How to Choose The Best Web Designing Services

Nobody can deny the fact that websites are influencing the prospect of the business in today’s world considerably. However, you cannot achieve full benefits of a website unless the same is attractive and effective. Not everybody can design and develop such good sites and you need to take the help of a professional to get it done. When you start your searching for a professional web designer, you may come across with many companies claiming to deliver better products. You certainly will end up in confusion over whom to assign the job. You will have to take many things in consideration while assigning the job to a service provider.

• PSD conversion: – The design files will be created in PSD formats usually and it needs to get converted to HTML/ XHTML/HTML5 to create a website. This conversion is a crucial job which may makes or mars the quality of the website as a whole. The professional web developer can convert the PSD file to HTML/XHTML without losing the original charm of the design. A web developer should guarantee pixel perfect design while performing PSD to HTML conversion.

• Along with pixel perfect designing, perfect coding is necessary to make the website more search engine friendly and to enable a fast loading. The web designing service provider should have enough experience and expertise to do the work perfectly.

• PHP programming, UI development, module development etc are other crucial areas where the web development company should be able to provide the best result and should give guarantee that the entire work is as per the quality norms put forth by various international organizations such as W3C.

Now you may feel that it is a bit difficult to identify the right service provider for your website. There is nothing to worry. You can select the right company by following a few steps mentioned below.

• The web development company might have mentioned about their portfolio on their official website. Try to find out the websites developed by them earlier and assess the quality of the same. Assess the unique features they have provided in each of those websites.

• If you can inquire with any of their existing clients, that will be even better.

• Try to have long discussions with the service provider about your exact requirements and find out how fast they understand your needs. When they can follow you easily, you will not have any communication problems in the future. Proper communication is necessary to get the best outcome.

• Inquire about the technical abilities of the service provider and about the technology and the equipment they use. It will be better to go with those who use the latest technology and sophisticated equipment to have better results.

• Ask them clearly about the technical support they are providing.

• Find out whether they have any pay-back policy. Only those with full confidence on their ability can offer to pay back the entire amount if the client is not satisfied with their work.

• Certainly the price is a criterion, but should not give much importance to that as the best things will always be costly.

So You Want to be a Multiplayer Web Games Developer?

In my first article “So You want to be a Games Developer?” (http://ezinearticles.com/?So-You-Want-to-be-a-Games-Developer&id=70920), I discussed various games genres, including Web/Email games. This is one of the easiest ways to start developing games- you aren’t restricted to one language or platform and the costs are pretty low. In this article, I’ll look at the various technologies that you can use, and give you an idea of what its possible to do and how you get started.

Web games fall into various sub categories- email games, browser games, and multi player games. Email games are by far the simplest- technically they aren’t web games and you don’t even need a computer to moderate them, just to send and receive. Browser games can be implemented in Flash, JavaScript (dhtml), Java and even ActiveX/COM. I’d guess that most single player games are implemented in Flash but I’ll save that for a future article. To start with, though I’ll take you through what is involved in developing Multiplayer Web Games.

Before you start, go and take a look again at the Multi Player Online Games Directory- http://www.mpogd.com. Its an excellent resource and gives you an idea of the type of games out there ranging from small free games to the massive games like Sony’s Everquest.

The big multiplayer games aren’t web based but they do work across the Internet. They tend to have their own custom written clients, with encrypted protocols, fast 3d graphics and large teams of customer support staff. I recommend http://terranova.blogs.com/ as an excellent blog on this- you’ll find articles and quotes from luminaries such as Richard Bartle who produced the first Mud (its short for Multi User Dungeon), and Professor Edward Castranova; an expert on virtual world economics. Muds also tend to use their own clients, usually based on Telnet. Although these are not web games, I recommend you widen your experience as much as possible. Muds in particular although not the most popular genre still do exist and provide a good model for interactive games.

Breaking into computer game design and programming is as easy as becoming a fulltime commercial game programmer- i.e. its not! But there is nothing to stop you developing your own web game, and MPOGD will be happy I’m sure to list it in their directory. If its Open Source you can set it up and find other developers on Soiurceforge.net.

There are two categories of web game: real-time and turn based, and this dictates the type of technology that drives it. Real-time is more complicated- the server has to support multiple connections at the same time and care has to be taken to synchronise actions between clients. If you attack someone and they’ve already moved but your client isn’t keeping up then your game is not going to be popular.

A crossover between multiplayer web games and custom client games is possible with Macromedia’s Flash. It is likely that multiplayer action games based on Flash will become more prolific- there are quite a few around now. Sadly sourceforge has many such ideas that have not got past the planning stage. Also what does exist may not be open source as creating such games takes a lot of work. Googling for flash, multiplayer game returns a couple of million results but add open source and it drops to a few hundred thousand.

