REVAMP ALERT. Apparently it's definitely time to bring out the new collection. Yahoo and Google have both been launching brand new logos lately.
What's new with Google?
Changes to the Navigation Bar
Coming soon to a computer near you
Nothing to write home about
THEM China is growing and we’re currently looking for a new Web Designer to join our team. This position is based in Beijing (China). Here is the job description:
Title of Position:
THEM is a leading digital agency based in China (Beijing, Shanghai) and Russia (Moscow) and specialized in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). We offer a complete range of web services, from high quality web design and clean web development to professional SEO and SEM.
Our multicultural team is composed of high-level Internet professionals from Europe, Asia, North and South America.
Known for our fresh and brilliant ideas, we help our clients be visible on the Internet and keep their website ahead of the competition.
We also implement our know-how of web to develop internal projects, notably in the fields of e-commerce and ranking monitoring (SEO tools).
The Web Designer is responsible for day-to-day website design and creation. His/her duties involve:
- Meeting clients and translating their idea/marketing/informational content into a design output adapted to their target market
- Providing clients with design advice, explanation and suggestions
- Designing web pages and websites appearance and User Interface (UI)
- Creating or editing images and graphics for website use
- Coordination with project manager and clients to ensure that goals and needs are met in the design process
The Web Designer is required to have:
- Minimum 1 year experience in designing websites in variety of formats
- Advanced proficiency in Adobe Illustrator and/or Photoshop
Creative, capable of creating something totally new e.g logos, modern, interesting, fresh web designs
Methodological, capable of executing repetitive work and to do variations on an existing project
Good communication skills with both internal and external contacts
Web culture (must)
SEO notions (plus)
Oral and written English proficiency mandatory
Other languages is a plus
- Position: Full time, available from now on
- Job location: Beijing, China
- Salary: Depending on your experience
- Benefits: Visa & Medical insurance
Please apply to this job position by sending your resume/CV to: jobs(at)them.pro
Other Job Positions at THEM China:
Looking for another job position within THEM China? We’re always looking for new talents to join our company. If you want to be part of a successful and productive team, feel free to send us your unsolicited application (web development + SEO).
What is a Responsive Web Design ?
A Responsive design website uses CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), the technology used to adapt the layout of webpages to the viewing environment, by automatically detecting the resolution (width) of the electronic device that you are using. In other words, whatever is your device; all pages will be displayed in accordance of its requirements.
Why Smartphones can Influence the Website Design?
Because surfing on a traditional website, not adapted for small screens, doesn’t give a very nice user experience to your visitors. In fact, the reality is even worse, as according to a recent survey by Compuware, about 40% of users will close the website and visit a competitor’s website rather than struggling to find information on a poorly optimized mobile site and 57% of them will not recommend a company which provides a bad mobile site experience to its visitors.
Responsive Design is the Solution
Instead of creating several websites for each device: desktop, laptop, tablets, smartphones, Interactive Tv,… like it was the solution few years ago. Today, you only need to create and manage only one website with a responsive design which will distribute a tailored design and content for each of your device.
Major Benefits of Responsive Web Design
- You only need one accessible and fully designed website for all the devices: smartphones, desktop computer, tablets, interactive tv,…
- You will save money as you don’t need to create several versions of your website.
- It will save you a lot of time as you only need to use one CMS for all the devices, when you publish a post it will be perfectly displayed instantly on all devices.
- Your visitors enjoy content optimized for their devices.
- It helps to create a better user experience as visitors won’t need to learn how to deal with the mobile version since the website is the same.
- Your link building strategy only needs to be done one time! This is a huge advantage as you won’t need to establish several building campaign for each of your dedicated website. Your SEO development will need less time.
- You rank only one website and do not split your incoming traffic into several ones and so you gather your incoming traffic in one place. This strongly increases your SEO performance as none of your websites competes against each other, only one website is ranked.
- You don’t need to worry about preventing canonical issues and duplicate content penalties.
- You don’t need to develop an application for each smartphone operating system and as there are many of them: Android, RIM, Nokia, Windows Mobile, iOS,…
- It’s web-socially friendly; when your visitors will share your awesome content they will only share it from one URL and not several which as a consequence...
- Make your community stay at one place and not spread it over several social website accounts.
- You don’t need to worry about upgrading your website for the next generation of screens as it will fit for the bigger ones instantly.
- You don’t need to indicate to your users they are in the wrong website and they have to switch to the appropriate one.
- You show to your competitors that you are mastering the state of the art of web development and keeping your information tools up to date.
