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It’s hard for small businesses and non-profit organizations to keep up with the latest web technology or to even create a website in the first place. Small businesses and non-profit organizations need to compete with bigger companies that have many dynamic features on their websites. That’s why we started Affordable Web Design and Graphics Solutions. We wanted to help provide web design and development along with dynamic features for small businesses and non-profits to help them stay competitive and lower their costs in today’s web driven society. Having a website can actually lower operating costs for some organizations when they utilize the web as a central communication tool for their members.

Web Site Content

Affordable Web Design prefers that clients provide content as it should appear on their web site. Content is preferred in soft copy format. Written material, graphics and photos may be sent via email. Content provided in hard copy form such as manuscripts, brochures, literature, photos, graphics, etc., incur additional fees for processing.

Web Hosting

As a convenience to our clients, Affordable Web Design recommends hosting with ICDsoft.com (see link on the left). Customers also enjoy outstanding value and services with either of these companies.

Our customers also free to choose any web host. We can help pick on that will meet the needs of your site. At no additional charge, the web site is uploaded to selected host; however, the host must be able to grant FTP access.

Domain Name Registration

We are happy to complete this step at no set up charge; the client pays only the registration fee. You may choose to use any Domain Name Registration service that you choose.

Site Maintenance, Updates & Support

If a client wishes to have Affordable Web Design maintain the site, making changes or updates will be quick and easy. In most cases, all that is needed is a simple email exchange, and the web site will be updated within a matter of hours. We guarantee updates to be completed within 48 hours of receipt of email from client requesting a change(s).

Very often with volunteer organizations, small businesses and non-profit organizations – maintaining the website can be hectic, unreliable and inconsistent. Affordable Web Design offers a service to your business that is guaranteed to be reliable, consistent, and supportive of your goals.

E-Commerce

To sell products or services on the internet, clients will have to accept payments. This is a growth area and there are a number of different payment processing solutions. The right on depends upon your predicted sales volume as well as value of each sale.

When setting up an e-commerce store you will need a Merchant bank account that allows you to accept credit card payemnts.

Designing a Site for Playing Games

Finding out about design and planning strategies when you want to do something for yourself is half the work and probably the most important half. If that something is putting together a website for people to play games on, then you want to make sure that you learn everything that you can about it and those aspects of the process where you can get the most from what you know.

A great place to do your research is the Internet as there are tons of articles containing an amazing array of tips and advice that can be useful to you. There are some good tips and there are some not so good. What you really need to do is to figure out which ones are best for you personally.

What Do You Want to Know?

First you need to start by asking yourself what you need to know about. The reason for that is simply because we are all different and what might turn out to be a great plan for someone may conversely turn out to be a dreadful one for you!

But once you have found some really good strategies and plans that you feel are just perfect for you then the next step is to try them out for size. Even when an idea sounds good on paper, putting it into practice might bring about different results to what you expected.

Why You Should Use All the Advice You Can Get

It’s no joke when you are trying to figure things out for yourself and you seem to be obstructed every step of the way by a barrage of problems. Life gets in the way of your best laid out plans and it could just be your chosen strategy is just not working for you.

Well, you could probably turn it around with a real determined effort, but you can make things a lot easier for yourself by taking as much help as you can get. There are plenty of really good ideas available to be found if you know where to look and these can make the perfect place to start.

You just need to find some idea that will really turn things around for you and it is more likely that you are going to find exactly what you need when you go looking for it in the right places. So do check out design or game oriented websites like fetchingstudio.com because many of the better ones give away a wealth of information that can be really helpful.

Many have some really powerful techniques that you can use to your advantage. You may just stumble upon an idea you haven’t tried yet that turns out to be the one that jump starts your efforts with a happy conclusion!

You will never know what you’re going to end up with unless you try these things, so the practical side of this process of learning is just as important as the theory. With a little trial and error you will eventually get to the stage where you are creating great looking pages easily with the advice and plans that you have found and used to their best advantage.

Geotargeting Your Visitors

Why should you restrict visitors to your website?

After all, the internet is a global, mass, communication medium – isn’t it great to share and not be selfish about it?   Well that’s of course a very valid point, and early on during the first years of global internet access everything was pretty much open.  Mostly the boundaries were technical, for instance if you wanted to find a book stored somewhere in Wales – the answer was available. However to interrogate the database which held this information you had to telnet into the University of Wales library in Aberystwyth, which was cool for geeks looking for a book but not so good for people who had no idea what TELNET meant.


