Questions a Web Designer should ask

As a web designer and developer, I have come to understand the importance of collaborating efficiently with my clients. When I first started out, I wanted to do a great job for my clients, and give them exactly what they wanted in a site. Unfortunately, I didn’t really know how to get there.

Now, after years in the business I was able to come up with the right questions to satisfy my client’s needs, and here they are:

1. “Can you describe your business in a few sentences?”

By distilling your business into a sentence or two, you are essentially giving your designer your “elevator pitch.” This is great information and can be used to quickly describe your business on your homepage for instance. After all, when it comes to writing for the web, brevity is your new best friend, as most of your users will never read as in-depth as you would like them to. You have to capture their attention right away.

2. “Who are your main competitors?”

By knowing who you are competing against,  your designer can conduct the research needed to see how others in your field handle their websites. He or she can then determine what seems to be working well for some of them, and not as well for others. The intent here is not to copy what others are doing, but rather to learn from the benefit of their experience, as well as from their mistakes.

3. “What sets your business apart from your competitors?”

This is your chance to really distinguish your business from the others. If you have something unique to offer, then your designer should know about it, so that it can be played up and specifically called out on your site. It doesn’t have to be anything earth-shattering. In fact, it can be something incredibly simple, such as offering a complimentary consultation, for instance.

4. “Can you describe your target customer?”

Knowing exactly who your main audience is affects almost every aspect of the design.  After all, a site that would appeal to teenage boys would not be very visually interesting to women over 60. Other than the visual concerns, these breakdowns would also make a big difference on search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, as well as social media integration. It is very important to be as specific as possible: gender, age, and annual income are major things to be considered in order to design the most appropriate site for your audience.

5. “What is your deadline for completing the site?”

You have a deadline in mind, right? Well you should! Having a deadline not only keeps your designer on track, but it will keep you focused as well. All too often, website projects start with a bang and fizzle out over a span of months because a timeline was never established. It’s a good sign if your designer asks because in most cases that means he or she respects your time and is interested in getting the website finished when you need it.

6. “What are some other sites on the Web that you like and why?”

This is where your designer can get a sense of your own personal tastes. Since personal preferences are so subjective, it really helps me as a designer to know what visual style you respond well to. Again, this question is not designed in order to copy anything that someone else has already done, but it serves as a great jumping-off point. If a designer doesn’t ask this, then you run the risk of them designing a (possibly) amazing site that just isn’t your cup of tea.

7. “What specific functionalities would you like included on your site?”

This is something that you may not have thought very much about. You may not even be fully aware of all the options that are out there. Many of my web design clients know they want a Web presence, but they aren’t always sure about what they want to get out of it. And that’s ok. It is up to your web designer to get to the heart of your business, and suggest new ways to leverage all the technologies that are available and appropriate to your site. For instance, if you run a restaurant, you probably know that you want to have your menu, contact info and directions on your site. But what about adding an option for customers to book their reservation via your website?

8. “Who is going to be responsible for the website’s content?”

This is a question that often catches clients off guard. It is a bit easier to answer in the case of a redesign, but what if you are a new business starting a website from scratch? Do you plan on writing the copy for your own site? Unless you have experience writing for marketing purposes, I wouldn’t recommend it.

The first reason is, good Web copywriting is a skill that can greatly improve user engagement when done right. Secondly, (and I say this in the nicest possible way,) it will probably take a very long time for you to get around to it, if at all. I can’t tell you how many projects that have either stalled, or been abandoned altogether because a designer hasn’t received the content promised to them by a client.

If your designer works with a copywriter, by all means, spend a little extra and go that route. It will take a lot of pressure off of you, the project will be completed faster, and you will end up with a much better product in the end. Well written copy sells. Period.

9. “What key search phrases would you like to be found for?”

Search engine optimization (SEO) is your key to being found on the Web. Your designer should be asking you this because your answers could have a big impact on not only the copy, but the overall site structure as well. Let’s say you run a photography business in Boulder, Colorado. You might want to be found for the terms “wedding photography boulder colorado,” as well as “yearbook photography boulder colorado.” It would be a good idea to design two different landing pages for those different keyword phrases, rather than relying on being found through a more generic homepage.

10. “How much time do you want to put into new content creation per week?”

