Frontend tools

Let’s talk about editors
As a frontend developer, a huge percentage of your
time is spent in your editor. Since we take pride in
the code we author, configuring a proper editor is
the first step.
The big two
There are dozens of text editors to choose from,
but we want to focus in on two: Sublime Text
(sublimetext.com; see Head to Head, page 97, for
more on Sublime Text) and Vim (vim.org). Before
you protest that we left off your favourite editor,
hear us out. Our hope is that you take the time to
learn the dark corners of your editor. Only then
will you begin to alleviate pain points and become
more productive.
Let’s take a look at sublime
Sublime Text, our first recommendation, is
available on all three major operating systems, and
it’s blazing fast. Better yet, it has a thriving plugin
ecosystem, so it’s infinitely customisable. Here
are a few essential Sublime plug-ins:
l Package Manager (sublime.wbond.net)
l Emmet (emmet.io)
l SidebarEnhancements (github.com/titoBouzout/
SideBarEnhancements)
l GitGutter (github.com/jisaacks/GitGutter)
Vim, Sublime’s Ugly Cousin
Vim is our second choice because it has a much
steeper learning curve than Sublime: you might
think of it as being the next level up.
The power of Vim lies in its system of movements
and macros. If you want to dive in and start
understanding Vim’s craziness, head over to your
local command line and run vimtutor .
After you’ve progressed through vimtutor, you
can start cultivating your own .vimrc file. The
.vimrc is the configuration file for Vim, and is the
place where you define all of your plug-ins and
customisations. A couple well worth checking out are
github.com/amix/vimrc and github.com/mutewinter/dot_
vim, which just so happens to be from our co-worker,
Jeremy Mack (@mutewinter).
Pick the right tool
If neither Sublime nor Vim makes sense for you,
here’s a list of perfectly acceptable alternatives:
l Coda (panic.com/coda)
l Espresso (macrabbit.com/espresso)
l Atom (atom.io)
l TextMate 2 (github.com/textmate/textmate)
As always, be ready to defend your decision, but be
willing to admit it if you run into a superior tool.
Protect your code with version control
Writing code is hard enough. Collaboration
with other developers is harder yet. Typical
collaboration tools fail when applied to code:
email, USB drives, mounted network drives, and
Dropbox shares are all great for sharing pictures,
movies, or presentations. However, these tools
offer no solution to the problem of multiple
developers modifying the same codebase at the
same time. There has to be a better way!

A Guide to Web Design Blunders

A Beginner’s Guide to WEB DESIGN
BLUNDERS
Being a website designer can be tough. Your work is out
there on display for anyone and everyone to critique (and
believe me, they do). While you shouldn’t take everyone’s
opinions to heart, there is one group whose voice should always
be heard — your site visitors
Naturally, a Web design needs to look good, but it also needs to be
user-friendly. Many Web designers will fi nd a brand’s message lost
in translation if they forget who the website is really for.
The biggest Web design blunders occur when a designer puts
creativity before function. A well-designed site may attract a few
visitors initially, but those users won’t return if the site isn’t easy to
use and consume. Design too many of these low-traffic sites and
the digital business will tank (and probably your reputation too).
So what are the most common usability mistakes to avoid?
Just Plain Hard to Read
Legibility is an integral part of good Web design. A site may have
knockout visual elements, but that doesn’t guarantee repeat visits.
Sure, content is king, but if that content is impossible to read,
users will leave as fast as they came. To improve digital legibility,
consider the following:
• Use sans serif fonts for body copy. If you absolutely
must use serif fonts, save them for something special,
like headings.
• Stay away from hard-to-read color schemes. Visitors
always prefer black text on a white background .
• Don’t use more than three font sizes. Any more than this
makes a site distracting and difficult to read.
• Avoid bolding, italicizing and underlining excessively.
• Break up copy with smaller paragraphs, which are less
daunting for Web readers.
Overly Cumbersome Forms
Registration forms can be a pain. It is necessary to obtain certain
information from your visitors, but you don’t want to turn those
users away because the form is too complicated. If there is one
important bit of guidance for website owners who must have a
registration form, it’s this: be brief. You wouldn’t want to waste time
filling out a form that requires a million answers, so why make
your visitors? If you’re not sure where to start, begin by comparing
your websites’ form with those in your vertical that also require
registration. Find out what details they’ve made mandatory, and
how much you feel is too much. Then, consider what your website
needs and start designing.
Poor Information Accessibility
Missing search boxes and a downright messy structure (e.g. site
architecture) can cause information (and conversion paths) to be
all but inaccessible to users.
For example, over time, your
site will amass an impressive
archive of information. As you
accumulate that store of content,
think about how a user would
navigate through it. Would
a search box make it easier
for website visitors to find
what they need? Solutions
like Google Custom
Search, and its numerous
alternatives, are effortless to
implement (after a bit of copy and paste on
your part) and provide an efficient means by which visitors can
search for and locate the information they want.
Good Web design isn’t easy. It requires a commitment to testing
to discover what works. Find the balance between too much
and not enough, and the critiques you receive in the future are
sure to be positive.

