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9 Elements of an Efficient Global Website

One of the most beneficial features of the Internet is that its location agnostic. A website can be accessed by a user in Silicon Valley as easily as by a user in Siberia, regardless of where you are headquartered.

Here are nine elements to keep in mind when preparing a website for a worldwide audience:

1. Languages

For a positive user experience, a global website must be available in the native language of several different regions. Consider a webpage showing all of the available languages.

2. Style guides

A style guide should be such that it can be used all through the localization of the website. Different languages might require different fonts and styles, so a style guide can help keep each of your website’s translations consistent.

3. Terminology

Try to keep your website’s terminology straightforward and simple. Consistent terminology will help cultivate better translation memory reuse and SEO.

4. Branding

Even when you’re translating your website into different languages, it is imperative to retain the brand’s feel and identity. To do so, outline your standards for business history, mission statements, logos, colors, etc. before translation.

5. Multimedia

When it comes to engaging with your brand, different cultures will prefer different content multimedia such as text, audio and video. Multimedia translation might involve voice-over recordings or localized subtitles.

6. Imagery

Images on websites can lead to higher translation costs. Try to avoid images with embedded text, or divide them into layers to make translation easier. Also be mindful to avoid discriminatory or culturally biased, imagery.

7. Phone numbers and addresses

Make sure that you have contact information (phone numbers and addresses) that is accessible to every location served by your website. Globally valid phone numbers work, as do regionally appropriate phone numbers that are only displayed within the relevant countries.

8. Legal Concerns

Make sure you know the laws of each country you intend to target. Privacy laws in some countries might prevent you from gathering visitor’s data while libel laws in another may prevent any negative advertisements.

9. Coding

Use Unicode (a universally adopted encoding system) to standardize your website’s display, and establish a lingua francafor your programmers to use when documenting their work for each other.

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The Pulse of Heartbleed

If you have been following technology news, you will have heard about the Heartbleed SSL Bug. It was an exploitable piece of code buried in the OpenSSL library that many websites (including some mb/i websites) used to establish secure connections like the ones you have when accessing Facebook, or your bank’s website.

Was my website affected?

If mb/i is your hosting provider and your site was vulnerable, you will have received an email from us during the week of April 14. Since the discovery of the Hearbleed bug was announced on Monday, April 7, mb/i has ensured that all the servers that we use have been further strengthened against this exploit.

If you are unsure if mb/i is your hosting provider, please feel free to contact us.

How does Heartbleed work?

The most concise explanation can be found in Randall Munroe’s comic, XKCD.

What steps should I take?

First, confirm that the error has been patched. Then, change your passwords.

The order in which you execute these steps is important.  If an online service has not yet been patched, hackers could be watching right now – and will be able to see your new password as you first enter it.

Even though most mb/i sites were not affected by the Heartbleed SSL bug, it is a good idea to periodically update your passwords, and this is as good a time as any.

If you stored financial information in a compromised account, you may also wish to sign up for a credit monitoring service.

Who else was affected?

The Open SSL library is used by a broad range of website developers in order to add an extra level of security. It is suspected that as many as 2/3rds of the sites that use Open SSL were affected by the Heartbleed bug.

Some of them are very high profile – prompting Mashable to create a ‘hit list’ of passwords that should be updated right now.

If you have further questions about the Heartbleed bug and how it might have impacted your mb/i website, please do not hesitate to contact support@1111.solutions.

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Adaptive vs. Responsive: Which mobile design is right for my site?

Adaptive web design and responsive web design were built with similar ideas and goals in mind: how can you scale a website so that content is displayed in the best possible way for the device viewing it?

Responsive Design aims to increase the fluidity of the web page content so that it can shift and scale to accommodate any browser or device size. The content typically remains the same no matter which size device you use.

Adaptive Design is built for a number of per-determined screen sizes. The server hosting the website will attempt to discover the device being used, and will deliver the corresponding version of the site. Adaptive design allows you deliver different content to different devices – but this can lead to a situation where a visitor wants to access a page or information that you have not made available to their chosen device.

Either method will enhance the viewing experience and accessibility of website content on mobile and desktop devices, regardless of screen size.

 

Differences Between Adaptive and Responsive Design

 

  1. Responsive design uses CSS3 media queries to adjust the web page to any screen. Adaptive design makes use of a series of predefined layouts based on breakpoints.
  2. Responsive design is client-side, meaning the page is sent to the device browser of the client, which then adapts the appearance of the page as per the size of the window browser. Adaptive design is predominantly server side, meaning that the web server is responsible for detecting the different devices and loading the appropriate style sheet based on the type of the device.
  3. Responsive design is based on fluid grids and adaptive design is relies on predefined size layouts.
  4. Responsive design will fluidly modify its appearance when the browser window is resized, while adaptive design will load a definite layout for the device used for viewing the site.

 

When to Use Each

Responsively designed websites usually work better for content-packed websites where there is not a lot of variation in user intent between desktop users and mobile user, and the focus is on simple functionality.

Adaptively designed websites, on the other hand, are more appropriate in cases where the user intent varies significantly between desktop users and mobile users, and website performance becomes a critical factor in shaping visitor conversion and satisfaction, such as in e-commerce websites.

While both responsive design and adaptive design have their own virtues, deciding which one is appropriate for a website can be deduced by assessing a customer’s needs while achieving business goals.