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How the new Bluelinemedia website has helped us

Calendar Posted 25th November 2010 | Category: Company | Feed Icon


We launched a new version of our website in June, so I thought I'd explain some of the new features and how they've helped us.


Our biggest change was the blog because it means we have to commit ongoing time to keeping it up to date. There's no point in having a blog without regular new articles, so we now have a fortnightly meeting to talk about ideas and allocate the writing. Our blog includes submission links for social media accounts, comments, and an RSS feed which allows us to list on Feedburner and other blog sites.

During October 2010, our blog and individual entries were viewed over 4500 times, representing about 25% of the views of the whole website. Each blog entry is typically viewed 200 times, and it's still early days. We've also created lots of new, relevant content that should help us appear more highly on search engines, and just having a blog (as long as it's properly set up) will help search engine ranking because it suggests a more up-to-date and therefore relevant website. Read more...

Website snow effect for Christmas

Calendar Posted 25th November 2010 | Category: Web Design | Feed Icon


As it's almost the festive season and already getting colder, it can only be time to roll out a simple snow effect. The effect you see in the banner above this blog is a MooTools script which can use text or images to model the snowflakes you see drifting across the banner.

The script is available to view at: http://www.bluelinemedia.co.uk/javascript/snow.js.

As you can see the script is based on <a href="http://pr0digy.com/mootools/text-snow/">http://pr0digy.com/mootools/text-snow/</a> which has been copied and extended a couple of times. The only changes I had to make here was to modify a few parameters to make the snow appear as a continual stream rather than waves of snow and to sort a couple of issues with styling in IE6/7. Read more...

Dynamic PDF conversion

Calendar Posted 24th November 2010 | Category: Web Development | Feed Icon


At Bluelinemedia one service quite a few of our clients ask for is the dynamic creation of PDF documents using data from their website.

PDF documents are very useful for many reasons including the following. They can be setup to a certain design and the client knows that when a user reads that document it will appear exactly as the design and layout, therefore preserving the look and feel of the document created.

Automatic PDF conversion

They are nearly impossible to edit so the client can rest assured that the document the system creates will not be editable by the user who views it. PDF documents are also quick to create and easy to send via email which makes them perfect for online applications/systems. At Bluelinemedia we have a lot of experience dynamically converting PDF files using systems we create. Read more...

How we use Javascript with Mootools

Calendar Posted 19th November 2010 | Category: Web Design | Feed Icon


Here at Bluelinemedia we use the Mootools framwork to write most of our Javascript. This lets us create things like image slide shows as well as other enhancements to the user interface.

We already have a great CSS3 examples page and now we have a Javascript examples pages to go along with it. Check it out.

Soon we will be writing a short tutorial on how you can accomplish these examples yourself! Read more...

Writing Understandable Code

Calendar Posted 16th November 2010 | Category: Web Design | Feed Icon


Ok, so it's a bit boring, but writing understandable code is actually quite important. Whether it#s HTML, CSS, JavaScript or PHP, the key to good programming is being able to achieve complicated results with the simplest of mechanisms. Anyone can write code that is difficult to read and maybe looks clever, but distilling complex functionality into simple steps is almost an art form.

What is understandable code?

Understandable code is code that is written to be read - as simple as that. It's more than just commenting your code properly (although comments are an important aspect). Code should be expressed simply - there is nothing worse than reading code that looks as if it has been written as part of a competition to write something in less than 10 lines. Consistency of layout should also be considered in terms of indentation, variable naming and constructs used - all these things can help people find the section they are looking for and understand, at a glance, what is going on.

Sensible breakdowns of repetitive code into functions and classes with informative names also increases the speed which with a new person can understand old code. Even filenames can provide helpful pointers for anyone trying to pick up a piece of code with no previous knowledge. Read more...

Six of our favourite CSS3 features

Calendar Posted 12th November 2010 | Category: Web Design | Feed Icon


We've been playing around with some cool CSS3 features here in the office today and thought it would be quite interesting to throw together a single page showing off some of our favorite features.

At the moment some of our examples will only work in certain browsers and there isn't much of an explanation into how each would be useful.

We will be writing a follow up blog post explaining each example in a lot more detail but for now you can view our CSS3 Example Page here Read more...

3 steps to more website leads

Calendar Posted 10th November 2010 | Category: Web Marketing | Feed Icon


For a free review of your website, click here. Or you can do it yourself with this article.

There are three stages to get more leads from your marketing website: first impression, qualification, and action. To get more from your website, think of your visitor's experience as a process, and look at how you're helping them along.

1. Improve leads from first impression

Visitors need to instantly know they're in the right place. This could be as simple as a punchy strapline that summarises your specialisms, or images that set the scene. A professional design goes a long way in giving the right impression quickly, and people will respond to a website that has good quality images, a professional logo, and a clear and consistent colour scheme. Read more...

Designers - What we need from you when building a website

Calendar Posted 8th November 2010 | Category: Web Design | Feed Icon


We work with many designers and design companies building the websites or systems they have created a design for. Many designers prefer leaving the technical side of building their clients websites to Bluelinemedia leaving them time to concentrate on the deigns.

At Bluelinemedia we thought it would be helpful to write down in a blog what we need from designers when working with them to create a website.

An optional stage is to initially submit us a concept design. We can then review it from our perspective and offer any suggestions/features that we think would improve the website. These suggestions could be to do with usability for example which we have a great deal of experience dealing with. Read more...

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