Web Design Blog : Toolkit Websites

Web Design Blog

What is a website browser?

If you’ve ever surfed the Internet or visited a website, you will have used a web ‘browser’. As the Internet has grown in popularity over the last decade, web browsers have become as important a piece of software as word processing and spreadsheets.
But, what is a ‘browser’? What browsers are available? And what features do they share? We answer these questions.
What is a browser?
Web browsers allow you to surf the web. A browser is basically a piece of software that allows you to search for and view various kinds of information on the web, such as web sites, video and audio. The main purpose of a browser is to display information resources to you.
The first web browser was invented in 1990 but it wasn’t until the invention of the Mosaic browser (later Netscape) that the Internet boom of the 1990s began.
The most popular browsers
There are three web browsers that dominate the market: Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
Figures from Net Applications show that Internet Explorer had a 54.1 per cent market share in May 2012, while Mozilla's Firefox was No. 2 with 19.7 per cent. Google’s Chrome browser was the third most popular with a 19.6 per cent market share.
As well as these three browsers there is a range of other popular ways of accessing the web. Many Mac users use the Apple Safari browser while other browsers such as Opera remain popular with many web users.
Common features shared by browsers
Most major web browsers have these features in common:
· A refresh button to reload the current page
· Back and forward buttons
· A home button to return to your homepage
· A stop button to cancel loading the current page
· An address bar into which you can type the address of the web page you want
A status bar to display the progress in loading the web page

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Tips for Your Company Google Maps Profile

Google maps can be a great addition to your online marketing arsenal if you have a fixed address, but only if it is used correctly. You may read things online declaring some marvelous strategy or companies offering a revolutionary system (for just a small five figure upfront payment) guaranteeing you will be top of all google related services forever and ever, but the truth is that like all aspects of internet marketing it comes down to time and effort. You don’t need to be a internet marketing expert, but you do need to be willing to spend the time learning about the different techniques and pitfalls, and subsequently increasing your websites presence online.
In Google maps, there are various commonly used techniques which may have a short term positive impact on your website traffic but the potential problems that can arise may lead to your website being blacklisted by Google entirely. One such problem is the overuse of keywords, known as keyword spamming. Keywords are an essential part of internet marketing but the generally accepted rule of 1-2% keyword density can sometimes be breached excessively, and in this case you can risk the harsh consequences of the Google masters. So when it comes to writing your descriptions and your website content, make sure you are not exceeding 1 keyword for every 50 words used.
Overuse of keywords may be risky, but an arguably bigger mistake is failure to use the right keywords. The keywords are the important terms that relate to your business, so when selecting them try and think of words that your potential customers may search for. Focus not on the name of your business but the products or services themselves, as it is these words that your target audience will likely be searching for.
Often the first port of call when marketing your website online is to enlist it in Google maps and on the search engines. However, there are hundreds of online directories online from small local sites to larger national ones such as Yell, many of which you can obtain a free basic listing on. By having a listing on other online directories, Google maps will verify your details when scanning other directories and index your submission much quicker.
One of the simplest mistakes to avoid, and yet one of the most common, is a failure to fill out the details requested by Google correctly and accurately. Not all the fields will be mandatory but it is essential to the success of your Google maps listing that you fill all the fields in with as much detail as Google allows, covering every aspect of your business that you may submit. By having a 100% complete profile, your listing will not only be guaranteed to be indexed fully but will also increase the chances of your website coming up in searches for the various potential search terms.

