greatest resources we have available in our online marketing toolbox, not our awesome web design and web development talent or the focus we put on reporting and SEO, but the resource of ‘useful web-design and related links‘.
Upon completing my multimedia design course, we were left with a collection of text books, papers, manuals and yes … useful links, each important in its own way to the educating process, however I can say to this day, the books, manuals and papers of the past have all been stored away & form a vital part of my dust collective.
The one educational tit-bit that has come with me through the ages has been the useful web links. It grows, It inspires, it gets the ball rolling and most of all, its usually updated, so there is no dust collecting factor. With all this in mind, we have listed a collection of web design and web interest links that we find helpful in our everyday task of creating online travel marketing greatness.
BLOG TEMPLATE DESIGN LINKS
As a keen developer and with a thirst for knowledge, I understand that we should try and encompass all aspects of digital content through a single vision. I am talking about the need to tie in a users website and blog seamlessly. Most websites have blogs built in and this is always handy in increasing your brands visibility and trust. However with the vast cauldron of templates out there, its important to pay attention to the SEAMLESSLY factor mentioned above. This can be done by creating a custom theme template for your blog that has the look and feel of your already established website. This is important as you try not to let the user feel like they leaving a site, this keeps them engaged and builds your brand awareness. Links to pay attention to are:
BLOGGER THEME CREATION – Useful tutorial to get your own blogger theme started.
BLOGGER THEME SUPPORT DOCS - This web page is dedicated to showing most Blogger theme tags and elements.
TUMBLR THEME CREATION – A growing blog platform, clean and slick. We suggest knowing it and at least trying it out.
TUMBLR THEME SUPPORT DOCS – Supporting documents to assist your Tumblr theme creation.
INSPIRATIONAL WEBSITE LINKS
We all need it and deep down crave it. I’m talking about inspirational web pages. The websites that get your eyes buzzing and senses tingling. We have noted a few inspirational websites we suggest you check out and bookmark, because we guarantee they will stir some sort of emotion. Our List of Inspirational web pages include:
FFFFOUND – Image bookmarking site, great images and easy to use.
VI.SUALLIZE.US – another great image bookmarking site, a must see.
BUAMAI – Almost a mixture of the above two image bookmarking sites.
YAYEVERYDAY – The last of our image bookmarking sites. Simple and clean. Good look at a Tumblr themed blog.
MMMINIMAL – a blend of tasteful designs and articles based on the concept of minimalism
THE FWA – A website showing of the best Flash Websites.
DOPEAWARDS - Another great Flash website showcase platform.
TEDTALKS – Great video talks by inspirational people intended to highlight Technology, Education and Design.
DEVIANTART – A great platform to see and showcase design talent.
VIMEO – User submitted videos, its like a YouTube platform for trendy film makers.
ALISTAPART – Articles on all things web and design. Easy to navigate and great articles to read.
INFORMATIVE WEBSITES LINKS
They guide us in the right direction and feed us relevant industry information. A splash of news, a dollop of design and always geared to giving the reader what they want to see. We have listed a few informative sites below that we feel make a difference in our design lives:
THE99PERCENT – Awesome tips and articles. The slogan is its not about ideas, its about making ideas happen.
ATCAPETOWN – As Focus Online is Cape Town based, this site uses twitter @ feeds and # hashtags to display all things Cape Town.
CREATIVE REVIEW - A UK based magazine that showcases subjects for Advertising, design and visual culture.
SMASHING HUB – A website that shows graphic design inspiration and useful tutorials.
WEBDESIGNER MAG – A magazine that crosses well from print to digital. Relevant news, tutorials and downloads. Very helpful site.
ONESMALLSEED – South African design pop culture platform magazine and website. Trendy and clean.
GOOGLE PRODUCTS LINKS
A force like no other. They have the power to make and break a brand. With some amazing online innovations and product services Google links are vital. We feel the following 4 Google products are the ones you should know about:
GOOGLE ANALYTICS – A platform to track and monitor your website. Very helpful in viewing traffic sources.