Get A Website That Works

Understanding Requirements, Delivering Results
Website Design Packages For Your Small Business
Why do so many companies design a website that looks great, but doesn’t achieve its primary purpose? At Milford the difference is clear – we take time to understand why you want or need a website at the outset. Whatever your requirements or level of experience, if you need a website that works, please contact us.

Based in the south Nottingham area, we design websites for Hotels, B&Bs and other Accommodation, Tradesmen, Sports Clubs, Newspapers and Charitable Organisations, to name just a few of our current customers.

Pencil Icon – Designing The Drawing Board For Your Website
Our Top 5 Services:
Designing, creating and managing websites that work and achieve your goals
Offering clear advice free of obligation, with professional, individual and personal customer service
Search Engine Optimisation or Management of Your Pay Per Click Campaigns in Google, Online or Sponsored Advertising
Creating Shopping Carts, E-commerce Websites, fully customised online sales tools, drop shipping or mail order solutions
Providing user friendly, highly effective Availability Calendar / Online Booking Software – ideal for small businesses
We have over 15 years of experience in the effective use of internet advertising as a marketing tool. One of the biggest sources of new business for us is personal recommendation from our existing customers, not least because we always keep to our promise of no hidden costs, jargon-free advice, and No Call Centres!

Experienced Website Designers In Nottingham

We are based in Nottingham and manage websites for hundreds of businesses, in locations all over the UK. Please visit our Client Portfolio for links to some of our customers’ websites.

A Small Team

Because we are a small team, we are able to treat every customer as an individual, with individual priorities and requirements.

We know all of our customers by name and encourage as much interaction as possible, checking our email regularly and answering the office telephone directly (no call centres).

An Ethical Company

We recycle all office waste and neutralise our servers’ carbon emissions through a tree-planting program run by the International Tree Foundation.

We have also produced websites for organisations such as the – Friends Of Northern Dobermanns – at a very small or negligible cost so that they can put as much of their resources as possible towards their charitable causes.

Our Other Projects

As well as providing website design and marketing, we also run – www.milford.co.uk – launched in March 1995, this is a popular directory of accommodation and provides high quality advertising for many small accommodation providers.

Please – Contact Us – if you would like to discuss any of our services.

Effective Websites, Unbeatable Value For Money

Please Call Us On 0115 922 5413 Now For A Quote For Your Website

Once we understand your requirements we will be able to give you an informal quote – ‘no job too big or too small’ – and if your project requires detailed discussion or consultation we can arrange a meeting or a longer telephone conversation at a time to suit you. A quote in writing is then sent to you by post or by email.

If You Have Less Than £100 To Spend …

…We can still offer you a top quality service! Perhaps you just need to reserve a Domain Name for future use, or you want a more professional-looking email address with a single page showing your logo and contact details? Please don’t waste time or money trying to do this yourself – we’ll set everything up for you and in the past we’ve worked wonders with as little to work with as a compliments slip!

How It Works:
One of our newest customers recently came to us in a bit of a panic because they had registered a domain name, then handed out business cards (and ‘flyers’) with their email address shown as being info ‘at’ their-domain-name.co.uk – but within 24 hours, for only 50 pounds, we’d fixed the problem. They now have a ‘holding page’ set up showing their full colour logo, contact details and brief information about their business – and the email address that was published is fully functional.

Another customer who makes specialist wooden furniture only had a limited budget, because their turnover in the first six months was not expected to cover the set up costs for their new business. We took the view that this customer could be ours for many years to come and set up a three page website with a contact form for them within four days of their enquiry – and they are already delivering chairs to new customers in various parts of the country.

If You Have Less Than £500 To Spend …

…You will be in good company – just like about a third of our customers! Within this budget range we can create professionally designed, clear and easy to use websites with up to 8 pages, an Enquiry Form, dozens of pictures or graphics and most importantly, ensure the pages are found in Google and the other Search Engines (and we won’t quibble if the project ends up running to 9 or 10 pages).

How It Works:
With all of our website design packages, we create pages using our extensive experience with search engines and ensure that it takes as short a time as possible for the new content to be found by potential customers. For example, a typical bed and breakfast website can expect to have literally dozens visitors per day looking at their new website within the first quarter. If only 1 in 10 visitors books accommodation, the website easily pays for itself.

A tradesperson who receives an enquiry by email via their new website should respond as quickly as possible – if they do, they could pick up a customer worth several hundred pounds. Over the course of a year, thousands of pounds worth of new business could result from a website that cost less than 500 pounds to create!

If You Have A Larger Budget In Mind …

…We will arrange to telephone you or meet you to discuss in detail what the project entails. One of our largest projects is Voucher Mania – Nottingham’s most popular discount website featuring hundreds of local businesses. The site utilises a custom database solution allowing VoucherMania staff to fully self manage the sites content.