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8 Website Design Trends That Are Hot Right Now

As with anything, designers need to keep up with the latest trends. From color, to graphics, to animation, knowing exactly what to use, what works, and what is sure to make a company’s online presence blow up is essential for staying ahead of the fray and becoming a true digital standout. Here we offer a rundown of some of the latest design trends to take center stage thus far in 2017.

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What Is Responsive Web Design & Why Do You Need It?

What Is Responsive Web Design & Why Do You Need It?

Responsive web design is a relatively new approach to website design that ensures users have a good viewing experience no matter what type of device they’re using. It’s become increasingly important over the last few years as mobile device ownership has exploded and traditional PC sales have slowed. And now that Google is prioritizing mobile-friendly sites in its search results algorithm, it’s essential to make sure your site is optimized for mobile by using responsive design.

The Backstory

Initially, after the launch of the iPhone, the trend was to build separate sites depending on whether a person visited the site from a desktop computer or a mobile device. While it was easier from a development perspective, there were a significant number of drawbacks. The downsides included increasing maintenance costs, having to promote and maintain separate sites for SEO rankings and even having to build different mobile sites for different types of mobile devices.

Web designer Ethan Marcotte is credited with coining the term “responsive design.” In 2010, he published an article on A List Apart discussing the rapidly changing environment of devices, browsers, screen sizes, and orientations. Building separate sites for every type of device simply wouldn’t be sustainable. Instead, he proposed an alternative concept: responsive design, which calls for building flexible and fluid layouts that adapt to almost any screen.

Development Principles

Responsive web design consists of three development principles. To work properly, all three of these need to be implemented:

  1. Fluid grids
  2. Media queries
  3. Flexible images and media

Fluid Grids

A flexible grid-based layout is the cornerstone of responsive design. It uses relative sizing to fit the content to the device’s screen size. The term “grid” is a little misleading because it’s not necessary to implement any of the available grid frameworks. Instead, CSS is used to position the content. This approach is based on percentages and is a departure from traditional pixel-based design principles. Responsive design moves away from the pixel-based approach because a pixel on one device could be eight pixels on another device. By basing text size, widths, and margins on percentages, a fixed size can be turned into a size relative to its display space.

Media Queries

Media queries, also known as breakpoints, can be used to apply different styles based on the capabilities of the device. The website detects the type of device you’re using or the size of your web browser and correctly displays the page. To see this in action, stretch the window of your web browser to different sizes. Notice how the page adjusts. Features can be used to control the width, height, max-width, max-height, device-height, orientation, aspect ratio, etc.

Flexible Images and Media

This feature allows you to adapt images and other media to load differently, depending on the device, either by scaling or using the CSS overflow property.

Scaling in CSS is relatively straightforward—the media element’s max width can be set at 100 percent, and the web browser will make the image shrink and expand depending on its container.

An alternative to scaling media is to crop it with CSS. Applying overflow:hidden allows images to be cropped dynamically so that they fit into their containers.

Getting Started

The front-end frameworks Bootstrap and Foundation have been around for several years and provide templates your design and development teams can use to get started, which will help save time and money. These frameworks have become responsive frameworks. And because their grids have responsive design in mind from the start, your developer won’t need to work out the percentages; they’re already pre-programmed.

Choosing to adopt responsive web design in your development isn’t a decision to be taken lightly, especially for existing web properties. Because Google prioritizes a site’s mobile viewing experience into the factors in its SEO algorithm, responsive design isn’t a choice—it’s essential if you want your site to be visible in search results.

For more information about responsive design, visit the site This Is Responsive for a list of additional resources. The site Media Queries has examples of responsive design.


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Lets look at website security 2016!!!

Let's take a look at the things you should be concerned about that are directly related to your site's security.

Your site's reputation

1. Reputation:
Your site could take a big reputation hit if users see a defaced web page instead of your normal site. Security conscious visitors of your site may decide that is no longer safe to visit. And if you actually lose control of your users Personally Identifiable Information(PII), then your credibility with your users will will really suffer.

Block Lists

2. Block Lists:
A relatively newer threat to web servers is the notion of server side malware. This is where an attacker gains control of your server, but does not leave any notice by damage, exfiltration of data, or defacement. Their new goal, once they have control of your server, is to hide there and ambush your unsuspecting visitors. This may be accomplished by sending visitors malware or by redirecting them to a malicious site.

Many services, including google's safe browsing, keep track of sites that are distributing malware and viruses and warn users before they connect or just block the connection. If you wind up on one of these lists, it can take some time to have your site removed effectively making your site down to some users while you are on the naughty list.

Data Loss

3. Data Loss:
If you have ANY data on your server you don't want the whole world to have or that you can't live without and only have one copy, then you should be concerned about data loss. (You are doing regular backups right?)

Time and Money

4. Time and Money: If your site is breached, you can guarantee, the cleanup will cost you some time and money. How much will depend on the depth of penetration by the attackers and what, if any, data was lost or stolen.

Unfortunately, it is a sad truth that if you have a site on the Internet, one or more of these concerns may be something that keeps you awake at night.

