Helpful Information

Friday, August 18, 2017, 10:14 am

Avoid These Web Site Design And Writing Mishaps

Published Friday 12 August 2005

by Ronald Gibson

Copyright 2005 Ronald Gibson

Is your website doomed before it even gets off the ground? A badly-designed website can turn off potential customers before they even think about buying your product. Here are some website design mistakes that you should avoid.

1. Don't load your web site with a lot of high tech clutter. As a rule, avoid using fancy animation or script code unless it is absolutely necessary.. Those things only serve to distract from your sales message.

2. A website that loads slowly is just about the most annoying thing on the Internet. Don't use large graphics or anything else that dramatically increases your site's load time.

3. Don't make the mistake that everyone will totally understand your web site message. Use descriptive words and examples to get your point across.

by Ronald Gibson

Copyright 2005 Ronald Gibson

Is your website doomed before it even gets off the ground? A badly-designed website can turn off potential customers before they even think about buying your product. Here are some website design mistakes that you should avoid.

1. Don't load your web site with a lot of high tech clutter. As a rule, avoid using fancy animation or script code unless it is absolutely necessary.. Those things only serve to distract from your sales message.

2. A website that loads slowly is just about the most annoying thing on the Internet. Don't use large graphics or anything else that dramatically increases your site's load time.

3. Don't make the mistake that everyone will totally understand your web site message. Use descriptive words and examples to get your point across.

4. Don't write your strongest point or benefit only once. You should repeat it at least 3 times because some people may miss it.

5. Don't push all your words together on your web site. People like to skim; use plenty of headings and sub headings.

6. Stay focused. Don't use site content your target audience isn't interested in. If people are coming to your site to find info about fishing, then don't include soccer content.

7. Keep a unified theme. Don't use 50 different content formats all over your web site. Use the same fonts, text sizes, text colors, etc.

8. Stick to the basics. Don't use words your web site visitors might not understand. People are not going to stop and look in a dictionary, they will just go to another site.

9. Don't let your selling words and phrases go unnoticed. Highlight important words and phrases with color, bolding, italics, underlining, etc.

10. Don't forget to use words that create emotion. All people have emotions, people will have more interest when they are emotionally attached.

11. Don't use unnecessary words or phrases on your site. You only have so much time to get your visitor's attention and interest; so make ever word count.

12. Stay organized by avoiding the "cluttered" look. I see plenty of websites that have banners and graphics strewn all over the place with no rhyme or reason. These sites look awful and , needless to say, I click away from them as quickly as possible.

By avoiding these website design mistakes, you increase the odds that visitors will stay on your site long enough to make that purchase.


Ronald Gibson is a Web Designer and Internet Marketer. He is the Webmaster of AffiliateUtopia.com, which offers information about some of the best money making opportunities on the Web. For more information, visit: Home Business Idea

This article is reprinted with permission from www.WritingCareer.com


- Website Planning/Consideration - Viewed {views} times.

Why Should Your Business Go O.N.L.I.N.E.

Published Thursday 11 August 2005

By Joyce Rimmele

Optimize your time. How much time each day must you devote to paperwork, scheduling and accounting? You strive to meet the needs of your clients, but when chained to the obligations of business management, it's just as important to make sure the doors stay open as it is to satisfy customers.

By integrating your daily tasks and taking advantage of the amazing Web-based software solutions out there, you can make more time for clients and spend less time behind your desk.

Do you work from home? When your business is online, you can manage your business any place you have a connection to the Internet

Nickel here, nickel there. A close second to making your customers happy is your business's bottom line. Save money by transferring workloads. When your clients schedule classes and appointments online, you might not need a full time receptionist. If you choose an online resource that manages schedules, accounting and client information, you won't need separate software programs. Make money by offering series, packages and gift cards online. Identify the squeaking wheel through comprehensive Web-based marketing and sales reports. Find out what is selling, what is not; who is filling classes, who is not; and make necessary changes to grow your business.

By Joyce Rimmele

Optimize your time. How much time each day must you devote to paperwork, scheduling and accounting? You strive to meet the needs of your clients, but when chained to the obligations of business management, it's just as important to make sure the doors stay open as it is to satisfy customers.

By integrating your daily tasks and taking advantage of the amazing Web-based software solutions out there, you can make more time for clients and spend less time behind your desk.

Do you work from home? When your business is online, you can manage your business any place you have a connection to the Internet

Nickel here, nickel there. A close second to making your customers happy is your business's bottom line. Save money by transferring workloads. When your clients schedule classes and appointments online, you might not need a full time receptionist. If you choose an online resource that manages schedules, accounting and client information, you won't need separate software programs. Make money by offering series, packages and gift cards online. Identify the squeaking wheel through comprehensive Web-based marketing and sales reports. Find out what is selling, what is not; who is filling classes, who is not; and make necessary changes to grow your business.

