Nick solves uniquely first-world nerdish problems.
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App Sales is a one-page responsive HTML template designed to promote your iPhone application.
A one-page responsive HTML landing page
Designed to give visitors a thorough walkthrough of your app, with alternating left and right -floating text and images.
A repeating call to action button
To offer visitors the chance to buy your app at regular intervals as they scroll down, and to make sure you don’t miss a sale!
An AJAX contact form
HTML5 valid code
With fallbacks for browsers that don’t support HTML5 elements, right down to IE6.
Responsive layouts for iPhone in portrait and landscape mode are included. Make sure you capture sales from those learning more about your app on their phones!
Easy set up
Just change the copy, add your email address, and drop your screenshots into the “screenshots” directory. (Full documentation provided in the readme.txt file.)
The template’s based on the one-page sales site for Put Things Off, the laid-back to-do list for iPhone that I developed. The sales page has worked great for my app, both by encouraging sales and reducing support enquiries. I hope it does wonders for your app too!
Support and customisation
Need help? Want the template tailored for your needs? Get in touch.
If you’ve never wondered what your website’s busiest time of day is, it’s time to don your finest wondering hat.
Why find your busy time?
Timing new content to go live before a sudden influx of visitors (and not after they arrive) is valuable, especially if you publish the sort of content that’s time-sensitive, like breaking news or time-limited sales. If you don’t publish those sorts of things, pushing new content to your site just before busy times is still worthwhile; you increase the chance that people will see it and share it. Try it and see!
Set up Google Analytics
To discover the busiest time of day for your site, you need to use traffic analysis software. We recommend Google Analytics. If you’re not already using it—and it’s free, so there’s no good reason not to—head over to the Google Analytics website, sign up, and add the tracking code to your website. Need help? Get in touch.
Find your website’s busiest time of day
Here’s how to find your site’s busy time using Google Analytics:
- Choose Visitors > Visitor Trending > Visits from the left-hand menu:
- Select the date range you’re interested in from the date drop-down, and then click the clock to the right of “Graph by” in the top right of your screen:
Interpreting the data
That’s it! You’ll now see a graph and bar chart showing visits by time for the date range that you selected in step 2, like this one:
It’s important to note that the times in the left column are displayed in the timezone you set for the site when you first added it to Google Analytics. (Here are instructions for checking and changing the timezone.)
To find your busiest time over the date range you selected, simply check for the biggest horizontal bar in the chart. Above, you can see the site we’re examining (not this one) experiences a slight rise in traffic at around 14:00 hours. Not exactly rocket surgery, is it?
You may wish to start publishing new posts just before your busy time and see if they generate extra traffic and sales for you. And if it makes no difference at all? It’s possible that there isn’t a distinct ‘busy time’ for your site. And, besides, at least you tried, right? Running a website is about experimentation; there’s no magic formula to ensure extra traffic or attentiveness, but the more things you try, the more you’ll learn.
P.S. One thing I’ve learned is to resist silly subtitles for instructive posts like this one. It would have been very easy to litter this blog post with subtitles that employ word play loosely relevant to the subject matter (e.g. ‘let’s get busy’), but providing readers who skim (everyone) with more meaningful subtitles is more valuable than trying to be clever.
P.P.S. We found it makes a worthwhile difference on enough of our sites to bother sharing the tip with you.
It’s been a great year for web design books; the best we can remember for a while, in fact! Here’s an alternative review of the top four from our list:
Hardboiled Web Design
by Andy Clarke |
Andy’s ‘hardboiled’ approach to web design is both disruptive and delightful. The hardboiled premise — that we stop crippling sites to look the same in all browsers and build them to look their best in each visitor’s browser, be it modern or ancient, desktop or mobile — is a welcome remedy for weary web designers.
Hardboiled design means experimenting, having fun with, and creating unique experiences for users of modern browsers, without punishing those who can’t or won’t upgrade. Andy offers strategies to sell this style of development to clients who have grown to expect pixel perfection across all browsers, a viewpoint that flounders in light of new devices with vastly different screen sizes.
Not only is it getting harder to ensure pixel-perfection across platforms; Andy shows why it’s a bad idea to continue thinking about web design in this way, citing stifled creativity among a shortlist of compelling reasons to abandon bottom-up, ‘one design to rule them all’ thinking. The techniques he goes on to recommend (from his work and others’) are as well-explained as they are ground breaking.
