Web Design For Dummies: Quick Tips And Tricks

 In terms of ways to earn money, millions are finding that websites are fun, easy and reliable earners. However, a website needs to not only have ample traffic to be successful; it has to be attractive and functional. So for every SEO tactic you know, you would do well to learn a web design tactic right alongside it. Here are a few different tactics you can use for your site.

When you are creating graphics or photos for your website, be sure to keep the file size small. If your graphics are too large, your page will load slowly and your visitors will leave. You can find many free or inexpensive graphics programs online that will optimize your images before you load them to your website.

Avoid useless scripts. Scripts like counters and date/time scripts don't really serve any purpose, and since they are all JavaScript, can add a few kilobytes to the page's file size. Getting rid of these elements also frees up space on the homepage. Replace those useless scripts with useful content that keeps users coming back.

Don't use splash pages for your site unless required by law, and especially don't use a Flash intro. Most people just want to get to your content as quickly as possible, and don't care to look at useless splash pages. If you have some amusing content that you absolutely want visitors to see, integrate it into the homepage instead.

Avoid cramming page elements together. Each section of your page should be naturally separated from each other, as this makes the purpose of each section more clear. The easiest way to separate sections is by using DIVs, but there are other ways, including absolute positioning (not recommended), the CSS margin command, and floats.

Don't disable the visitor's right-click functionality. Some sites do this in order to prevent people from copying and pasting text or saving images from the site. The thing is, it doesn't work and disables other useful functions. OCR can be used to capture text from such sites, and grabbing images is as simple as taking a screenshot.

Aim for page loading times of under 10 seconds. A good site will come up within a few seconds. Your viewers want instant gratification, so you need to provide it.

Learning some basic HTML will help you add some interesting extras to your site. For example, you can have words that follow your cursor, or a banner that flashes important information. Make sure to change the colors and fonts occasionally, so you seem more involved with the web site and its design.

White can be a smart and effective choice when you're contemplating which color should be the background for your site. Content is generally more readable on white backgrounding, and this makes your page look both more professional and trustworthy. Giving your site a background featuring vibrant colors or complex patterns, though, can give an unprofessional impression and reduce the clarity of your site. Backgrounds should be simple and subtle.

Make sure your business logo is well-designed and prominently on every page of your site. Your logo is a key component of your brand, and it should be one of the first things people see when they go to your website. If you can't come up with a good idea for a logo, there are design firms that will make you one at relatively low cost.

Make sure that your user's needs are a priority. Do you know what the user's needs are? How easy information can be accessed and the website use are critical. These are important considerations to make. Always look at things through the eyes or screen of the viewer.

Never underestimate the value of great meta tags throughout your website. Quality meta tags describe your site for search engines. Not putting enough effort into their content can severely hurt your page rank and reduce your traffic.

Try to code using only CSS. We're moving away from table-based sites to only CSS sites because they are reusable, accessible, and they can greatly reduce your file sizes. This allows you greater control of the appearance of your site. There are various CSS resources you can use, therefore, knowing CSS is invaluable to web design.

Having a website counter at the bottom of your page is really an unattractive feature. It may look like you've added something neat to your site, but many visitors do not wish to see that. This is something that is not necessary.

A lot of times when you load up a page to your file server, you cannot find it when you type in the address via your browser. You always need to double-check and ensure that you named the file correctly. Some people literally waste days trying to pinpoint the problem they believe is major, when in reality it's only a simple typo.

Every website designer needs a good platform to test their work out on, and XAMPP is probably the best out there. XAMPP will allow you to run your test sites with PHP and mySQL, so you will always be able to spot anything that needs to be changed. XAMPP is a relatively light download and it's also easy to figure out.

Try your best to update the content of any old sites that you have. You want to make sure that any of the sites you build seem like they're up to date with the technology that is out today - you don't want a site that looks 10 years old.

When designing your website, it is a good idea not to stray too far from popular conventions. For example, most users expect that when they click on the website logo at the top of a webpage, they will be taken to the home page of the website https://www.pricelessconsultingllc.com/. If your website behaves differently, it can confuse the user. In many cases, straying from such conventions can lead to a poor overall user experience.