- You are in concordance with the Google policy which highly recommends the use of a responsive design:
“Sites that use responsive web design, […], with each URL serving the same HTML to all devices and using just CSS to change how the page is rendered on the device. This is Google’s recommended configuration”
If you still have some doubts about the advantages of having a responsive design, keep in mind there are more than 1B mobile phone customers in China, 400 million of them are mobile Internet users and 150 million are 3G users.
Of course, you can still contact us if you have any interrogations or if you wish to have a responsive design website.
Most of the shopping templates below are compatible with Drupal 6 and a few ones with Drupal 7.
However, all are optimized for Ubercart. Ubercart is a Drupal module that unlocks the power of ecommerce functionalities, from inventory, payment to reporting tools.
Here are 14 Ecommerce Drupal themes ranked by alphabetical order:
Acquia Prosper is a classic free ecommerce Drupal theme created by TopNotchThemes. With a monochromatic look and clean lines, it is designed as an Ubercart e-commerce theme that is easy to customize, but is also extremely flexible for any type of website. Acquia Prosper is compatible with Drupal 6 & 7.
Also designed by TopNotchThemes, Clean Commerce is a premium shopping Drupal theme. With minimalist and monochromatic design, it is an Ubercart-optimized theme. Clean Commerce is currently only available for Drupal 6.
Ecommerce Pro is a professional premium Drupal theme. The theme can be customized. For instance, you can choose 5 theme colors among blue, red, orange, pink, and green, and customize the front page slider, as well as a dropdown product image gallery. Designed by Themesnap, Ecommerce Pro is compatible with Drupal 7.
Designed by DrupalStyle, Frame Ecommerce is a beautiful free Drupal shopping theme with clean and contemporary look. It is optimized for Ubercart and compatible with Drupal 6.
Inci is a premium ecommerce Drupal theme designed by SymphonyThemes. It is compatible with Ubercart and Drupal 6.
Created by TopNotchThemes, Luxe is an elegant premium shopping Drupal 6 theme.
7. Market Share
Also designed by TopNotchThemes, Market Share is a corporate ecommerce Drupal Theme. Many possibilities to customize this theme compatible with Drupal 6.
Modern Ecommerce is a free shopping theme for Drupal 6 with clean layout and powerful features.
Pump up the Volume is a dark Drupal 6 theme optimized for Ubercart by TopNotchThemes.
Designed by ThemesShark, Seashell is an original ecommerce Drupal theme compatible with 6.x.
11. Sharp Sales
Sharp Sales is a shopping Drupal theme with a classic look and compatible with Drupal 6.
Designed by Themesnap, Shoppica is a beautiful ecommerce Drupal theme compatible with 7.x. It notably features unlimited color combinations.
13. Tech Stop
Tech Stop is a professional shopping Drupal theme by TopNotchThemes compatible with 6.x.
Designed by DrupalStyle, Traffic Ecommerce is a free Drupal theme with a very catchy design.
At our web agency THEM, we love Drupal. And we are actually not the only ones in the world to love it: 670,000+ people are part of the community, and thousands of websites worldwide are powered by Drupal.
Drupal may be not as popular as the two other major open source web Content Management Systems (CMS), namely WordPress and Joomla, but it is undoubtedly one of the most powerful. It can suit any kind of website, from corporate website to e-commerce platform.
Another great advantage of Drupal is the way web design can be easily modified. In only one click, you can totally change the look of your website by using templates.
Here are 25 free themes compatible with Drupal 7 ranked by alphabetical order (click on titles to visit project's page):
Also developed by TopNotchThemes, Acquia Propser is an Ubercart e-commerce theme with great look and clean lines.
Originally available for Drupal 6, Alphorn is now compatible with Drupal 7. It now supports displaying in mobile devices, including tablets. Alphorn is developed by SymphonyThemes.
Designed and developed by Pixeljets, Analytic is a clean, modern and free theme, ideal for blogs, online media and communities.
5. Blue Masters
Originally based on a PSD template designed by Wendell Fernandes, Blue Masters is a beautiful Drupal template supported by More than Themes.
Busy is a simple and clean theme for companies only available for Drupal 7, and sponsored by Undpaul.
Based on the work from Erwin Aligam, Colourise is a dark theme aimed at online communities.
Conch is a free theme with a vintage style. Like Alphorn, it is developed by Symphony Themes and suits any screen, from mobile devices to desktop computers.
Corolla is an awesome and very popular theme among Drupal community. Highly stylized colorable, it allows you to totally customize the look and feel of your website.
