Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Making websites more attractive

Seven Website Design Tips to Make Your Site More Attractive


In this article, you're going to learn 7 important website design tips to make your site more attractive. So not only your website will attract many people, but it will also motivate them to stay for a long time.

1. Be Aware during Selection of the colours scheme:-

If your company has a logo or preferred colours on its stationery that’s a good start. For those of you starting from scratch, choose two or three complementary colours and stick with them – don’t change colours on every page. The most common colour schemes include:
- Red, yellow and white
- Blue and white
- Red, grey and white
- Blue, orange and white
- Yellow, grey and white.
- Onion shade, Tan, white
If you’re not sure what colour scheme to choose, surf the internet and find a website that you like. You can then model your colour scheme on what already exists.
Always Select those colours which Attract the visitors, and the person revisit your site.
2. Page Backgrounds
Ensure your visitors can read the text on the background, i.e. no black writing on dark blue background or yellow on white. Means if the page background is dark always use light colour for the writhing a text or if the light colour is used for the page background the always use dark colour for writing a text, like this colour scheme for the background everything is visible to the visitor. Also be careful that your links are visible before and after being visited. The default for links in most programs is blue (before being visited) and burgundy (after being visited), so if you have a dark background, ensure your links are light.
3. (Page loading) site open within a minutes
All I’ve seen for the last 10 minutes is ‘page loading’, I think something might be wrong with my browser this is probably one of the biggest gripes a site visitor has. If your page takes more than a minute to load (on dial-up) and you have anything less than the meaning of life hidden within your content - something needs to be done. The average person does not have time they just go for another site without passed his time for these type of site those take time to open. So a good website takes less time for loading a site.
4. Appropriate page Size
Web pages are measured in pixels. Pixels are the unit of measurement for the screen. A Web page can literally be any size. Standard Web pages usually fit into a few sizes:
* W × H * 600 × 800 * 640 × 480 (Dream weaver default) * 1024 × 768 * 550 × 400 (Flash default)
The default Web page sizes provided in Web friendly applications and listed earlier are a great place to start. You will probably use a smaller, custom size for pop-up windows. The Web page size you choose is up to you. Remember to use actual space for the Web page effectively so that the content is in the proper proximity to the user's navigation patterns. Web page size affects the way users move around the Web pages and the Web portfolio site. One rule: Pick a size for all main screens and stick to it.
5. Logo
Create a simple logo to identity your website. Have a captivating tag line somewhere with the header, and write an About Us page which describes the uniqueness of your website. These will leave an impression for your visitors to remember your website.
6. Application of graphic designs
you must be careful in choosing for the appropriate design that will best represent your projects, and tell about your business. Create a design which coveys in a stylish way what it has to
7. Be aware about grammar and spell
Grammar is overrated [and the spill-checker too] Most web authoring and word processing software comes with a spell/grammar check utility - don’t let your hard earned money go to waste, use it. Some of the more common grammatical mistakes are misusing its, it’s, there, their, they’re, your, you’re, and noone (correct=no one). Proof reading your final product is also helpful. No one is infallible, that’s why pencils have erasers and computer programs have

About the Author
Alex Roderick,
The author is Business Head for The Web Design Company, It’s a web designing company. It deals in web site design, website redesign, flash, 3D animation, logos, Banner Adds etc.

Article Source:

The Critical Importance of Your Website's Headline

The headline you use at the beginning of your website is critically important to your marketing success. It is the first thing people will see when they enter your site. If they don't like your headline, chances are they will leave your site and never return. This is a major problem if you want to make money as an Internet marketer. Luckily there are proven strategies you can use that will make your headline a huge success. This article is going to reveal what makes a headline great. Here are the three most important actions you should take while crafting your site's headline.

1) Always start where your reader is. To do this you need to put yourself in their shoes. Go right to where they live in their day-to-day lives. What do they desire, what causes them pain, what do they need a solution to. From this vantage you will be able to see clearly what your target market wants. Your headline should clearly and concisely give them what they are after. You need to spell out how your product or service will provide a solution to a problem or a fulfillment of a desire. This will capture their attention and prompt them to continue reading. That is the goal of your headline: To provoke interest and curiosity.

2) Spell out the end result of what your product does. This means that you clearly state how your product will benefit your customer. People are after the benefits your product will give them, not the product itself. If you sold something that produces no benefits, no one would want it. People are after what your product will do for them. This is why it is so critical to include the benefits and end results your product will give in your headline.

3) Show how your product provides a solution to a problem or an answer to a desire. This is similar to the last point. People need to be assured that your product will either solve their problem or give them something they desire. If your headline fails to do this you can bet that over half of your visitors will leave without reading any further. This shows why having a great headline is so critical to your success online. The best way to get people to continue reading through your copy is to show them how you can solve their problems or provide them with what they desire. In many cases what people desire is an answer to a problem. This means you need to identify what problems your market has and provide a solution for them. This is the key to marketing success.

The above steps are the basis from which a great headline is produced. Whenever you create a new headline, be sure that it meets the criteria above. If it does not you will be guaranteed to lose out on numerous sales. Your site's headline is of critical importance. You will be rewarded greatly for taking the time to carefully craft it.

Article Source:

Some Of The Most Important Rules In Website Design

So you have decided to get your business running on the information highway known as the worldwide web or Internet. There is a lot that you need to know before you hire a web design firm, so that you can give them guidance on how you want your website built. You need to put extra focus on even the smallest details to get the best results from your site so that it will bring back a return on your investment. Here are some of the most important issues.

The first on the list of "do-not" is to never use "splash" pages. These are also known as doorway pages. If you have ever been to a site that has nothing but a very detailed high-resolution image with a message like "click here to enter" or "welcome to our site" then you know what I mean. The simple fact of the Internet is that users as a rule are in a hurry to find what they are looking for and coming to a page that wastes their time will just make them leave. You need to have a valid, content rich front page that will give them a reason to stay at your site. You will also alienate the search engines by featuring a page with little to no content.

Another big blunder I often see is the use of overly excessive banner ads which not only make your site slower to load but take people away from what you want them to see, which is your content. The experts will tell you that people tend to have banner blindness anyway so you are just wasting your website space that you allot to those ads. The better way to go is to have good content with anchor text links within the content that may prompt people to click on instead of shoving banners in their face. A few banners here and there are fine as they add variation, but don't overdo it.

Navigation is another important factor in web design and it should be clear and easy to follow. As I mentioned above most people on the web are in a hurry to find the best information they can so you want the navigation menu to be as simple as possible. This means you should avoid or minimize the fancy Flash type as well as the multiple drop down menus.

Do not use auto looping audio on your website or audio that automatically starts as soon as the page opens. If you want to offer audio on your site, give the visitor a choice to click a button to get access to it, don't force it on them. Again, you want the visitor to stay on your site as long as possible and most people will leave a site immediately that has audio they can't get rid of.

These are just a few of the things you will want to discuss with your web design team prior to the development of your website.

Article Source:

Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about this as well as Fairfield County web design at

Is Your Web Site Driving Away Visitors

Much has been written about optimizing your web site for search engines, but less emphasis is placed on usability. Optimizing for usability and for search engines is not a contradiction.

What is usability? Basically stated, can the visitor to your site find what they're looking for quickly and easily? If your site is not usable, visitors will go elsewhere. Here is a list of some of the most important usability factors.

1. Does the site load quickly? Inefficient code and large or too many images will slow down page loading. Remember, if your page hasn't loaded in about eight seconds, the visitor is likely to go elsewhere.

2. Are the pages attractive, appropriate, and is the information presented in a consistent, simple, and concise form? What is attractive and appropriate for a rock band won't work for an accounting firm. Use colors and style to project the image of your business that you want visitors to see.

3. Can the site be easily navigated? The location and presentation of the navigation buttons should be consistent on each page and the visitor should be able to go from any page to any other page on the site. Ideally, a visitor should be able to get to any page with one or two clicks, and not have to "drill down" numerous levels unless absolutely necessary. Fewer navigation clicks are better.

