Oct
15

Introducing PSD To Responsive HTML

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With Mobile Web Browsing growing at a “stunning” rate and new platforms (and screen sizes) increasing virtually by the month, it can be harder and harder to design a site that looks great while remaining easy to use for every single visitor.  That is, of course, until A List Apart’s Ethan Marcotte  introduced the concept of Responsive Web Design back in May of 2010.

Responsive Websites

Responsive websites respond to the platform being used to view them.

In case you’re a designer and you aren’t familiar with the wonders (and best practices) of responsive web design, shame on you!  That said, Wikipedia is a great place to start.

We’ve been working on responsive web designs for well over a year now, but we’ve finally gotten to the point where we’re happy to offer PSD To Responsive HTML right on our order page … at a great price to boot!

Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Work your magic designing a kick-ass responsive creative for your client.  In case you’ve never done it before and are wondering how to design a responsive website vs a regular one, here’s a great place to start.  Hint: Focus more on designing elements and less on layouts.

Step 2: Determine how many different layouts you’ll need for your design to work flawlessly across as many platforms as possible.  For most designs, we recommend 4 layouts:

1.  Phone Portrait View:  0-519 pixels

2.  Phone Landscape View:  520-759 pixels

3.  Tablet Portrait View:   760-959 pixels

4.  Desktop / Tablet Landscape View:  960+ pixels

*Remember that these are general guidelines and not true for all designs.  Some designs may not require all of these to perform optimally.  Others may require more – especially as more platform sizes come out.  For best results, we urge you to try out different pixel sizes before deciding on a number of layouts.

Step 3: Submit an order with us and under the “Customize Your Order” section of our order page, expand the “Responsive Design Options” section and select how many layouts you’d like to include in the order.

Image of PSD To Responsive HTML options

Step 4: Submit your order … duh.

Step 5: Log into our Client Portal, download your completed files, and voilà!  Your site is ready to respond to any and all platforms visitors can throw at it.

Simple as that.

Sorry to tell you, there is now officially no reason for you not to be designing with responsiveness first and foremost in your minds.

Got any questions?  Shoot us an email, we’d love help you out!

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Oct
3

New PSD To HTML Client Portal Is Live!

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As mentioned in a previous blog post, we’ve been working long and hard to complete a portal that drastically improves our clients’ experience when using our PSD to HTML services.  We’re very proud to announce that our client portal is finally fully live and operational!

Why does this matter to you?  We’ve designed the client portal to help you in three basic ways:

1. Improved Organization

Upon logging in, you’ll notice every project you have with us (past or on-going) is easily accessible in our Client Dashboard.

PSD To HTML Client Portal Dashboard Image

No need to seek out that old slice we worked on three months ago in your inbox.  Have an update that’s required for an old order?  Piece of cake, simply find it in your dashboard, click “Details” and submit a new ticket.  Update done!  Still prefer to work with us via email?  Not a problem, respond to any message via email and it’ll automatically show up in the right spot in the portal.

2.   Better Communication

We’ve implemented all sorts of tools aimed at answering your common questions before you need to ask.  For example:

Our Progress Bar shows you how close we are to completing your order, in real time.

PSD To HTML CSS Client Portal Progress Bar Image

Our Payment Status box shows you how much is outstanding for each order.

PSD To HTML CSS Client Portal Payment Status Image

Our Download Previous Versions button allows you to download any older version of our work, any time.

PSD To HTML CSS Client Portal Download Previous Button Image

3. Quicker Turnaround

When it comes to PSD to HTML slicing work, so much time can be lost waiting for simple things to get done.  Our project management and ticketing system ensures that all tickets, questions, and updates are tended to as quickly as possible by the appropriate expert.  Furthermore, our secured file download system allows you to access your completed files the minute your order is completed, no matter where you are!  The end result is a whopping 25% to 50% quicker turnaround on many orders.

In a nutshell, our client portal allows you to easily:

  • View all of your orders with us (including active and completed).
  • View all project details for each order.
  • View all messages and revisions for each order.
  • Pay outstanding balances.
  • Download completed files.
  • Change your profile settings.
  • Place new orders without needing to re-enter your information.

And that’s just to start.  We’ll be adding more and more features to our portal with the aim of helping make our clients’ lives a little bit easier.

If you have any feedback or feature requests, we’d love to hear them – just shoot us a message.

Happy Coding!

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Sep
6

Our New PSD To HTML Order Page Has Launched!

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You asked and we listened!  After months of feedback from our beloved clients, we’re proud to offer the same trusted service offering you’ve grown to know and love, but with a whole bunch of added bells and whistles.  We present to you, our brand new page allowing you to order PSD To HTML the way you want.

