The Twelve Blogs of Christmas

4D - 12 Blogs of Christmas
4D - 12 Blogs of Christmas
4D Digital – 12 Blogs of Christmas

This year we are joining the #blogmas campaign and will be running our own 12 Blogs of Christmas over the festive period. Featuring articles that look back on web developments in 2018, looking ahead to 2019, guest posts from friends of 4D, and a few offers thrown in for good measure!

We’ll be running our blog over social media using the hashtag #4D12days – keep a look out and let us know what you think. Any feedback on the articles is welcome!

Every day from Christmas Day we’ll release one blog, articles will cover web design, mobile apps, social media marketing, SEO and all things web! From in-depth assessments of the state of web development to a more light-hearted look back and ahead we hope you’ll enjoy the blogs.

 

4d-christmas-embelishments

Website launch – Baileys of Salisbury

Baileys of Salisbury
Baileys of Salisbury

Baileys of Salisbury are an independent, family-run bed retailer based in Salisbury, Wiltshire. Baileys approached 4D Digital looking to set up a new website for the business, wishing to ensure the quality of the website reflected the mid- to high-end bed ranges they offer in store.

With a relatively short project time, 4D worked closely with the client in order to co-ordinate with the store opening at the end of November 2018. Launching on time and with on-site client training and an ecommerce framework, the website is all set to grow and go from strength to strength.

The website was built with a particular focus on mobile and tablet device layouts, with larger lifestyle images being more prominent on desktop browsers.

With an ecommerce framework at its core, the website system will be well-set to expand the ranges of beds featured in-store and online. Custom settings have been applied to enable the store owner to easily add and update page content and enquiries.

We’re extremely pleased with the website and look forward to working together with Baileys of Salisbury over the coming years.

www.baileysofsalisbury.co.uk

 

Progressive Web Apps – How they can help your business

Most businesses realise that mobile technology needs to be at the forefront of any digital strategy. We all know how powerful and addictive mobile apps and websites can be. However, businesses can harness this (in a good way) by using a technology that creates a new type of mobile app or website – the Progressive Web App.

Add to Home Screen

A Progressive Web App (PWA) is a website or application that interacts with the user just as a native app would do. Unlike a native app, a PWA is not installed via an app store such as Apple’s App Store or Android’s Google Play. The application is simply a website visited by the user, who is prompted to install a shortcut onto the mobile home screen.

This seemingly small difference offers a huge benefit to anyone developing and maintaining the app. No app store means no commission fees, no time-consuming approval process every time the app is updated. In addition to bypassing the app stores, being based on web technologies enables the application to written in only one codebase – not the multiple versions that are needed to maintain iOS, Android and Windows apps. Reduced development and maintenance costs, quicker release to market – it’s easy to see why many some of even the world’s largest brands are pursuing the PWA route to market.

PWA Functionality

Only in the last two or three years have PWA’s been given access to the hardware device functions a native app could use. Camera, Microphone, Push Notifications, Geolocation, File system – all of these and more can now be accessed by mobile web technology and therefore a PWA. Transferring data on secure https connections, the ability to work offline – these are now default functionality for a PWA and make for exciting possibilities.

Starbucks leads the way

Let’s have look at three of the best PWA examples currently in use. All are from big brands who are slowly moving away from building native iOS and Android apps.

Starbucks

Like them or loath them – Starbucks have led the way with PWA apps. Featuring geo-location for nearest stores and good offline capabilities.

Twitter Lite

The Twitter PWA or Twitter Lite as it’s referred to, can be installed via https://mobile.twitter.com

The performance is so good that it’s easy to forget this is not a native app.

 

 

Debenhams

The might not be considered bang up-to-date in the fashion stakes, but the team at Debenhams are ‘en mode’ with this one.

https://www.debenhams.com/webapp

 

The future’s bright – the future’s PWA?

There may always be a place for native apps. But we would suggest that anyone looking to build a new app should seriously consider the PWA route. Reducing development cost and time as well as removing the need for app store approval, can make a serious difference to any new project.

3 Ways to Improve your Photography for Websites

JPEG (Top) / RAW (Bottom) - Comparison

Use Manual Settings

If you’re looking to find your niche in photography you need to know all the settings of your camera, so look through your manual/guide and learn about each button.

Manual mode is one of the main settings on your camera, and it lets you control shutter speed, aperture, and ISO.

Using Manual Mode (M) on your camera gives you the most flexibility and control over your photos. You may make many mistakes when you first try this, but experimenting with different shots will only make you a better photographer in the long run.

Rule of Thirds

The Rule of Thirds is simply a grid of 9 boxes on your camera, which allows you to place your subject/main focus point into one of these areas.

Why should you use it?

If the subject is small try using individual parts of the grid, but if the subject is large trying using a third of the grid to create that empty space.

Shoot in RAW

One of the main things that will help you improve your photography is shooting in RAW. If you shoot in JPEG it can generally make the colours quite dull and it also gives you less flexibility when it comes to editing things such as exposure and colour temperature.

Here’s an example of JPEG edited vs RAW Edited.

JPEG (Top) / RAW (Bottom) - Comparison
JPEG (Top) / RAW (Bottom) – Comparison

This is a guest post by Photographer, blogger and marketer Oliver Howells