4. Text size. All web browsers allow the visitor to resize the text on a web page. This is done to accommodate visitors who have less than "jet pilot" eyesight. Yet remarkably, many web designers will "lock" the text to a specific size to keep larger letters from "breaking" the page layout. While it's a little more work, a web page can be built to allow the visitor to set their own text size preferences while preserving the integrity of the page layout.

5. Text color. For whatever reason, we're seeing an increasing number of sites in which there simply is not enough contrast between the text and the background. Maybe the designer thinks it looks cool, but it's hard to read. We also see sites in which the "mouse-over" state of a navigation button disappears into the background. Choose your colors carefully, and from a readability perspective. It's hard to beat black text on white.

6. A web page is not print media. Studies have shown that people read web pages differently from printed material. People tend to scan a web page looking for major points. They are not likely to read long paragraphs on the web. (The exception to this is informational articles you may have on your site. But you've used concise text to get your visitor interested to get them to the article.)

So keep your page text short, use outlines, short paragraphs, and sparingly emphasize major points with bold text. (Avoid underlining major points because users may confuse the underlines with links.)

7. Just as a written paragraph should have one basic topic, so should each page in your site. There's a tendency to cram everything onto the home page. Assume you have a site on which you sell a weight-loss medication. After the holidays, many of us need that. Anyway, use your home page to grab your visitor's attention and show them how you can solve their problem. Although you love your family and dog, and you spent years developing your secret formula, put all that wonderful information on some other pages.

8. Avoid splash pages. Splash pages are those introduction pages that serve no other purpose than to - well - introduce your site. They frustrate visitors and search engines don't like them.

9. Your navigation buttons must provide a clear indication of what the visitor will find when they click the button. Don't confuse and irritate your visitor who clicks "Products" and finds himself on a page with stories about your dog.

10. Provide the name of the page on the page so the visitor knows where they are all the time. If more than one level deep, provide "breadcrumbs" so the user can navigate their way out.

11. Finally, make your contact information easy to find and complete, including name, address, phone, Email, and address. Doing so exudes professionalism, confidence, and integrity.

Optimizing for search engines and real people are not incompatible concepts. In fact, search engines are becoming more "human-like" in how they rank sites. Make your site appealing to visitors and good things will happen.

Article Source:

How To Successfully Market Your Small Business On The Internet

* Have you ever tried building a successful small business on the Internet before, but failed to make it work?

* Would you like to discover a 5-step, sure-fire formula that is guaranteed to help you effectively market your business on the Web...?

* Would you like to know all of the FREE tools successful online small businesses use, that you can use too, to effectively grow your business?

If you found yourself answering YES to any of the questions asked above, then this will be the most important article you'll ever read...

Today, practically every other brick-and-mortar business has an online presence. What with the Internet fast revolutionizing people's lifestyles, it has come to a point where offline businesses that don't have a presence on the Web, lose out on a large number of potential customers.

That's why many offline small businesses are keen to establish a strong online identity as well. Unfortunately though, many end up shutting down in less than 12 months. And my guess is: you've had 'a go at it' yourself. How successful were you?

Well, this article will reveal a foolproof step-by-step formula you can easily use to get your small business up and running on the Web once more. Let's dive right in, shall we?

Step # 1: Write Out A Business Plan

Even though most business owners write out a business plan when starting an offline venture, many of them forget to do it when it comes to Internet marketing. In fact, this is thought to be one of the foremost reasons for the failure of a small business on the Web.

FACT: To be able to fully tap into the lucrative potential of the Internet, you'll need to have a specific blueprint.

Make absolutely sure you have a systematic approach in place, together with a detailed list of goals, and gear your business for success.

Step # 2: Find Your Niche And Position Your Business For Success!

'To survive in the Internet jungle, it's vital you stand out from the crowd!'

This is what an Internet marketing expert will tell you when you're seeking to establish an online small business.

If you think about it for a moment, it makes perfect sense to set yourself as the best and most knowledgeable company folks can turn to, when seeking goods and services in your target market.

Finding your niche and then taking steps to dominate it, is guaranteed to propel your online small business to huge success.

But since this one article alone, is not sufficient to help you gain a good understanding of the vast amount of info Niche Marketing covers, here are some links to some outstanding websites that discuss this topic at length:




Step # 3: Maintain A 'Sticky' Site

A 'sticky' website is simply a site that attracts repeat visitors. A major share of the success of an online small business can be attributed to the type of website it portrays. If you maintain a website that provides valuable information to potential customers, drives sales, and offers specialized solutions to the problems faced by clients in your industry, then your business can't go wrong!

And oh, there's one more thing you might want to consider: Maintaining a free electronic newsletter, otherwise known as an e-zine. You see, there's no better tool to build a solid relationship and gain the trust of a customer, than a valuable newsletter. A newsletter is considered by many internet marketing professionals as THE MOST POWERFUL tool for gaining customer trust and driving sales!

Every week or every month, you can send out an ezine, containing useful snippets of information. Remember to avoid pitching your products heavily though, as this may turn off a lot of subscribers. However, a couple links inserted in between paragraphs, is perfectly alright.

TIP: Here's a great piece of Email Marketing software you can use: Infacta offers a free version of their award-winning email marketing software - GroupMail. ( It provides all that you'll need to start building a unique and personalized relationship with your customers via email.

Step # 4: Stay abreast Of Technology

The secret to running a hugely successful online small business these days is using every last piece of technology to your best advantage, so you can pass on all of the benefits to your customers.

Many online small businesses ignore this obvious advice, and have paid the price for it. You see, in order to stay two steps ahead of the rest in an intensely competitive online world, you need to keep up with the most recent technologies and who uses them.

And with the Internet evolving at such a frantic pace, the latest piece of software on the market today, may well become obsolete tomorrow! (so you may be spending too much effort in obsolete technology that no-one uses anymore. Example? - Meta-tags!)

Granted, you can't utilize all of the newest tools that keep popping up, because frankly, some of them are just way too expensive, especially for a small business.

However, you sure can harness the amazing power of these FREE marvels of technology!

Here's a list to help you get started:

* Blogging: A blog is a great way to get your customers involved in your business and let them know of the latest services/events you plan on rolling out. Many top companies use Wordpress (, because they offer an excellent package of free blog creation and hosting services, and are highly recommended.

* RSS Marketing: 'Nooked' ( has a free RSS Marketing service that you can try out. It's a great tool to help you familiarize yourself with the exciting opportunities that RSS offers.

* Podcasting: Podcasting is the hottest trend amongst online small businesses today, so check this one out right now! 'Audacity' ( will give you access to a free podcast creation and management application that's sure to add a new dimension to your existing content.

* Desktop Publishing: Want a free alternative to Microsoft Office? Open Office ( equipped with word processing, presentation, drawing, spreadsheet, and database applications.

* Press Releases: PRWeb ( is a massively popular free online Press Release distribution service that will help publicize your business announcements to the Internet Community.

* Website Analysis: If you want to analyze the amount of traffic your website generates, and gage the success of your online marketing efforts, then make sure you head over to Google's free website statistics utility (

Step # 5: Cut The Learning Curve - Hire An Internet Marketing Expert!

If you prefer not to handle all of the above on your own the next time you attempt to re-build your small business on the Web, why not hire an internet marketing expert?

Sure, hiring a specialist costs money, but if you want to jumpstart your Internet marketing, or if you just want to get on with business and leave the internet to the expert professionals, then this is definitely the way to go.

Do-It-Yourself can be a low cost way to start, but don't forget that your Return on Investment is directly proportional to PERCEIVED value by the consumer (your potential customer) and not related to PRICE or COST.

Hmmm... sounds like a whole separate subject on marketing...

Well, there you have it! A 5-step plan designed to help your business succeed with Internet Marketing.

Article Source:

Why Your Small Business Needs A Website

Many established, non-technology related small businesses don't see a need for their own website. Why on earth would a salon or a smaller retail shop need to be on the internet? There are many answers to that question.

Websites are a key marketing tool these days. You don't have to be selling anything online. Simply having a web presence can introduce your business to a whole new clientele who may never have known you existed.

Having your own basic website in 2006 is comparable to listing your business in the yellow pages in 1986. You wouldn't consider not listing your business and phone number there. A large percentage of small business' clientele has historically come from people deciding they need a product or service and locating someone who can meet there needs by simply opening the phonebook. Well, that is still true today, but a lot more of these same potential customers are turning to the internet for the same reason.