The internet has of course changed greatly, and accessibility is perhaps one of the biggest areas of change. Now anyone can access a website without difficulty, you don’t need to learn different programs. There is simply no need to learn about ARCHIE, GOPHUR<, TELNET or FreeAgent depending on what you where looking for or trying to access. Now the majority of the population can find whatever they want simply by using search engines. You can track down that file, article or video from your mobile phone whilst sitting on your bus to work. It needs no special knowledge or technical insight.

The internet became fabulously open, but as web visitors rose from 100's to millions suddenly it became important to web site owners to control who watched their content. Now it sounds rather nasty and commercial, but the reality is that bandwidth costs money. So imagine you're a business in a small town in Texas, you take some advice and decide that a few sexy adverts would really sell your business to prospective buyers of your luxury lingerie. Great, you employ a local model and a video company based down the road and shoot a wonderfully sexy video displaying your products. It's a fantastic idea, but in reality you may have some problems. Your first month with your video displayed on your site may be a storming success due to views, but then you'll get the bill for the bandwidth your video has consumed.

This is the problem, your sexy video, may become popular but perhaps to the wrong people. High class expensive lingerie from the US, will probably not sell to hundreds of thousands of viewers watching from Eastern Europe. However you will still incur bandwidth charges from wherever people watch this video. The big companies soon realised this and took moves to take control. After all when you think about it, the big sites have lots of worries about allowing unrestricted access to their content. Media sites for example need permission to broadcast shows to certain countries, so for instance - BBC Iplayer USA sounds great except when you discover there’s a different website designed to serve the US for a small fee – who’s going to use the US version if you can watch the UK one for free?

Of course nobody will, and as the internet expands web site owners are forced into the same dilemma, bandwidth costs money and so you need to ensure that only prospective purchasers watch things like video and audio streams. The solution is geotargeting where you look up the location of each and every visitor to your website, then make a small decision on what they can see on the site. You can redirect them to an appropriate language, give them a neat message or simply block access to specific areas of your site to minimize costs. So it will possibly lead to certain posts liek this one – how to watch BBC iplayer in USA posts where people seek to bypass these blocks but it will at least spare you the huge bandwidth costs of unlimited traffic.

Web Designer Skills – What Do You Need?

As a web designer, I get a variety of requests for advice aside from web design, and as a web designer I am not actually imagine in order to do things outside the web design region. I consider there are misconceptions about what just a web designer does. In this post I will nail down what a web designer need to be able to do and just what they is. First I will reach of the differences between a web developer and a web designer. A web designer is someone who creates layout and the visual design of a web page. A web developer is someone who does a website’s behind the scenes programming.

The web give company/organizations by building them a site an internet presence. Web designers are professionals who arrange advice, create page layouts, while conveying the advice/views in a web site of the company. Web designers create another medium for the company to grow into. Creating a web site enables the company to bring new customers, showcase its services/products, and to work across states (as opposed to one place).

They will understand all the technologies that are involved in your web site.   They have the skills that can move your site up from the home-made level to the slick and corporate feel. They know how your site will react in all sorts of situations perhaps accessed from an Android mobile, a non-standard Mac browser or relayed through a fast proxy network.

What sort of tasks does a  web designer undertake?

This is a very good question. An excellent web designer should have the capacity to do the development and the layout, sadly for you the consumer, it does not always work that way.

Your web designer must have the ability to perform the following:

  • * Comprehend and keep present will all new emerging technology
  • Layout web pages using other programming languages, and HTML, XHTML, XML
  • Interpret demands, your thoughts and expectations into a web page
  • Design navigation components (like navigation bars)
  • Comprehend and execute internet standards
  • Have a fundamental understanding of images, typography and color theory
  •  Comprehend demands of usability testing and of users
  •  Have skill to assess a target market
  •  Comprehend the best way to repair them and cross browser issues
  •  A great web designer also has knowledge of programming languages like:
  •  Python
  •  Java
  •  JavaScript
  •  SQL
  •  PHP

Let’s face it, just might not be easy to find a web designer to have all those distinct programming languages under their belt. It’s like understanding English, Chinese, French and German or being able to code a solution to detecting whether a visitor has a fake IP address. Rather complicated. However, take it from me the more languages your designer understands the better. That should help you on your own hunt for a really decent and professional web development individual.

Some Pointers on Effective Web Design

A web site frequently carries the first impression of a firm, brand or a business. An excellent site does not need to be complicated or full of fancy features, it can actually be very simple and still be effective.