Lose the appointment book. You have a staff schedule, a class schedule, a room schedule and your own schedule to manage. That's four appointment books and calendars! Using an online resource that manages all your scheduling needs at once not only streamlines your business, but lets you ditch the paper appointment books and calendars, clearing your desk, your office and your head.

Plus, by publishing your calendars online, your customers can manage their own schedules better. With the click of a mouse, they know if there's a class Thursday morning they can make class or not.

Plus, your teacher and instructors can see what classes and appointments they're scheduled for and prepare accordingly. Even better, allow your teachers to book themselves as unavailable for things like doctors and dentists appointments.

Innovate. An Internet presence is more than just a Web site. Offering content and information to customers online is valuable, but allowing them to interact with your business on their own time is a precious benefit. When a customer can view your calendar online, schedule a class, and pay for it all from the comfort of home when it's most convenient for them, you've taken a giant step in customer satisfaction.

News! What's happening at your studio? Have you hired a new teacher? Are you offering more classes? Are you adding a location or running a monthly special? A Web site provides the world with instant access to your latest and greatest. Keep customers in the loop and attract the attention of the local media by offering press releases, monthly newsletters, and more online. When cancellations occur, post the notice on your Web site instead of the studio door!

E-Commerce. Make your customers and your bank account happy by offering your services and gift cards for purchase online. Your customers have just about as little spare time as you do. Help them by providing them a way to pay membership fees, purchase class packages or even gift certificates where and when it's convenient for them.

Using a Web-based management tool also allows you to monitor your sales from home when it's convenient for you. Planning a much-needed vacation? Check your sales from the hotel room (or, better yet, the beach).


With over a decade of experience in technology and project management, Joyce Rimmele is an expert in helping businesses organize, focus, and execute. As Director of Marketing for MindBody Software ( http://www.mindbodysoftware.com ), Joyce helps yoga and Pilates studios, spas, and resorts identify and implement Web-based solutions. To reach Joyce, e-mail her at joyce@mindbodysoftware.com .

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/


- Website Planning/Consideration - Viewed {views} times.

Nonsense! Why Do I Need a Website?

Published Thursday 11 August 2005

By John Krycek

"I don't sell anything online, I don't advertise online, in fact I don't really even know how to use a computer... why should I pay for a website?"

If you don't feel a website can help your business grow or increase business sales, or if you're happy with the site your nephew made for you over half a decade ago... then you're not intune with current business trends and business practices.

Fear the unknown no longer!

Don't feel inferior and don't let that notion frighten you... that's why were here! To educate and help you understand exactly how our design and website services can help you.

By John Krycek

"I don't sell anything online, I don't advertise online, in fact I don't really even know how to use a computer... why should I pay for a website?"

If you don't feel a website can help your business grow or increase business sales, or if you're happy with the site your nephew made for you over half a decade ago... then you're not intune with current business trends and business practices.

Fear the unknown no longer!

Don't feel inferior and don't let that notion frighten you... that's why were here! To educate and help you understand exactly how our design and website services can help you.

You shouldn't do something because everyone else is. As far as the internet is concerned, there are definitely good, sound, solid reasons for having a web presence. This article will touch on just a few... and none of the following points have anything to do with selling a product or service of any kind online. All of these reasons affect your brick and mortar business... in a positive way!

The reasons you should have a website in plain English.

Even if you never use the internet, MOST of your customers do. In early 2005, Google announced it had over 9 Billion pages in its index. Common sense should tell us that there must be something to this internet marketing!

By having even a simple, informative website about you, your product or service, you open an instant, FREE door to perspective clientele that you never had before. This is the digital information age. The purpose of the website is to give yourself a billboard in it. Even the simplest website can:

Instant Access to your business Collateral: Provide Downloadable forms, price lists, sale sheets and brochures to people researching a purchase. House a forum via email to quickly and easily answer questions about your goods and services.

Reduce Costs: A strong enough web presence can eliminate many print advertising and other campaign costs. Even on the most rigourous web campaigns, the advertising cost per customer is far, far less by comparison.

Give People What They Are Looking For: More and more people research a company or product online before face to face contact. Today people expect to find a web site for a company with at the very least further information on services or products.

Always On: Information about your company is available 24/7, locally, nationally, and globally at no extra cost. Imagine the cost of a direct mail piece through the post office to every address in the world with a computer!

Cost Effective: Can easily be the most cost effective advertising and marketing medium of communication to existing and potential customers.

Showcase What You Do Best: If your product and service is quality and you're a one person operation, your website can focus on your business and open the door to people who might not be thinking of a smaller business for their needs.