10. Corporate Clean
Corporate Clean is one of my favorite themes for Drupal with simple, clean and professional web design. I especially like the slideshow with the call-to-action buttons. Based on a PSD template designed by Zsolt Kacso, Corporate Clean is now supported by More than Themes.
Released a few months ago, Crystalline is a transparent theme that allows you to easily customize the style. Crystalline is sponsored by Rocket Theme.
Danland is an elegant theme for Drupal 7.x with an image slideshow (the feature can be switched off). This free theme is provided by Danetsoft.
The Jackson Theme is an extremely professionally designed theme. Its great layout is perfect for SMS businesses.
Originally designed for WordPress by Nick La, Koi is an elegant free Drupal theme for online communities.
Libra’s clean design consists of blue sky colors reminding us the colors used by Twitter. It is designed by Glidea Web Agency and Drupal Soul, and only available for Drupal 7.
Marinelli is one of the most famous Drupal theme. It features a 3 column and tableless layout.
17. MD Construction
MD Construction is an original under construction theme for Drupal. Very useful when you modify something in your website.
Newswire is a 4 column, table-less, and fixed width theme for Drupal. It offers many color options for the navigation bar and other blocks.
Omega Drupal theme is a powerful HTML5/960 grid base theme that is highly configurable. Thousands of websites use it as their design theme. A few other themes are based on Omega.
20. Pixture Reloaded
Pixture Reloaded is a re-colorable theme powered by Adaptivetheme. It has great features such as mobile support, powerful layout engine and many more.
Similar to Pixture Reloaded, Sky is a center aligned theme with multi-column layout theme and some configurable color options.
Originally designed on WordPress by Drew Strojny, Titan is a free, classic, and efficient theme for Drupal 7.
Typebased is a modern and relecorable blog theme. Original WordPress theme was designed by WooThemes.
24. Urban Solice
Urban Solice is a professionally designed and well-organized Drupal 7 theme. Its neutral color scheme and clean layout make it an ideal theme for small or medium-sized businesses.
25. Zero point
Zero Point is an advanced and clear theme developed by Dr. Radut to be ideal for a wide range of websites.
Which one is your favorite? If you want to see more Drupal themes, you may be interested in reading our previous article on where to download the best Drupal templates.
What are the most used open source CMS used worldwide ?
The analysis focuses on several metrics such as rate of adoption and brand strength among 20 open source CMS .
For example, the study shows the systems that see the most downloads. Here is the top 10:
Source : Water&Stone
In addition to those three systems based on PHP, the study highlights two tools, namely DoteNetNuke and Umbraco, that use .NET, as well as three JAVA CMS, namely Liferay and Alfresco.
In an interview for the French newspaper Le Monde, Drupal's founder Dries Buytaert claims that the CMS is used for at least 1% of all websites worldwide ranging from personal blogs to larger corportate sites.
What is Drupal?
According to Dries Buytaert, more than 1% of all websites worldwide use Drupal, the most famous one being the site for the White House (whitehouse.gov).
Drupal's strength: modules
The main advantage of Drupal is the usage of modules. They enable webmasters to add new functionalities to their site.
There are currently almost 6,000 free third-party community-contributed modules available for download in order to add new features or customize Drupal's appearance. By the way, you can read our article about the top sites where to download Drupal themes.
However, Drupal may be difficult for beginners, notably compared to other blog-oriented CMSs like Joomla! or WordPress. But Drupal offers more possibilities to build complex websites.
Drupal 7 to be released
Many efforts have been made to make the next version of Drupal (Drupal 7) easier to use. It's expected to be released in the following months.
The problem is that there will be many changes between the latest version (Drupal 6) and the new version, notably regarding the API. Modules will have to be updated, so it may take some time before all of the modules will be compatible with the new version.
In 2007, Dries Buytaert founded a company called Acquia that provides products, services and support for Drupal. As you know, we're also big fans of Drupal within THEM. Check out our web development services as well as our web design services.
When you want to open an eCommerce site, one time or another comes the question of choosing your shopping cart software. You should carefully think through it since it wouldn't be easy to change it.
Shopping cart software is used in eCommerce to assist people making purchases online.
In this post, I'll provide you with a list of the top free online shopping cart software packages in order to help you make the best choice for your business, as well as a list of online shopping cart modules for Joomla, WordPress, and Drupal.
Top free eCommerce software packages
OsCommerce online merchant is one of the best known open source eCommerce solution that is available for free. It features a rich set of online shopping cart functionality that allows store owners to setup, run, and maintain online stores with minimum effort and with no costs, fees, or limitations involved. OsCommerce's community include more than 235,000 shop owners and 6,000 add-ons.