Another key element to SEO strategy is keeping your content fresh. This means adding brand new content to existing pages, and/or adding new pages altogether on a fairly consistent basis. This can be done any number of ways, including a blog, user generated content if appropriate, or even a podcast. When I ask a client this question, I am looking to find out how I should design their site to make the most use out of the time they are willing to spend. If its only a few hours per week, a blog would be sufficient in most cases. If it is a company that employs someone who can work on content creation full-time, I would start thinking of new areas that would attract users. A video page perhaps? Or maybe a twitter contest? The ideas are endless, but it all comes down to how much time you are willing to spend on such efforts.

Final Thoughts

There is much more to your new website than just the visual elements. A good web designer knows this and will go beyond the basics. The questions on this list each serve a very important purpose, and your web designer should touch on all of them in order to make fully informed design decisions that will positively impact your business for years to come.

The Anatomy Of Most Web Design Clients

The Anatomy Of Most Web Design Clients

Clients are not all the same. Sure there are a few that will react the way the info-gram describes them, but there is also a good percentage of clients ho are the complete opposite. What do you think? What type of client do you consider yourself to be like?


The Anatomy Of Most Web Design Clients

Internet Video Formats

There are different types of video formats that can be used on a website BUT you need to choose the right one because they will and will not work depending on what type of browser you are using or platform. Here are more details

  1. First things first
    In a digital video suitable for distribution on the Internet we distinguish three basic parts: the video itself, the audio and the file contains both (and other things to ignore). Well, each of which can have different formats.
  2. The video itself
    It be encoded digitally and almost always packed (if not, we would need a huge bandwidth to move …). The programs that encode and compress (or undo) are the “famous” codecs. There are several formats, and each may be one or several codecs. Common formats are:

    • MPEG-4
      MPEG-4 is a set of standards defined by the MPEG consortium as an evolution of MPEG-2 (used in digital TV and DVD) and MPEG-1 (used among others in the Video-CD).The compression format is only part of the MPEG-4, is in fact the “Part 2”. But it is known by the name of the standard. Based on the MPEG-4 codecs like DivX have the Xvid and QuickTime.Although it has a reputation for “free” to be defined by a committee, it is actually a proprietary format MPEG consortium (in which are many firms with interests in this market, such as Apple, Microsoft, Panasonic, Sony … intersante list on wikipedia ) but not Adobe or Google, for example (and this is important …)
    • H.264
      What complicates things is that the MPEG-4 format also defines a “better” in “Part 14”, VCA, better known as H.264, fashion format that is standard on phones in the Blu- ray. So H.264 is only “one” MPEG-4, H.264 but always call …That if, at equal size, usually H.264 will give us a much higher quality than MPEG-4.
    • Sorenson Spark
      Sorenson Spark is little known, but turns out to be the codec “original” of the famous Flash Video. Adobe bought the license to Sorenson Media, developers of the format, so often identified with him, but as we will see Flash defines a file format that supports various video formats, not just this one. In any case, it is also of an “owner”
    • Theora
      Theora if Open Source is a format developed by the Xiph.Org Foundation (comes from one owner, who was released by VP3 On2, its developer, at the time). Pretty used in used in all kinds of open source projects but little in applications “commercial”.
    • VP6
      Owner of On2 and licensed to Adobe. Used in the last latest Flash instead of Sorenson Spark.
    • VP8
      Powered by On2 as the VP3 and VP6, was released-irrevocably-in 2010 when Google bought On2. Is therefore Open Source. Although very recent and enjoys very little support, VP8 is the format chosen by Google for Internet video standard for WebM.
    • Windows Media Video and VC-1
      Microsoft proprietary formats, used exclusively in Windows Media. The codec, including Windows, Windows Media Encoder is both WMV to VC-1
  3. The audio formats
    The truth is that they give less trouble, so I will just mention the most important:
  • MP3
    Name where is confusing because it refers to “Part 3” of the MPEG-1, which defined the digital audio format associated with the video. Format widespread since it was first used for compressing and sharing music.
  • AAC
    Advanced Audio Coding. New audio format defined by the MPEG-4.
  • Ogg Vorbis
    Open Source Format Xiph.Org Foundation. The Open Source community argues that its quality is superior to MP3 and AAC. Used in the corresponding projects and commercial applications like Spotify. Is the audio format chosen by Google for WebM standard.
  • Windows Media Audio
    Microsoft proprietary format
  • Dolby Digital and Dolby TrueHD
    Dolby owners. Used DVDs and Blu-ray, respectively.

