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Web Design

How To Improve & Test Your Web Page Loading Speed

Finding good web-development help is difficult, and for many web devs, the more coding you can do yourself, the better off you are. But there is help out there and from a noted expert on the web: Google.


Testing page-loading speed using WebPageTest.org. 

Internet Speed Freaks
Google offers great web development tools. Its latest, a Page Speed Service, will help developers improve the speed at which their web pages load. Basically, Google is offering to re-write your web code so your site’s pages load faster. To use the service (which was developed by Google’s Make the Web Faster team, in Bangalore, India), web slingers just need to sign up for it and point their site’s DNS entry to Google.

Want to test your website to see how fast it’s loading? There’s a web page for that. WebPageTest.org lets anyone type in a URL and Google will give you an indication of how much faster the site could load – if you were to use the Page Speed Service. In some cases you could improve your websites loading time by 25 to 60 percent, according to Google.


Once you’ve tested the page, the results are displayed in the same browser window.  

Ram Ramani, an engineer with Google, explained it this way: “Page Speed Service fetches content from your servers, rewrites your pages by applying Web performance best practices, and serves them to end users via Google’s servers across the globe.”

Google has released tools to help improve web page loading speed before, like the Page Speed browser extension and the Page Speed Online API, which was released earlier this year. Last year Google released mod page speed; the Apache module helps rewrite web pages automatically.

Currently the Page Speed Service is being offered for free by limited availability; webmasters that want to use the service must apply for Page Speed Service online in order to be free testers. In the future, the service will be available to everyone for a fee, with pricing competitive to other similar services.

Mastering Web Development
If you’re looking to improve your web-development skills, other people’s tools will only go so far. The best way to truly master the web is to start by learning HTML. You can also attend professional web-training sessions at places like Digital Media Academy.

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posted by Vince Matthews in News Blog,Web Design,Web Development and have No Comments

WordPress Reaches 50 Million Mark

In Internet time, it’s been around a lifetime. In reality, as a web CMS (Content Management System), it’s still an infant at only eight years old. But in that time, the number of people using the WordPress blogging software has reached the 50 million mark. That’s a strong endorsement for a web-based app that was originally just meant to help bloggers get the word out.


Many of your favorite blogging sites are powered by WordPress – including DMA Central, the site you’re on right now.

Blogging By The Numbers
According to the company itself, more than 50 million websites are now powered by the open-source blogging tool. And that’s not the only impressive statistic:

  • WordPress users create approximately 500,000 posts on any given day. (By that measure, the average year would yield about 18.2 million posts.)
  • Out of the 1 million most-popular websites, it’s estimated that more than 14 percent of them utilize WordPress.
  • In an average month, more than 2.5 billion pages of WordPress web content are consumed by some 287 million people.

 
The Next 50 Million
Matt Mullenweg is to WordPress what Mark Zuckerberg is to FaceBook. It was Mullenweg and partner Mike Little who launched WordPress in 2003 and popularized the blogging tool.


WordPress’ Mullenweg: Going after the next 50 million users…and more.

Mullenweg downplayed reaching the 50-million milestone, in his blog. “It’s always fun to pass a big round number,” he wrote, “but ultimately the press has always been more concerned with those top-line numbers than we have in the WordPress community. We have some huge opportunities this year, particularly around making our software more accessible to the next 50 or 500 million people who want to have a voice online.”

Press-ing Forward
WordPress isn’t the only blogging platform out there – but the user community that’s supporting it makes it a primary consideration when looking for a CMS to build a website. WordPress takes the hassle out of learning HTML code. WordPress can also provide multiple themes (for various styles) and great plug-ins that provide additional features for your site, like user galleries and more. Learning how WordPress can help you build a website from scratch can kickstart your career in web development. Check out how WordPress can provide a website solution for you.

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posted by Phill Powell in News Blog,Web Design and have No Comments

5 Great Tools to Help Make a Great Website

You’ve got a great idea and you’re now ready to show the rest of world – the World Wide Web, that is. Now it’s easier than ever to learn how to design a web site, and the Internet even offers web designers an amazing array of interesting, useful and free helpful development tools. These tools not only support the development process, but do some of the work for you:

1. W3C Markup Validation Service
The Markup Validator is a free tool and service that validates your markup and reports any errors or discrepancies in your code.

2. Firebug
Long before Google Chrome came along, Mozilla’s Firefox has been helping push web development forward.


Mozilla provides great web development tools; Firebug is just one of them.