Zen Cart is an off branch of osCommerce that comes with several of the most popular modules built into it.
CubeCart offers version 3 of their software for free but charges for version 4 (after a free 30 day trial). Its features include upload, inventory management, shipping modules, etc.
Magento is a feature-rich eCommerce platform built on open-source technology that provides online merchants with great flexibility and control over the look, content and functionality of their eCommerce store. Magento's intuitive administration interface features powerful marketing, SEO and catalog-management tools to give merchants the power to create sites that are tailored to their unique business needs. The professional and enterprise versions include many more offerings.
PrestaShop is a free professional eCommerce shopping cart enabling store admins to manage the inventory, orders, customers & payments easily. You can create unlimited categories, sub-categories and image pictures.
Digistore is a fully featured open source eCommerce solution based on osCommerce with improvements notably in administration and end user experience.
OpenCart is an eCommerce solution enabling merchants to create their own online business at a minimal cost. It's designed feature rich, easy to use, search engine friendly and with a visually rather appealing interface.
JadaSite is a bit unusual since it’s Java based, as well as fully integrated with a CMS.
Quick Cart offers a free version allowing you to build a simple online store. Two more robust levels of the same program (premium versions) have more features.
CRE Loaded is an e-commerce system that makes your store fully compliant with all Payment Card Industry (PCI) security rules. You can easily organize, manage and ship your products from your online store. It also accept credit card transactions safely.
Spree Commerce provides one of the most flexible commerce platforms available.
Shopping cart modules for Joomla
VirtueMart is a free shopping cart solution built specially for integration with Joomla and Mambo CMS. It can work in store and catalog mode.
RokQuickCart is a simple shopping cart for Joomla. It takes a simple, yet elegant, shopping cart script and integrates directly into Joomla. It allows you to showcase products, inclusive of images, descriptions and additional options, and purchase these items, with support for shipping and tax calculation.
Seber Cart is a free shopping cart solution allowing any Joomla site owner to sell products on line via their web site. One of the primary goals of Seber Cart is to allow the store owner complete control over their store. Orders and products are easy to manage via an easy to use interface.
Shopping cart modules for Wordpress
ShopperPress is a fully featured shopping cart plugin for Wordpress CMS, allowing you to sell any types of products, services, and digital downloads online. ShopperPress has built in support for multiple payment gateways allowing you to accept product payments online.
FatFreeCart is a free shopping cart which can work inside your website, blog and MySpace page. It's simply a copy-paste cart and it doesn't require any installation. It works with PayPal and Google Checkout and supports product variations, shipping, handling and sales tax.
WordPress e-Commerce is a shopping cart plugin for WordPress making easy to sell your products and services online.
eShop is an accessible shopping cart plugin for WordPress, packed with various features. It gives you notably the ability to add a PayPal powered store to your site and allows one item per post or page.
Quick Shop is a shopping cart plugin for your WordPress blog.
Shopping cart module for Drupal
Ubercart is a full-featured shopping cart that can be integrated within a Drupal-powered site so that you can build a community around your store or featured products.
Do you know other great free eCommerce software packages?
In this post, I'm going to write about Landing Page Optimization (LPO) and give you advice on conversion optimization.
What is Landing Page Optimization ?
A landing page is a webpage that is displayed when a potential customer clicks on an ad or a search engine result link. This webpage typically displays content that is a relevant extension of the ad or link.
Landing page optimization (LPO) is part of conversion optimization (also known as Conversion Rate Optimization - CRO), with the goal of improving the percentage of visitors to the website that become sales leads and customers.
Conversion rate is computed as the ratio between the number of people ordering the product/service and the number of people visiting the page.
LPO aims to provide page content and appearance that makes the webpage more appealing to target audiences.
LPO makes you gain customers
LPO is very important since improving it can be an easy way to gain customers.
For example, several tests led by MarketingExperiments enabled the New York Times to significantly improve the conversion rate of its Electronic edition.
First, the design of the page was optimized: the new landing page included the offer price, standard buttons were replaced by radio ones, and the call-to-action weighted more effectively. By changing the display of the offer, the customer's decision was simplified, which reduced friction.
Second, they changed the regular paid offer to a 7-day free trial offer, which resulted in reducing customer anxiety.
In the end, the LPO resulted in a dramatic increase in conversion rate (more than 1000%) and enabled the New York Times to gain more subscribers.