Now, following that logic, isn't it enough just to list my company with the online business directories and yellow page services? The answer simply is no.

For example, several weeks ago I was out of town and discovered that I needed to get an oil change immediately. As always, I logged on to several yellow page sites to see what my options were. As expected, I got a list of about 40 different places I could go. So, how did I decide which company to use? Simple, I found the ones that listed not only their phone numbers but also had a link their websites. There I had all the information I needed at my fingertips. I found out the hours, locations with maps and directions and most importantly pricing information and any specials they were currently offering. I ended up using a smaller, non-chain company that had invested in putting up a very basic site.

Believe me, I am not the only person who shops for products and services this way. Without having some form of web presence, you are missing out on an entire segment of potential customers.

As a small business owner myself, I certainly understand the reservations that many of us have about investing money into some marketing concept that seems nontraditional to me. Maybe you aren't comfortable with computers and internet and don't wish to become so! You don't have to be, but are you really willing to let your competitors take business from you?

There are many options for getting online. If you are interested in learning and building your own site, there are many companies out there that will include some form of web design software with their monthly web hosting costs. If you want to get something a little more professional or have no interest or time to do it yourself, there are many companies out there that specialize in web design.

If you decide to hire someone to design your site for you, make sure you compare the services offered and compare prices. Like any other service you purchase, there will be a wide range of prices and many different options. Take your time and really think about what you want from a designer and make sure they understand the objective of your new website.

Also, it is key that you feel comfortable in communicating with your designer. You also need to make sure that you know any hidden costs up front. Hiring someone to build your website can be like hiring a contractor to build your house. There are literally thousands of variables that can increase your cost, so you need to have a contract up front that outlines how much you are paying, usually with a deposit before work begins, exactly what you are getting for that price and a guarantee of the time it will take to complete the site. There are so many web designers out there that you don't need to work with a person or a firm that make you uncomfortable in any way.

In conclusion, whether you have a small "mom and pop" retail shop, restaurant, doctor's office or any other type of small business, you are missing out on a large part of the market by not having a basic presence on the internet. Don't let fear of the unknown keep you from being discovered by a big pool of potential new customers.

Article Source:

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Keyword generators: a useful way to increase website traffic

Once a website is created, all webmasters have a wish of directing web traffic in the direction of their website. Although this process may seem to be a complicated one, it is actually not a complicated process. All that is mainly required are search engines and keywords.

Keywords are actually words that are used by viewers searching for information in the internet. These keywords can be bought from a search engine company so that appropriate ad banners can be displayed when a viewer searches a particular word. If one aims at getting a high search engine placement for a relevant search, the website much contains the appropriate positioning and density of keywords related to the search terms used. A keyword generator is a tool that is used to generate the most popular keywords and word phrases that people use to search websites from the search engine. All that one has to do is to write a keyword that is related to your business wherein the keyword generator automatically generates the most popular keywords for that business. So by using a keyword generator, one can find the keyword that people will use to look for your product or service, and then incorporate this keyword in your website through articles or the text of the website.

It can be seen that with the use of search engines, people use words from keyword generators to link a user to their specific sites. So in a way, the keyword generator is indirectly responsible for the increase in the web traffic to a site. However, the search engine finds the particular website using a few criteria. The ranking of the website page in the search engine is dependant on the amount of text that there is in a page, the text/keyword ration of the content pages, the web design that is implemented in the website and the amount of backward links there are to the site. So a website carrying these characteristics can be considered optimized as they are optimal for search engine use and categorization. In conjunction with search engines, keywords are essential in connecting the right websites with the right customers.

So now comes the part of choosing the right keywords for your website. While choosing the keywords, it is but obvious that the most obvious keywords will come to mind first. However, in most cases, these initial keywords should be discarded as if these keywords are entered into a search engine text box, it will result in thousands of sites relating to those keywords. This will of course then make it many years for your website to achieve a top ten ranking in the search engine results; which is the most desirable place to be on a search engine results list. Therefore it is better to choose keywords and keyword phrases that people use, but are not extremely difficult to compete with.

Using the right keywords, it is very easy for you to target the type of traffic that you are seeking to your website. Using improper keywords that do not get searched regularly is of little or no value to you. To get maximum traffic to your website, it is better to have the keywords typed well embedded within the content of the website. Those using Microsoft word can go to the edit button and scroll to the find icon. Then upon the typing of the specific word or phrase, this tool checks to see how many times that word had appeared in the document. In this way, you get to know the keyword density of your article, and thus know if the article will generate more traffic to your website. The keyword density is the ratio of the keywords on the page to the non-keywords of the article. So if you have 100 words on the page, and 4 of them are keywords, then the keyword density is 4% of the text. It is always better to aim for a keyword density of 3% to 20% as this gives you a good range in the search engines. This will in turn greatly increase the amount of web traffic you get to your website.

Article Source:

Thomson Chemmanoor is a Freelance website designer and Search Engine optimizer at Effective SEO. To read more visit and

Pointers for building a quality website

Websites are found aplenty on the Internet, but it is the quality websites that are limited in number. Quality websites are made available by its interaction. The website should have the capacity of grabbing the attention of the visitor. Using bright and shiny gimmicks to attract the visitor to a boring site is just not worth it. It is the matter, the website with easy navigation tools and interactive media like comments and message boards help in making a good website!

It is of no use creating a website that looks like a giant advertisement where you have to search for the required information. Avoid adding pop-ups to your site, as there are many people who automatically leave the site if a bunch of commercial pop-ups appear on the screen! Another aspect of a quality website is your idea. Your website is basically an outlet of putting your identity out in the world. So just be yourself, because if you try to appeal to an audience in a way that is not your true self, you are surely destined to fail in the website.

The first part of creating a true, quality website lies in the planning of the site content. Here you have to discover the optimal niche for the website, correct keywords and the most profitable website concept. After this, you have to make your concept better and more profitable by analyzing the competition you have! Build your website with all the pages acting like highly ranked doorways for search engine optimization. This can be done using general rules of writing the body copy and using Meta tags of its pages.

Another powerful and flexible tool for building high quality web pages is the HTML codes. You can also find HTML validators that help make your web pages faultless, standard-compliant and a quality website. Use attractive graphics with graphic software to make your website more attractive and interesting. Banners can be created from scratch or by using free banner generators. Never forget to select a domain name that is productive to your website. You can find tips to create and register domain names that help in increasing the popularity and quality of your website.

Choose a reliable and cheap web hosting for better quality of your website. In fact, ‘free’ web hosting provides a low-cost solution for hosting multiple websites together. Those who know nothing about HTML, FTP and the like can create quality websites using online website builders. Just compare and review them to get the most popular website builder!

Whatever technique you employ, make sure that your website doesn’t look like it was designed by a novice. You can find tips on web page designing, the basics of web page backgrounds, tips on the usage of fonts on web pages and learn about the different methods of website navigation on the Internet. These all help in the building of a quality website for you!

Article Source:

Thomson Chemmanoor is a Freelance website designer and Search Engine optimizer at small business web design and also

Webdesign Tips: CSS Styling And Layouts

There are many ways of improving the accessibility of your web site to the visitors. The most important one is using the external Cascading Style Sheet (CSS), which has the purpose of separating the structure and presentation of your web site.

You can bring the best out of the use of Cascading Style Sheets by making improvements in the structural coding of your HTML pages. HTML elements must be chosen for their functional purpose and not for their default style attributes. The result is that the code is cleaner and more easily to be maintained. One of the advantages of using the Cascading Style Sheets is that the people who experience readability problems caused by the appearance of a page can choose to view it without the style sheet or, if they know what to do, replace it with their own user-defined style sheet. In order to leave them this option available, you must make your styles to allow overriding. This way, the visitors will feel more comfortable with that particular web site.

The style sheets specific to the media can be linked to a site to take care of the differences in its presentation in numerous browsers. In order to determine how the page will sound in a text-to-speech device, you can link a separate style sheet to it. A print style sheet will allow you to correctly display the content in a printer-optimized version of a page, if the visitor wishes to print the page.

