3 Web Design tips and tools to start 2016

January 19th, 2016

1: Tint and Colour tutorial

This tint and colour overview and tutorial page from Canvas is a great and can help anyone who is seriously colour challenged



2: Canvas – platform to bring design from your head to the “canvas”

Actual and while we’re Canva is an online graphic design platform that aims to help people who are not trained designers  in getting out their own designs. I see it as a great tool for clients that have a very real vision but can’t explain in words- with Canvas they can show me.



3: Another great colour resource the update Kuler- Adobe Color CC

Kuler has become Adobe Color CC and with the name change has come some great updates



Another great web dev tools

October 13th, 2015

UPDATE: Damm it this site has been down for a couple of days so I am going to have to find another good phone and ipad emulator :( as soon as I do I will be updating this post .

I am loving the http://transmog.net/ emulator tool.tweedremovals

Why? You ask?

  • Let me list the reasons for my love  :)
  • It actually renders mobile webpages more accurately than any other web-based simulator.
  • It simulates a touchscreen interface and sends requests with your chosen user agent eg iphone 4, iphone 5, samsung galaxy etc- ok it doesn’t have the latest devices you web devs probably do and its actually old devices you need to test in.
  • Its quick without a ton of advertising and closest scams- I know everyone has to make money but some sites just take it way too far.
  • Its free  and you don’t need an account. Sometime I just need a really quick testing option

When I was testing the visual rendering of my example responsive  tweed removals website it was a life saver.

Gold Coast wedding celebrant

October 1st, 2015

I have been doing a bit of maintenance work for Gold Coast wedding celebrant Shauna Rowe on her website. It is a beautiful website but the WordPress theme that it uses isn’t out of the box overly SEO friendly so I’ve just been cleaning up the html and fundamental SEO tags.

I also install google analytics and webmaster tools ‘so that we can track any changes and improvements over the long term. This in it self was very interesting because it showed that the sites most popular page is her Gold Coast beach weddings page which without the tracking I would have never realised this longtail search phrase was a potential gold mine.

So what is the moral of this post – there is no point in spending money or effort unless you can effectively track your changes– basically how are you going to calculate the ROI (return on investment) of your time and energy. Without effective tracking you may be focusing on the wrong areas or key phrases. And in this competitive day and age that is the last thing you want to be doing :)

This graphic from Forbes.com illustrates the value of longtail key words beautifully just like a romatic beach wedding :)

long tail keywords like gold coast beach weddings

6 awesome SEO tools

September 22nd, 2015

SERPs-no-com-140Free Keyword Rank Checker

This simple tool can tell you exactly where your website sits in google (within the top 250) for a particular search phrase.

It easily check keywords in any country or location in Google or Yahoo.


googleanalytics-1Google Analytics

This one really goes without saying but every website needs to have Google Analytics install whether the client or anyone else is actually looking at the reports because how you analysis without data and more importantly how can you track your changes and hopefully improvements if you have no data.


 google-webmaster-central-logoGoogle Webmaster tools

Google Webmaster tools provides you with  data, tools and diagnostics for a to ensure you have a healthy, Google-friendly site. 




bing-webmasterBing Webmaster tools

pretty much the same as Google Webmaster tools except for Bing. I hear you saying but who uses Bing – well Yahoo results uses Bings results so between Bing and Yahoo there is 20-30% of the search marketplace and if you aren’t getting traction in Google then targeting Bing could be a good long term strategy.



seochat SEO Chat tools

Seo Chat tools has a group of over 50 tools that are grouped into categories such as SEO, Social Media, Schema.org, PPC , Webmaster, Web Design. The great thing about these tools   are they setup to do one thing and one thing only so when you find a tool you need you can just book mark the one tool. You don’t have to wade through a million screens to get to the feature you want.


logoSEOBook Tools

This is another great group/list of tools that has something for everyone. It also list some great browser addons so you can test and analyse website right from within your browser :)



TCP/IP protocols

August 11th, 2015


Communications between computers on a network is done through protocol suits. The most widely used and most widely available protocol suite is TCP/IP protocol suite. A protocol suit consists of a layered architecture where each layer depicts some functionality which can be carried out by a protocol. Each layer usually has more than one protocol options to carry out the responsibility that the layer adheres to. TCP/IP is normally considered to be a 4 layer system. The 4 layers are as follows :

  1. Application layer
  2. Transport layer
  3. Network layer
  4. Data link layer

Today in our class we are only worried about the”protocols FTP and http which are aprt of the  Application layer

This is the top layer of TCP/IP protocol suite. This layer includes applications or processes that use transport layer protocols to deliver the data to destination computers.