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Faster, higher, wider – politicians clash over digital strategies

A House of Lords committee must surely be the definition of staid, but this week the Lords communications committee put something of a rocket up the Government with some harsh criticism of its plans to roll out broadband.
To put it bluntly, the committee says the Government has the wrong strategy and we’re travelling fast up the wrong superhighway.
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Hunt has promised speeds of 2Mbps across the land by 2015. He’s added that 90% of the UK will be on super fast speeds of 25Mbps. And, even in these times of austerity, the coalition is prepared to spend on what they recognise as a vital infrastructure for modern life. More than £500 million pounds has been set aside to help achieve this target. BT has won most of the contracts to carry out this work.
But the House of Lords beg to differ and argue that speed targets are a diversion. Instead, they want the Government to focus on the hardware that will put, and keep, the UK at the top of the broadband speed charts.
Their report argues for ‘open access fibre-optic hubs’ that will spread across the country, eventually reaching every community. They’d like Ofcom to step in where infrastructure owners resist granting open access to their equipment and argue that local businesses and communities will be best placed to make the final decisions on their own connection needs.
This is important stuff, not least for Government. One of the proposed ways to reduce state spending is by delivering services online. High speed broadband is increasingly a must have for any successful business.
The House of Lords committee’s recommendation that broadband strategy should be 'driven by the need to arrest and ultimately eliminate the digital divide, rather than deliver enhanced provision for those with already good connections' has been criticised by some in the industry. Speaking to Computer Business Review, Andrew Ferguson of Thinkbroadband.com says the ideas in the report have no prospect of becoming policy.

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Ready, Steady, Tweet

The first social media Olympic Games has put pressure on networks in London and seen the world’s real reaction to the greatest show on earth happen live outside the control of the old media.

If any confirmation were needed of the micro blogging platform’s status it came as Mark Cavendish lost out on an expected gold in the cycling road race. TV commentators were left in the dark as the flood of tweets from spectators interrupted the transmission of race times to broadcasters. The International Olympic Committee’s communications director, Mark Adams, was moved to ask tweeters to restrict themselves to ‘urgent updates’.

And, it wouldn’t be a Twitter story without a Twitter storm – the new word for scandal we all have to learn.

A teenager was arrested after his criticism of diver Tom Daley on the site crossed the line into illegality. And after a journalist from the Independent posted an NBC executive’s email address on the site in protest at the American broadcaster’s coverage he was suspended. This sparked a Twitter storm of its own and a few days after the #NBCFail hash tag trended Guy Adams had his account back.
No broadcast from Stratford in east London is complete without the latest tweeted reaction from viewers. And Twitter is very democratic, while it helps journalists to have easy access to the latest, bite-sized thoughts of Olympians, anyone with an Internet connection can get them straight from the horse’s mouth.

It seems too that Twitter is displacing Facebook as the place to react to the world. A study of social media reaction to the opening ceremony found 97% of it on the 140-character platform.

This stuff is brilliant for marketing and research types – 60% of the opening ceremony reaction was found to be positive for example. As Mr Bean’s appearance during the Chariots of Fire theme was the most tweeted part of the ceremony can we now expect more movies to be commissioned?

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Making a Twit of yourself

The ‘Twitter joke’ saga came to an end last week when Paul Chambers’ conviction for apparently threatening to blow up an airport was finally over turned. Meanwhile, another tweeter was arrested over an offensive tweet sent to Olympic diver Tom Daley.

Twitter is the social medium of the moment. The London 2012 Olympics have been called the first Twitter games with 97% of online comment on the opening ceremony taking place in less than 140 characters. It’s a wonderful way for businesses to connect with their buyers and find new customers online. While free speech is a wonderful thing there are dangers too.

Twitter is a very open social platform and it doesn’t take much to whip up a Twitter storm. It’s hard to convey sarcasm or irony in text and you could find yourself reflecting on the permanence of Internet communications while you’re explaining that ‘it was just a joke’.

Chambers can now get on with his life. But he lost two jobs and spent two years in the courts to clear his name. Some joke.

Student Liam Stacey was drunk when he used Twitter to mock the plight of footballer Fabrice Muamba, who collapsed during an FA cup match. He then tweeted racial abuse at his critics. But, these remarks didn’t disappear into the night air to be recalled with regret and a hangover. Stacey was sentenced to eight weeks in prison and while his university let him complete his course, he was expelled from campus life.

A 17-year-old Dorset man was arrested this week under the Malicious Communications Act of 1988 after he abused diver Tom Daley when the Olympian failed to win a medal at the games.
Legal expert Joshua Rozenberg, writing in the Guardian, had a warning for all Twitter users: “What Twitter users have to understand is that a tweet is not an email; it is a broadcast. It can be seen by anyone.”

