Website Design Tips For Consumers

Posted by Justin Nwosu in Web Development on 05-04-2013

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Several statistics indicate that website design consumers typically hire locally-based web designers more than those located distant places. This bent is largely due to consumer confidence and trust in those closer to them. When looking for a web design company, it’s important to hire someone who has his/her contact details like physical contact address, email address and telephone number readily available on the website. The information will be useful for you when your web design project is underway, so that you can easily contact the person you hired. It is also vital that you only hire someone whom you can contact at anytime. A website designer who strictly adheres to the best practices of search engine-optimized design will definitely be the best choice. A person who doesn’t have a good communication skill doesn’t qualify as a good choice.

Web Design Tips For Consumers

Web Design Tips For Consumers

Tips for getting an affordable website design:
Getting a new site designed for you can be quite either cheap or expensive, depending on some factors. Here are the tips you have to bear in mind. As a budget-minded consumer, there are some necessary steps you should take, so as to get your project affordable. The secret to affordability is to keep your project as simple as possible.

  • Try to minimize the number of web pages and avoid asking the web designer to create pages that would not add value to your website. Due to the fact that lots of web designers work on hourly basis, cost increases as number of pages increases.
  • Unless necessary, you may want to avoid content management systems (CMS), since they take a prolonged time to develop, and time is money.
  • Create a list of few reputable web designers in your area, call each one of them and select the one that offers the best value for the money.

Factors that contribute to an appealing website design:
All websites are not designed equally! There are certain elements that help a website design to stand out in the crowd. The principal factors that lend weight to a beautiful website design are as follows:

  • An appealing website design utilizes well-structured CSS elements to position each object of web pages.
  • You’ll agree with me that it’s very appealing for a website to use drop shadows to create visual impressions that raise some objects above others. A website that makes use of reflections to imitate reflective objects, such as mirrors and shiny surfaces, is usually great-looking.
  • Creatively-designed icons, when used together with textual content to effortlessly convey messages, also help in beautification.
  • Since social media is an Internet norm these days, social media and viral tools for networking with potential customers are an essential part of a beautiful design.

Planning and designing your first website:
As a consumer, you’re the person who has to decide how you want your new website to look. If you’re not well-prepared, that can be quite challenging. First of all, make a good research of websites in your niche you’d like to take some features from. Note down the features you’d like to integrate into your website. Ensure that those features will definitely serve your needs. Since you know your business better than anybody else, you’re the one who will provide images like product photos and product descriptions. Prepare those items before choosing a web designer, because any delay to quickly provide them will surely slow down the web design process. To avoid overpaying, we suggest that you simply start with a five-paged website. In future, as your business progresses, you can then ask the web designer to add more pages. As your site’s operations become larger, you can consider turning it into a content management to make it more interactive, and allow you to add more web pages on the front-end.

The perfect time to get your website redesigned:
If your website was designed several years ago by an amateur web designer who didn’t know how to optimize web pages for search engines, you might consider giving it a fresh new look using CSS. The Internet has evolved at a lightning speed since the days of table-based websites. Redesigning your website will reflect your progress in business. Reusing the textual content of your old design will help to cut down your expenses. You may want to optimize the content by prioritizing targeted keywords, proper use of title and Heading tags. Get the product photos and textual content like product descriptions ready, so the website redesign process would not be delayed.

What makes a quality website design:
Each great artistic design has the building blocks that make it to illuminate. Professionally-looking websites win customers for their owners. There are some things that lend weight to a quality website design. A clean website design looks attractive to visitors and is very soothing to the soul. A quality site design must have a logical architecture of content, to make it easy to navigate across the. Researches prove that Internet users have short attention spans and therefore don’t waste time on websites that include unnecessary information. With that in mind, websites that convey straight-forward messages to their visitors without adding irrelevant details make a great difference in helping to boost their earnings.

How to get a functional website design:
When planning to get your website designed, it’s vital to understand the behavior and needs of web users. Creating a good navigation will help site visitors to effortlessly access the information that matter to them. The common pitfall of a never-ending design project is usually the fault of both the web designer and the client. Planning and research are essential, if you actually want to get a functional website. It’s vital that you have at least a basic vision of a desired design, which you need to communicate to the designer. Prepare all the necessary texts and images (photos), and send them to the web designer. Your project will not move forward, if you get stuck on details. So, to make sure your website design is functional, it’s vital for you to see the big picture at the beginning and commit to a completed result, instead of wasting time on intangible things.

