Blog widget: The web poll.

Blogs are becoming an increasingly popular marketing tool for companies, both big and small. They allow you to update your readers with company news, offer tips, tricks, promote products. The list is endless.

Blogs can now also be enhanced with widgets.Widget are small applications which have a specific function to perform on a blog or web site.For example some widgets allow you to show videos play music, and while this might not be relevant to a business blog there are plenty of widgets out there that are.

For example a web poll widget.

Widgets like increase the interactivity with your readers just that one step further. They require little technological know how to add…cut and paste some code and your are ready to go.
What’s more most of them are free.

Image Optimization: Improve the load time of your web site or blog

For the average web site or blog most of the load time is a result of the images on the page, the bigger the image files, the longer it takes for the page to completely download.

To improve download time, professional web designers will go though an image optimization process where the images on a site are fine tuned via a balance of file size vs image quality.

The following picture of some nice juicy fall apples illustrate the process. The settings used to save the image were adjusted but it is not until you look at image 4 that a noticable degredation appears. In this case Image 3 would be selected having the best combination of low file size and image quality.

Although we use professional graphics software to optimize there are plently of free ulitilies available to do the hard work for you. My favorite is Net Mechanic you can upload your image and it is presented in varous optimized forms. Pick the image that best suits your need, right click and “save picture as”.

Image 1 : file size=14.1 Kb

Image 2 : file size=8.66 Kb

Image 3 : file size=4.58 Kb

Image4 : file size=3.02Kb

Graphic Designer Satisfaction

As a graphic designer one of the most satisfying moments is when you finally see the designs you have been working on in their finished form.
Yesterday a client from Building Products Corp dropped by with a binder and tabs set I designed for then a while back… his comments were “Everything has been printed and looks amazing “
I dont want to appear boastful but I have to agree!

Eye of St Louis Web Designer

It seems to be taking a long time to cool down here in St Louis this year ..but today we have a taster of those beautiful days of fall.

This photograph was taken at Shaw Nature Reserve, and although the draught of summer has had a profound effect on the praries, there are still a few flowers ..and plently of beautiful grasses for the eye of the St Louis web designer.

Celebrating a blog milestone

Writing a blog takes commitment. Obviously there is the element of time it takes to write a post but there is also the commitment to deliver quality content and post regularly.

Today we are celebrating our 200th post!

A tool I have recently started using to read blogs is Google Reader Another great free application from Google, Google reader allows you to subscribe to your favorite blogs and then delivers any new posts to your iGoogle page via a widget. (For more information on iGoogle see this post). Using the reader allows you to keep up to date with the blogs that interest you and saves time from actually visiting the blogs.