Libel applies in cyberspace too. Paul Chambers was prosecuted under the communications act that makes sending a message that is ‘grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character’ a criminal offence.

Most businesses will have no problem staying on the right side of the law, but think before you tweet is certainly good advice.

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Nicola Green’s Inspiring Olympic Art Work

As part of the Cultural Olympiad, the four-year festival leading up to the London 2012 Olympics, Haringey Council commissioned 11 artists to create a unique art collection. Named Oooooh Art, the exhibition includes one of our Toolkit Website customers – Nicola Green.

Nicola is a talented artist who graduated from Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland, in 1998 with a Distinction in Master of Fine Arts (MFA). This followed a First Class Honours Degree in Drawing and Painting (BA), winning the Andrew Grant Bequest Scholarship in 1997 and 1998 and a Department for Education Scholarship in 1996.

Her contemporary style is under-pinned by strong classical training and the influence of her art teacher Alan Johnston, a respected minimal artist himself. Behind all her art works are important human stories of their creation. This is no different with the ‘Olympic Portrait’ that Nicola produced for the Oooooh Art Exhibition.

The art work can be viewed on Nicola Green’s Toolkit website at the link below:

Haringey Council commissioned Nicola to create an artwork centred on Lord Sebastian Coe, Chairman of LOCOG. Nicola gained the inspiration for the representations of athletes in action that surround the main image by running visual storytelling workshops with children from Stamford Hill Primary School in Haringey. The idea was to involve the children in an artistic activity that required fun, excitement and friendship, engaging everyone in the Olympic Spirit.

The portrait is mounted on a glowing Quasar Frame™ that creates a stunning visual impact and is a metaphor for the light of the Olympic torch. The result is a dramatic piece of work that highlights the inspiration of Olympic values.

Follow Nicola Green on Twitter at @NicolaGreenArt or view her Facebook Page for her latest news at www.facebook.com/pages/The-Studio-of-Nicola-Green/296813917013551

Visit Nicola’s Toolkit website at www.nicolagreen.com to view a gallery of her work. Limited edition prints taken from images in Nicola Green’s ‘Olympic Portrait’ are available to buy on the John Lewis website.

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Staggering figures show the growth of mobile phone usage

2011 figures show that there are a staggering 5.6 billion mobile phones in the world. That means that almost eight out of ten people on the globe now own a mobile phone. And, as technology has developed over recent years, people are doing more with their mobile devices.
Here, we examine some of the most interesting statistics regarding mobile phone usage worldwide.
More mobile phones in the UK than people
China, India and the USA lead the world mobile phone market. There are over a billion mobile phones in China, over 900 million in India and over 300 million in the USA. The UK is ranked 16th in the world list and there are now more mobile phones in the UK than people.
Two hundred trillion text messages are received in America every single day while the average American teenager will see in excess of 40,000 texts every year.
Growth of mobile Internet usage
It may surprise you to learn that the most common use of a mobile phone is to tell the time. Texting comes second, although new figures show that increasing numbers of people are using their mobile phones to browse online.
According to a recent survey from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 55 per cent of adults in the USA that own a smartphone are using their handsets to go online.
And, the figures are similar in the UK. According to the Office for National Statistics, almost half of UK Internet users are going online via mobile phone data connections. 45 per cent of people said they used the Internet on their mobile phone, compared with 31 per cent in 2010.
A fifth of all YouTube views are now from a mobile device while eBay sells an item via a mobile device once every two seconds.
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2012 Olympians Will Be Remembered Forever Through Teresa Witz’s Art

While many of us have been watching the London 2012 Olympics, Teresa Witz has been busy recording the events. She is one of ten artists selected to retell the story of the Games as part of the BT Art of Sport initiative.

BT is an Official Partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Art of Sport initiative is their contribution to the Games’ legacy. Artists involved have been granted access to some of GB’s top Olympians, drawing on them as inspiration to convey the passion and intensity of being an athlete performing at the highest level. Sale of the art works will be used to support sporting charities including Paralympics GB.