  • Engages the visitor
  • Simple to read and browse
  • Consistency across all web pages in design
  • Great selection of comparing colours for increased readability
  • Design should be correctly arranged and direct
  • The site’s genre should be complemented by design

Graphical, color and appropriate typography is very important to creating a design that is balanced. A designer, who fails to comprehend the reason for a web site, will very rarely produce a design that is catchy.

WEB DESIGN TRICKS

Although it is not easy to supply any common list of design directions following specific decided, for a web site design principle will usually lead to designs that are great. Creating a web site can be pleasure so long as you comprehend color scheme, and images, layout, fonts, marketing area.  Remember to have a goal, what are you trying to provide for visitors if you have a website designed to promote change ip address software then make sure your visitors can buy it somewhere on your site.

WEB DESIGN SUGGESTIONS FOR CREATING RESULT-ORIENTED IMAGES

- Create images that are smaller and lightweight

Constantly consider keeping your graphical pictures of a reasonable size, mainly 10-12 KB. Websites with more heavy images are productive and take a long time to load.

- Forget about elaborate pictures

Many layouts that are great lose their attractiveness due to elaborate pictures, typically blinking. Forget about elaborate pictures, if you would like to keep your design appealing and adequate.

- the content should be reflected by Images

If you would like to create images that can produce results instead of simply being ‘catchy’, consider creating images that can correctly represent site content. To put it differently, content and images should have a close familiarity.  If required video can make a difference too, in contrast to images you can actually explain concepts – take this video for example -

It works well on informational sites because the site is there purely for a reason to address an issue and solve a problem. Fancy designs and a user friendly experience are of secondary importance, the visitor needs the solution to their issue and the website is a success if it addresses this issue. Of course this doesn’t mean the website design is completely unimportant, if it looks unprofessional or hard to navigate it’s likely most visitors will simply press the back button.

Web Designers – A Call to Arms

In the current market, the web is now the equivalent of Main Street. Anyone who would like to have a successful company must have a workable web site that conveys the message of the company’s clearly and with various ecommerce choices that can ease sales and convert leads. Web design services now have become quite skillful at creating a site that sells and taking the needs of an organization.

The first recommended suggestion for anyone who would like to create a successful and strong web site would be to contemplate getting help from professionals in the field. Ecommerce has grown to an unbelievable extent over the past 10-20 years and is now a complicated, difficult area with developments and new tendencies coming to light apparently weekly. If you don’t know the difference between a UK VPN or and unsecured channel then it might be worth seeking some help in this area.

Many businesses discover that it’s really helpful to hire an ecommerce consultant to manage the development of a dedicated web portal, particularly if the site is for a brand new business not experienced in on-line design.

The second recommended suggestion to create a site which can solicit sales from your consumer base is when designing your portal site to use search engine optimization. Search engine optimization is among those web design services that is not difficult to execute and strong yields that are capable of. It essentially calls for integrating popular key words into your site’s text that your web site is among the first results and achieves a high search engine position a customer will see.

A third idea for a web site that is strong would be to design your web site with loads of internal and external links. Among the ways an internet search engine determines your website’s relevancy – and consequently, page status – is by internal and external links that are in the construction of your website’s. You can have a link to the order form from your home page, by way of example. External links from other sites to your own show search engines your site is important and important and produce leads.

The fourth trick that is recommended would be to use Flash in the layout of your website’s. Flash can assist in making your website more suitable, but also making they more attractive. Creating a menu system lets your visitors go to another from one region of your web site. In addition, it lets you integrate sound, graphics, and video elements to improve your website’s message – especially if you sell a product.

Ultimately, the fifth suggestion that is recommended would be to cut down on distractions in your web site. Some programmers have moved away from Javascript animations. The best method to judge the attractiveness of your website’s would be to analyze your market. If your site is a commercial one which pushes a merchandise, having cartoon and prompts or unneeded popups can be tremendously distracting.

Not included in this list because it’s not specifically a design issue but something that web designers need to be aware of is security.  The web and ecommerce in general is being shaken to it’s core by stories of cyber crime and online fraud.  It seems every week that some web site somewhere is hitting the news for losing usernames, passwords and even credit card details.   Security is of the utmost important, design can keep your customers, but negligence in security can get you sued badly!  Keep up to date and ensure you use proper secure procedures in both design and practical elements.  For example there’s no point preparing a super secure code set and web back end if you upload all your stuff using a 10 year old FTP client with hundreds of security holes.  Similarly if you’re using VPNs and proxies – use a secure proxy not a dodgy free one.

The Anti Piracy Tactics

If you’ve ever tried to sell anything online with any sort of digital component then you’ve probably experienced some form of piracy. Let’s face it, anything digital is going to be shared or sold for free somewhere on the internet. Many companies try a variety of methods to combat piracy but few success unless you’re selling the sort of product that can support a dongle or physical access device in the price.