And the results speak for themselves: the book's website is an understated showcase of what’s possible; try it with different browsers, different widths, and different devices to see how hardboiled design — using new techniques to enhance the presentation layer for those with modern browsers, without restricting access to important content on older or smaller devices — can enhance a website no end.
Great book. 5 stars.
HTML5 for Web Designers
by Jeremy Keith | Buy it here
I lasted 28 seconds on the HTML5 specifications page before falling into a deep slumber, dreaming I was an astronaut being chased by angry space bees, and waking to admit I still hadn’t a clue what the excitement over HTML5 was all about.
Thank heavens for HTML5 for Web Designers by Jeremy Keith. I get it now. HTML5 is the future, and Jeremy explains in a light-hearted way how to use HTML5 today without screwing anything up, without having to unlearn the stuff you already know, and without wishing you had a spoon the right size to fit your eye sockets.
Jeremy explains the important new elements and attributes, showing how to improve page structure, add media elements, enhance web forms, and more in a fun way that involves at least one occurrence of the phrase ‘owl stretching’ as placeholder text.
Before I read the book, I thought I had a fair handle on HTML5: once upon a website, I just swapped out <div class=”article”> with <article> tags and felt pretty smart. HTML5 for Web Designers shows that there’s more to it than that (but not by much). The book highlights subtleties within HTML5 that have taught me to respect it as a class act. (A class act! I made an HTML joke! Lucky you.)
There are times when it makes sense to use the <footer> tag for sidebar content and not HTML5′s new <aside> tag, for example, and other times when using multiple <h1> tags on a page adds to the structure and portability of your markup without ruining accessibility or SEO.
I’ll be going through our sites to recode them as an exercise. The book has made sense of HTML5 in a way that 900 pages of yawn-a-minute specifications never could. I read the whole thing through to the end in an afternoon, enjoyed it thoroughly, and didn’t encounter a single space bee. Buy it now. You might be that lucky too.
CSS3 for Web Designers
by Dan Cederholm | Buy it here
If I had to choose anyone to rescue me from a cave of poisonous frogs, Dan Cederholm would be near the top of my list. Especially if the frogs were allergic to awesome. If Dan’s book on CSS3 proves one thing, it’s that — with the right person to guide you — stuff that seems scary at first can be more fun than you ever imagined.
Dan has a wonderful way with words; here, he brings levity to a subject that can get deeply dull in the hands of the wrong author. Other authors would call a chapter on CSS3′s new transitions feature — which, among other things, lets you animate a link’s colour between two values when your mouse hovers over it — something pedestrian like, ‘CSS3′s New Transitions Feature’. But not Dan. He explains them in a chapter called ‘Hover-crafting with CSS3′. And he makes it just as light and easy as it sounds.
The web design community owes a lot to Dan Cederholm for this book and for dribbble. It’s wonderful that great web designers can share the techniques they’ve invented that bring amazing detail to their sites; even if it’s the sort of detail you only miss when you’re browsing in IE6. If you have any hopes at all of following in his footsteps and escaping the aforementioned cave of frogs, buy Dan’s book.
I take my hat off to Jeffrey Zeldman, Jason Santa Maria, and Mandy Brown, the respective publisher, designer, and editor behind A Book Apart for their work on the two ‘for Web Designers’ books mentioned here. Together they set a new benchmark. I can’t wait to read the other titles they have planned for 2011.
by Eric Meyer | Buy it here
Whereas some unfortunate folk are incapable of passing a bakery without buying a chocolate muffin, my affliction is much worse: I’m unable to pass up a book if Eric Meyer’s name is on the cover. Only good shoes and cheap booze will part me of my money faster.
I am confident that Smashing CSS, with its hefty weight and humble cover, will become The CSS Bible for the free thinking web designer. Eric is the Godfather, the Grandaddy, and the King of CSS. His book contains recipes and solutions to head-scratch moments that designers encounter in their day-to-day work, and has already resulted in at least 14 exclamations of ‘Aha!’ from me.
Things I kind of understood before — like specificity notation, selectively overriding shorthands, and attribute selectors, are now fully understooded, and layout techniques I sort of comprehended — like adjacent clearing and em-based layout — are now fully comprehendeded.
