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Insights into the Online World

Have you ever tried to load a website and gotten a big jumble of text instead of the interface you were expecting? That’s actually what a site looks like without a cascading stylesheet or CSS applied to it. Style sheets are fantastic collections of rules which give a developer complete control over the functionality and look of a website. They enable you to edit the design of a page without actually editing the static code. This ability is important because you can now change items like the colour, size, and how an element displays throughout an entire website by changing just one file.

How Does A CSS Rule Work?

As I talked about before, a cascading style sheet is a collection of rules that allows you to define changes throughout every page to which it is implemented. A CSS rule contains three main elements:

CSS Structure - Modern Earth Web Design - Online Marketing Winnipeg

 

  1. Selector:  the HTML tag(s) that the rules will be applied to  (e.g., body)
  2. Property: the particular attribute you want to change (e.g., background-color) 
  3. Value: the desired change for your property (e.g., red which is written as  #FF0000)

 

Applying A Stylesheet

CSS works in partnership with HTML so you need to apply your style sheet to your page by referencing it in a link in the head section of your document. Make sure you have some content in your 

Writing CSS Rules

Once you have applied your stylesheet, you can start creating rules for your website, the example above being colouring the body of the page background red. You can write your rule by selecting the body, specifying the property of background-colour and declaring the value of red for your page background. 

CSS Rule - Modern Earth Web Design - Web Design Winnipeg

W3C CSS Demo - Modern Earth Web Design - Search Engine Optimization WinnipegWhen you apply multiple CSS rules to your stylesheet, you can make significant changes to your website with minimal effort. This demo by w3schools.com shows the beginning of how you can easily control and adjust your website by changing just one file. 

Jun092016

Contact forms are great to hear back from your users, but what if there was more to it than just that?  Depending on your business needs, contact forms can be an incredibly useful tool to gather information about your users as well as keep a long running relationship with them.  Here’s how you can get more out of your contact forms:

 

Record entries

    Instead of just receiving an email whenever someone completes the form, you can set up your website to record them in the database instead or as well.  That way, the risk of losing a valuable form submission is reduced if the email gets lost.

 

Report

    If those entries are recorded in a centralized location, you can start pulling stats from it.  How many people are from a particular city?  What is your gender base?  When do you get the most traffic through the contact forms?  Depending on what information you are gathering through the contact form, you will be able to come up with a comprehensive report on each item.  You can even detect which page got them to the contact form, so you can better understand how to assist the user!

 

Accessible from multiple sources

    One of the greatest advantages of storing your entries is that it is in one centralized location.  You don’t necessarily have to rely on your email to gather information.  Instead, you can go into the back end of your site, and all the contact entries will be there.  You can even have multiple people answering questions, and keep track of which answered messages.  Doing so will save on duplicate responses and research time.

 

Email Groups

    With the entries, you can quickly pull a list of all the email addresses that have contacted you.  You can filter the list, and set up an email group to send out a newsletter or advertisements to entice your users to come back to your website.  You will need to put an “Opt In” option for the newsletter though, so don’t forget that step!

 

History / Ongoing communication

    Having all the conversations at your fingertips saves a lot of time instead of going through your email and trying to find all of the information.  With a centralized system, you can even see who else has responded to the client, so you are not backpedaling.  You can also see when the last time your user contacted you, and you can follow up with them to see if they require any additional assistance.

 

At Modern Earth, we would help you determine which type of system you need for contact information.  We will create the contact form system to your needs, and can build it so it can be expanded upon in the future.  Want to see a sample of how we do our contact forms?  Contact Us today!