For those who sell lower price goods like computer software, dvds, films and music obviously such a physical device is not financially sustainable and so they suffer at the hands of internet pirates. A common tactic over the last few years has been to target individuals who download these files and effectively steal the content.


It’s a bit of a hit and miss approach fraught with difficulties. Firstly you have to obtain the names, IP addresses and addresses of people who have downloaded such content. This is not physically that difficult to do, because the ISPs hold logs of everything we download and access for several years. Obtaining these through the law courts though can be time consuming and expensive. Then there are more legal issues, as the names and addresses are only of the owner of the broadband connection, not necessarily the people who were actually downloading the content.

In practice as well the whole download culture of the internet has actually decriminalized this sort of copyright theft. Clicking on a link can often download content before you realize it’s happened. Many people routinely watch ITV in Spain through a proxy or Sky Sports through a foreign streaming site without a second thought. Dragging tens of thousands of individual cases through the courts is completely impractical method of dealing with the issue.

Most of the big operators in the digital world have changed their targets from the end user to the people who are actually making money directly out of piracy. A web site might not actually be much more than a portal to a torrent of a pirated movie – but it could still be benefiting financially through advertising or sponsor ship on their site. It’s important for the advertisers too as they will not likely be keen to have their brand and product displayed on a web page which infringes copyright laws.

Pressure therefore can be applied in several ways – the ISPs to block access to the websites involved, the advertising companies and the direct revenue of the people hosting the content. It’s much simpler to target a few bigger organisations and companies, than try and police hundreds of thousands of net users, many of whom cover their tracks when accessing anything online by using proxies and encryption to obscure their identities.

Specific Content Creation Tips

Sometimes you need to branch out with your content creation, perhaps to target a particular demographic or audience. Perhaps you might want to reach out to a different area which you’ve not covered before – it can be difficult to get started with creating different content.

There are some tools available that many marketers use, that search across the web and bring in snippets of ideas that you can use. The problem with this method is that it’s difficult to write quality content from hundreds of little snippets of information. Your resultant article will end up being disjointed or difficult to read in many instance. However the method these tools use – simply searching the web can be a very effective form of inspirations.

First of all, one of the best sources of inspiration for content is to see what’s in the news currently. Switch you browser to www.google.com/news and put in some of your keywords. You’ll get a whole host of ideas and stories that are in the news currently. You often won’t need to go much further than this, these are great topics to write on as it gives your sites some relevancy. Make sure you bookmark all the stuff that’s interesting and could a good source for future articles – content tends to disappear from Google News after all so you’ll need to find it again.

Search in different countries, all search engines tailor your queries to your current location. This is fine normally but if you’re looking for inspiration then it might be a good idea to vary your location. One way many people do this is relay their connection through a proxy server, so for example if I’m in the UK and want an American viewpoint on a topic then I’d relay my connection through a USA proxy – like this demonstrates. Sometimes you’ll get hugely different results from this method and it will often open many new ideas at the same time.

Ask for help – we all get writers block sometimes, if you’re finding generating new content difficult on a particular subject then it might be best to just take a break or write on another topic. Reach out to other bloggers or webmasters and see if they would like to exchange posts. Often people are in the same boat and a change of scene can work wonders. You also bring another perspective to your own site which is always useful – you should attribute the work to the original author in your post as well.

Finally following on from the proxy suggestion above, you can watch and access media sites in different countries and look for inspiration. Normally sites like this – the big TV channels for example, are blocked to anyone except domestic citizens. However by using a proxy you can bypass these restrictions and watch things like Hulu/NBC in the UK and even access the BBC Iplayer outside the UK – watch this. It’s amazing how many new ideas you can get from media outside your own country.

Content Writing Tips for Beginners

If you’ve got a blog, website or forum up and running, then there’s one thing else you are going to need and lots of it – content.  Whatever sort of site you have then fresh content is essential, if you stay with the same stuff and never update it, slowly your visitor numbers will fall and no-one will return.

But in some ways it’s easier said than done, if you’ve been in the web business for any amount of time, you’ll know how difficult it is to keep coming up with new stuff all the time.  It’s even more difficult to come up with new and engaging content especially if you’re working in a fairly tight niche area.  Even coming up with initial ideas is often difficult and many get stuck at this level.

