Working effectively with images is a balancing act, if you want to empower your editor to add and change images but still keep a visual impact with your website.  We have been playing with images and colour effects to enhance some of our newer websites.

Many modern themes feature very large images, often overlaid with text, or letting the text of a page float up over a large and striking image.  The visual effect of this is undeniable.  However, at AlbanyWeb we want to balance this visual effect with giving our clients flexibility, keeping our websites fast to load, and keeping them accessible.

Laying text over an image so that it is readable is a little tricky, and graphic artists employ shadows and focused de-saturation to make the text stand out.  The easiest way to do this is to cheat a little, by making the text part of the image. ...

Recently, Google increased the security warnings on the Chrome browser.  Chrome now generates a warning for any website without a secure connection if there is a user input box such as a search box. 

A secure connection is one where any information sent to and from the web page is encrypted, so protected from interception.  Visitors to a secure site will see the secure icon (often a green padlock) which gives them confidence and makes the site look more professional.  Another way to tell is that the address of a secure website starts with 'https:'.

Some website owners are frustrated by the change.  They accept that passwords and credit card details need to be protected, but their site only has a search form and the contents of that aren't sensitive.  The catch is that Chrome can't be sure what information is sensitive, so it is playing safe and generating a...

One of the most useful ways to keep in touch with your audience, customers or regular readers is to send a regular newsletter.  The challenge is to make sure that email services recognise your newsletters as legitimate communications, rather than dumping your carefully crafted message in the spam folder.

The escalation in email spam means that it is a problem for everyone.  Email services have to continually improve their spam filters, and the problem is serious enough that a small business or organisation can accidentally fall foul of a spam filter, and in the worst case, be placed on a blacklist.

A few simple common-sense procedures can help you steer clear, and here is AlbanyWeb's anti-spam checklist:

  • Make sure your signup procedure is transparent, so that recipients know they are signing up for your newsletter.  This will help avoid recipients 'junking' your emails or reporting them as spam.
  • Always put...

We are delighted to announce that we have converted AlbanyWeb into a limited company, almost two years to the day we formed the AlbanyWeb partnership.  This is a testament to our growth over the last two years and also of our long term commitment to our customers.

Our modular approach to website development combined with our personal support for our customers has proved a successful model for small business and community websites.  Now we have a more formal business structure to match.

What does this mean for AlbanyWeb customers?  In practical terms, not a lot will change.  The business is still run by Adam Shepherd and Tina Stoecklin and we offer the same level of service and support as always.  The two of us are quite pleased though.

Social sharing buttons are now a common feature on most websites.  Just take a look at the end of this article to see that AlbanyWeb is a regular participator in this trend.  It's a simple way to help bring your site to the attention of more visitors.  There's nothing better than a personal recommendation, and these buttons make it easy for your existing visitors to spread the word.

Choosing the best buttons

However, the code behind these clever little buttons can really affect your website efficiency.  On some websites, apparently simple buttons are created using multiple calls to external websites for each single button.  If you have quite a lot of buttons, that is a lot of calls.  Not only that, but fetching the icons from each individual social media site leads to inconsistent appearance.

At AlbanyWeb, we did a lot of shopping around for a good and flexible option...