What you need to know concerning a business website design:
A business website design should include all the necessary elements that help the company to convey the right messages to its target audience. Sending the right messages across enables a brand to exude professionalism and win over prospective customers. The design should include a contact phone number, so customers and prospective ones can call when in need. Contact address, sales and support email addresses must be readily available on the website. It’s also essential to let site visitors know your office hours, to they’d avoid trying to reach you during non-office hours. Since the site’s users will include their personal information when they contact you, it’s important that you have a privacy policy page that explicitly states what you use those details for and your efforts to protect them. Having a live chat tool on a business website design is one of the best ways to show you’re capable of taking care of urgent customer issues.

Why a custom website design is better that purchasing a template:
Originality conveys a far better message to people than duplication of the same stuff. A brand must be unique for people to respect it and want to buy from it. Custom web design is a great way to show uniqueness and build an enduring, strong brand on the Internet. This helps to get people to easily recognize one’s identity on the web. When you use a template that can be found on several websites, you can’t expect such result. While a custom website design boosts corporate identity, a template diminishes it. A custom brand makes sure that every web elements is properly represented and specifically tailored to suit its target audience. Another thing is that most templates are notorious for not being well-optimized for proper search engine crawling and indexing. On the contrary, a custom design by a seasoned professional is generally designed in accordance with search engine guidelines.

Are You Struggling Without Luck To Increase Your Site’s Traffic?

Posted by Justin Nwosu in General on 12-01-2013

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I’m yet to come across someone whose sole aim of creating a website is to be viewing it only by him/herself. So, we are in agreement that the primary purpose of having an online presence is to get other web users to be visiting it and possibly engage in business dealings with you. But be advised that your website needs to be visible to other Internet users looking for similar things to the ones you offer before targeted traffic can be generated. Billions of websites jockey to get meaningful traffic, but most do not succeed. If your website doesn’t generate substantial, targeted traffic, you surely need to examine your SEO and online marketing approach and fine-tune it. Here at SEO Treats, we’ve compiled some vital tips that help struggling webmasters to drive substantial traffic to their sites.

Increase Website Traffic

  1. Acquire relevant backlinks: Getting backlinks from web pages of other sites with related content is one of the major ways to gain good ranking in organic search results. Good SERP ranking helps ranked pages to increase click-through rates. Your site’s traffic will substantially increase, when it starts to perform well on SERPs.
  2. Submit unique articles to article directories: Article directories are helpful in two fundamental ways: direct traffic and backlinks that include the webmaster’s chosen anchor texts. Majority of article sites permit content authors to include their links in the author resource boxes. To name but a few, Ezinearticles.com, Articlebase.com, Goarticles.com and eHow.com have thousands of daily visitors. And those visitors often click on authors’ links, if their articles are interesting. Moreover, if the author’s link doesn’t contain the NoFollow tag, you’ll also get link juice from it.
  3. Social media optimization (SMO): Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have proven to be effective in generating enormous traffic to sites like yours. If you’re not yet a member, register with them; befriend lots of people who have similar interests as you, but not necessarily your direct competitors. Honestly network and share genuine ideas with them on regular basis. While networking with your newly-found friends on social platforms, subtly promote your products and/or services. Once your social contacts develop genuine interest in you, they’ll most likely start to visit your site and possibly buy things from you. As a rule of the thumb, use caution while marketing your offerings on social media platforms: do not engage in direct marketing there, to avoid irritating and losing your contacts! On social media sites, blatant marketing seems tantamount to spamming. However, social media marketing (SMM) or social media optimization (SMO) is one of the best ways to get noticed on the Internet these days. Since almost everyone is on social media, why not use it to your advantage?
  4. Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising: PPC has proven countless times to be an effective way of generating targeted traffic to a site. But it’s not free and can be quite expensive, if not effectively managed. If you’re not experienced in PPC advertising, you can outsource the management campaign to a third-party. If you can afford it, try PPC advertising.
  5. Submit videos: Produce and submit high-quality videos related to your offerings to video-sharing websites like YouTube and DailyMotion. Many webmasters utilize this means to generate targeted, direct traffic to their sites. If you don’t have the expertise in video creation, you can equally hire an experienced video producer. Many studies indicate that viewers often visit the websites of YouTube video producers who show mastery of their fields of endeavor.