John Krycek -- As the owner and creative director of theMouseworks.ca I've found the best way to help people with internet marketing is to first help them understand internet marketing! Read more articles on the insights and secrets of web design and search engine optimization in easy, non-technical, up front English!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/


- Website Planning/Consideration - Viewed {views} times.

How to Hire a Web Designer

Published Thursday 11 August 2005

Today, anyone who wants to provide information, sell something, share information or promote a business knows that a Web presence will help them achieve those goals.

A charity organization may want to promote itself to potential members and volunteers, as well as provide information through newsletters and articles related to its work, so that anyone who's interested can learn about that organization. A rock climbing center may want to display a map with directions that explain how to get to the center, hints on climbing techniques, tips on where to find good equipment, a photo gallery of the gym with action shots of climbers... Unlike other marketing strategies, a Website has a global reach and can be accessed online 24-7.

If you want a Website, but you're not a designer or developer, how can you go about getting one? You don't have the time to learn what it takes to be a Web design guru and you don't trust that your cousin, who studied computer science, has enough experience to build you a professional Website. So, who can you hire to build your site? With thousands of Web designers and developers out there, ranging from individual freelancers to big Web design agencies, how can you make sure you choose the right help?

Today, anyone who wants to provide information, sell something, share information or promote a business knows that a Web presence will help them achieve those goals.

A charity organization may want to promote itself to potential members and volunteers, as well as provide information through newsletters and articles related to its work, so that anyone who's interested can learn about that organization. A rock climbing center may want to display a map with directions that explain how to get to the center, hints on climbing techniques, tips on where to find good equipment, a photo gallery of the gym with action shots of climbers... Unlike other marketing strategies, a Website has a global reach and can be accessed online 24-7.

If you want a Website, but you're not a designer or developer, how can you go about getting one? You don't have the time to learn what it takes to be a Web design guru and you don't trust that your cousin, who studied computer science, has enough experience to build you a professional Website. So, who can you hire to build your site? With thousands of Web designers and developers out there, ranging from individual freelancers to big Web design agencies, how can you make sure you choose the right help?

What Do You Want?

In order to find help, you need first to figure out what you want. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What kinds of information do you want on the site? How big do you think your site will be?
  • Who are your users? Do you know which operating system and browser they are using?
  • Will your site require regular updates? Would you like to make changes yourself?
  • Will you be selling something?
  • Will you need a database to store and retrieve information?
  • Do you want to rely on search engines to send more traffic to your site?
  • When do you need the job done?
  • What is your budget?

The Search Begins:

Those who can spot a good Web designer are usually a good Web designer themselves, or will at least have done quite a bit of Web design themselves. But for those who aren't designers, the choosing of a professional can seem an overwhelming task.

Referrals are a safe bet; although you know you may not be getting the very best Web designer in town, you can usually trust that you won't get the worst, either. However, if you use referrals and also conduct your own searches, you will have a much better chance of finding a designer who's right for you. Once you've compiled a list of Web designers and/or developers from the sources of your choice, you need to do some serious homework.

What if some of the designers on your list are from out of town? Don't rule them out if you really like them. If you don't mind working via email and talking on the phone, you may be quite happy with your choice. There's always an advantage to meeting in person and onsite visits can be important, especially if there are problems.

There are many things to consider when reviewing your list of potential Web experts. The first, obvious thing to do is to check out their Websites. Browse through the pages and find as much information about them as you can. Ask yourself:

  • Is it easy to find information and to get back to where you started?
  • Do you like the navigation system?
  • Are the pages accessible (no broken links)?
  • Are the pages and overall design consistent?
  • Are there a contact page and site map and can they easily be found?
  • Is there enough relevant information on the site (eg. details about the company including location, what they do, the people, policies, etc.)?
  • Are things aligned properly?
  • Is the text easy to read?
  • Do the pages load fast?
  • Are the pages short, so that it's not necessary to scroll horizontally, and there's little or no vertical scrolling?
  • Do links open onto the same page?
  • Is there a portfolio you can view?
  • Does the site discuss the designer's technical background?
  • Does the site make use of the right colors?
  • Are page titles appropriate and informative?

Hopefully, the answer to all the above questions will be yes. Basically, if you don't like a Web designer's site, you probably won't want them to design your site. Check their portfolio and see if the style is right for you. If you see sites that you really like, make sure the employee/s who built those sites are still employed and can work on your site. What technologies does the designer use? Will this technology work for you and your viewers? Does the team follow Web standards or are they still stuck coding sites like it's the 90s? Ideally, you want your site to work independent of the user's operating system and browser.

