The importance of Title and Meta tags

HTML documents are not all about text and content. While the bulk of an HTML document will denote the content seen on a webpage and how that content is displayed, some of the most key facets of these documents are not shown to the user in the conventional way – instead, these elements are shown to search engines and browsers.

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Two of the most important of these “hidden” elements are the <title> and <meta> tags. Both serve to improve the general usability of search engines, and attract new traffic by way of advertising a page and its content more accurately.

<title> tags – you guessed it – define the title of a page. This will be used both by the browser (to name the tab and window), and by the search engine (to name the Search Engine Results Page entry for the page). This is your user’s first contact point with your site and should be unique and descriptive to avoid being lost in the crowd.

A great example of a unique title tag could be:

title-tag-html

<meta> tags are a little more complex. They are designed to contain “information about the information” – character encodings, geographic locations, authors and many more fields can be defined with a meta tag. One of the most important pieces of meta information is a “meta description” which should be a short (150-160) character description of the page.

This description will appear as a snippet underneath the page’s title on the Result Page, and serves to bring more traffic to the page from users who will actually benefit from visiting your page.

A typical meta description for the About page defined above might take the following form:

meta-description-tag

Note that if a page lacks a meta description, the search engine will usually take the first content on the page for this field – this is almost never ideal, and can detract from the professional look, feel and usability of the site – usability starts at the Results Page, not at your actual site!

Jonathan

New Solent Fire Website

A few weeks ago Solent Fire contact us to discuss their website, it was pretty dated and required a complete re-design. Working with Solent Fire we put together a couple of design concepts, these soon evolved into the new website, please see below:

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We hope you like the look and feel of SolentFire.co.uk, Tidy Design is delighted with the end result. We are now discussing the next phase of website development, please stay tuned…

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Finally, it was great to receive such positive feedback from Solent Fire on this project, thank you so much for choosing Tidy Design.

A Recent Testimonial

Working with an array of different clients in different sectors is great, there is never a dull moment. Many thanks to Portsmouth NHS for their glowing testimonial; we look forward to working with you on future projects:

portsmouth-nhs-logo

“We asked Tidy Design to help us to develop an interactive, informative and user-friendly App to help expectant mothers choose where they would prefer to birth their baby. This is what they did. Mike and the team at Tidy Design were invaluable; their passion and expertise helped us achieve our vision.

The project was completed to an exceptional standard whilst maintaining timescales and financial targets. It was a pleasure working with Mike, Rosie and Blayne and we would not hesitate in recommending their services.”

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Thanks again to Portsmouth NHS, here is a link to the project MyBirthplace.org

A Busy First Quarter!

Hard to believe the first quarter of 2016 is already over – a massive “thank you” must go out to all our clients, you have kept us very busy!

All in all it has been an eventful three months for Tidy Design; we have started to work with several new clients, we have seen lots of repeat business, we have been interviewing, growing as a company and working very hard to deliver a quality service day in day out…

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Doors certainly do open when you work hard; word of mouth is by far the best form of advertising (sorry Google) as this year has shown. From working with Portsmouth NHS two years ago we have now started to work with Wessex Strategic Clinical Networks, liaising with NHS trusts in Bournemouth, Dorchester, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Poole and Southampton…

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Yup, a busy first quarter!

4 Modern Website Layout Examples

Layouts have not changed an awful lot since the release of CSS3 and HTML5. The days of using tables to layout a website are long gone yet websites still feel table like. There are benefits of having an unorthodox layout. No matter your trade you will always have competitors and I bet a lot of those competitors have similar websites (table like). Will a user remember one hundred similar layouts or the one that was different?

Diamonds

CSS3 has really changed the way we can style elements on a page. Using transform we can alter the appearance of nearly any element. Giving us the power to create some really unique layouts. Rotating squares into diamonds is one of the more basic examples; nonetheless very unique compared to its square cousin.

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The layout I have created can be used in a number of ways. An e-commerce store may use the two side diamonds as links for either men or women. They could be used as image placeholders to accompany the text in the centre. Whatever you choose this is a sure fired way to ensure a memorable site.

Box Overlay

Overlaying boxes on a traditional looking website can really impact its appearance and break the mould. Using shadows you can effectively turn the content inside into high priority areas for your call to actions (cta). Users are more likely to scan those areas of the page before anywhere else. Overlapping the boundaries of the layout beneath can also add to the effect.

overlaying-blocks

This layout would be great for a personal blog, the longer box to the left can act as an effective side bar while the posts can be placed to the right. The featured post can occupy the top of the page, its image being inside of the overlaying square.