Emphasize your value proposition
The most effective way to improve your LPO is to emphasize your value proposition. Your value proposition is the primary reason why a suspect should buy from you. I'm not going to go into marketing details here but, in a nutshell, keep in mind you should always:
1. Differentiate your offer from the competition's;
2. Excel in at least one element of value;
3. Be the best choice for your optimum customer;
4. Address both the value proposition of your company and the value proposition of your product.
What to do for your value proposition ?
Concretely, you can do the followings things in order to optimize your landing pages:
- Tie your value proposition into the headline.
- Use short form that asks for required fields and therefore avoid long form asking for unneeded information.
- Display weighted graphic to show progress along the subscription path.
- List benefits above or next to the subscription form, so that visitor avoid scrolling down significantly.
- Use a chart of benefits (one of the most effective visual display of the value proposition).
- Re-emphasize the free-nature of the offer and the immediate benefit if appropriate.
- Place credibility indicators in close proximity to the call to action.
A simple way to test your value proposition is to create a couple of online ads with different summaries and measure their click-through rate. The one with the highest click-through rate identifies the value proposition that is the most appealing to your potential customers.
Express an effective value proposition
Now that you have a strong value proposition, let's see how to convey it through your landing pages in the clearest and most compelling way possible. Your value proposition has to be in line with two elements: congruence and continuity.
Congruence means that every element of your page either states your value proposition or support it. This can be expressed in your logos, price, design features, images, colors, etc.
Continuity means that each step of your buy process states or support your value proposition. For example, when someone searches a certain keyword, your ad should include the same keyword, as well as the header in your page. If a potential customer lands on a page which is irrelevant to its search, you have a discontinuity in addressing your value proposition.
Motivation of user
The motivation of user is also a significative factor which drives the conversion rate.
The point is to determine the motivation of user within a given channel. To do so, you can analyze the performance of the channels of traffic that generates revenue for your business (for example emailing, paid search...). Web Analytics tools such as Google Analytics and Woopra help you evaluate the cost of the traffic and the revenue generated from that traffic, and determine the channels with the highest profit.
For your top channels, it can be interesting to analyze the nature of your customer, the reason why they're buying and see how you could customize your landing pages to appeal within those channels.
Keep in mind that relevance leads to conversion: you should always combine channel relevance, creative relevance, and landing page relevance.
Today let's have a look at the web design of popular websites and let's focus on the main differences between their global and Chinese version.
Here is the comparison of some well-known sites and their Chinese version:
There are some significative differences in web design between amazon.com and amazon.cn.
As you can see below, the Chinese site displays a complete menu (from top search to comment space) at the top of the page in addition to another focused on the catalogue on the left like in the global version.
Some functionnalities differ and are not located at the same position in both sites. For example, the cart icon isn't integrated in the search box but displayed in the top menu on amazon.cn.
Plus, you can notice that the color used on Amazon China's website is a light blue shading compared to a plain dark blue on the worldwide website. You can also see that joyo.com's logo is still displayed on the webpage (Amazon acquired the Chinese bookstore joyo.com in 2004).
Let's now compare the design of Google's websites. As you know, google.cn now redirects to google.com.hk after Google decided in March 2010 to stop censoring its search results in China.
The main web design difference between Google.com and Google.com.hk consists of the numerous icons displayed under the search box in the Hongkongese version that enable users to access directly Google's services.
No difference in the web design of Apple's global and Chinese websites. Check it out yourself:
Yahoo! China's homepage might look similar to the global page: they both display a large block of news content in the middle of their homepage. However, the menu on the left of the page offers more functionnalities on yahoo.com than on yahoo.cn.
There are also differencies in the other blocks (for example 'trending now' vs. access to email on the right).
You can also compare the length of the two versions. Yahoo! China's homepage is very long compared to global's (I cut the homepage screenshot though to enable you to read the end of this post without scrolling down too much...).
The main difference between ebay.com and ebay.cn is the position of the search box within the site. On the global version, the search box is located just under the logo at the top of the home page whereas it is more down in the Chinese website. The organization of the blocks also largely differs.
When I look at MSN's global and Chinese websites, I can see many differences in the homepage pages: not the same structure, not the same colors. However, there is always the bing search box at the top. The global version looks much lighter than its Chinese equivalent to me.
The web design of Microsoft's global website homepage differs from the Chinese site only by the color: sky blue to light blue shading vs. orange to white shading for the Chinese version. Do you have any idea why they chose these colors ? I don't know but microsoft.fr has the same web design as Microsoft China's website...
As you can see above, some companies decided to have the same website design as their global website and only translate content for their Chinese version. Others display a different web design and modify their website structure.
The challenge for global websites is of course to strengthen their brand image and adapt China's market at the same time.