Articles

Web Design Articles 

There are two reasons for this blog: 1. To equip our clients with as much information as possible so, whether they decide to go with us or another company, they will have a better understanding of the processes, terminology and pitfalls of creating a web site, and 2. To make people aware of the shady people out there who are only interested in taking your money.

por aga 16 ene, 2016

There is basically nothing you can’t do on a web site. If you want to have DVD quality video streaming from your home page with multiple flash animations and 3D product demonstrations all on the same page, no problem. However, maybe 10% of your viewers will see it. The other 90% will be sitting looking at a blank screen for a couple of hours until it loads and then it will be dependent on how it plays on their system. The key to web design is not what you can do; it’s what you should do.

 

Things you need to consider:

  • Your target audience:   If you are selling electric wheel chairs, chances are anyone that sees your site is going to be using a basic setup with a DSL connection, but most likely a dial up connection, so you’re going to want to keep your site as basic as possible. However, if your target audience is computer gamers, chances are they all have above average systems with a high speed connection, in which case you have a lot more freedom to create more of a multimedia experience.
  • Your content:   If you are going to create a site that has a lot of text content to be read off the site, you are not going to want a lot of moving images and distractions. However, if your site is going to be product based, you are going to want to create a site that highlights the product as much as possible, while keeping in mind Point 1 above.
  • Your Company:   Your website is a refection of your company and should also project your company's image at all times.
por aga 16 ene, 2016

Once you become a site owner you will get a lot of requests to swap links with other sites in an attempt to increase your search ranking and the reciprocal's site ranking. There is nothing wrong with this in itself, however, there are a few things you need to know in order to make this a successful practice.

 

It has been suggested that the more links to your site the better. This is not the case. It has more to do with the quality of links rather than the amount of links to your site. If you have 100 links to your site from sites that have poor or no ranking, it will not do you as much good as having five links to your site with rankings between three and ten. The reason for this is search engines put more importance into sites that have higher rankings, so if you are linked to from one of these sites, you will be seen with more importance than if you are linked to from a site that has no ranking.

 

Be careful who you link to. If you link to a site that violates any or the search engines rules such as hidden text, gateway pages and so on, you will actually be penalized for their dishonesty.

 

Avoid link farms and link exchange programs. These are methods used to boost rankings and, while they work in the short term, once the search engines find them, they penalize them and you too.

 

Make sure the reciprocal site's links page is not hidden from searches. The website may have a high ranking, but the links page is not listed or even ranked. This will do you no good whatsoever. To find out a site's page ranking, you will need to to download Google's tool bar. Follow this link to Google's site to download their tool bar.

 

Try to focus your links to sites that are relevant to your site. For example, if you offer a limo service, try to be linked to from sites like hotels, tourist information sites and sites like that. While this will only make a moderate difference to ranking, you will have a better chance of your links actually being visited by people rather than just a web crawlers. That is the whole point after all.

por aga 16 ene, 2016

Bottom line is, this is a myth. No company can guarantee this. The reason being Yahoo, Google and MSN are companies and companies are in business to make money. That is why they all offer their own sponsored links placed at the top or on the side of the search results. This could be pay-per-click, meaning you pay every time somebody clicks on the link to your site or it can be a set monthly fee.

 

However, with that being said, there are things you can do to help get on the first page of searches.

  • Make sure the search terms that you want to be found under is in the text content of your site, preferably the front page. I.e., if you want to be found under "cure for cancer", be sure to have this text in as many places as possible on your site in text format, not image format, (meaning text on a .jpeg or other image type) as web crawlers will not be able to see it.
  • The more links you have to your site, the better. This is how web crawlers will find your site. By browsing other sites that are linked to your site, the more links the higher it will go up the rankings.
  • Submit your site (when its finished) to search engines. All search engines have a page to do this and it’s free.

The three steps above are ALL a search engine optimizing company will do to your site. If you decide to use a company for this purpose, make sure that is all they do. Below is a list of no-no's when it comes to search engine optimizing.

  • Gateway pages: (making pages full of search terms to push you up the ranking)
  • Hidden text: (adding text to your page that cannot be seen because it matches the background of your site)
  • Layers that cover text: (adding an image over the top of text to conceal it)
  • Spam campaigns: (whether this be email or splash pages)

There is no doubt that all these methods work and work well. However, when you get caught (and you will), your site will be dropped from the search results for good. Be sure to ask any company how they are going to get your site to the top of the searches. If they mention any of the above, I strongly recommend hanging up the phone right away. These methods are dishonest. Do you really want to do business with a company that has dishonest practices? There are a lot of companies out there that offer this service and a lot of them will base their fee on performance. This means if you don't get results, you don't pay. Be wary of any company that will charge you for this service up front without any clear contract of what they are going to do.

 

Note: Google and Yahoo send out their crawlers once per month. This index file changes every month, so some months your site will be listed high and some months it will not. It all depends on your ranking.

por aga 16 ene, 2016

If you buy software for a MAC and try to run it on a PC, it will not work. The internet is the same. IE (Internet explorer) is not the only web browser out there and what may run great on IE may not run on Firefox or Opera, which makes up an increasing amount of internet users. Even different versions of IE will not display some features of your site.