Firebug integrates with Firefox to give you access to a wealth of information while you browse pages on the Web. This add-on allows you to edit, debug and monitor CSS, HTML and JavaScript. It’s a great way to find a bug in your web code without spending hours.

3. Web Developer Toolbar
Another great Firefox add-on is Firefox’s Wed Developer Toolbar. The toolbar adds a menu and as the name implies, a toolbar that serves up a variety of very helpful web dev tools.

4. Listamatic
Listamatic is an excellent site that offers tutorials on creating attractive and responsive navigation bars with CSS and one simple list.

5. Stock Exchange
Need photos for your website? Stock Exchange provides a stock photography community where artists and photographers share and exchange high-quality stock images. As a design resource, the site provides a library of high-resolution, royalty-free photographs. The images on the site are free, but remember to check the License Agreement for each image, as some artists request notification or photo credit.

If you’re ready to start designing a website, use these resources to make your job easier, you’ll be designing a web site in no time. Or learn more about courses that can teach you web design. The World Wide Web awaits!

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posted by Phill Powell in News Blog,Web Design and have No Comments

DMA Instructor Marcus Duvoisin: Only Spiderman Has More Web Experience

Courses: Graphic Design, Beginning & Advanced Photoshop, 2D & 3D Video Game Creation

DMA Instructor: Marcus Duvoisin

Education: San Francisco State University; San Francisco, CA (Marketing Major, focus on New Media Design)

Professional Portrait: Web designer. Marcus started early – learning web design while still in middle school. By the time he was in high school, he already had a huge slate of professional clients Marcus owns his own web design firm, Genuine Web Design and provides design services for a variety of different companies, including www.extremenewzealand.net. A skilled and in-demand instructor, he teaches Adobe Dreamweaver, Flash, Photoshop, HTML and CSS.

DMA Campus: Stanford University

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Spinning Webs Since Childhood
Every artist has a favorite medium for their style and talent. For DMA Instructor Marcus Duvoisin, his canvas is a web page. He’s been building his own web sites since he was fourteen years old. Marcus and his friends designed web sites related to their hobbies and interests at the time, which included skateboarding, music and video games. Back then, programming and designing software were less intuitive than today. And there were no computer camps to guide budding web designers.

“We coded in HTML/CSS and used applications like Adobe Dreamweaver, Photoshop and Flash,” he remembers. “It was hard to learn on our own and we spent a lot of long nights troubleshooting. Having a teacher by our side would have definitely helped! But technology camps like Digital Media Academy didn’t really exist back then…so we had to spend the extra hours trying to figure out solutions on our own.”

At that time, creative teens with an interest in web design often had to make their own way. Luckily, Marcus didn’t have to look any further than his own father, a technologically advanced dad who had mastered the fundamentals of online design around the same time. “My dad taught me web design basics and with constant practice, I have developed a strong base of skills.” Marcus has also developed his professional skills by working side-by-side with professional experienced designers.


Kids love Marcus’ energy and excitement.

Marcus continued learning and building sites. By the time he was in high school, a local start-up company asked him to design a simple company web site.

Taking it to The Next Level
“I remember being really nervous about whether or not I could accomplish the task,” he says, “It turned out it wasn’t all that different than designing web sites with my friends.” The site he designed was a huge hit with the company and the client then recommended Marcus to other businesses. Soon he was designing enough web sites to pay his way through college, and he credits the experience for opening up career opportunities.

Now Marcus is running his own company – Genuine Web Design, which includes a roster of great clients that count on his expertise to establish their online presence. Marcus also maintains those web sites, refreshes the content and provide periodic redesign. In 2010 Marcus was selected to work with Google to help improve Google rankings for his client Demandforce. “This experience provided me with many tools and techniques for expanding my knowledge about Internet marketing.”

In addition to his successful career in web design, Marcus also teaches for Digital Media Academy during the summer at DMA’s Stanford University campus location. This year he’ll be teaching Graphic Design & Arts, as well as 2D & 3D Video Game Creation.


“DMA’s hands-on training provides the building blocks for a career in technology.”

“I enjoy everything about DMA’s summer camp experience: the kids, the fun, the cafeteria cuisine, and (especially) teaching kids design skills that they show their parents at the end of the program. If I could make DMA summer camp my full-time job for the rest of my life, I would.”

Marcus also teaches 2D & 3D Video Game Creation. Like all DMA instructors Marcus’s has professional credentials and real-world experience. To learn more about DMA’s programs and instructors visit Digital Media Academy.

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posted by Phill Powell in Featured,News Blog,Web Design and have No Comments