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St. Tropez online store

Having only an old Flash based website, St. Tropez got in touch to see if Calm Design could help them launch an ecommerce content managed website.

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Hyde + Hyde Architects

Hyde + Hyde Architects needed tro convert their site from a Flash website to a content managed search engine friendly website.

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Fennemore Banks

Fennemore Banks came back to Calm Design looking for a complete company rebranding and overhaul to their existing website.

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SEO Success - 123Vanhire.com

SVR UK Ltd had 2 sites that were performing poorly in search engines. Calm Design redesigned and developed both their sites, that now reach page 1 of Google for the keyword phrases they wanted.

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Calm Design in The Observer Future 500 List

Calm Design is very proud to be listed in Courvoisier's The Future 500 list, in partnership with The Observer.

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SEO Success - The Style Team

Calm Design successfully achieved the number 1 spot on Google for The style Team's website for multiple search keyphrases.

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The Activity Farm

Calm Design was asked to help brand a business' novel approach to providing a corporate event venue.

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Outlook 2007 slowing down your PC?

What is RSS?

What is a Blog???

Website legal requirements

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

Search engine optimisation

What is a Blog???

Blogs, Vlogs, Podcasts!!! "Is there no end?!", i hear you cry. Or, as Austin Powers puts it as he asks his boss in 1997 hit film, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, "What does it all mean Basil?".

Well for those of you who have recently recovered from a total loss of all senses, simply put, a Blog is like an online journal. That's it! It really is that simple. A blog allows you to pretty much express anything you like about, well, anything. From hobbies, to research, to politics, jokes, design skills, pets - anything. If someone is thinking of something, the likelyhood is, someone had blogged about it.

Getting started

Okay, so you get the gist now, but how can you get started? Well, the first thing you need to do is set up your own blog. There are many places online who not only provide you with free blog software (www.wordpress.org), but will also host your blog for free. A good place to start would be to try typing 'free blog' into Google and seeing what the search results return. Google as it happens offers their blog with free hosting - check out Blogger.com. Once you have settled on which blog software you are going to use you can then think about moving on to the next stage. Writing your first blog...

Using your blog

As we mentioned earlier, the main purpose of your blog is to let everyone know how you've managed to find a solution to global warming - oops, i nearly let that one out - i really must be more careful with my secretive research. Sorry, I digress...
Whatever your chosen topics are, writing about them in your blog is your main objective, but blogs being blogs, there are many other things that you can do with them - many more things indeed.

Comments
Firstly, virtually all blogs will come with the ability for the reader to post comments about the blog he or she has just read. The great advantage of this is that it provides readers with a way to interact directly with the author on a topic in which they both share an interest. It also allows the readers to discuss between themselves the content of the blog, and often, in many circumstances results in arguments between readers. But it's all great banter and everyone's happy.

Plugins
Plugins? 'Isn't that a character from Blackadder?' I'm afraid not, you're most likely thinking of Mrs Miggins - Lady proprietor of Mrs Miggins' Pie Shop. No, I'm afraid Plugins are something completely different. These are 'add-ons' which you bolt on to your blog to extend its' funcionality. So for example, Wordpress has a plugin (one of very many) called WPG2 which allows you to embed a photo gallery in your blog. Similarly, flickrRSS allows you to integrate the photos from a flickr rss feed into your site. Each blog software has a variety of plugins - each which serve differents purposes. Either way, once you get into blogging, you will undoubtedly venture in to the world of plugins, just as you will with themes and customisations...

Blogs themes & customisations
So now you've been blogging for a while and your confidence is starting to grow. You've successfully installed a few plugins and have even got url rewriting going on! Well look at you... However, something has been niggling away for a while, but you're not sure what. Then suddenly you realised that you're blog design, colours and layout is the default theme! Coming back to your blog after being on someone else's, who's clearly pimp'd out their blog, is like getting back in to your metallic grey L Reg Toyota Corolla after being for a ride in your friend's Spyker C12 Spyder - for all intents and purposes, your car works. It gets you from A to B, but you're left with a hollow, sickening feeling in your stomach - a feeling which is crying out to you inside - "I am no longer happy with Grandad's old car. I want more - I want sexy!". Thankfully, pimping out your blog isn't going to set you back £120,000 and again finding templates and themes to install is as simple as googling for free blog themes.

I feel that this is a suitable place to set you off on your merry way. I hope that this short introduction to blogging guide has provided you with an insight in to how to get started and what to expect.
Part 2 of 'What is a Blog???' MAY appear sometime soon and MAY talk about how your blog can generate a revenue for you. See you soon.

If you have any questions about blogs, or any other web design issues, go to our contact page and post a message using the form.

Thanks,

C.Leachman
14-05-2007