GOOGLE ADWORDS - The paid for bidding version of advertising in Google. Use AdWords to promote your website and drive traffic to your web pages.
GOOGLE WEBMASTER – the Google product for web developers to track inbound links to your site, set robots and save sitemaps.
GOOGLE DOCS – The document viewer by Google, create and share spreadsheets easily.
SOCIAL MEDIA NEWS SITE LINKS
Its tentacles have embraced millions of users over and over. Tweet, Like, Follow, Add, Feed and Recommend are all words we know quite well now, but would have made you sound like a crazy man 10 years ago. With increasing use, innovation and integration, social media has definitely made its mark and a big one at that. We feel that the following two sites help filter all this media news and deliver a top notch read:
MASHABLE - A social media news site that is easy to navigate and regularly updated.
SOCIAL MEDIA EXAMINER – A blog style social media website that delivers great social media articles and videos.
MEDIA RESOURCE LINKS
Ever been stuck needing a sound, vector image or texture. Well we have and as we lack in certain areas like sound recording we discovered some great media resources download sites. We have listed three such websites below, they assisted us and we are sure they can do the same for you:
HIBOU MUSIC – An free online music sound clip library. Don’t expect Sony Records sound quality, but if your needing a 20 sec loop, then this is the site.
ZEN TEXTURES – A great resource to finding textures. Very helpful in getting unusual textures for Photoshop projects.
VECTEEZY – As the name implies..all things vector. Here you can download vector files in illustrator format.
WEB DEVELOPMENT LINKS
The heart and core of our REDEVELOP verse of our motto. These websites make life just a little easier, a great collection of user scripts, tutorials and tips. We managed to whittle down the list to these 9 great web development links:
DYNAMIC DRIVE – Awesome resource of scripts, a great resource to any developer.
CUFON – A great web text replacement script. Easy to use and free.
W3SCHOOLS – The go to site for all things web code. Great tutorials for beginners and a vast subject category.
WEB PAGE VALIDATOR – A tool to validate web pages.
DIVE INTO HTML5 – With the introduction of html5, this site has great articles to showing you what its all about.
CHEAT SHEETS – A website that contains simple pdfs on various code tags, elements and so on.
CSS DRIVE - Great site for all things CSS.
We pride ourselves on great, useful and relevant SEO campaigns. With our extensive knowledge in SEO and PPC, its always good to keep up with the SEO trends, and the links below do just that:
SEOMOZ – Very useful SEO site, offers a blog with SEO related articles and online SEO tools to assist webmasters alike.
SEOBOOK – A blog and tools site for all things SEO.
SEOGADGET – Another great SEO blog and tool site.
SEO JOURNAL - SEO blog with good SEO articles
LATEST TECHNOLOGY NEWS LINKS
Technology grows at an exponential rate and so does the news that revolves around it. These news websites are just a few of the ones that we follow and feel best show the latest technology news:
REUTERS – All things international.
NEWS24 – South African online news company. Always relevant and updated.
IOL – Independent Online, this again is a South Africa based online news company.
SOUTH AFRICA TOURISM – the official SA tourism page, always relevant in SA Tourism news and ideas.
CNET NEWS – Technology news thick and fast. Just how we like it.
WIRED – A tech magazine that offers online news, great articles and links to relevant tech blogs.
CNN – Technology news with an American twist.
BBC – Technology news with a British twist.
MYBROADBAND NEWS – Relevant South African Internet news.
BIZCOMMUNITY – A great platform for SA digital news and media jobs in the digital SA atmosphere.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC – Great resource for news, pictures and video. A wide subject choice and always updated.
We hope you enjoyed our useful links list. Focus Online believes in sharing, so please feel free to pass these links on or leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts. Happy browsing from all us here at Focus Online.