Those of you who are a fan of my Facebook page or have visited my portfolio, know that I recently created a web design for the tropical fish shop Captain Cichlids here in Windsor. As is the case with most of my clients, Moe was looking for an affordable web design to help promote his small business online. He didn’t want anything too fancy, just something that he could update on a regular basis with his inventory of tropical fish.

Captain Cichlids web design

Moe already had a logo designed for his business card, so I just created the website around those colors and fonts. I used a deep sea bluish-black gradient for the background, which worked very well with the brown burnt scroll color of his logo. As with all my web designs, I used a DIV based layout with minimal code and a CSS stylesheet. Since Moe wanted to keep costs down, I decided that rather than use PHP and a mySQL database on the backend, I would show him how to update the fish list himself. Moe is a fairly tech-savvy guy so, it didn’t take to long to teach him how to update the site.

In order to keep track of the traffic Captain Cichlids was getting to its website, I created a Google account and added Google Analytics to each page. I also submitted his business to the local search service Google offers called Google Places.

In our initial meeting, Moe seemed a bit skeptical about what a clean and useful web design could do for his small business. As we moved forward with the process, he seemed to become more reassured that this was the right decision. By the end of the process, he was updating his site on his own and generating traffic of roughly 15 new visit per day! It just goes to show that even if you’re hesitant to create a website, whether it be because of costs, updates or other, at the end of the day it definitely helps your business grow!

When I design my websites, I always make sure that they render properly across all web browsers including; Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Google Chrome and Opera. This is an absolute necessity because my sites get visitors from all of these browsers (some more than others) each and every month. Here is a list of the most popular browsers used on my sites for the month of April (along with some pretty pie charts).

Overall – April 2011
april browser overall
37.08% – Internet Explorer
25.40% – Firefox
14.31% – Chrome
13.90% – Safari
3.57% – Opera
5.74% – Other

Internet Explorer Version- April 2011
ie browser april
73.81% – 8.0
14.50% – 9.0
6.96% – 7.0
4.71% – 6.0
0.01% – 5.5

Firefox Version- April 2011
firefox browser april
48.18% – 3.6.16
22.07% – 4.0
4.83% – 3.6.13
3.65% – 3.5.18
21.27% – Other

Chrome Version- April 2011
chrome browser april
56.93% – 10.0.648.204
25.16% – 10.0.648.205
7.20% – Other
4.55% – 11.0.696.60
1.54% – 11.0.696.57

There are a lot of things these type of stats tell us about internet users and the browsers they choose. It’s clear that people who use Google Chrome or Firefox update to the latest version much more quickly than others (mainly because it’s an automatic update). We can also see that most Internet Explorer users only update to the latest version once it’s included in a Microsoft update. The most used browser on my sites is still Internet Explorer however, Firefox is a very close second with Chrome and Safari battling for third.

As far as web design goes, it’s clear that every site created needs to be optimized for every browser out there. It may be frustrating and it may be tedious, but if you want to be taken seriously as a web designer, it’s something that needs to be done.

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