Masonry

There are a couple of ways to achieving this effect. The easiest is to use a Javascript grid layout library called Masonry, it sorts all of the boxes into optimal positions to prevent huge vertical spaces. As quoted from their website “sort of like a mason fitting stones into a wall”. This means you can have many different shapes and sizes all fitting nicely next to and beneath one another.

The sidebar is also a less common feature and takes up a fraction of the space compared to more traditional versions. Using icons and single words allows the sidebar to become less of a prominent feature but remaining just as useful.

masonry-layout

This layout again can be used for blogs but also for dashboards. The boxes can contain important information for the website owner such as statistics or quick actions etc.

Marginless

This final concept is the most traditional looking of them all but it still has its unique qualities. The majority of websites use CSS to include margin between their sections. A marginless layout throws that out of the window and uses padding instead to create its white space. If you can get the correct colours and images then these layouts can look amazing.

no-margin-layout

These types of sites are great if your trying to sell a single product or advertise your business online.

Hopefully by now you have a few ideas you can take away with you to start building some truly unique looking layouts. It does however take more then just a great layout to build a memorable website but its the foundation on which everything else will be placed. Have a favourite layout? let us know in the comments.

Blayne Phillips

Website Layouts

Website layouts can be one of the easiest but also one of the trickiest components of website design – it may take a few minutes to map out a website structure and design, it could take a few hours…

website-layouts

Each web design project is unique; this calls for a unique solution and approach to our clients requirements. Ok, there are several website layout guidelines we can all follow to create user-friendly layouts, these include; a good use of whitespace, obvious (and easy to follow) call to actions, consistent font styles, alignments, positioning and device compatibility…

If you would like to find out more then please do not hesitate to contact us, our office in Old Portsmouth is open weekdays, 9am to 5pm :)

Thank you for having us…

Yesterday evening we travelled up to London to attend an Eleven Magazine exhibition in association with The Architectural Review hosted by KPF;

Eleven Magazine

Top: Eleven Magazine // Bottom: London Snaps & Tidy Blayne

It was great to hear such positive feedback on the website, meet people from AR (The Architectural Review) and get a mention from Andrea (Eleven Magazine, Editor in Chief) when he did his speech.

If you are interested in architecture, design, travel or innovation then please check out the Eleven Magazine website, the stories and articles they post are very cool – keep up the good work!

Thanks again for having us, although we didn’t get to stay for the after party (maybe next time) we did have fun and meet some interesting people.

Networking in London

Later today Tidy Design will be heading to London. One of our clients “Eleven Magazine” is hosting an event in association with The Architectural Review, showcasing the work from a recent competition they organised…

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We can expect lots of networking in Covent Garden this evening, luckily we have our new business cards – thank you for the invite guys!

Tidy Goals for 2016

A slightly belated Happy New Year! Last week was pretty hectic; lots to map out and catch up on following the festive break… Throw in a couple of meetings, a few new enquiries and lots of web work; it was “all systems go” at Tidy Design HQ in Old Portsmouth…

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So, week one of fifty-two is almost over (says Mike, blogging away on a Sunday evening)! Here at Tidy Design we have some big plans for the New Year ahead, nothing too crazy, a healthy mix of client work, a new in-house project and some intelligent business development.

Rewind twelve months; I am delighted to say we grew as a company throughout 2015 – This was down to our amazing clients, their on-going business and kind recommendations, new enquiries and that all important ingredient, ‘hard work’.

Although growth is great, we are by no means perfect! We do a lot of things very well, but we could become far better. Throughout 2016 our goal is to be more streamlined, efficient, energetic and driven – Improvements can always be made in life and business, we do not plan to stand still!

Christmas Festivities

So its official, Team Tidy has gone Christmas crazy! We have our tree up, the tinsel is out, and the three of us are in our Christmas jumpers. Even Mike was wearing his Christmas socks last week!

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With a little help from our very own elves Isaac and Jamie, we have made our office look like Santa’s HQ…

Why do we love this time so much? Well it’s the one time of year where we can all switch off and take a well-deserved break. We know that we won’t receive urgent update emails on Christmas Day and we can finally put our phones/laptops/ipads down and our feet up!

So from all of us at Tidy Design, whatever you plan to do, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

P.s. Just a reminder that our office will be closing at 2pm on Wednesday 23rd December, and reopening on Monday 4th January 2016.

Rosie Ward