The result of choosing to use Cascading Style Sheets is a real simple way to provide alternative styles of the same page content, addressing almost all common readability problems. For instance, you could offer an option to have the text in a larger text size. You can have no guaranty that this will solve all visual problems, but is a quite simple attempt at providing clear and obvious accessibility features. There is not much effort involved, so give it a try!

Think about the time and resource you can save by using the cascading style sheets. Your site will be quicker to download and use. Well, after all these features we have been talking about, most of you will agree that using the cascading style sheets is a very good thing. Nevertheless, we must never forget about the fact that your site must be just as accessible and easily used when the visitor chooses not to use any style at all.

Article Source:

Looking for Web Design ? Visit right now - Web Design Dominican Republic . Look no further for Website Design Dominican Republic services.

Custom Web Design and Online Promotion Go Hand-in-Hand

Many new online business owners have misconceptions about custom web design. It's not only about getting your website up and running. It's about designing every aspect of your website - every "nook and cranny" - to lead your visitors to the ultimate end, a sale. Whether you plan to build a service-oriented website or offer many products, your site's design must have all the ingredients for success from the very start. Be sure the web designer you choose has an understanding of promotion as well as custom web design. Here are some features your site must have to survive among the Internet masses.

An Easily Recognized USP (Unique Selling Proposition)

When a visitor arrives at any of your web pages (not only the homepage), he/she should understand what your site is all about immediately. You only have a split second to grab their attention. Make sure each web page has a powerful keyword-rich headline that will keep the visitor reading.

Graphics that Complement without Dominating the Web Pages

Every website needs a few graphics here and there to make the web design pleasing to the eye, but be sure your graphic design and logo design do not dominate your pages. You want visitors to read your page, not look at your graphics. So, keep graphics to a minimum, and use them only when they help to create an even reading flow on the page. Many sites use a pleasant "newsletter" style when there is much to read on a page, sprinkling graphics or photos throughout the text in a wrap-around sense. For logo design, keep it small and simple. There's nothing more annoying than waiting on a page to load because its logo is too big!

Keyword Rich Content for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Be sure your designer understands about SEO and keywords. Every page of your site should be designed with search engine promotion in mind. This means gearing your meta tags, link text for pages or in menus, headlines, image "alt text" contents, etc. to attract search engine traffic for the long haul.

Easy-to-Use Navigation

Be sure the navigation on your web pages is easy to use. Many visitors will not take the time to "search" for hidden links or to browse through a confusing menu. If ordering custom web design from a professional, write out on paper how you would like your link system to flow from page to page. If you have content, place visible, colored links within the text to give visitors a chance to click while reading. Have menu bars or links in the usual places - sidebars and top/bottom of the web page.

Promote your Website

Some design firms will offer promotion bonuses with a custom web design package. This benefits you because it helps you to get a head start on building traffic. You can take advantage of the design firm's skills and knowledge about Web promotion and search engine optimization. Don't forget to promote your website in every way possible. Print your site address on business cards, newspaper ads, letterhead, etc. Also, promote your site online using only targeted advertising.

Custom web design techniques and promotion are so tightly knit together that it's impossible to separate the two. Be sure to include both in your custom web design plans so you can see positive results from the start!

Article Source:

Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies. For tips/information, click here: custom web design

Why a Custom Web Design is So Important

Each year, more and more consumers are surfing the internet to find a particular product or service that they are in need of, throwing out the conventional methods of telephone books and newspaper ads. Why? The World Wide Web is faster and easier, as the internet, the world’s fastest growing medium, is already in homes and offices across the globe.

So what does this mean for the businesses that thrive on consumers? Obtaining the maximum level of success in the business and professional world is the reason businesses operate. In order to be successful, one needs to be an innovator, a trendsetter, a leader in a particular field, and not just another face in the crowd. The fastest way to set yourself apart from the masses of mainstream business is with a unique website, complete with fully custom web design.

Custom web design is a simple, yet incredibly important tool in sorting out the amateurs from the professionals within one’s area of expertise. The use of generic templates and amateur styling relays one message to potential clients and consumers – “We are a generic and amateurish company”.

Consumers, in general, tend to trust the larger companies with solid reputations that have usually been in business for a decade or more. These companies will spare no expense to create a unique, custom storefront and/or office building to acquire a potential consumer’s complete trust. The same philosophy will be used in the creation of their website, one that reflects this invaluable persona. An average consumer can easily spot an amateur website, automatically assuming that the site represents the company. Conversely, a professional look will convey that a company is reliable and trustworthy.

A Caveat: Many web design companies will offer their “custom” design services for substantially lower costs than others. While the lower price may attract your attention, you need to be sure of the exact level of customization for which this designer is offering. Remember the point of your website- to set yourself apart as an industry leader, not to be looked upon as one of the countless followers within your line of work

If you truly wish to be a contender in the big leagues of business, you have to be willing to get your hands a bit dirty and do some homework. Having a professional create a completely custom design for your website will keep your hands a bit cleaner and your mind a bit freer, for their industry is in business to help you be prominent within yours.

Article Source:

Charlie McIver recommends that you visit for more information on getting a custom web design.

10 Highly Effective Ways to Increase Website Traffic and Promote

There are many ways to promote your website for free online. Here
are 10 highly effective strategies you can use right now.

1. Write articles or free reports for other webmasters to publish
and put your website address in the by-line. If you write good
content, your articles will be published and many readers who like
your article will go on to visit your website.

2. Arrange a Joint Venture partnership with List owners and

3. Add your ad or website address to your email signature. This way,
every time you send an email, you'll be promoting your website.

4. Exchange Links with Other Webmasters. This is another effective
strategy for generating targeted traffic to your website for free.
It involves contacting other webmasters for a possible link exchange

5. Add a blog to your site and Ping and other search
engines. Pinging your blogs to the search engines is the fastest way
to get the search engine robots to visit your blog and attract new
visitors to your web site.

6. Submit your blog address to blog search sites and directories.
You can submit your blog's URL to websites such as Technorati,
Daypop, Blogdex and Popdex. For a complete list of websites where
you can submit your URL, go to

7. Create RSS feeds for your site and submit the feed URLs to the
major RSS feed directories online. A good place to start is which provides a list of the top RSS

8. Be an active commenter. Try to leave comments on the blogs that
you regularly visit. Most comment systems also provide a way for you
to leave a link back to your blog or website which begs a visit at
the very least.

9. If you plan to have anything printed up, put your web address on
it. You can print your URL on business cards, stickers, leaflets,

10. Add your web address to your forum profile signature. Every time
you post or respond to questions your ad will be displayed. If you
post good content in forums, people who read your threads will also
check out your website.

© Copyright 2005 Chileshe Mwape. Submit articles for free at All articles are published
instantly. You can submit reports, news, press releases, stories,
product reviews, opinions, editorials about your website and
services and much more

10 Tips for Killer Website Design

Does website design make a difference in how long people
will visit your website or if they'll stay and shop? You bet.
You've seen the websites that scream "bad idea" and you
know those folks are losing potential customers to their
ineffective website design. Whether you are an internet
newbie or an experienced marketer, you should understand
that good website design is part of the success equation.

So here are my 10 tips on how to create killer website design
that will invite potential customers in instead of scare them

1. Easy Navigation- The road to success

When people come to your website they are usually searching
for something in particular. It might be recipes for a healthy
low fat diet that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare or
what is the best business to start online. Whatever they
want, you need to have the answer. So ask yourself, why do
people come to my website? When you know that then you
know you should make it easy for them to find it.

I have been on countless websites that make it difficult for me
to do business with them. And you know what my first
response is? "Next!"
I am onto the next website to see if they can answer my
question. People don't want to waste their time hunting for
things that should be easy to find.

So, if people come to your website to find widgets, have a
button easy to see and locate that says "Widgets". People
have been trained to look to the left of the website for the
navigation bar.

2. Flashing Gizmos - The exit ramp to a dead end street

You've seen those sites where the elephants are dancing and
the poker chips are running across the screen asking you to
click on them¡­the only thing they have ever done for me is
give me a headache and to reach the "let me get out of here
as fast as I can" button on my computer.