At each layer there are certain protocol options to carry out the task designated to that particular layer. So, application layer also has various protocols that applications use to communicate with the second layer, the transport layer. Some of the popular application layer protocols are :

  • HTTP (Hypertext transfer protocol)
  • FTP (File transfer protocol)
  • SMTP (Simple mail transfer protocol)
  • SNMP (Simple network management protocol) etc

FTP Definition

File Transfer Protocol, or FTP, is a protocol used to upload files from a workstation to a FTP server or download files from a FTP server to a workstation. It is the way that files get transferred from one device to another in order for the files to be available on the Internet

HTTP Definition

The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is an application protocol for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems.HTTP is the foundation of data communication for the World Wide Web. Hypertext is structured text that uses logical links (hyperlinks) between nodes containing text.


So what is the difference????

A good explanation is available here :)

How to use the Pen Tool in Photoshop

May 6th, 2015

pentoolPhotoshop provides multiple Pen tools that are incredible power tools for anyone using photoshop or illustrator for that matter but they also can be the hardest of the tools to master. The standard Pen tool draws with the greatest precision and the main one that these great resources are relevant to:

  1. The Bezier tool game is an awesome hands on tutorial/game that has options to practice and master the basics of the pen tool before launching you into the game which can easily become very additive and a great way to really master the Pen tool
    Try it here http://bezier.method.ac/
  2. Adobe’s pen tool help is well laid out with examples, step by step instructions and video https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/drawing-pen-tools.html

Creating visually appealing content

March 21st, 2015

This infographic from QuickSpout.com is a great overview on why it is important to create visually appealing content

The Ultimate Guide to Creating Visually Appealing Content
Courtesy of: Quick Sprout

Web Diploma Notes

February 8th, 2015

Welcome 2015 Web diploma

Photo by Stuart Miles. src http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

Photo by Stuart Miles. src http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

Week 1 – Orientation Week

  • Acknowledgement of country
    Before we begin proceedings, I would like to acknowledge the Bungjalung nation the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet today . I would like to pay my respects to the Elders past, present and future and pay my respects to all Aboriginal People here today, wherever you may come from.
  • Introduction-me- some recent work-
  • http://boundarylane.com/
  • http://hatandfashion.com/
  • http://www.foxybabes.com.au/
  • http://totalpropertyinspections.com.au/
  • http://www.safetydatabases.com.au/
  • http://shoppingcartdesigns.com.au/
  • Course coordinators name and contact details- Geoff
  • Head teacher name and contact details- Luke
  • Campus Map and evacuation procedures (Wollongbar campus map)-electronic
  • Emergency Procedures (take selfies after evacuation)
  • Cheap Software: http://studentdiscounts.com.au/
  • MS Office for Students: It’s Not Cheating
  • Free Counselling and Careers Service
  • Class timetable – Monday and Tuesday evening 3- 8:30 with 30 mins diner break
  • What is in NCI Student Information Booklet
    • Recognised Prior Learning policy
    • Reasonable adjustment policy
    • The Anti-Bullying policy
  • What is in booklet Every Students Guide to Assessment- hard copy
  • Student Study Agreement  Electronic click to down load – students to sign
    • student assessment policy
    • plagiarism- what is it and what are the consequences
  • Reviewing assessment results –
    correcting errors or appealing an assessment outcome – section and formal policies
  • location of all electronic materials including UAGs for course
  • Authority to Publish Form Electronic click to down load – students to sign
  • Harrassment and Bullying is Unacceptable and will not be tolerated at TAFE. Click here to watch the new and improved North Coast TAFE Anti-Bullying video.

Ok with that all done :)now for our stuff

My units

  • ICAICT418A Contribute to copyright, ethics and privacy in an IT environment
  • BSBOHS509A Ensure a safe workplace
  • ICAWEB505A Develop complex web page layouts
  • ICAICT509A Gather data to identify business requirements
  • ICAPMG501A Manage IT projects (Graded unit)
src FreeDigitalPhotos.net

src FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Also as another note-the class is made up of a variety educational backgrounds- some from the cert 3 and some from the cert 4  and a variety of practical experience backgrounds so the first 6 weeks will feel as though you are not learning anything new for some and for others it will seem as though you are drowning and in way over your head :)  But everyone will get through if you are genuinely committed to getting through this course.