There are a few areas that you can pick up initial ideas though for new topics.  First of all from your current readers, look for comments and emails for the visitors you have.  If they have a question instead of answering in a brief comment – expand the answer and set up a new post or page to answer it in full.   As a variation of this – check out your analytics and see what searches are bringing in visitors.  This is not as easy to do now that Google have censored all the search queries, but you can still pick up some data from other sources.

Think about your target audience, sometimes the people who you reach and the ones that actually do find your site can be very different.  Think carefully about exactly the sort of people you’re trying to attract and then think about what sort of content they’d like to read about.  Think about what they’re interested, where they’re from any other sort of common demographics.

It doesn’t have to be just text – you can use pictures, graphics, audio or even video to add new content quite easily.   Take for example this video on YouTube about watching UK TV abroad.

It’s simply a question and the answer is demonstrated in a video form. This is often much easier to do that write a post, if you need more text write an introduction and then embed the video on your new post. If you want to keep your content unique on the site, set it to private on YouTube after you’ve embedded the video.

For instance I once had to write a piece on how to use a fake ip address which is a simple way of bypassing country based blocks from websites. However when you write about it, the subject tends to sound complicated – but if you Posted in Content Creation | Tagged , , , , , ,

Some Common Website Mistakes

If you have a business, then there’s really no reason for not having a website. It doesn’t matter if you’re a local tradesman, a taxi driver or a multinational – you should have a web presence of some kind. However if you do invest in a site, it’s vitally important that you make it work for you – here’s some mistakes that many business owners make with their new sites.

First of all, although you may have limited funds and time to invest in your site – there’s somethings that are essential. One very basic mistake that people make is not having their contact information and location easy to find. For many local businesses this is really the primary objective of a website – a place where someone can find out how to contact you – make it bold and easy to find.

Don’t overdo the content – another common mistake is to try and fill your pages with too much information. It’s a huge put off for any one browsing your site, it makes us click away. Short paragraphs, a couple of key images and some white space (gaps between the text and graphics) will make your site more visually appealing and easier to use.

Next make sure you keep your site up to date, one of the worse things to see on a website is completely out of date information. If you’re not going to keep the content up to date then don’t include anything that is too topical – keep it simple with just a basic site promoting your goods/service and business. If people see that a website is full of dead links and expired content then they’ll wonder if your business is still running.

Track your visitors and their visits, this is easy to do with the right analytic package installed, you can use Google Analytics for nothing, which will tell you a lot about your visitors. Although some information is hidden especially if people deliberately hide their location using VPNs, proxies and Smart DNS you can still pick a lot of useful information about what sort of people are accessing your site and whether they’re likely to become customers.

Technical citation here.

Hosting Decisions for the Webmaster

There is a huge temptation when looking around for hosting to focus on a single factor, that is of course for many of us price.  However anyone who has run a site from the simplest blog to an extensive ecommerce site will definitely tell you – never, ever choose hosting based on price alone.

If you do, you’ll discover the real cost the first time your site has a problem.  When your website disappears off the internet and no-one answers the phones in support.  It may not be the end of the world if it’s simply a blog you use to type up your thoughts but if there’s any amount of commercial activity involved it can be hugely frustrating.

As implied technical support is extremely important, it’s often the main people stay or leave any particular host.  The best support will fix your problems quickly and easily, the worst will be unavailable or simply incompetent.  A hopeless tech support desk will make your life a misery, believe me.  The best way to find the turth about tech support is just to google the hosts names you’ll soon get a feel of whether they’re any good or not.

All hosting requirements are of course different.  If you’re planning on running a huge multimedia operation like the ITV player site - http://www.theninjaproxy.org/just-interesting/itvplayer/, then you’re going to need somethign a little more than shared hosting on a cheap VPS.  Be honest with yourself and your requirements, you’re going to help no-one by overloading a cheap server.  A simple basic website or blogging platform however doesn’t need anything very special to start off with.  If it becomes popular, most hosting sites will move you onto to a better server or plan with very little fuss.

Whatever your requirements there advice above about searching online for reviews and opinions holds good. It is vital you do your homework on these sites, especially with a smaller provider with little track record. Make sure you don’t get swayed by price as the costs can quickly rise if you’re spending hours fixing and repairing.

On a final note, security – you might think this is pretty much the same across the board but it’s not.  Some hosting providers take security much more seriously than others, remember if you’re not on a dedicated server there are other sites sharing the same hardware to you – if the machine is compromised so is your site.  Be especially careful when uploading and accessing your site remotely – FTP programs are often targeted as many don’t properly protect your username and password.  It’s best to connect using a secure protocol or better still use a VPN/SSH client to encrypt your connection – the one in this video Vooz blocked – can be used to selectively encrypt any applications from your PC with AES encryption.