If you’re fairly comfortable with CSS but want to learn some new tricks, find shortcuts, or simply confirm that you’re building sites the way real developers do — developers whose heart, lungs, and soul are arranged with floats and carefully considered padding — then buy Eric’s book.
What did we miss?
Web design and development is undergoing a new renaissance of sorts; it’s an exciting time, full of experimentation, learning, and brand new tags to build bad puns around. These books pave the way, but we know we missed some. Introducing HTML5 by Bruce Lawson and Remy Sharp is on our reading list too, for example, but we’ve not gotten to it yet.
If we’ve missed any others that you love, please leave a note in the comments. Thanks! (And if you’re looking for books for web design beginners, we’ll have a separate post on those at some point too.)
We’re often asked for WordPress help — it’s a great publishing system, but sometimes things go wrong.
One of the weird glitches we’ve seen results in a completely blank site; the page loads, but there’s a big white space where your beautiful blog should be. If this happens to you, we’re happy to say that the fix is usually pretty simple: just regenerate your .htaccess file.
What’s an .htaccess file?
The .htaccess file is a hidden file in your site’s root directory that helps to create WordPress’s pretty URLs, and often does a whole bunch of handy things in the background every time someone visits one of your posts or pages. It can become corrupted for a number of reasons, but regenerating it is a breeze.
How do I regenerate it?
To regenerate the .htaccess file, just visit the ‘Permalinks’ page under the ‘Settings’ header in your WordPress admin panel, scroll to the bottom, and click ‘Save Changes’ (even though you didn’t make any). That’s it! Visit your homepage and you should find the site’s back up and running.
That didn’t work. Help!
As ever, if that didn’t help, get in touch with us. We’ll get you back up and running before you can say, “Help! My site’s as white as a ghost! I just launched a product today and I’m really desp… oh… You fixed it already. Thanks!”
We’ve been busy over on our Wordprezzie site updating Ice Cream Dream with new features and a new price. It’s the perfect WordPress theme for your small business.
We’ve added the most requested feature — a blog page template — as well as providing you with two fresh new flavours: blueberry and coconut.
The blog page template
To check out the latest feature, called the “category page template”, visit our demo site or check out the updated documentation in section 4.3.
Even better value
We’ve dropped the price of Ice Cream Dream from US$89 to US$69, so there’s never been a better time to buy. If you’ve already purchased Ice Cream Dream, we’ll be sending the free update and installation instructions out soon. Otherwise, what are you waiting for? Get the scoop on the info page!
Last time we redesigned our website, leather trousers were in fashion, the Walkman was the height of cool, and dodos walked the Earth.
When you’re a busy Web design company, it’s hard to find time to revamp your image. Yet, somehow, we did just that, and you’re looking at the results right now.
Goburo, the mobile Web studio
It’s amazing to think that — just four years ago — we were a small design company catering for local businesses, most of whom were only interested in print design. We’re still a two-person team, but we now work remotely for clients spread across the world whilst travelling ourselves; not only has the Web become our core business; it’s changed the way we do business too.
Becoming location independent is an exciting thing for us. We’ve spent the last few years making changes so that we can take our company on the road and run it from anywhere. If that’s something that interests you, go ahead and subscribe to our articles. We’ll be running hints and tips about how we made the transition.
We mean it about the tips
There’s an old joke that most blogs feature only three posts: one welcoming people to the site, and two others spaced a year apart, each apologising for not posting more often. We’ve made this site as simple as it can be to update. (Even as professional web geeks, we don’t have the time or patience for fiddling about with something that’s more complicated than it needs to be.) Expect further updates and blog-worthy musings from us. We’ve found that writing can be a great way of learning about the world, and we look forward to sharing our thoughts with you.
What our clients have taught us
We’ve learnt a lot from our clients too. We’ve discovered that successful sites reflect the people behind them, are easy to update, and that the really good ones try to fulfil a single goal. Our old site was a little on the corporate side; it didn’t reflect our style or love for colour and illustration, so we’ve injected some personality this time.
We also hope we’ve made it easier to get in touch with us; our goal with the redesign was to encourage people to request free estimates. Whether you want small tweaks to your WordPress site or major work involving fancy pants content management systems, we want to encourage everyone to get in touch with us, no matter what timezone you’re in.