File formats

We are the containers. The identify by its extension as a file:

  • . Mp4
    MPEG-4 container (it is his “Part 14”). Can contain video in MPEG-4 (ie, the codec created by DivX, Xvid, QuickTime …) and H.264.
  • . Swf,. Flv and. F4v
    They are the successive formats that Adobe has been defined for the Flash video from 2002 until now. The latest versions support Sorenson Spark, VP6 and H.264. The. F4v only supports H.264.
  • . Ogg. Ogv
    Ogg is the container for Open Source Xiph.Org Foundation. Suitable to contain Theora format.
  • . Mkv (Matroska)
    Matroska is an open source format that can contain almost any video format. Very originally used to compress movies to be shared online.Important: container format is selected for Google to WebM.
  • . Avi
    Microsoft’s proprietary container format. Besides Microsoft formats supports many, including MPEG-4.
  • . Mov
    Container is the file owner of Apple QuickTime. It’s actually almost identical to. Mp4, as the QuickTime MPEG relied on to define; But owning Apple has less support on other platforms.

The players

The player is the “program” that embedded in the browser, open the container file (for which you have to understand it) run the appropriate codecs for audio and video formats (for which the have to be in the system) and adds necessary controls to start, stop, forward…

We have several families:

  • The Flash-based
    Programmed Flash, use the Adobe Flash Player, which in addition to supporting Flash formats, it also supports. Mp4.Available for all platforms except iOS (iPod, iPhone & iPad). If not installed directly by the OS, the browser will automatically download.
  • The “Native” HTML5
    HTML5 specifications <video> add a tag that the browser has to know how to interpret. In its simplest version should be something like:

You just need to:

The browser supports HTML5 (currently only Safari, Chrome and Firefox 4 betas Explorer 9). The browser understands the file format (currently only. Mp4 although Chrome beta also supports Theora and WebM, of course). The codec is installed on the OS.

Those based on Java

Rare and more complex to develop. They can withstand what the programmer has decided if the codec is in the OS.

The world Adobe.

Owner but the most widespread. Composed of successive file formats, both graduates and video formats that can be considered as “own” and recently added H.264.

Do not confuse this “pack” with the Flash Player, Adobe video player that, in addition to supporting these formats can also manage the “pack” MPEG-4 we talk later: not that include the Flash format. mp4, is the Flash player which supports it.

The world MPEG-4. It has standard image but is proprietary. Supports only their own formats but has positioned itself as the future for your support in HTML5.

Despite not confuse names. Mp4 (container file format defined by the MPEG-4) MPEG-4 (video format defined in the MPEG-4). Nor should we forget that a. Mp4 can also contain H.264 video (also defined in the MPEG-4)

MPEG Format

(Players: Based HTML5 and Adobe Flash Player)

The world Google: Webm.

It is the newcomer. Defined by Google to compete with Adobe and MPEG (mainly Apple) and the strategic approach of Open Source. It’s just a sum of technologies that already exist, but they charge a special force Google’s bet.


The Open Source world. And finally, outside the world of business and the interests of business and the “purity” and the halo of free software have the “pack” of the Xiph.Org Foundation. For your own home is also limited to a minority use. You can see an example of its use in WikiMedia project

(Players: HTML5, non-standard and specific plugins)


The world offers us more combinations Flash format, but not work on Apple mobile is a serious handicap. But when Apple has declared war and has not included by default in the latest laptops.

The world HTML5 +. Mp4 seems the future, but at present the lack of support in Explorer and Firefox (+ 70% market share) it seriously limits.

On the other hand Google has decided that MPEG is a proprietary format (and that Google is not “the” owner) and has begun to suggest a boycott. From the outset, it appears that the only support Chrome HTML5 WebM (. Mkv + VP8). One hopes that this decision not to transfer to other “their world” (YouTube, Apps, GMail …)

The reality is that publishers, whether content or advertising are forced today to produce and distribute them in various formats depending on the platform and browser with which they are.