Everyone needs to appreciate that this is a diploma level course where your learning is primarily self directed by you. The teachers are here to facilitate your successful completion of the Diploma Web Development qualification to the standard as set out by ASQA but you need to be  independent in your learning and self management.  There will be many topics/area that will come up or that you may be interested in that the course does not cover or that the facilitators/teachers are not experts in and are not expected to be where you will be expected to research solutions and apply  for yourself.- Oh the shock :) :)

Also I must present my disclaimer now that I am the queen of typos so please don’t hesitate to question me on anything a say or write :)

Ok now on to some real stuff-Revision

Tonight do we want to start with ???

  • ICAICT418A Contribute to copyright, ethics and privacy in an IT environment
  • BSBOHS509A Ensure a safe workplace
  • ICAWEB505A Develop complex web page layouts
  • ICAPMG501A Manage IT projects (Graded unit)



SEO Case study

October 28th, 2014

The About Asbestos site has been a valuable SEO exercise because things are going the way I would normally expect :( Usually if I create a website and do the onpage optimization appropriately the website ranks well on 3 word phrases but the about asbestos website is doing something funky.

I have optimised the pages for key phrases such as Asbestos Removal Ballina and Friable asbestos removal but there are no many asbestos removal and management sites that I think it may take a little bit more work.

Another issue could be that the pages that were originally there had very similar content but with different file names so they could all be clashing while targeting the asbestos related key phrases. So from with Google webmaster tools I have placed a request to remove the old pages and hopefully then the key phrases such as Asbestos Management Plan will rank better. The main competitors are government sites such as the NSW work cover asbestos licencing  page and the Safe Work Australia pages which are wonderful resources. 

Keep checking this post and I’ll update it how I’m going and what I’ve learnt :)


web resources

October 23rd, 2014

Stock Images


this site offers free stock images to be used on commercial and personal work – http://picjumbo.com/

Where can you use picjumbo photos

  • Parts of Website or Mobile App (background, etc.)
  • Image Placeholders in Articles or Websites
  • Image Placeholders in Templates for Sell
  • Part of Template for Sell (Attribution greatly appreciated by pic jumbo)
  • All Personal & Commercial works

They can afford to do this by having a TONNN of advertising so be careful where you click :)

Free Digital photos


Free digital photos offers quite a few free images from different photographers that just ask for attribution (which you should always do any way)

This site also funded through advertising and also linking to the larger stock image site who they will get a commission from if you buy an images from one of the other stock image sites

Other Design Related tools

Placeit: https://placeit.net/ ( fancy demos and embed screenshots)
Niice — the design search engine: http://www.niice.co/
Pixel Dropr: http://pixeldropr.com/
Sidebar.io: http://sidebar.io/
Designer News: https://news.layervault.com/
Hail Pixel: http://color.hailpixel.com/ (intuitive color picker)
Helvetica vs. Arial Quiz: http://www.ironicsans.com/helvarialquiz/

Responsive Design tools

Twitter Bootstrap — http://getbootstrap.com/2.3.2/ (also a framework)
ami.responsive — http://ami.responsivedesign.is/
Usersnap — https://usersnap.com (very handy for bug identification and notes)
Responsinator — http://responsinator.com
Unsemantic — http://unsemantic.com/
Brackets — http://brackets.io/
responsivepx — http://responsivepx.com/

Project Managment

Trello — http://trello.com
Teamwork.com —https://www.teamwork.com/
Asana — http://asana.com
Basecamp — https://basecamp.com/
Activecollab –https://www.activecollab.com/

Issues/Bug Tracking


StackOverflow — http://stackoverflow.com/
CSS Weekly — http://css-weekly.com/
HTML5 Weekly — http://html5weekly.com/
Front-end Frontend — http://frontendfront.com
GitHub — http://github.com/
JavaScript Weekly — http://javascriptweekly.com/

Front-end Development tools

Other stuff

Puppet (automation) — http://puppetlabs.com/

src: https://medium.com/web-development-resources/ ( worth a look this site is)