Unless you are an excellent Flash developer and can write good server code as well, I suggest you stick to turn based games. The good news is that web based is an area where open source development is prolific. A search on sourceforge.net for ‘game servers’ returned several projects that are mature or beta. Fancy developing an RPG in Java? Use Arianne. Or if C# is more your style, have a look at Ovorp. The most popular languages are C++ and Java (for the server) but C# projects have now started appearing and you’ll find C, Perl, and Python as well. But don’t limit your searches to sourceforge- there are many projects elsewhere as well. An excellent resource for finding games is dmoz.org-= the Open directory Project. Have a look at http://dmoz.org/Computers/Open_Source/Software/Games/ and http://dmoz.org/Games/Video_Games/Roleplaying/Massive_Multiplayer_Online/Independent_Developers/

E.g. Black nova Traders, which is located on sourceforge at http://sourceforge.net/projects/blacknova and has its own url http://www.blacknova.net/ BlackNova Traders is a web-based, multi-player space exploration game inspired by the popular BBS game of TradeWars. It is classified as a turn based mud. It is coded using PHP, SQL, and Javascript. BNT is officially at Beta but is a pretty complete game that is just not finished. In fact it may never be as long as developers keep tweaking it!

If you are going to develop a web game you need a server. Yes you could do it online but thats slow. Best to setup your own server.

A good starting point with the most popular technology is the Open Source L.A.M.P. family. That is Linux, Apache, MySql and Php. If you are replacing your windows pc with a new pc, wipe the hard disk on the old pc and install a Linux distribution and hook the two up with a crossover network cable. What was a relatively sluggish Windows PC is now a good development server running Apache, Php and Mysql. Linux Guis are pretty friendly these days but if you are unsure of administering Linux, download webmin from webmin.com and install it. It makes all the Linux administration stuff like configuring Samba (if you want to share drives), adding virtual sites to Apache etc very easy. Or easier still is the W.A.M.P route with everything installed on your Windows box. For pros and cons of this have a look here. http://ezinearticles.com/?Windows-vs-Linux–Hosting&id=21972

One word of caution. You might consider exposing your web server to the internet down your dsl connection. Nothing wrong with that though it limits you to having two or three users at once. If you have a static IP its pretty easy to map a domain to it. It can also be done with a dynamic Ip connection as well. Search for dynamic dns to find out how to make that work. Be sure in either case that you have enough firewall protection. An unprotected Windows pc will likely be taken over in under 15 minutes. I strongly recommend that you buy a firewall router or invest in a professional software firewall at the least.

In future articles I’ll discuss the nuts and bolts of game software development and start developing an open source game.

Mobile Web App Development Platforms

The problem with mobile app development is that most companies are building from the ground up because the present development systems in the marketplace do not provide adequate flexibility in design and as a result, fall below webmaster design standards. The drawback is the intense time and skilled knowledge needed to write the correct code to complete an efficient operation from scratch which crosses all platforms with ease. Time required in writing that amount of code is prohibitive for many web design companies. Web developers see the huge benefit of a “code free” platform environment which allows the less skilled code writers to complete an app for the company’s clients. Normally, custom features require detailed programming in order to work properly on all different types of mobile devices.

Many web developers are adding the mobile web services for their customers, but as a result, many are creating their own cookie cutter platforms. These platforms are limited in their branding capabilities. What that does is dramatically limit what the end client will receive in relation to branding. Find a platform which allows a simple ability to design in a custom manner with adequate branding capabilities and custom layout implementation within the environment. Most platforms for mobile web apps are limited and very restricted in design capabilities. Templates are offered to create cookie-cutter type apps for different types businesses with limited flexibility for customization within their own development platform. Find the most flexible platform to satisfy the branding needs of your clients

Mobile Web App Development Platforms are proprietary software that is housed on proprietary servers to protect the copy-written platforms. Customization capabilities of code free features and applications within the development platform itself are critical for branding purposes. This allows a webmaster to fine-tune that platform to produce a one of a kind mobile web app for the customer.
The industry currently seems to use the “Mobile Friendly” conversion when a mobile device is attempting to make a connection with the main website. In today’s world, this is inadequate due to the fact that the conversions do not allow the layout to be easily viewed by users and many systems do not seem to convert things in the proper format for that particular mobile device. Good platforms provide a seamless, user-friendly experience without glitches, without hang-ups, and without improper layout. These systems allow the mobile web app to be comparable to just about every advantage a native app may possess. Native Apps are downloaded from the App Store for Google Play or one of the other services that requires downloading a program onto your mobile device. This differs from a mobile web app which is seamless displays on over 5000 different mobile device devices in the world, without a download. With the advent of 4G technology, mobile internet access is available 24/7 from just about anywhere in the world. Users are able to go to a main website and it will convert to a mobile web app knowing that you are on a one of over 5000 different types of mobile phones or tablets and other mobile devices.. If a customer is on a desktop or laptop when attempting to connect to the main website, the normal website will display.

Pricing is all over the spectrum. The cost of service ranges from less than $4.00+ per mobile web app per month up to over $120/mo. That is the market rate for various platforms. The amount of platform flexibility, user-friendly development tools, and service/training provided will dictate what webmasters and in-house “do-it-yourself” individuals will actually use to develop mobile web apps and mobile websites for themselves and their customers.

James Alan Hughbanks