If you are a running a professional site, please don't use
flashing graphics. Guaranteed you are encouraging people to
leave your site. People have come to you for information. Not
to click on an ad or have their brain scrambled.

Make your website a pleasant environment for the customer
to be in. Just like a store. Think about when you go to the
mall. You want to go in a store that is clean, well laid out, has
good customer service and the products you are looking for.
Your website should reflect this. If it is what you expect in
your shopping experience then does it not reason, your
customers are looking for this in your website.

What about music? Well, it depends. On most business sites I
would suggest not. But let's say you have a realtor by the
ocean who rents out homes for summer vacations. They have
music that sounds like the ocean is lapping at the foot of your
desk. I think music is appropriate in this venue but I would
definitely have it "off" as people log onto your site and give
them an option to turn it on. Don't forget many people are
surfing in their office environment and don't want the boss to
find out. If your music is loud or on as people log onto your
site and can't find a quick way to turn it off, they will leave
your site faster than a cat that just saw the jaws of a

3. Color - Enhancing the highway scenery

Color is an individual preference but studies show that colors
have an affect on people's emotions. Look at the top sites like
Amazon; their layout is simple and so is their color scheme.

My recommendation would be to go with the flow. If you have
a financial investment site then conservative colors seem to
follow. If you sell beach items then lots of fun colors apply. If
you have a bridal shower website, I would say soft pastels.
Think about your audience and you will know the color

4. Page Links - I-95 to your destination

This is a no brainer but make sure all of your buttons are
hyperlinked to a page and the right destination page. No one
including Goggle likes broken link pages. It can be tedious but
do it anyway. As you hover over the button and look down in
the left-hand part of your screen, you will see the hyperlinked
page. Just verify that yours are correct.

5. About Us - Is your map reliable?

People usually want to know basic things before they do
business with you. Who are you, how do I get a hold of you,
what is your product or service guarantee, will you resell my
email address, what is your privacy policy, when will I get the
product, etc. You need to answer these questions to create
trust between you and your potential customer.

6. Sitemap - How do I find my way around this big city?

Let's say you have a lot of products or pages and resources. A
sitemap helps people where to find what they are looking for
quickly without have to rummage through your whole site like
a lost soul. They are not hard to create but are useful for
large sites. It also helps the search engines to know what you
are about very quickly.

7. Fast Loading Pages - All lanes are go!

There is nothing worse than slow loading pages. You can
optimize your graphics for your website. People hate to wait.
You can check your page load time and page rank on Slow pages equal death to an online business.

8. Shopping Cart - Need to buy some souvenirs

If you are selling items or services, you need a reliable and
well organized shopping cart. I have seen some websites that
have a zillion products listed and to email them for orders.
What a nightmare! Yes, the shopping carts will charge you a
fee but it is worth it for them to handle the transaction. There
are many good shopping carts available and I would research
them based on your business' needs.

9. Templates or Original Design- Chevrolet or Porsche

People often think that to have a website designed is going to
cost thousands. So they opt for the templates and throw
together sites. There is nothing wrong with this approach
except I can tell the difference between what I call a
"canned" site and one that was created from scratch. While I
don't think a website that uses templates will turn off a
customer, I just think it may not be as appealing.

Have fun with your online business. You can go to any number
of photography sites and download professional photos from
cows to race cars. This will make your site look more

Again, I recommend that you shop for a good web designer. I
paid around $400 for a basic site to go up. I know others
would have charged me $1000 or more. That's why you need
to shop and see examples of their work.

10. Customer Service - The Finish Line!

Okay so how is customer service a website design? Well,
customer service should be written all over your site. From
tips, to free reports, to guarantees, to fast and reliable
shopping. People want to know you know what you are
talking about and can deliver the goods they want.
Give a little and I guarantee you'll get in back tenfold.

Jan Peterson founder of researches and reviews
business opportunities including internet marketing, real estate investing,
affiliate marketing, financial investing and more. Over 400 FREE reports

4 Ways of Increasing Your Profits Using Images

Images not only can create an aesthetically pleasing
atmosphere for users, but they can also (and more
importantly) help you gain credibility, and ultimately
sales if done correctly. Here are some great ways to
increase your credibility:

1. Self Portraits/Customer photos

Having a photo of yourself on your sales page will help
your customers feel more at home, and that they're dealing
with a real person, and not just a machine. This increases
your credibility in the viewer's eye because it adds a
personal touch, and you will see your sales increase when
you employ such methods. A great place to place a self
portrait is in an 'about me' section of your site or
newsletter. If you don't have a section like this, you
should consider creating one because this, just like the
image will increase your credibility and your conversion

Another way of using pictures to increase your conversion
rate is by using customer photos. You should place these
on customer testimonials, and when people view them, they
will see that this is a real customer that is satisfied
with your product, and they will carry much more weight
this way. Testimonials alone are a great way to increase
conversions, so don't hesitate to make them even more
effective by adding customer photos. The only problem here
is acquiring the photos themselves, since many people do
not have a self portrait, but that shouldn't stop you from
asking your customers for them, and maybe even offer them
discounts for some incentive! The choice is yours.

2. Product Packaging

Product packaging images - this means, regardless of what
you're selling, be it tangible or intangible, to offer
images of your product. If you're selling an ebook, create
an ebook cover. If you're selling an actual book, show a
photo of it. What this does is explain to the viewer of
your site that your product is 'real' and that they're
really getting something when they're spending their money.
It's been proven that simply showing an ebook cover on a
sales page can increase conversion rates by over 50%! You
can't afford to miss out on something so simple that will
increase your sales this much, so make it a point to have
some product packaging!

3. Physical Evidence of Product's Success

This can mean an infinite number of things depending on
what you're selling, but in a nutshell, try to include a
photo of something that lets your site's visitors know that
the product you're selling actually works. Some examples:
If you're selling a book on internet marketing, show a
picture of a check you've received while using the
techniques explained in your book. If you're selling a
book on bodybuilding, show before and after pictures of
someone who has practiced the methods explained in the
book. These kinds of things will drastically increase the
viewer's excitement in your product and will get them
itching to whip out their credit cards!

4. Soothing, Pleasant Graphics

You want your site's look to be welcoming just like a big
soft sofa, so your viewers are visually relaxed and not
constantly being annoyed. Things to avoid are animated
icons and bright/flashy/uncomplimentary colors as these are
very unprofessional, leading your visitors to believe your
product may also be unprofessional. Plus, these things may
turn away some visitors altogether, so do your best to
avoid them. Train yourself to use softer colors, softer
gradients, softer backgrounds, etc. And you (and your
visitors) will reap the benefits.

If you practice some or all of these methods you will see
great improvements in your conversion rates, so don't take
them lightly. People will read interesting copy, but
nothing builds credibility like a bit of positive imagery.
Hope you've learned something!

Barrett Phillips is webmaster of and Author of
"Simply Design - Aesthetics That Sell"
His book offers tutorials on Ebook Cover Design, Logo
Design, and Web Page Design geared towards intenet

10 Web Site Backup Essentials That You Should Live

More and more webmasters nowadays do not value the importance
of a complete website backup (files and databases). They have
left this to chance and good luck which poses a great risk to
their online presence.

Can you relate to this? Then read this important article which
might save you an arm and a leg later.

Web site backup is the most ignored task of the webmasters
simply because it poses no immediate threat to them until
something worse happen to their hosting server. Many times,
this task is set aside, delayed and even regarded as nuisance
to the busy website owner.

They just don't realize what is at stake here.

So before your website will be wiped out of the internet by
unexpected accidents like server breakdowns, hard disk failures,
hacking and DDOS attacks among other bad things, let me share
with you the 10 Backup E-S-S-E-N-T-I-A-L-S you should not live
without online.

EXPECT - Know that your web hosting company (even the biggest
and the most boastful out there) may encounter problems and
that your diligence to backup up will pay off later on. Online
computing has never been so unpredictable that the worse of
times will happen when you least expect it. With the proper
mindset, you are insuring the continuity of your online
endeavor in any eventualities. In short, be ready.