Obviously the tips above don't cover every single aspect of web design. You will have to research further if there is more you need to know about the subject. As you can see, though, the tips provided here will help you get and stay on the right path. Use these tips wisely to build a great site.

My Website Marketing Predictions

2011 is over, and we're now in 2012. Wouldn't it be terrific if you could predict the future? How fantastic would it be to know what website marketing techniques will work this year? Would having that knowledge allow you to prepare and maximize your return on your advertising dollars? In this article, I provide my 2012 predictions covering website marketing trends. Adjusting your marketing plans to take these trends into account should translate into profits. Historically, my predictions have come to pass about 98 percent of the time. It's always gratifying when my predictions come true. I have always had a knack for spotting trends. In this article, I list four website marketing trends that are unfolding before our eyes. So read on to see my advice and get your website ready for 2012 and beyond.

Prediction #1) Search Engine Optimization will continue to provide top ROI for internet marketing.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and posting service will continue to be the most productive for converting internet prospects into customers. SEO has always been the bread and butter of online marketers and businesses. This is because search engine users place a high value on organic placement. I believe that SEO will continue to be rated as the most cost-effective means of attracting visitors to your website or landing page. For several years now, SEO has shown to be unmovable as the best way to get clicks to your website. This includes search clicks where somebody "actually" purchases something from your website. Several research studies in 2011 reported that more business traffic was generated by organic key word Searches than other types of internet marketing. Of course, you still have to have a compelling landing page and a desirable product, but this has always been the case.

Secondly, the aforementioned studies also listed organic ranking as being the most trusted by consumers with regard to the legitimacy of the ad listing. There is no doubt in my mind that this trend will continue in 2012. My advice to you is this; if you're selling products on the internet, make SEO the centerpiece of your internet ad budget. If you want to make the phone ring, it starts with organic ranking. I'm not saying all your internet advertising money should be in SEO; that's unwise, but SEO should be part of your mix. Leaving it out would be a tremendous mistake.

Prediction #2) Websites will be upgraded in unheard of numbers!

It has been my experience that business owners, (especially small businesses) are usually slow to make website changes. For an internet business to be profitable today, it must embrace change as part of its everyday marketing strategy. Around the middle of 2010, many businesses started to update their websites. This started to happen for two extremely important reasons. First, many businesses have ignored their websites for several years, (5+ years in many cases). Many businesses are cyclical, and the website creation industry is one of them. We are entering a time where many websites have been stuck with an early turn of the century look and feel.

Now businesses are moving towards a more current and active content look. A look and feel I call current content centric. Most businesses amortized website expenditures over a five-year period. If they are not amortized, they are still looked at as five-year assets. My company saw a significant increase in the amount of website refresh work during 2005. We started seeing an increase in this type of work again in late 2010. I believe businesses were holding back because of the slow economy but are now faced with websites that are not producing results. Most are moving to either totally recreate their websites look and feel, or they are opting to create multiple landing pages that address individual issues. I look forward to seeing businesses finally making the plunge to refresh, rebuild or create new landing pages that convert prospects into customers. My advice to all businesses is to refresh your website in 2012. Even if it's just a color and wording refresh. If you choose to do-nothing, beware, your competition will be making these changes, and they will be taking your market share.

Prediction #3) Internet usages will become more mobile than ever before.

The number of websites converting to mobile formats is soaring. This is for a good reason. The number of smart phones capable of taking advantage of full browser functions is shooting through the roof. Add to this, many smart phones have a faster internet connection than you have at home or in the office. Most people carry their cell phones with them all the time. This allows them to use their cell phones for all kinds of functions. One of these functions, cell phone internet browsing, is growing at an alarming rate. Soon, cell phones will replace many of the current gadgets that many of us love to use today. Cameras, GPS devices, MP3 players, portable game consoles and yes even laptop sales will start to shrink. And as these items lose their inherent value, the smart phone will become invaluable. The number of internet cell phone users will continue to climb. People use their cell phones to blog, access their social networks, get directions via GPS, listen to their music, purchase items online, make web searches, watch TV, YouTube and more. The list goes on and on. This list will continue to grow!