In summation, I would say that generating substantial traffic requires devotion, hard work, good knowledge of the ever-changing SEO arena and great social networking skill. If you adhere to the tips given above, there are chances that your site’s traffic would increase dramatically.

How To Use A Custom Image To Create A StumbleUpon Share Button

Posted by Justin Nwosu in Social Media Optimization on 24-06-2012

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There are many reasons why some site owners want to implement custom images for the social media buttons on their websites. Some just want buttons that blend with the entire theme of their websites. Well, for whatever reason, we’ll teach you how to use a custom image for a StumbleUpon share button. This particular tutorial is similar to How To Use A Custom Image For Tweet button and How To Use A Custom Image For LinkedIn Share Button. The JavaScript code that opens a pop-up window is essentially the same.

To ensure you send updates to StumbleUpon and help your site’s users to share your pages through a pop-up window, instead of opening a new browser tab or window, we’ll use JavaScript. Firstly, add the following JS code to the Head section of your HTML web page in-between the <head> and </head> tags:

  • <script language=”javascript” type=”text/javascript”>
    <!–
    var win=null;
    function NewWindow(mypage,myname,w,h,scroll,pos){
    if(pos==”random”){LeftPosition=(screen.width)?Math.floor(Math.random()*(screen.width-w)):100;TopPosition=(screen.height)?Math.floor(Math.random()*((screen.height-h)-75)):100;}
    if(pos==”center”){LeftPosition=(screen.width)?(screen.width-w)/2:100;TopPosition=(screen.height)?(screen.height-h)/2:100;}
    else if((pos!=”center” && pos!=”random”) || pos==null){LeftPosition=0;TopPosition=20}
    settings=’width=’+w+’,height=’+h+’,top=’+TopPosition+’,left=’+LeftPosition+’,scrollbars=’+scroll+’,location=no,directories=no,status=no,menubar=no,toolbar=no,resizable=no’;
    win=window.open(mypage,myname,settings);}
    // –>
    </script>

Now we have to create our custom image for the StumbleUpon share. So, instead of using the default StumbleUpon share button, copy and paste the following HTML code on where your want the button to appear on your page:

  • <a title=”Share YourDomainNameGoesHere with your contacts on StumbleUpon” onclick=”NewWindow(this.href,’template_window’,’800′,’470′,’yes’,’center’);return false” onfocus=”this.blur()” href=”http://www.stumbleupon.com/submit?url=&lt;strong&gt;YourURL&lt;/strong&gt;” rel=”nofollow”><img style=”border: 0pt none;” src=”images/stumbleupon_ico.png” alt=”stumble” width=”35″ height=”35″ border=”0″ /></a>

Change YourDomainNameGoesHere to the URL of your actual domain name and YourURL to the actual URL of your web page. Also change images/stumbleupon_ico.png to the image location on your web server.

That’s it guys, you’ve just created a customized StumbleUpon share button using your own image, instead of the default one that are found on millions of websites out there.

Canonicalization Issue On Bluehost Server After Installing A Dedicated IP On A Hosting Account

Posted by Justin Nwosu in Web Hosting on 08-06-2012

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I have many add-on domains in one web hosting account on a Bluehost Server. Then, one day I noticed that one of my add-on domains, mexabet.biz, could be accessed through unwanted multiple locations – via other add-on domains. The examples are as follows:

http://mail.zestle.com/mexabet.biz/

http://mail.zinsolar.biz/mexabet.biz/

http://mail.zinsolar.com/mexabet.biz/

http://mail.devzeal.com/mexabet.biz/

http://mail.mexasoft.com/mexabet.biz/

The saddest thing about this was that Google indexed the web directory, mexabet.biz, as well as these “mail” sub-domains of my other add-on domains, thereby causing canonicalization issues. That was so bad for a website I worked extremely hard to optimize for search engines. An interesting thing was that I didn’t have any “mail” sub-domain for those add-on domains. When I contacted the Bluehost Support team to fix the issue, their initial response was that I didn’t configure the main account’s .htaccess well. They suggested a code to be placed in the .htaccess file; but it didn’t work. After several days, it was found out that the issue was simply because of installing the dedicated IP on a shared hosting account.  With a dedicated IP, going to mail.anydomain.com will load the main domain itself.  So when you go to mail.anydomain.com/mexabet.biz, it is as if you are typing in maindomain.com/mexabet.biz. Hence you are seeing the site when you go there.  The mail folder itself is never even being called or loading.  This has almost nothing to do with the .htaccess files, though the solution will ultimately lie in them.  So, the technical support I was getting was coming from less-knowledgeable technicians.