Some of the highlights we’re really excited about:

  1. Reduced pricing on Basic Orders (for clients not worried about the nitty gritty)
  2. A “Maximum Performance” package that literally provides everything you could possibly want in your code (including SEO and Speed optimization).
  3. A “Rush Order” option for those times when you really just can’t afford to wait.
  4. Promo Codes for additional discounts (try BLGPSD0912 and thank me later).
  5. FREE advanced font, layout, and Javascript options!
  6. A PSD To Mobile ordering form for designs created specifically for mobile platforms.

And of course, the piece de resistance is the fact that all new orders now plug you directly into our new client portal, but more on that in a later post…

Once again, in case you missed it, for your next order enter promo code BLGPSD0912 for a 25% discount (limited time only).

Of course, like anything on the web, this is a work in progress.  We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback on this in the comments…

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Jul
13

3 Reasons Why Wordpress Reached 50 Million Blogs (And Counting…)

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Shiny Wordpress Logo

CMS Superhero!

This is nothing to sneeze at: the famous ticker in the Stats section over at Wordpress.com counting how many sites are using the blogging platform has just surpassed the 50 MILLION mark (preferably said in a Dr. Evil tone).   We’re responsible for a over a couple thousand of those, so who knows where they’d be without us?!

Seriously though, we’re really excited about the milestone for a very simple reason:  we adore Wordpress.

Simply put, Wordpress has become a truly remarkable CMS.  Here are 3 good reasons why:

1. Simplicity: Compared to Joomla, Drupal, and the like, Wordpress is extremely easy to use.  Anytime we have a client that is unsure of which platform to use and is unfamiliar with Content Management Systems, we guide them straight to Wordpress because it’s the only one of the lot that can be picked up within an hour by a complete newbie.  (Special mention should go out to Tumblr, which is actually even easier than Wordpress, but far far more restrictive.)

2. Versatility: Compared to other CMS’s, Wordpress has (by far) the largest collection of developers contributing to it’s development as well as experts that can setup and modify Wordpress sites as needed.  As a result it’s got the most plugins (for everything from SEO to Payment Processing), the best support forums, and the widest variety of  developers able to modify and fix issues.

3. Popularity: You can’t argue with the numbers.  50 million sites is a LOT.  According to Pingdom.com, as of December 2010 there were 255 million websites on the internet. For a single, open-source platform to account for 20% of ALL websites out there is simply astounding – especially considering it’s only been around since 2003.

So a big shout out to Wordpress creator Matt Mullenweg for launching what is quickly becoming the most important Content Management System the web has ever seen.

Thanks SuperMatt!!

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Feb
9

SEO For PSD To HTML Service Providers

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Our good friend and SEO guru extraordinaire Gab over at SEO ROI provides some great SEO advice for anyone using a PSD To HTML chop shop.SEO ROI

In fact, we like the ideas so much we’re going to be recommending them to the rest of our SEO-focused clients going forward.

Gab’s article couldn’t have come at a better time as we’re gearing up to offer a special SEO optimized package as an ordering option. Stay tuned for that.

In case you missed it, you can read Gab’s article here.

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Nov
29

PSD To HTML Recommendations

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Thinking back to when we decided to launch this site, I remember looking through our competition online and getting excited over the fact there were so few PSD to HTML service providers out there.  That was just over a year ago and yet, today, it seems like the list of providers is endless (and growing)!

With so much choice out there, how do you find the right slicing company for your needs?  Here are PSD To HTML Recommendations to help you along the way:

PSD To HTML Prices1. Price Matters.

Why pay more?

When it comes to services, in general you get what you pay for.  If you see a company offering PSD To HTML for $10 per homepage and go for it, don’t be surprised when it comes back looking like it was auto-generated.  In general, coding a PSD homepage into XHTML takes anywhere from 4 to 8 hours of a coder’s work (sometimes more).  As a result, it’s safe to assume that if you’re going to have an actual human being (that is not a slave) coding your work, you’re going to have to pay anywhere from $40 to $300 to get the work done.  Anything lower or higher than that and you’re very likely getting ripped off one way or another.

Of course, even within those price points there’s a wide range of value, which brings me to my next point:

2. Watch Out For Hidden fees.

Are jQuery effects included in the price?  How about Cufon implementation?  Will they also install the files on your server or do they charge extra for that?  Pay close attention to all the little details that may balloon the price a lot more than expected.  The vast majority of service providers out there will sell an extremely basic markup package at extremely low rates just to get the customer in the door, only to suck them dry later.

