Digital Orchard

Our friends at W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), the body which looks after web standards, was once squarely behind the XHTML 2.0 standard. They wanted the web to be strictly standardized. However, browser vendors observed was that very few web developers actually developing XHTML to the correct standard, if they were even doing it all! So, the standard realistically had no relevance. Thus, a real-world evolution of HTML was called for.

A cute little W3C/HTML5 logo

A cute little W3C/HTML5 logo

One which would ensure that current web developement realities were accommodated. For example, many coders forget a tag, and that is forgiven by a browser. So, all these things had to be taken care of as an evolution of HTML. That’s why Opera, Mozilla and Apple came together to form a group called the WHATWG (WHAT working group) and they came up with a standard called Web Application 1.0, which was the defining moment of HTML5. The developer community was behind HTML5 instead of XHTML 2.0. The W3C saw the writing on the wall and then stated they would discontinue their work on XHTML 2.0 and will adopt HTML5 as new version of HTML. This is how the W3C adopted HTML5, which they originally opposed. Basically, they saw it was popular with developers, so they adopted it as the next step in HTML’s evolution.

A clear example of Darwinian theory in action.

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Almost everyday (thankfully in the current economic climate) we get calls to the Digital Orchard office requesting our SEO services to help improve a business website’s search engine rankings. However, after briefly reviewing these sites, in many cases it becomes immediately clear that the site requires a complete usability makeover before it is optimized for search engine rankings.

Not what a cash strapped business owner looking for improved search rankings wants to hear but nevertheless, a fact. These business owners are typically running an SME and looking to purchase a service that will get them near instant visibility in Google. You just get us the traffic and we’ll take it from there is the assumption. However, SEO/SEM without good usability is akin to inviting people around to your house for dinner and serving them porridge. Despite your polite phone manner and cordial invite, they are unlikely to return for seconds.

A bowl of porridge, yesterday

A bowl of porridge, yesterday

The solution in this scenario is not to invite more people to your house for dinner and hope they come back, but to serve something a little bit more appetizing (apologies to those members of the ‘Porridge Appreciation Society‘ Facebook group. I am glad ye found each other though).

So I’m sure that by now you can see where I’m going with this rather weak analogy. While search engine optimisation and marketing are important, sometimes your internet marketing budget is better spent making your website more user friendly.

By identifying and fixing your website’s usability issues, you can sell more of your products and services with less traffic. Once you are able to increase your conversion rates, every euro spent on SEM & SEO will be more effective and have a much bigger impact on your bottom line.

Q. Which is more important SEO or Usability?

A. Usability, everytime.

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How To Attract More Followers on Twitter

by Hugh O'Carroll June 30, 2010 Mobile Internet

So, you want to grow the number of followers you have on Twitter? (Why? I hear the more cynical among you ask… that’s a whole other post!) Here are some pointers;
1. Get Tweeting! – Engage with your existing followers. Be interesting. Ask questions. Make comments. It seems obvious, but you’ll only get out of twitter [...]

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Google switches to new search index: Caffeine

by Hugh O'Carroll June 9, 2010 Google

According to an internal Blog, Google today announced that it has rebuilt the search engine to deliver 50% fresher results from an even larger collection of Web content possible. This new ‘Caffeine’ index now captures real-time data, video and richer content. In a nutshell, ‘Caffeine’ is designed to continually index the Web. When information is [...]

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Why not make Clonmel one giant Wi-Fi Hotspot?

by Hugh O'Carroll June 3, 2010 Business

For those of you who are not Irish, Clonmel is the biggest inland town in Ireland with a population of roughly 20,000 souls. As  school children, we learned this fact and it was always a source of pride with which we taunted our peers from smaller surrounding towns like Cahir and Carrick-on-Suir. In addition to [...]

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What is HTML5? And Why does It Matter?

by Hugh O'Carroll June 1, 2010 Apple

“Though the operating system for the iPhone, iPod and iPad is proprietary, we strongly believe that all standards pertaining to the web should be open. Rather than use Flash, Apple has adopted HTML5, CSS and JavaScript – all open standards. Apple’s mobile devices all ship with high performance, low power implementations of these open standards. [...]

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Clonmel Animal Bedding Company, Delehanty Shavings, launches new Website

by Hugh O'Carroll May 10, 2010 Internet

Digital Orchard has just completed a new site for Delehanty Shavings, a major supplier of animal bedding to the Equine, Poultry and Canine Industries. All of their quality wood shavings are produced from Coillte sourced timber. Once acquired, their timber is shaved, kiln dried, sterilised and baled to the highest standard to ensure the comfort [...]

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Google now factors ‘Website Speed’ into Rankings

by Hugh O'Carroll April 14, 2010 Google

In addition to the other 200 signals that Google uses in determining search rankings, Google is now factoring your website’s speed, according to Google’s Matt Cutts in his popular Search Engine Blog. Cutts goes on to explain that site owners should not be unduly alarmed about this site speed addition, pointing out that the rankings [...]

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The first unboxing of the new iPad (Video)

by Hugh O'Carroll April 1, 2010 Apple

Andy Ihnatko, tech writer for the Chicago Sun Times provides the first iPad unboxing:

Read the full review article here.
Print PDF

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The next big Social Networking Trend?…Foursquare

by Hugh O'Carroll March 26, 2010 Mobile Internet

Location-based social networking is experiencing exponential growth at the moment! This is primarily because most phones now have GPS functionality which means that it is easy for application developers to allow you to determine your exact physical location and in turn provide location-based status updates to your social network (i.e. Facebook Friends, Twitter Followers etc.).
One [...]

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