You've heard people say the phrase, "there's an App for that." With more than 250,000 smart phone apps out there, smart phones will just continue to get smarter. As smart phones acquire more functions, our dependence on them will grow. In the year 2000, there were only 250 million internet users and about 500 million mobile subscribers. By the end of 2011, there were two billion internet users. It is also estimated that in, 2011, the number of cell phone subscribers reached more than 5 billion. When smart phones become the de-facto type of cell phone, cellular internet users will far exceed the number of stationary internet users by a large margin. My advice should be a no brainier for any business. Make sure your website is mobile enable now and start taking advantage of this enormous untapped market. If you don't heed this lesson now, you will regret it sooner than later.

Prediction #4) YouTube will become a new power broker for small business marketing in 2012.

Today, the number one visited destination on the internet after Google's search is YouTube, (also owned by Google). Websites that have videos on YouTube receive an additional ranking consideration versus websites that don't. Many studies have shown that people prefer video's over text by a large margin. Internet studies have shown that more people will click on a video before text or audio listings for the same information, even when text and audio are ranked higher. Other studies show that seventy percent of our population has a preference for pictures. The remaining 30 percent prefer either audio, touch or the written word. The internet is full of Cinderella stories about startups that have made it big with internet video.

Large companies usually don't use videos to explain their product or service. They devote a full website for that product to explain it instead. The vast majority of YouTube videos are created by amateurs. This hasn't stopped people from watching them. Again, YouTube garners a billion visits a day. Savvy companies are now running to create YouTube videos that are short, succinct and touting their wares. Small businesses are creating YouTube videos in record numbers. This is helping them garner prospects and customer loyalty. My advice for any business is this; don't be left behind. Start making useful, informative or funny YouTube videos about your products. Most laptops and cell phones have built in video cameras. Good video cameras are relatively inexpensive! If you feel you're not up to the video production task, hire a professional. They will be able to help you create your library of YouTube videos that show off your products or services. Not sure what to say or do in your videos? That's OK. There are numerous internet professionals who can write, create, and produce an outstanding internet video for you. On top of that, video production costs are down by a factor of 10, compared to what it was just ten years ago. Mark my word, video is already a big deal, make it part of your strategy and win big too.

In this article, I have provided four website marketing trends that I believe are unfolding before our eyes. In the past, I have used my predictions as part of my own marketing strategy. My accuracy over the last 30 years has been exceptionally high. I have sometimes missed the mark on the timeline, but I have rarely been wrong at predicting what will eventually take place. These four predictions should make sense to my readers. I have provided my reasoning and my research addressing why I believe these events will take place. I trust my research, and I trust my ability to spot trends. It is my uncanny ability to spot trend's before "they take off " that has undoubtedly paid off for me in the past. By taking advantage of these predictions and by adjusting your strategy, you will win more customers and beat your competition to the punch. Get some help to develop your marketing plan if you feel you need it. Put in place all the necessary elements needed to implement your strategy. If you do all these things, your website will produce profits like never before.

That's my opinion; I look forward to hearing yours.

Hector Cisneros is a writer, has been an entrepreneur for more than 30 years, is a veteran of BNI for 19 years and was a BNI director for over five years. He is still an active BNI member and follows the philosophy of Givers Gain https://www.subpals.com. He is the owner of several businesses in Jacksonville, Florida. He actively coaches business owners in the fine art of Online advertising, Business Networking and Word of Mouth marketing. He is the president of Website Know How, Inc. a holding company for his business ventures that include online advertising, word of mouth marketing, real estate holdings, non-profit training/support, book publishing, health and wellness product sales and Adventure sports. Hector's new book 60 Seconds to success, teaches business owners how to get the most from word of mouth marketing by using great 60 second introductions


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