For the home user and SMEs, the most popular platforms (YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion …) solve this problem by transparently charge of generating as many versions as necessary to ensure universal distribution.

What is cross-browser layout?

What is cross-browser layout?

The cross-browser display is an important aspect of the work of a professional web layout designer. Making a layout displays correctly in all browsers is no easy task, let alone a website that displays correctly in a browser means that your display is correct in other browsers. Not at all.

Although validate the HTML and CSS using the W3C validation service and we know by heart the HTML and CSS standards will always be small differences between browsers display because they do not support the web standards identically. This is a situation that occurs repeatedly because browsers are developed by teams of people firms and different working rhythms and different objectives, they do what they can to accommodate improvements to each new version of web standards.

What browsers should look good a layout?

There usability studies indicating how long it should be considered a current web browser like, but the best way to know what browsers we worry about supporting a consulting web layout is usage statistics.


The chart speaks for itself: the most used browsers today are Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari and Opera. Internet Explorer 6 is considered deprecated, so it should support from version 7 this browser.

How to achieve a cross-browser layout?

The starting point for achieving a crossbrowser layout is to write HTML and CSS valid, but not enough. Achieve cross-browser layout necessarily going to write CSS code conditional, ie incorporated CSS code dynamically according to the client browser.

There are several techniques that can be used to achieve this goal:

  • Load specific style sheets for different versions of Internet Explorer using conditional HTML comments.
  • Load specific style sheets to include specific rules for Google Chrome and Safari based on browser detection using Javascript.
  • Use hacks to overcome deficiencies in some browsers.
  • Use a script to provide us the task of writing CSS rules depending on the browser.

What is Java technology and why do I need?

What is Java technology and why do I need?

Java is a programming language and computing platform first created by Sun Microsystems in 1995. It is the underlying technology that allows programs using pointers, including tools, games and business applications. Java runs on more than 850 million personal computers worldwide, and on billions of devices, such as mobile devices and televisions.

Why do I need Java?

There are a number of Web sites and applications that do not work unless Java is installed, and many more that are created daily. Java is fast, secure and reliable. From laptops to datacenters, game consoles to scientific supercomputers, cell phones to the Internet, Java is everywhere.

Java? Can be downloaded for free?

Yes, Java can be downloaded for free. Get the latest version

Why should I upgrade to the latest version of Java?

The latest Java version contains important enhancements for performance, stability and security of Java applications running on your computer. The free update installation ensures that your Java applications continue to run safely and efficiently.


Originally called OAK, the programming language was renamed Java in 1995.

What do I get when you download Java software?

By downloading the software you get the Java Runtime Environment (JRE). The JRE consists of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), core classes in the Java platform libraries and Java support. The JRE is the part related to implementation of the Java software is all you need to run Java in the web browser. When you download Java software, you only get what you need, with no spyware or viruses.

What is the Java plug?

The Java plug-in is a component of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE). The JRE to run applets across browsers written in the Java programming language. The Java plug-in is not a standalone program and can not be installed separately.

I’ve heard the terms Java Virtual Machine and JVM. Is this Java software?

Java Virtual Machine (JVM) is only one aspect of Java software, specifically used for interaction on the web. Java Virtual Machine is included in the Java software download, and helps to run Java applications.

Online Marketing

Online Marketing

The Beast Marketing strategy in the field of Online Marketing is focused on the constant search positioning and visibility of companies on the Internet, always developing actions towards achieving effective results, as more and more frequently offers Online Marketing companies and individuals excellent results in the promotion and sale of their products and services as well as in the creation and effective dissemination of a brand image.

Within the area of ​​Online Marketing, The Marketing Beast technical study use the Internet to advertise and sell those products and services, among which advertising cost per click (CPC), warnings (ads) on web portals, search engine marketing (including search engine optimization), the use of social networks and blogs developed marketing and, in general, web 2.0. Depending on the type of business you study, apply one or other tools, always aware of how effective each of them will have in its segment of the public with the aim of achieving the consolidation of the company.

The Beast Marketing, in its effort to improve management processes of its customers Online Marketing, works with Google AdWords, for the creation and optimization advertising campaigns in your browser.