We’re proud to say we offer all of the above and a whole lot more at our standard rate.  There are never any hidden fees because customers deserve to know what they’re getting into before committing.  Make sure the service provider you go with is upfront with you about their fees.  You do not want to get stuck in a project with a company that keeps adding fees before delivering the work.

Bad PSD To HTML Support3.  Demand Solid Post-Delivery Support.

There’s nothing worse than having your client ask you to change the order of a navigation bar menu, asking your coding provider to get it done, knowing it should take 2 minutes of their time, and realizing several days later that they never got back to you because they didn’t consider it important enough.

Intelligent service providers recognize the value each client brings in terms of repeat business, even if there are occasional post-delivery support nightmares that arise.  To us, post-delivery support is just as important (if not more) as getting a brand new client’s unpaid order out. Make sure the provider you choose feels the same.

Hope this helps!  Of course, you can always order PSD To HTML with us :)

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Sep
23

Facebook Down!

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Yup, Facebook is down for us too.

Not sure what happened here.  Could it be that they didn’t get proper HTML coding done?  Hmmmm… :P

Facebook Down!

Here’s to hoping they get it fixed up nice and quick.

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Sep
21

PSD To HTML Tips: Beware Of The Money-Back Guarantee.

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For many web designers and agencies, finding the right PSD To HTML service provider can be the difference between a nightmare project and a smashing success. As an outsourcing niche, the PSD coding industry has only been around for 5 years, which explains why so many web designers have yet to even realize it’s an option. More importantly, it also explains why there’s such a wide range of service offerings and quality levels to choose from: there simply hasn’t been enough time to weed out the weak.

With that in mind, here is the first of an on-going series covering things you’ll want to know before hiring a company (or freelancer) to convert your design to HTML.

The Money-Back Guarantee The Good Old Money-Back Guarantee Seal.

Most service providers will offer and advertise a “100% Full Money-Back Guarantee”. In fact, if they don’t, you should probably run the other way! What they don’t tell you is that the money-back guarantee is only good so long as no coded files have been delivered to you. Once you receive your actual files, the guarantee is gone.

There is a very simple reason for this: how can the service provider know for sure that you’re not just saying that you’re unsatisfied in order to get your money back, but then using their code behind their backs? In order to avoid this, ethical coders will be very diligent about only providing hosted previews of the work until you’ve given the green light to send the files over, indicating that you’re completely satisfied with the work.

Want to know if a service provider is being honest with you on this? Ask them the following questions:

Q: Do you offer a full money-back guarantee?
A: No
run away!!
A: Yesnext question…

Q: Is the offer good no matter what? Even after the files have been delivered?
A: Yes
run away!! They would not be in business long if they truly did this.
A: No. Once the files are delivered we simply can’t offer the guarantee anymore. However, we send you previews until you are satisfied and always wait for you to give the green light before sending over any files.proceed with confidence.  They’re being honest and upfront with you.  Bonus points if they assure you that they guarantee post-delivery support until you are fully satisfied.

Does it suck that it sometimes takes a trick question to get to the bottom of whether an HTML coding service is honest or not?  Sure it does, but we all know it’s a jungle online.

If you’re shopping around for a quality HTML / CSS service provider, hope this information helps you make the right decision.

Of course, if you’d like to convert your designs with us, you can rest assured you won’t be disappointed ;)

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Jul
2

New Google List Highlights 1000 Most Visited Websites.

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At the end of May, Google released a list of the 1000 most visited websites and the number of pageviews during April 2010 as measured by DoubleClick’s Ad Planner here. In case you’re wondering how site traffic for this list is measured, you can read the following information posted by Google: here, here, here, here, and here.

The raw data can be dowloaded by logging into Ad Planner and accessing the Lists tab. You can also download the complete list from the link at the bottom of the post. Also included in our file is some additional anlysis I have done, including the % of total pageviews attributable to each website, the ratio of pageviews/unique visitors (to measure how many pages the average visitor accesses) and summaries of the data by the category Google assigned to the website and by TLD.


Some observations about the data:

Observations are from the analysis is done in the excel file available at the bottom of the post. If you don’t want to read through everything, #1-4 and particularly #3 are the most important.

1. The stats exclude Google sites such as Google.com and Youtube.com

2. The stats also appear to exclude adult sites, although one site, game2.com.cn, is categorized as Porn. Not only is it a large Chinese site located at a .cn (and we all know about the Chinese censors), but, at a minimum its images do not appear to be pornographic. As I don’t speak chinese I cannot comment on the content.   Quite a few of the Alexa top 1000 sites are adult in nature, so this is obviously quite the doughnut hole for those interested in the websites with the most traffic, regardless of content.