 

Geotargeting – Filtering Web Sites

You’ve probably come across the phrase – geotargeting, but perhaps aren’t aware of how widespread this practice has become.  Basically it’s when  you serve up different content from your website depending on the location of the visitor.  The search engines like Google have been doing this for years, for example they tailor their results depending on your location.  When  you think about it, there’s a lot of sense in this – after all if I’m sitting in London and request results for ’local plumber’, I’ll need completely different results than if I was in New York.  In fact whever you visit Google you’ll get redirected automatically to your regional version of the search giant.

However sometimes this is not such a helpful feature, have you ever been blocked from watching a video on Youtube – ’due to your location’.  Many websites redirect their viewers in order to charge them different prices – many global sites will charge vastly different prices.  Big media companies are the worse for this – Napster used to sell subscriptions at much different prices if you were in the UK, Germany or USA.  Given that the product was essentially the same – music downloads, people tried to subscribe from the cheapest ones.  Using Geotargeting enabled them to keep their markets slightly apart and hence maximise profits at the consumers expense.

Sometimes geotargeting will be used to completely block functionality.  For example if you are outside the United States then you’ll not be allowed access to the music site Pandora or the media giant Hulu.  Again your IP address will be checked whether you are allowed to access the site or not.  The same thing happens with the BBC Iplayer site if you’re not in the UK – although this can be bypassed using a proxy server like this site demonstrates - http://www.theninjaproxy.org/tv/how-to-use-a-bbc-iplayer-proxy/.  It’s not very difficult you simply use a proxy server in order to hide your real IP address and show a fake one instead (the IP of the proxy).

Adding this functionality to your web site is relatively easy to do, you simply need a way to look up the IP address  of your visitors.  Most webmaster use a paid database service from suppliers such as Maxmind, although they do have a basic free version available too.  This is simply a huge list of IP address ranges and the countries they are assigned to, by using this information you can work up with relative accuracy where your visitor is from.

How To Improve Your Site Content Pages

Sure your site can be marketed by you anyway you want, but it is your website page content will be judged by your readers who. Still, you may not know just what makes for good content, so that is something you have to find. Well, it certainly appears that Google is not fooling around this time, that is for sure. You may have to go and move your ads below the fold and if there are a lot get rid of some.

Work on getting better at creating good content because this is a skill that is significant in every place of life, when you are challenged in the subject of writing. Try to remember that you need to be patient and that what matters is that you focus on really helping people.

People are not looking for literary greatness in your copy, but they are looking for a minimum of competence. Someone can be cheaply hired by you to quickly proofread your work through Fiverr – - merely to make certain things are acceptable and to suggest repairs. Make sure your copywriting formatting is great. This is not hard; things are included by some of the basics like paragraphs and short sentences and not making use of bigger words. Most sites that you fall upon on the internet have only general advice, nothing particular. These are the dreaded low content pages and sites that nobody really cares for. Finding a content-based site that is based upon solid research is something worth looking for. Meat is wanted by readers in their on-line content, just like me and you. Because it is particular and quite comprehensive people sometimes call this the meat of the narrative.

Persons that are looking for specific content like this are generally professionals in a specific market. Every audience out there should be able to read your content, along with the meaty content for your market readers. Take a look at this web page – it gives useful information on how to solve a specific problem – i.e. how to watch the BBC abroad on an iPad, it is detailed and well written and links into a product that can solve the issue.  It will also rank highly within the search engines despite being primarily a sales page.

You can link too much in your posts, so just remember all things in moderation. People will always hover over an image to see if it is a link, so that is a hint of what advantage can be taken by you of. People clicking on picture links is well known and why you really should use this that is. That makes this more significant, since you know about the rise of Pinterest. If you are an affiliate marketer, you can link to a presell page or even the seller’s sales copy. Internal linking and pictures are useful for many things beyond this, and in this case it is search engine optimization.

Changing your habits is perhaps the best way to change up your strategies for coming up with content for your company site. Get to work constructing a new system, after you get all of the appropriate knowledge to help yourself. The reason for this is it will be easier for developing the appropriate habits. Then, as your content gets even more powerful, you can learn even more.

Thanks to http://www.iplayerabroad.com

Mobile Advertising and Geotargeting

Many of the big guys are looking to mobile advertising as the next ’big thing’. As more and more of us are using mobile devices like phones and tablets, then it’s inevitable that this is where people are going to be looking to advertise.   In fact there have been some studies suggesting that the spend on mobile ads would reach $4 billion in 2012, that’s a huge increase on the previous year of nearly 200%.