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Several Critical Remotely Exploitable Flaws Found in Drupal Modules, patch ASAP!");" class="stMainServices st-facebook-counter"> 279");" class="stMainServices st-twitter-counter"> 140");" class="stMainServices st-linkedin-counter"> 16");" class="stMainServices st-sharethis-counter2"> 442
The extraordinary 'Panama Papers leak' from Law firm Mossack Fonseca that exposed the tax-avoiding efforts by the world's richest and most influential members was initially believed to be the result of an unpatched vulnerability in the popular open source Drupal content management system.

Now, we are quite sure that the Panama Papers, which implicated 72 current and former heads of state, was due to a zero-day vulnerability in Drupal that allowed hackers to get into the law firm's system and stole over 11.5 Million files (around 2.6 Terabytes of data).

The Drupal Security Team has announced that critical patches to address several security issues in Drupal contributed modules, including several highly critical Remote Code Execution (RCE) vulnerabilities, will be released today at 16:00 UTC.

According to an advisory, the critical arbitrary remote PHP code execution vulnerability (PSA-2016-001) affects up to 10000 Drupal websites. However, “Drupal core is not affected. Not all sites will be affected.”

Although technical details about the critical flaws have not released yet due to security reasons, the team has warned its users to apply upcoming patches without giving opportunities to hackers who are desperately waiting for the bug details to develop exploits within hours or days.

If you own a Drupal website, you are advised carefully to review the list of affected contributed modules and apply the security patches as soon as possible.
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Why companies must adopt the open source way

In a fast changing global marketplace, businesses increasingly rely on technology that enables them to innovate and respond quickly to the evolving business environment.

Every day I see examples of both large and small, public and private sector, organisations turning to open source technologies to support their business goals and deliver better customer experiences.

Open source's potential for delivering significant savings to the bottom line, resulting from the lack of software licence fees, has become recognised by organisations around the globe and validated by independent research.
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Customer Testimonials

Hear what our customers have to say about us
“Scott was (and still is even after the official "end" of the project) great to work with. As a non-profit, cost was a consideration, and HLS was able to get us what we needed (and wanted) in a website for a cost well below what others quoted us. I can't say enough about our wonderful experience with Scott and High Level Studios! Anyone considering a website design or redesign needs to contact Scott and his team.”
patrickC Patrick C, President of Hispanic Bar Association, Saint Louis
“We were not anywhere close to being on the first or second page of Google now we're number one thanks to High Level Studios LLC. they did a very good job of putting our web page together.”
steveW Steve W
“High Level Studios transformed my business and has brought more people through our door than any other kind of advertising!”
LarryS Larry S
“They are perfectly competent and provide a fine service at a fair price. If you want to pay a lot more at a fancier place for the same end product, go ahead. But you'd be wasting your money.”
natalieS Natalie S
“These guys are the best! They are very professional and get the job done fast. The price is more than fair and the end result is exactly what we wanted.”
vickiN Vicki N
“Simply the best!!!!! I think this lady below must be the competition because their price was far lower than the rest and the work quality was the best that must be why they do all the top St Louis company websites!!”
mike Mike W
“These guys do great work for half the price. They always come through in a crunch. They speak in Language I can understand and are nice!”
LeeD Lee D
“High Level Studios got my website up and running in under a month from initial conversation to completion. The site is clean and clear, and I love it. They even do internet marketing, and I'm already moving up in Google search!”
tomr Tom R
“Its been a great fulfilling business experience. I would recommend these guys for for your Marketing or website design needs.”
keith Keith B

Meet Our Team

Our company is built with experience,
friendliness and proficiency.
chris Chris Readenour SEO & Marketing Specialist Chris Readenour is an online marketing whiz. After working for years in video production, he found a passion for SEO and moving companies up in the rankings. Chris has a bachelor's degree in Communications from Lindenwood University, and uses the skills that he has learned at every stop along the way to help your company thrive online.
scott headshot Scott Eagle Owner & Developer With more than 20 years experience, Scott works on multiple computer platforms and operating systems on over fifteen coding languages. He is the owner of High Level Studios LLC., St. Louis’ premier website and web application development company. Scott has won many awards for his website work from Large agencies such as FLEOA, The Homeloan Expert, Dellon Institutes and many more.
sasha macic Sasha Macic Project Manager & Developer Sasha has a high awareness of industry issues and trends, particularly in regard to accessibility, usability, emerging technologies, and open source CMS. An ambitious type who wants to get noticed, and has the drive and massive energy needed to really make a difference to your project.

Our Easy Steps To Success

Let’s start making your company a financial success today!
1. Develop A Logical Plan We sit down with you to discuss your goals and aspirations for the site. We want to know exactly what you want to use the site for, so we can build you the site of your dreams.
2. Design For Success We then use our years of web design experience to create the newest, most technologically advanced site possible, implementing industry-leading web marketing and design techniques.
3. Perfection We work with you on the final design, giving you step-by-step input on how the site comes together. It’s your site, we want it to be your perfect vision.

High Level Studios, LLC

 1001 Craig Road #260 / St. Louis, Missouri 63146  1.314.423.0189

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