SCHEDULE - Your backup process should not compete with your
busy schedules. Create your own backup schedule at the most
convenient time for you in the week. If you're like me, I do
this during lunch and dinner times. Sometimes, I have to leave
my PC overnight working on the backups. If you can make it not
to conflict with your busy schedules, you will be able to keep
up with the demands of this job. In short, don't complicate.

STICK with it - Just do it. Patience is key to your backup
tasks. Once you have a schedule, stick with it. You must do
this diligently every time it should happen. This is a tough
challenge especially to busy people working online. But the
sooner you discipline yourself and make backing up your files a
habit, the more you will benefit from a worry-free online
environment. In short, get a good habit.

EVALUATE - After a while, test your backup files. A good backup
can be tested by simply restoring it on another system.
Evaluating your backup results from time to time is good way to
know that you are keeping what you should keep - a good and
working backup. In short, be sure.

NO Complacency - After some time, your backup schedule may slip
away and you will tend to forget or intentionally miss it. Don't
succumb to this temptation. Man has never been so busy in his
lifetime like it is today in this era of the high tech trends,
new developments and discoveries. In short, don't be lazy to

TRASH - Know which files to keep and not to keep. You need to
do this to keep your backup process as short and as efficient
as possible. It also saves you valuable resources like hard
disk space and backup mediums. Backup only what you need. Keep
out the trash and dump it. In short, don't sweat with the

INTUITION - Have faith in your backup results. Believe that
what you are doing is for your own good later on. Like vitamins
that keep your body healthy, backups keeps your mind away from
stress and worries. A good working backup will make you smile
even on the worst of times because you are insured by your
patience. In short, believe in good results.

AUTOMATE - Look for alternatives to traditional backup process
that can make your life simpler. There are several technologies
and softwares you can use now to generate the fastest and safest
backup files you will need to restore in case of emergency
without you lifting a finger. Automation is king in this lazy
man's world. In short, be efficient.

LIBERATE - Free yourself from worries and anxiety of
the unexpected. A death sentence that can be prevented will not
kill you. So think about what you can do more (like
sleeping more at night) than to think about what harm may come.
With your own backup systems established, you can retire at
night calmly knowing the next day, if you don't see your
websites as you should, you know you can publish it back within
the day even if your web host cannot recover it for you. In
short, relax and enjoy life to the max.

SECURITY - Nothing beats the feeling of being secured. This is
the reason why the insurance businesses have flourished over
the years. But more importantly, your commitment to backup your
files will not only save you from stress, humiliation,
frustration, anger and guilt, but also lift your spirit and
confidence because you know at the end of the day, your self
reliance is well worth it.

And that, my friend, is a great and wonderful feeling.

About The Author: Manny R. Jao II is self-taught webmaster
whose aim is to improve the lives and working habits of other
netrepreneurs just like him. He is the developer and owner of
the first automatic backup software for CPanel-powered websites
named CPSiteSaver which you can download at

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Interactive Modules in an ecommerce web site

An ecommerce web site is an elaborate web site which has many modules which interact with each other and provide various services to the customer. Some modules of an ecommerce web site are a must whereas some modules may or may not be present there. This article outlines some of the modules which make an ecommerce web site and their function to the users when they shop online:

The Shopping Cart: the name is derived from the traditional shopping cart and is THE most important part in an ecommerce web site. Shopping carts can be simple where they allow a user to select a product and proceed to check out, or they can be detailed by allowing users to save their cart for later and even manage discounts and promotional offer calculation.

One of the best shopping cart systems can be found at has also a quick shopping cart option which allows users to shop and leave the site within three to four clicks. You can get a custom shopping cart developed or can also customize an existing shopping cart software to suit your requirement. A shopping cart on an ecommerce web site should be robust and should ensure easy check out process for the users.

Content Management System: This may also be referred to as the product database management system or a system which ensures that there are frequent updates of the products on the web site so that users can get updated content.

The content management system can have various sub modules such as product database management, info page management module as well as FAQs management. Like the shopping cart, a content management system can vary in complexity.

Customer Relationship Management module: A customer relationship management module carries many features. You can pick and choose the features which you would like to have. A customer relationship management module not only enhances the customer experience on an ecommerce web site, it also provides a system which can be used to increase the overall sales of the web site.

Some of the sub-modules of a customer relationship management module are user management, order updates, feedback management, help desk management and newsletter management. A good customer management module can also provide some excellent reports and information which can help you make decisions about future activities on the web site.

Third party integrations: One of the most important integrations which are done with a third party is the payment gateway. Most ecommerce web sites integrate their payment gateway with a credit card gateway and this requires a bit of programming at the web site designer’s end. Another third party integration which is done is integration with a logistics provider ( such as UPS or USPS).

These two are the most important third party integrations which happen on an ecommerce web site. Depending on the nature of the web site, there can be third party integration such as insurance provider, credit checking agency, address checking agency etc. third party integrations are expensive to do, so it is best that you make sure that there is a requirement before proceeding with it.

The above outlined features are essential for the health of the an ecommerce web site and though design and overall layout plays an important role in a web site, it is these features which can make an ecommerce site successful. If the budget permits, then it is advisable that you choose the best options in the above categories your online store.

Useful online resources for web site designers

All web designers need motivation for designing and there are plenty of resources which are available online which motivate as well as educate web site designers.

Since web design is dependant on the latest technology, it is imperative for web designers to read about what is new in their field and educate themselves with the latest user interface development software. If you are a web site designer, the below mentioned list will be helpful in providing information about some of the sites that leading designers use to update them selves or search for resources for their design:


One of the most important things which you need in any web site design is images. Sometimes a customer may provide relevant images for the web site but most of the times you have to depend on the online resources for copyright free images which can be used for the web site.

Some of the most popular sites in this category are , and . These sites provide images but they are usually on a paid basis. Some of them may charge you per image, and some might provide a subscription model where you pay for a year and have unlimited access to the entire image databank. Pricing of images are based on the objective of the image and the resolution in which you want to buy it.

Design ideas:

Even though most customized web sites are designed just for that one customer, designers may look at template databases to get ideas. One of the most popular sites for this is . However, some designers may condone looking at such sites as it might influence their creativity and some of them might consider it to be akin to flouting copyright issues. Design ideas may also be fetched from sites such as which good DHTML tips and codes are published.

Flash design ideas and tutorials:

Most web sites have started implementing flash in some form or the other. As a web designer there are some excellent sites which offer flash tutorials, navigation tips, and even feature some of the possibilities of flash in a educational fashion. One of the well known sites amongst web site designers is itself. Apart from that, you can see and to get some more flash related tutorials.

Apart from the graphic inputs, there are many online resources available which can provide you free goodies such as scripts for the web site. Since the rankings of such web sites keep changing on a regular basis, you are likely to get the most updated web site when you search for ‘free scripts’ on Google. Some of the sites which I came up with are , ( sounded very promising) and .

Apart from the resources web site, there are some web sites such as which provide guidelines for the usage of HTML and XHTML. One site which is very popular under this head is as it resulted in listing many errors on web sites which might not be recognizable by even some of the best web designers.

It is difficult to list all the useful links for web designers. Doing that might take a couple of months and you might need a search engine to search through those links.

The internet is obviously a good hunting ground for all the tools and tips which you need when designing a web site. There are some excellent communities which share experiences and help the members troubleshoot issues faced by them. So go ahead, the internet is the perfect place for all web design help that you need!

Designing the Color Scheme of Your Website

While designing a web site one of the primary considerations is the color scheme. It is very important to select a judicious color scheme. Sometimes the user wants the company colors employed in the scheme. Go about selecting the colors in a wise manner.

A wrong choice can ruin an otherwise well made site.

The color palette is broadly divided in three categories: -Warm colors, cool colors and neutral colors.

Warm Colors
Warm colors have an exciting and invigorating effect on the user. Red, pink, yellow, orange and gold are the warm colors. On their own they may become over stimulating and oppressive so use it in contrast with a muter shade. The various meanings associated with these colors are
• Red shows love, energy, passion, heat, anger, danger, warning
• Pink is happy, feminine and sweet. Its negative side shows immaturity and weakness.
• Yellow depicts brightness, energy happiness. It also represents cowardice and irresponsibility.
• Orange shows courage, confidence, warmth, sluggishness and ignorance
• Gold shows wealth, prosperity and greed.