3. Much was made in the news and blogosphere when the data was released about how Facebook not only led in terms of unique visitors, but also that it had more than 8 times the pageviews of runner-up Yahoo!. What I have not seen mentioned is that Facebook accounts for 44.6% of the pageviews of the DoubleClick Ad Planner Top 1000 Sites for April 2010! By itself Facebook accounts for nearly as many pageviews as the other 999 websites combined!  In fact, Facebook has more pageviews than the next 135 sites ranked by most pageviews and more pageviews than the next 315 sites ranked by unique visitors.

4. Social Networks appear to clearly be the websites people spend the most time on.  The top 7 sites in terms of Page Views-to-Unique Visitors are all Social Networks.  In fact, the top 3 (tuenti.com, kontakte.ru, and facebook.com respectively) have ratios of greater than 1000:1!  That is more than double the top website from any other category and more than 10 times the average of 88.3 (1,276,611,000/14,465,800,000). As a category, the 34 Social Network sites had a Page Views:Unique Visitors ratio of 659:1. People really seem to be enthralled with their Social Networks, so don’t ever let anybody tell you that Social Networks are not an important way to get your message out!

5. In terms of total pageviews, the number 4 position is held by a Russian Social Network, kontakte.ru (although it was “only” 81st overall by unique visitors). One word: Who?!  Never heard of ‘em!

6. In terms of pageviews, positions 4-7 are non-English websites. Therefore, 4 out of the top 7, 6/13, and 9/18 of the top sites are non-English sites. This does not even account for the fact that 2 of the “English” sites (Facebook and Hi5) are actually multilingual and effectively used in other languages.

7. In terms of tlds .com dominates and accounts for 67.4% of the entries on the list and 81% of the pageviews. However, excluding facebook.com, .com’s % of pageviews falls to 65%. In fact, facebook.com accounts for more than half (55%) the pageviews of the .com sites on the list.

8. The top 10 tlds on the list ranked by 3 different metrics:

Rank

# of Sites

# of Unique Visitors

# of Page Views

1

.com (674)

.com

.com

2

.net (57)

.org

.ru

3

.co.jp (29)

.net

.co.jp

4

.cn (26)

.com.cn

.org

5

.com.cn (25)

.co.jp

.net

6

.jp (20)

.cn

.pl

7

.de (19)

.ru

.de

8

.org (19)

.jp

.fr

9

.ru (19)

.ne.jp

.co.uk

10

.fr (11)

.de

.jp

- .ne.jp is a surprisingly (to me) popular extension – 10 sites (11th), 9th in terms of unique visitors, 16th in terms of page views.
- .ru has the second most page views by tld
- For all the highly ranked sites with chinese extensions, they appear to have relatively few page views

9. It is interesting to note that even when considering the largest global audiences, cctlds make up 24.1% of the sites and 15.8% of the page views. While .com may be “king” and hold a significant advantage over the other gtlds (global top level domains), cctlds hold a very important part of the traffic. It will be interesting to see if the proportion changes as time goes on.

10. Government websites: According to the list, 7 of the top 1000 websites are .gov websites (6 are US websites and have a .gov tld and 1 is a UK website with a .gov.uk tld). Also according to the list, advertising is available on ca.gov (the California state government website), although I do not see where (this makes me somewhat question the reliability of the data).


That’s it for me. If anybody else decides to take a look, please post anything interesting you find in the comments.


Data File with Analysis:

Top 1000 Traffic Stats from Doubleclick.PSDtoHTMLCSS Analysis




Notes about the data:

a) Items in red were included by me.

b) Although I included a column with % of unique visitors, this is a bit of a misnomer. A single person may be a unique visitor at multiple sites, so this number does not represent the % of people observed that visit the site. Reach is the metric meant to measure the % of Internet users that access the site. The column I included was just meant to make it easy to eyeball numbers.


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Mar
16

The PSD To HTML / CSS Blog Is Now Live!

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Welcome to the PSD To HTML / CSS blog.  We’ve decided to launch it in an effort to connect with our dear clients, but also as a way to connect with web designers, agencies and professionals on a broad scale.

This isn’t going to be your typical corporate blog, with nothing but announcements of how we’re great and moving forward.  Sure, there will be some of that (after all, we are great and moving forward all the time), but the majority of our entries will look to add value to our readers.

Some of the topics we’ll be regularly revisiting include:

  • XHTML and CSS coding tricks, tips, and best practices.
  • Web Design tricks, tips, and trends.
  • General points of interest to internet professionals.

And of course, how great we are and how we’re always improving in the interest of completing our mission:

To provide web designers around the globe with pixel-perfect XHTML and CSS markup as quickly as possible, leaving them more time and money to focus on better design.

See you soon!

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