Here are the steps to fix the problem:

  1.  Create a new sub-domain called mail.domain.com and point it to the folder .mail in public_html. You’ll need to delete any existing zone files for the mail first using the DNS zone editor.
  2. Add the following code to the .htaccess file for the .mail folder:

RewriteEngine On

RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} =80

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^mail(\.[^.]+)+$

RewriteRule .* http://%{HTTP_HOST}:2095 [R=301,L]

 

RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} =443

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^mail(\.[^.]+)+$

RewriteRule .* https://%{HTTP_HOST}:2096 [R=301,L]

Each domain will need to have a mail sub-domain created and all will need to go to the .mail folder in the public_html.

The main confusion for a novice is how to delete any existing zone files for the mail first using the DNS zone editor. The record that needs to be removed to be able to create the mail sub-domain is the mail record found under the CNAME section. Once this is deleted, you’ll be able to create the sub-domain and the DNS record will also be automatically regenerated. In which case, you will want to:

  1. Log in to the DNS Zone Editor.
  2. Select the domain name we need to modify.
  3. Scroll down the cName section.
  4. Click delete next to the mail cname.
  5. Create the sub-domain.

Following the instructions, I successfully created the “mail” sub-domains for most add-on domains, with the exception of seven (7). In those seven add-on domains I got the following error messages, whenever I tried to create the “mail” sub-domains for them:

“Error from domain wrapper: mail.mexabet.org is owned by another user.”

“Error from domain wrapper: mail.mexasoft.com is owned by another user.”

I found out that these seven (7) domains were all set up with the mail DNS record as an A record, instead of cName. So for these, you would want to follow these steps:

  1. Log in to the DNS Zone Editor.
  2. Select the domain name we need to modify. If that doesn’t work, access it directly by typing the URL in the browser’s address bar like this: https://my.bluehost.com/cgi/dm/zoneedit?domain=mexasoft.com.
  3. Scroll down the A record section.
  4. Click delete next to the mail A record.
  5. Create the sub-domain.

DNS Records - A Records

If you’ve purchased a dedicated IP for your web hosting account on a Bluehost server and have multiple add-on domains, your add-on domains are likely suffering from this type of canonicalization issue. Try to access them one-by-one via the mail sub-domains of the others. And if that is the case, just follow the instructions given above to fix the issue.

Web Design Tips & Tricks

Posted by Justin Nwosu in Web Development on 24-05-2012

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There are simple tips and tricks that you need to keep in mind once you have decided to make your own web design. If you will keep these tips and tricks in mind then you will never go wrong with your web designing. For instance, using a professional digital agency like Northern Beaches Website Design can provide you with a website that can attract lots of clients and customers to your business. This is the easiest way to get effective web design without the need to spend a lot of time perfecting your design skills in applications such as Photoshop. However, if wish to try your luck in designing you own site, then you can use these tips and tricks.

Keep it clutter free – maybe you are aware about different effects that you can do with your site through Fireworks and Photoshop, but you need to realise that just because you can use these effects, doesn’t mean you should over indulge and use them too much. Some website owners who choose to create their own web design use too many design elements, making their website very cluttered. A simple design that matches your business is appealing and interesting to viewers. Digital agencies like Bezz offer a wide range of services that can increase traffic on your site. If you decided to use a Website Design Northern Beaches company like Bezz, you can be rest assured that your site is created according to what your target market needs.

It is also important to use visuals to communicate with your target market. You need to use them as a way of conveying direct messages to your customers. For instance, if you are selling eco-friendly products, then you may opt to use colours green, brown and other earth colours. If you are selling products such as toys aimed at young girls, then pink is an attractive colour to use.

To wrap it up, as the old adage goes, content is king. Interesting content will keep users coming back to your website. You need to remember that visuals will only wow your visitors for the first time, but they are not enough to keep them coming back.