East Londoner Teresa Witz was born in Cyprus but brought up in Plymouth. She trained as an artist at Wolverhampton College of Art, receiving a BA Hons. Her formal education continued with a certificate in Art Education and Art Therapy from the Birmingham School of Art Education, and studying Fine Art Practice at Sir John Cass School of Art. Most recently Teresa completed an M.A. in Fine Art in 2001 and was awarded a Doctorate in Fine Art in 2008 from the University of East London.

She is no stranger to creating iconic images of sporting celebrities. Much of her earlier work was concerned with style, including recording David Beckham’s many reinventions.

Talking about the BT initiative Teresa said:

“For BT Art of Sport project I am currently working on portraits of a number of our athletes and aim through my particular style to capture the essence of the dreams, determination and dedication which has already taken them so far.”

Her work has gone down well with the athletes as many have tweeted their approval including Ashley Byrant (@Ashley_Byrant), Victoria Barr (@vicbarr82) and Perri Shakes-Drayton (@Shakesdrayton)

Teresa Witz has used her Toolkit Website to display some of the images in the album titled ‘The Art of Sport’

Teresa says:

"The experience of working with the BT Art of Sport campaign to contribute to the cultural legacy of the 2012 Games is delightful and inspiring"

Nine of Teresa Witz’s life-size portraits can be seen at Canary Wharf’s Jubilee Park until 9th September. The exhibition features UK athletes such as Mark Hunter, Victoria Barr, David Weir, Vanessa Raw, Perri Shakes-Drayton and Jeanette Kwakye. Further portraits of sporting Olympians including Zac Purchase and Lee Pearson will be exhibited in the Window Gallery of Canada Place Mall until 24th August.

More information can be found about Teresa Witz on her website designed by Toolkit Websites, where she regularly posts news and details of upcoming exhibitions. Follow Teresa on Twitter at @TeresaWitz

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Olympics’ Tim Berners-Lee is arguably the most important Briton!

As a world of watchers said, “Who?” a world wide web of Internet enthusiasts fist-pumped and celebrated like Usain Bolt as ‘the man who invented the web’ live tweeted from the centre of the Olympic opening ceremony in London.

He’s Tim Berners-Lee, or Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee, OM, KBE, FRS, FREng, FRSA to give the man the full title his world-changing work so richly deserves. On Friday, he cut an unassuming figure at a keyboard amongst the hosts of actors, athletes and aging pop legends. But when he tweeted: “This is for everyone #london2012 #oneweb #openingceremony #webfoundation #w3c” his invention went into action to send the message round the world. By the Tuesday following the opening ceremony in east London, his words had been retweeted 10,469 times.

The roots of the web lie at CERN, where the Large Hadron Collider is currently searching for the God particle. It was while working there that Berners-Lee invented an information management system that we now know as the World Wide Web.

The Olympics is a supremely optimistic event and thanks to TimBL (as he’s often known in typically modest style) the web he invented in 1989 remains for everyone.

The Internet and the World Wide Web are used interchangeably these days, but the net predates the web by a couple of decades. It was Berners-Lee’s genius to link those interconnected computer networks to a universal system of sharing documents through ‘hypertext’ – all those clickable links. Many of the terms and acronyms we now drop into conversation without thinking – browser, HTML, URL, HTTP - were there in his original idea.

It’s worth looking at the rest of that opening ceremony tweet too – shared in the user-generated content ideal of Web 2.0. The W3C or World Wide Web Consortium, of which Tim Berners-Lee is founder and chairman, is the body that helps keep the web open to all by ensuring we’re all speaking the same languages and using the same protocols.

It also aims to keep the web a force for good.

With his invention, Berners-Lee could surely have become a multi-billionaire. While he might have enough honorary degrees to paper a small country house, he has remained a committed web idealist and head of an organisation that proclaims: “Our success will be measured by how well we foster the creativity of our children.”

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