For a company like Facebook it’s even more important than the other internet giants.  Remember over 80% of Facebooks much criticised revenues comes from advertising and about 20% of that comes from mobile adverts.    This figure keeps rising and it’s a trend that no company can afford to ignore in this space.

However introducing your advert to a mobile devices must be done very carefully particularly if you have a brand reputation to protect.  There is no doubt that mobile adverts have the capacity to be really annoying to the consumer.  Look at the rage generated on some Iphone games and applications about intrusive adverts.

One of the main difficulties is targeting your adverts correctly, putting adverts for sewing patterns on a car site or game is liable to achieve nothing for viewer and adertiser.  The tactic for websites and blogs and used extensively by many advertisers is to use geotargeting.  However this is mainly only of use on location critical good and services.  Also the problem is it’s becoming unreliable particularly as many people now use things like a fake IP  – http://www.theninjaproxy.org/tv/a-fake-uk-ip-address/ to try and access restricted or block content.  That means that the visitor that you think is from the US maybe from somewhere completely different, which can make a lot of advertising a complete waste of time.

It’s an issue that many on-demand services are having real problems with.  Media sites like Hulu, BBC Iplayer and ITV player try to restrict content to their home country, mainly due to licensing issues.  But you can see in this video how easy it is to bypass these restrictions by using some of the very sophisticated software available online currently.

However the age of social networking sites like Facebook means that targeting your adverts can be much  more specific than merely using location.  Getting as much personal information as possible means social sites can very specifically target users in a way that is simply not possible to a visitor coming to a website.  Although some choices and preferences can obviously be saved to cookies, this is no where near as accurate and detailed as is possible from analysing behaviours and profiles.

 

Analyse and Optimise Your Visitors

There is nothing sadder in the world of online commerce, to see a person who has stumped up thousands of dollars for a wonderful website expecting a flow of visitors and money which never come.  Thankfully the number of web design companies which leave people stranded like this is slowly reducing – but there’s still many of them out there.

Most web design companies now have some SEO experience which they can at least start these new sites off in the right direction.  For those who just wish to remain designers only, the good ones will point the customers towards SEO specialists or at the very least some reading material.   But for the stranded it can just seem like one big waste of money.

I met a couple two weeks ago who had spent about $10,000 on a great looking site for their new consultancy business.  It looked great but they were completely stuck about what to do next – they had no real analytics enabled so had no idea who was even visiting their site.  They expected a trickle of business from their site to justify the investment but they were receiving nothing.

Well to start off anyone needs to know something about your visitors and their demographics.  You can install Google Analytics or the excellent Statcounter very easily on most types of websites.  This will provide you with information about who’s visiting, geotargeting and importantly how they are finding your site.  If you are a Painter and decorator in Liverpool – your most important visitors will be local ones who may become customers.  It’s essential to find out if your site is attracting the right sort of visitors – eg in our example we’d hope to see some search engine traffic based on the keywords – “Liverpool decorators’ or similar.

Your website should be focussed on attracting the right visitors for your business – i.e. potential customers. Some people will hide their information for example by using a proxy a UK visitor could appear to have a US IP address, check this site for details on the PC or here’s a version using a VPN on the Ipad.  However the number of people who do this will be very small and not worth considering too much.  Most of the analytics programs are very easy to use and you’ll quickly get an idea of who is visiting your site.  With this information you can start optimising to make sure your web site pays real dividends.

Five Easy Steps to an Effective Plumbing Website

Most people rush head on to website production without a definite game plan. And this is a shame, since most of the time, your plumbing website is the first thing that people (or your clients) will first see when they search for you online.

 

Here are five factors that you need to consider when developing a plumbing website for your plumbers boise busineness.

1. Traffic

What are your sources of traffic? How will you get visitors to your website? Where will they be coming from? There are a lot of marketing techniques that you can use to attract people to your site (SEO, press releases, pay-per-click web ads, social media), but it’s always best to choose those that have the lowest cost-per-acquisition (this is dependent, of course, on the nature of your website or business).

2. Audience

What are your target demographics and how will they be able to get around your site? Are they information-seekers, customers, clients, or fellow entrepreneurs? You need to know who your audience is so you’ll be able to design and customize your website according to their needs. Your visitors should be able to understand your website instinctively. A word of advice though: don’t try to please everyone and put too much unnecessary gimmicks and information on your website. Keep only the essential features and make sure that everything is asstreamlined as possible.

