iASP Client Login

Blog

3 Killer Responsive Frameworks: Bootstrap, Foundation, & Skeleton

3 Killer Responsive Frameworks: Bootstrap, Foundation, & Skeleton

3 Killer Responsive Frameworks: Bootstrap, Foundation, & Skeleton
Bootstrap is a popular, modern, front-end UI development framework. It has a 12-column grid responsive layout and includes custom buttons and form elements of its own. Additionally, Bootstrap includes several JavaScript components such as carousels, modals, alerts, and tabs. The component and plugin library is large and community support continues to grow. Overall, Bootstrap is a full featured solution for making a responsive website.

Foundation is another popular responsive front-end framework. Like Bootstrap, Foundation includes a responsive grid system, base CSS, CSS components, and JavaScript plugins. It's also a 12-column flexible grid, but it can scale out to an arbitrary size that's also easily nested. Foundation was built using the mindset of "Mobile First". With the Foundation framework, the grid classes account for mobile devices first, and treat larger devices as the exception. Foundation will be a great choice if you focus on your mobile site more.

Skeleton is a small collection of CSS & JS files that can help you rapidly develop sites that look beautiful at any size. Skeleton seems to be most ideal for simple concise websites that don't require a lot of extra features as it's got just the bare essentials and nothing more. The Skeleton template only works up to a 960 pixel width. For those users who want to get started with responsive design quickly, you should look into this open source project.

2 Crucial Practices for Social Media for Business Novices

2 Crucial Practices for Social Media for Business Novices

2 Crucial Practices for Social Media for Business Novices
We all know that, for most businesses, social media is an invaluable tool. Everyone has advice and everyone has multiple accounts, but what if you're new to social media for business and want to take baby steps and learn the ropes?

The quickest way to build confidence and get you on the road to effectively managing your social media is to educate yourself. We recommend that you read as much as possible on the subject (Mashable.com is a great resource!) and get your hands dirty in a monitoring tool. There are a variety of social media monitoring platforms out there to help you schedule content, respond to relevant issues, and provide customer service, but if you're a novice, tweetdeck is one of the most straight forward tools.

With all the reading you're doing, if you're still not ready to post, you can keep an eye on keywords. Set up tweetdeck searches for your business name, words relevant to your business, an potential new clients. For example, if you have an iPhone repair shop in Geelong, you could set up a search for "iPhone repair Geelong" in tweetdeck. When a tweeter posts about their broken screen, you can respond directly. It couldn't be easier.

Cross-browser Performance

Cross-browser Performance

Cross-browser Performance
Unfortunately for website developers, and website owners, the major web browsers, Chrome (52.9%), Firefox (27.7%), Internet Explorer (12.6%), Safari (4.0%) and Opera (1.6%), all handle websites differently.

A website that looks fine on a device in Safari, may have problems when viewed in Firefox.

This age old issue has been greatly confounded by the explosion of smartphone and tablet browsing, which adds another level of complexity to the problem.

Over time, experienced web developers accumulate a list of methods and tactics they have used to combat cross-browser compatibility issues.

A useful resource containing many of these known tactics (often referred to in the trade as "browser hacks") can be found here: http://css-tricks.com/snippets/css/browser-specific-hacks/.

If you know of a browser hack that will save web developers time and hassle, please tell us.

Is Social Media a Good Choice for Your Business?

Is Social Media a Good Choice for Your Business?

Is Social Media a Good Choice for Your Business?
A big part of our business is dedicated to helping our clients successfully engage in Social Media.

We see the positive effects every day, but Social Media is not for every business.

Here's our Social Media compatibility check-list:

  • Audience:
    Does your product / service appeal to an audience that justifies the effort?
    If you supply specialised parts for an aircraft manufacturer chances are you won't appeal to a large enough audience to deliver return on investment and your efforts to engage customers could be better spent elsewhere.

  • Shareability:
    Is your product / service something your audience will be happy to share with their friends?
    Treatments for certain diseases may not be something your customers are happy to tell the rest of the world they are using!

  • Resources:
    Do you have the time, money and people with the knowledge and skills required to successfully engage in Social Media? If you don't have the people on staff, do you have the resources to out-source?
    Social Media requires a long term investment of time and money, but that's only part of the story.
    Social Media requires a team effort from all stakeholders in your business and demands a level of knowledge, certain skills and importantly the motivation to be successful.

If you're not sure whether or not Social Media is right for your business, here's my number 1 tactic: look at your competitors!

If your competitors are successfully growing communities and engaging their customers it means you can check off Audience and Shareability from the list, and this will probably provide you with all the motivation you need.

So it becomes a matter of Resources: Time, Money and People (either internal staff or out-sourced personnel).

More about this over coming weeks.


How Does Cloud Computing Work?

How Does Cloud Computing Work?

How Does Cloud Computing Work?
From a 'cloud', you can run software applications over the internet without needing to buy, install, or manage your own servers. The resources are retrieved online through web-based tools and applications rather than a direct connection to a server. This type of system allows people to work remotely.

Well known companies, like Dropbox and GE.tt, have adopted this technology to deliver services. They make it easy to keep local synchronised copies of files on multiple devices while maintaining a copy in the 'cloud'. Perhaps the most famous users of could computing are social media websites including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

The fundamental functionality of cloud computing means that entrepreneurs can focus on their businesses rather than on their software. All they need is a browser. How awesome is that?