Has the team created sites for other businesses in your industry? If so, were they able to reflect the business properly? If yes, then this team already knows the needs of your industry and will be more the kind of expert you need than will other Web design generalists who haven't produced these particular sites. If the site offers testimonials, read them to see what past clients had to say about the work they received. In addition to having technical skills, the designer should be continuing his/her education in order to keep up with the latest technologies and standards.

Beware of companies and individuals who claim to be Web designers and developers but perform mostly graphic design and work in print media. Being able to use Web creation software such as Dreamweaver does not make a Web designer. Your Web designer should, at the very least, be able to help you with Web design and development, Web hosting, graphics creation, database creation, Web content, maintenance and Internet marketing and promotion.

Freelance vs. the Big Web Design Firm:

After you evaluate the selected sites, you may need to choose between engaging a freelancer and using a big Web design company. A big Web design company may appear to have a lot of credibility due to its large portfolio, many testimonials, and large collection of experts in all areas of design and development. These experts have to work together to deliver a consistent and successful package for their clients. The size of this kind of organization can make clients feel secure and confident in enlisting in their services.

Freelancers are individuals who can take on all the necessary design and development responsibilities. These kinds of providers often work very closely with others to get the job done, and such close collaboration between fewer people (or in some cases, just one person), means that consistency is easy to achieve. Working alone or in a small group can also generate more motivation and dedication to completing projects in which clients can be guaranteed satisfaction. In this type of arrangement, what you see is what you get: the professional freelancer you meet on the Web will be the Web specialist for your project, and can be held personally accountable. In contrast, in working with a larger company, a perfect stranger may be assigned as your account manager once the sale goes through.

Freelancers may also represent better value for money. With a freelancer, there are rarely any hidden fees, nor many complex contractual details to overcome before the project can begin. Freelancers may also be more readily available to go onsite if required.

Depending on the size and complexity of your site, a big agency may be the right choice. A larger company may be in a position to deliver bigger projects more quickly than can an individual freelancer. An individual freelancer may often need either to subcontract or learn certain skills or technologies in order to get a job done. This can mean extra time and/or cost, and, depending on the freelancer involved, can also result in a less-than-expert product. For this reason, if your project requires the use of a particular language or technology, it's a good idea to seek out designers who already specialize in that area.

Pricing and Guarantees:

To further refine your list of possible designers, you'll want to make note of their service rates. The prices designers put on their services can vary drastically. Compare rates between designers with similar levels of education, experience and talent. Like most purchases, with Web design, you tend to get what you pay for. If your project is fairly small and straightforward, freelancers may charge less than big agencies. By "small", I mean a site with a few forms and a small database.

Once you've narrowed the list, get in touch with the companies or individuals concerned, explain your project, and ask for an exact price quote. Make sure your designer can outline all costings and the work in detail for you. If you have questions, don't be afraid to ask, and remember: it's not unreasonable to negotiate a lower price that that quoted if you feel the quote price is not justified.

If possible, also take a look at the supplier's Web contract. Make sure that the client is protected under this contract, and be sure to check the copyright and payment policies. Make a note of the supplier's response time, too. You want to work with someone who's readily available, easy to contact, and who will get back to you promptly.

Look for, and ask about a guarantee of work. Stated policies such as, "If you are not 100% satisfied, we will give you your money back," or "Our rates are competitive but if you find a similar service for less, we will be happy to match it," will give you a clear idea of the designers' confidence that they can meet your needs. Guarantees are important: there's nothing worse than paying big bucks for a site you're embarrassed to show your clients or customers.

Guarantees show potential clients that the company cares about making them happy and is doing its best to ensure your project's success.

Last Steps: Contact and Check References

When you've narrowed your choice down to just a couple of designers, it's time to contact them and check their references. First, call the providers and ask questions. Are they polite on the phone? Are they good listeners? Were they helpful at all? If they are difficult to talk to and you don't like the way they treat you, it will be difficult to work with them.

Check each provider's references by reading any testimonials on the site and perhaps even talking to past clients. Go to their portfolio page, locate the contact information for a couple of clients, and give them a call. If there are no testimonials, ask for references when you call the provider. You are looking to hire, so you have the right to check their work references.

Lastly, it's a good idea to meet with the designer in person and go through your project ideas. Even at this point, you are not obligated to enlist in their services unless you are perfectly confident they are the right person for the job.

It's Worth the Work

Follow these steps and you should increase your chances of successfully finding and hiring a Web designer or developer who meets your needs and those of your project. This process may seem like a lot of work, but when you're spending thousands of dollars, over many years, on your online presence, it pays to do your homework!


Susan Villecroze Susan designs and develops Web pages for hexaZen in Vancouver, BC. She graduated with a Physics and Astronomy degree but prefers building Web pages to solving complicated differential equations.

Article Source: http://www.sitepoint.com/


- Website Planning/Consideration - Viewed {views} times.
1