Cool colors
They have a calm, soothing effect. Blue, purple, silver and green are the cool colors. But used excessively on their own they may make the site impersonal and dull. Synchronizing a cool color with a warmer hue gives great results. Representation of each color:

• Blue shows tranquility, trust and intelligence. Their negative connotations are coldness and fear. Blue also is representative of masculinity
• Green depicts money, fertility growth healing. On the flip side it denotes envy, greed and jealousy.
• Purple shows luxury, royalty, ambition, mystery
• Silver represents glamour, high tech, sleek.

Neutral colors
Neutral colors brown black tan white, gray. On their own they are nondescript and dull. They are great for balancing the effect of other colors. Site design with neutral color pepped up with other brighter colors is ideal.

The various types of color schemes used are
• Monochromatic
• Same group.
• Contrast
Monochromatic color scheme uses variation of only one color for the entire design
This classy scheme works very well for business web sites. Although too much dependence on a single color may turn boring and a judicious use of a neutral color may elevate the problem.

Same Group color scheme uses two similar looking colors e.g. Blue and purple or red and orange. This may turn out to be a very elegant design. Ensure that too much usage of similar looking palette does not make your site monotonous.

Contrast color scheme uses two absolutely opposite colors e.g. black and white, red and green, blue and orange. Sometimes the contrast becomes too strong and the resultant site is glaring to the eyes. To get over this pick a softer hue of one color to offset the other. For instance royal blue and orange will be horrendous but a pale sky blue used with a peachy orange would look fresh.

If the site has a very strident color scheme, it distracts from the content. The colors should enhance the site and not divert attention from it.

While designing your site’s color scheme choose from the 216-color palette the web browsers can see. Using the colors outside this palette will result in dithering, giving a speckled look to the object. So when using solid color as a design element choose browser safe colors only.

Yellow is a color that the eye catches first. Use it for banners and teasers. Once you have dragged the user’s attention to your website, there is no point in giving eye fatigue. Avoid excessive use of red and yellow.

Some colors are difficult to read. like orange on blue background. If your site colors is giving the users a headache, the popularity will drop naturally.

On the other hand the site becomes drab and monotonous if it has too few colors or predominantly white. Agreed white is a good background for large chunks of text, but jazz it up with textures and contrasting buttons.

Do not make the mistake of comparing the colors of your printed matter with those on your site. Some times what may be a really exquisite color scheme on a printed card may not turn out so well on the screen. Each color is represented differently on say a brochure and the monitor.

Keep your color scheme consistent throughout. It is ok to choose purple as hyperlink color but ensure that it is the same all over. Avoid variations in text color or a drastic change in color scheme between pages.

The contrast between the text color and the background should be enough to be differentiated without being glaring.

Take the age of the targeted viewers into consideration. Kids portals should have vivid and contrasting palette where as a site for more mature section would be toned down and elegant.

A website having an exquisitely planned color scheme is a delight to view. Take care of these pointers and turn your website into elegance personified.

Online Marketing: Who are the real specialists

Every respectable company has a marketing department, responsible for advertising products or services a company proposes. More or less developed, they function to increase the sales level at the market. Those working at such difficult task should be efficient and experienced salesmen, because today’s market is very tight and leaders in every industry are pretty much established. To compete against rivals, managers are to seek alternative and effective ways to reach their aim and bring popularity to the product or service.

This is where companies providing SEO copywrighting services appear on stage. It is worth trying to write content on your own, however, one must remember that if the SEO process has been wrongfully completed, it may harm business and optimization process as well. In order to avoid it, one might hire experienced and high-skilled professionals to complete this task. However, what skills, experience and qualities are required to complete this vital, yet quite difficult task. Apart from the fact that the specialist must know optimization process, he should also have understanding of how the market in your business operates. It might be advisable for him to know not only current marketing trends and current internet issues but current online controversies as well, so he will be able to take some effective measures to augment and lessen their impact.

In spite of the fact that he will be writing on various marketing topics, he nevertheless must be able to handle various multiple tasks in modern era of communications between various countries and nations, such as accepting some orders and requests from various international businesses and organizations and companies. It is useful for him to have not only online copywriting skills but offline copywriting experience as it might broaden his vision and allow him to see some new features vital for the successful development of your business and finally some indispensable elements for the successful marketing of goods and services that you provide, as it will enhance the efficiency of your business. You might read about some indispensable elements of effective advertising or ask SEO copywriters of to assist you and take your business to another level.

Finding A Good Web Designer

If you just started an online business, you probably have no idea how to go about hiring a web designer. Who should you call? Should you look someone up in the yellow pages? Should you hire someone who works for a company that employs many different web designers, or should you hire a sole proprietor? Or, should you hire a freelancer who does web design part time? How much does it cost?

If you need someone to develop a very simple, static website that is merely a personal homepage or just an informational site about your business, then you pretty much have carte blanche. The only issue in this case would be cost. A freelancer will charge a lot less than a professional, but a freelancer might not do a thoroughly competent job. There are numerous website directories that contain a database of freelance web designers who are seeking work.

If you hire one of these individuals, make sure you request to see samples of web designs they have already done, just to make sure they have not done shoddy work in the past. I find it best to hire a professional in this instance, because even though a professional will charge more per hour, they can usually do much better work and get it done faster. So, in the end, a freelancer could actually charge more and you might end up getting a design of inferior quality.

Let us take a moment to delineate what the differences are between a freelancer, a sole proprietor, someone who owns a small, reputable web design business with a few employees, and a designer who is part of a huge company that employs up to one hundred web designers (there are quite a few companies out there that employ hundreds of web designers under a single company umbrella and also provide domain name registration and web hosting services all in one package).

First of all, a freelancer is usually someone for who web design is merely a hobby. This sort of a person has probably taken a few courses in simple web design at a local institute or college, or might be self-taught, and dabbles in web design as a part-time job or a way to earn extra cash. Some of these freelancers might be quite talented, but their designs are ordinarily not as crisp as what a professional can produce.

To reiterate, a freelancer is someone who only moonlights as a web designer. So, they are typically busy with their other career, and will take a longer time with your project because of time constraints. In the end, the freelancer probably will not give you the design you really want, and will refuse to refund your money.

A web designer who is part of a larger company that employs one hundred or more designers is just as bad as a freelancer. These sorts of web designers do not have much design skill, and are often given many different jobs to do at once. As a result, they will throw your design together haphazardly. You will be very disappointed with the work they produce.

The best web designers to hire are professionals who do web design as a career, and do focused projects. You should hire either a sole proprietor who has a large portfolio of work to show you, or a small firm of web designers who work together and have extensive web design experience. Professionals charge more than anyone else, but because they have so much experience and such a wide variety of designs for you to choose from, they will do a fantastic job in only a fraction of the time.

The only time you should use a freelancer or other inexperienced designer is if you can meet with that individual in person, explain exactly what you want, and if the project itself is very simple and the design work necessary for the job is not too extravagant. Do not make the mistake of hiring a freelancer over the internet that lives in a different state and only accepts payments via PayPal or some other sort of electronic payment processing service. Make sure your freelancer is someone who resides close by so that you can monitor their progress and visit them if you do not like the initial design they produce.

For almost all web design projects, it is best to hire a professional. Even though it costs more, it is generally only a one-time cost. A website is typically only designed once with major revisions only done once every few years; you may make changes here or there in the short run, but a web site usually stays the same for up to a few years or more. So, you might as well go with the most talented yet reasonably priced designer you can find.

Also, it is very important to hire a designer who has a contract that you can sign that stipulates certain terms and conditions. You should be able to pay the designer a down payment of 25% - 50% of the total quoted price for the job, with the balance due upon completion. This is critically important, because it can be very frustrating to flush money down the toilet on a design you hate without any way to recoup any of your funds afterwards.

Also, the designer should be able to quickly produce some sample layouts after they have been assigned the job so that you can at least pick a particular design that you like the most, and then the designer can begin working on that design rather than using their artistic license to create a design from scratch.