3. Content

Know the kind of questions that your visitors will ask, and publish content around these queries. For example, it’s always a good idea to publish your contact details (such as office address and telephone number, social media accounts, email address) so that visitors will know where to contact you. If you’re an online seller, place your bestselling products on a page where they can be easily located and accessed. Also, keep your content short and straight to the point. Brief and succinct messages always work better than long-winded articles that no one will read.

4. Interface and Features

Can your visitors contact you through your website? Can they buy the products that are listed on it? Is there a “Sign Up” button somewhere so people can subscribe to your updates and newsletters? An effective website will always make its visitors end up on the page that they want; your website’s interface should be intuitive and easy enough to navigate that people won’t need to think twice about clicking on a button or a link. Keep your interface clear, concise, and free from unneeded gimmicks.

5. Constant Communication

This is a fact: the average conversion rate for online stores is around 1%. Out of 100 people who will visit your site in a day, only one will be a paying customer. But this does not mean that the other 99 are not interested in your products- they just might be undecided or are just putting off making a purchase until a later time. As a website owner, make sure that you have a channel with which to engage these visitors. Whether it’s email newsletters, RSS feeds, social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+)- always keep communication lines open so that you’ll be able to increase your website’s conversion potential. Give them a reason to come back to your site.

Web Based Board Games

While traditional board games have entertained families and friends for hundreds of years, the move to playing computer based games has been monumental in the last decade or so. The popularity of these games just seems to keep increasing as developers and designers fall over themselves to come up with ever more engaging and attractive web based board games for people to play and enjoy.

What is it that makes these fun, family oriented Internet games so popular and so attractive to players the world over? Let’s take a look at the reasons people play board games online in preference to their real life traditional counterparts.

Graphics

One way in which web based games have an edge over traditional physical family games is in the way they can be presented. Recent advances in the hardware technology that provides the capability to render ever more amazing graphics has given developers and designers so much more scope to play with when it comes to creating really incredible graphical interfaces.

People are easily attracted to visual triggers, which is why television has been such a phenomenal success story for advertisers. More recently of course, computer based advertising has become the latest “must have” solution to selling more products.

Games are no different. Because they are based on visual stimuli as the primary interactive mode, the more exciting and attractive the graphical presentation, the more people will go for them in a big way.

Playability

Of course, a combination of accelerated graphics hardware, Internet connection speed and software enhancements factored in to take full advantage of these benefits has resulted in games that are almost lifelike in representation. While many younger players are glued to the latest shoot ’em up or car chase themed games, older players are getting into virtual board games in a big way too.

The almost instantaneous response speed of web based games now makes them so realistic, many people are expressing a preference to playing them instead of setting up a real game board on their living room tables for people to get around. With multi-player capability and being able to play opponents on the other side of the world just adds to the attractiveness of these games.

Traditional Board Games

Of course, there is still a huge market for traditional board games and timeless classics like chess, checkers and backgammon will always have their place in people’s living rooms. Families will still enjoy getting around the Monopoly board for some real entertainment with the advantage that if the power goes down, you can still play by candle light or flashlight!

But web games are here to stay and will only continue to evolve into better versions of themselves. As long as designers and programmers can keep churning out ever better games, more and more people will be playing them.

Balancing graphics and functionality

In designing a website, people tend to get overly obsessed with the graphics and how to make the site look nice. Of course, the way a website looks had a huge impact on conversion rates especially on ecommerce sites. Even with personal websites, the site design says a lot about the brand; people will have a first impression of the site based on how it is presented.

Web design is tricky business. You will have to play with colors and color themes based on what kind of site it is. There are a lot of predesigned themes, even premium ones which caters different kinds websites such as for business, photography, arts, writing, amongst many others. There has to be a balance of graphics and functionality of the site. You have to play with div layers and CSS to achieve the look you want without compromising certain user functions.

In searching the web, I have encountered an optin box in a slider on a home page of a certain site. If you know website development, you would also know that these homepage sliders are just a series of featured posts which are set to come up on page in the slider. Most featured posts contains just written content and a picture that best describes the content. With this certain website, an optin box and a video post came up in the slider, and ever since, I have been trying to learn how to do this as well.

If you lack the time to fully design your website’s graphics, you can just use a clean minimalist theme like what I did here on my website about outdoor swing sets for kids. Put up the most basic functions you want like the search box, and the ability to sort out post into categories, and you’re set. You can always improve your site and add graphics later on – it’s the content that needs to be up there as soon as possible. This is good for search engine optimization as well.

If you want an ecommerce site, it is better if you get an ecommerce theme from the get go. That way, you know that it does indeed have all the functionality you want that is needed for an ecommerce site.