Follow all of these recommendations and be careful when hiring a web designer. Always work with a professional if your project requires a certain level of expertise and skill, and make sure you request a portfolio containing samples of their work so you can see what they have already done. Make sure their prior designs meet your standards.

Article Source:

Jim Pretin is the owner of, a service that helps programmers make a free HTML form and download formmail

Why Use XHTML on Your Web Site

As website owners, we all want the same thing. We all want a great design. We all want to make money. We all want our site to reach as many people as possible. But how often have you heard "My site looks great at home but I looked at it on this different computer and it looked terrible!"?

Chances are you've heard this before, or maybe you've even said it yourself. Thankfully, good web developers know how to avoid this, and still deliver everything you should expect from a good website.

Many web design companies only understand certain portions of creating a great web presence. Some companies focus on web development, but have limited design and marketing skills. Others are so focused on bleeding edge technology and design that they forget that some people view websites on PDAs or alternative browsers that can't support such technical wizardry. Few firms can find that sweet spot in the middle where your website looks great and functions well in all instances. Enter XHTML and cross browser compatibility.

What is XHTML?
XHTML is the W3C standard for developing cross browser compatible websites. It fuses all of the display elements of HTML with some of the functionality of XML. By forcing a web designer to program more carefully and adhere to strict code standards, XHTML successfully allows a vastly larger percentage of browsers or code parsers to properly parse your documents. In less geeky terms, it means more people can see your site the way you meant for them to see it, and less people see your site with elements strewn all over their page.

For your site to reach the widest potential audience, it is important that it is developed in the most cross browser compatible method possible. XHTML is that method. The rise of handheld internet ready devices is forcing lazy web designers to program their sites more efficiently, since most internet ready cell phones and PDAs require XHTML to be able to view websites properly. People who use mac computers often see a bunch of gibberish on their screen when browsing the web because some of the tools web design "professionals" use create bloated code that does not render properly. Lazy programmers often only use WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editors to create their web pages and don't even bother to open up the code window.

When somebody comes to your site and sees a total mess of graphics and tables all over the place, it is your brand and your site that suffers. No company looks good with a site that looks bad. Let's do a short exercise to prove this point.

Right now think of me as a user who is ready to buy a widget. You sell widgets. I just landed on your home page. Your site looks awesome on my computer at home running Internet Explorer. However, today I am browsing around on my neat new cell phone. Chances are if you're site is not XHTML compliant; it looks terrible to me right now. I don't want to see this mess on my new toy, so to clean my screen I have to just click right past you and into your competitor's home page. Unfortunately for you, their site is programmed in XHTML and looks perfect.

Friday, February 23, 2007

A practical use of Open Source Code Softwares

As we started the project of our web site, we knew that the proprietary software costs would be too high for our financial resources. Our only option then was to make use of Open Source Code softwares.

However, within the Open Source Code there are lots of softwares to choose from, and it´s up to the system analyst/programmer to pick the ones that best suit the project goals.

In our case, we picked Linux as our operating system. However we faced a big question: Which Linux distribution ? There are dozens of linux distributions, each one with specific advantages, sometimes with or without paid services.

We chose linux Slackware because we thought that it would suit better our needs, in terms of stability and reliability. Slackware is a conservative distribution, meaning that it only offers in its distribution package kernel versions and third party libraries, once it´s been proved to be stable and reliable. As a result, Slackware is one the most stable Linux operating system on the market. If the user wishes the most recent Linux kernel and libraries, we recommend to look for a different distribution.

Another reason for us picking Slackware, was because of its text interface, which at the beginning may become a bit difficult, in the long run however it offers a better understanding of the Linux environment. This way most of Slackware configurations are done thru text scripts.

Once it was set the operating system, we picked Apache as our web server. Apache is one of the most popular web server in the internet. For server programming language, we chose PHP. Also, a very popular programming language. Our experience with Apache/PHP proves that this setup is very reliable, working extremely well in our production environment. For workstation programming language, we chose javascript, which besides of having a simple syntax, it offers lots of resources.

Apache web server is really a complete web server. Also, it can become very complex with many configuration setups.

For our database, we picked Postgresql. This database has been made available to the public for more than 15 years, and besides of being well debugged, it offers so many resources that it has become one of the best database options from Open Source Code softwares. Extremely reliable, Postgresql has reported cases where there have been databases in production with over 4 terabytes. Besides all of that, Postresql is not the most popular Open Source Code database. A matter of marketing ? Probably.

As for the programming language PHP, we had to use an object oriented application structure. There are many PHP application structures being offered with Open Source Code license. Object oriented application is very important, because it makes programming very easy and scalable up to the point where the system may grow without many problems. Also, it helps to keep PHP code separated from HTML, with the help of some specific libraries, such as Smarty. We make use of Smarty library and we believe that it is a very important resource, which can even make web pages faster thru the use of its cache functions.

Also a very important set of libraries worth mentioning for PHP systems, is the PEAR libraries. In PEAR web site, among the many libraries being offered, there are the database interface DB and the MAIL_QUEUE, which sends emails thru the use of database.

As we came to the end of our project, we had to use some sort of real time database replication. For that we chose the DRBD and Heartbeat libraries. The use of database replication is very important and should not be postponed. Just after 3 months our system got into production, our server hard disk became bad. Thru the use of DRBD/Heartbeat we were able to put the system back into production within seconds, without loosing any data. DRBD/Heartbeat replication is done thru the use of a lan network between the server and slave nodes.

Our project also makes use of ImageMagick (enlarge and reduce images), Iptables (firewall), Tsearch2(text search in portgresql) and Mon (linux monitoring tasks).

Also a very important library worth mentioning is the pseudo APC compiler for PHP. Speed is always a critical factor for internet sites.

Our web site is already in production and based upon our experience we can say that the Open Source Code softwares we picked, proved to be extremely reliable and stable. Open Source Code softwares can certainly be an excellent option for developing web sites.

Roberto Sedycias
IT Consultant

This article is under GNU FDL license and can be distributed without any previous authorization from the author. However the author´s name and all the URL´s (links) mentioned in the article and biography must be kept.

This article can also be accessed in portuguese language from the News Articles section of page PoloMercantil.

Roberto Sedycias has a bachelor degree in Business Administration and over 20 years experience in systems analysis and computer programming. Currently working as IT consultant/chief software engineer for

Choosing the Ideal Web Site Host

Pure and simple. The success of your website depends on how much traffic you can generate to it. Your website search engine rank dictates your success or failure. Get on the first search engine results page for your keywords and your probability of success will be high. If you land anywhere else in the search engine results, you are invisible and will probably fail.
If you are not experienced in search engine optimization and you do not know all the steps that it takes to make your site rank high with the search engines, you need a web site host that will guide you through the steps and provides the necessary assistance to make your site appear on the first page of the search engines.
The ideal web site host should offer the following services:

1. Fast, reliable hosting
2. Reasonable cost for services provided
3. No initial set up fee
4. Domain registration included in hosting charge
5. Unlimited data transfer
6. Email customer support
7. Telephone customer support
8. Point and click page building
9. Unlimited web pages
10. Tools for brainstorming key words for your site theme
11. Tools for evaluating the supply and demand for your keywords
12. Assistance in building your web pages to make them search engine friendly
13. Uploading your own web pages if desired
14. Automatic submission of each new page or each updated page to the search engines
15. Page templates for your site
16. Customized 404 error pages
17. Direction on creating Google and Yahoo site maps.
18. Inclusion of a blog site
19. Unlimited email accounts
20. Email forwarding
21. Email domain forwarding
22. Support forum of other users
23. Point and click custom input form creation tool
24. Unlimited autoresponders
25. Ability to upload XML code for RSS pages
26. Link exchange and link builder
27. eZine publishing tool
28. Email marketing list builder/distribution
29. Reports

    a. Search engine ranking report
    b. Traffic statistics and analysis
    c. Click tracking and analysis
    d. Keyword search report for search engines
    e. Tracking of search engine spiders

30. Any other additional services

If you find a web host that provides all these services, you should hire it immediately.
For more information about choosing web site hosts, read the Boomer eZine at
To succeed on the Internet, you need all the help you can get. Make certain that your web site host can give you that help and that all the services are included in the base price.

Copyright 2006 John Howe, Inc.