  • Here's how to make sure your web site can be viewed in all browsers:
  • Download a different browser than you are used to and make sure your site works the same on both.
  • Update your browser to the latest version and be sure you have all security features installed.
  • Be sure active script and pop-ups are kept to a minimal on your site. You may ask yourself why this matters. If a visitor goes to your site and it doesn’t work right, why would they have any faith in your product or services?
por aga 16 ene, 2016

There is no doubt about it. Flash is the best tool in any web designers arsenal. It is easy to use with phenomenal results. You can create a full blown website in a couple of hours and the file size can be less than the size of your average .JPEG file, but (and this is a big but) it is still a plug-in. This means that you have to download and install the latest flash player in order to view the website. It is really not a big deal if you are an intermediate to advanced user, which is what maybe 60% of Internet users are. However, that other 40% of people may not feel secure having to download and install software on their computer in order to view your site. Another downside of a flash based site is the fact that web crawlers cannot see the text content contained within the file. This means it has no way to index your site, which can lead to poor search engine ranking. Don't be put off with the down sides of flash. There are ways around these problems.

  • Only use flash for graphical touches, i.e., headers, images, navigation structure (as long as the navigation structure is backed up with text links to your pages as well).
  • Create a mirror site, which the user will be automatically redirected to if the user does not have flash installed.
  • Export the flash file in the lowest version needed to be viewed. Unless you’re using features that Version 3 does not support, there is no reason to export the file in the latest Version 7. That way, you don't alienate users who maybe have flash installed, but not the latest version.

Flash should be used as an enhancement to your site and not the main construction block. Unfortunately, new technology advances more quickly than people do, so the tools we have available today will not be used to their full potential for a long time and, by that time, we will have new tools to tempt us into making design mistakes.

 

Note: When you start thinking about your web site, the most important thing to think about is your target audience. For example, if your audience is schools, a lot of schools have their internet security setting set high so students are not looking at anything they shouldn't be. If this is the case, then a lot of the time it will block any site with flash installed because there is no way to determine the content of the site.

por aga 16 ene, 2016

If you have ever purchased software, you know you have to read the box in order to find out if the software will work on your system. That is somewhat acceptable when it comes to software. However, on a website, it is not acceptable. A lot of designers out there will take the easy route and build a site that is not compatible with all browsers and then publish a list of plug-ins on your home page you will need in order to view the site. You will see this a lot on multimedia sites that advertise Hollywood movies or websites where you can download multimedia content. This is mostly done to protect the content. However, there are a lot of sites out there that require you to make additional downloads in order to see flat text content or products. You should always follow the guidelines below (or your web developer should be following them) when creating any website.

  • Keep it simple : If you were selling your product or service in a bricks and mortar location, wouldn't you make it as easy as possible for your customers to find your product/information? So why not follow the same rules when building a website?
  • User instinct : You are pretty much guaranteed that your web site is not going to be the very first website your potential customer has ever visited. They have developed a sense of where things are and where they should be. In order not to frustrate your new customer with having to learn how to use your site in order to find the information they need, it is always best to keep the navigation structure of your site in a proven format.
  • 24-hour salesman : Your website should be set up in a way to guide your customers through all the steps they are used to taking in order to get to that final page whether it be your contact page or purchase page. By having the customers take steps they are not used to along the way, confusing them with downloads, forms which require information in order to proceed, or anything else that is likely to inconvenience them, will only result in a missed sale that you will never know about because unhappy, potential customers don't complain. They just don't come back, they will also not recommend your site, which is worse.
por aga 16 ene, 2016

We have all done it - made a big purchase only to find out that we have to make additional purchases to make it work. This should not be the case with a website or any graphic design project. Be sure that when you are quoted for a web site everything is included in the price in order for your new site to be up and running at the end of the project. The price should include uploading and testing the site. This is also true for any graphic project. If it’s a logo design, then you should receive all file types, including .EPS, .JPG, and .GIF, at no additional charge. One way to guarantee this is to make sure it is in the quotation and never, I repeat, never send final payment until you have everything you have paid for.


por aga 16 ene, 2016

There is a common problem with some less than reputable companies creating backdoors into your site in order to obtain access to your Databases and account information with the intention of fraud or theft. This usually happens when you outsource to third world countries because the price is a fraction of what you would pay here. Bottom line here is if something seems to good to be true, chances are it is. Saving some money on development may in the long run cost you tenfold.


por aga 16 ene, 2016

This is maybe the most important section of this page so, for your own safety and security, please read this section carefully.

 

The internet can be a dangerous place. It has opened the doors for lots of criminals to move undetected. When it comes to web design, there is a certain level of trust that has to be established in order for this process to work. After all, a lot of the time you will be giving a stranger access to account information, your email and your clients' information. I have lost count of how many times clients have told me they have suffered financial loss and even, in some extreme cases, had their safety threatened. However, there are ways to protect yourself.

  • Pay by check only after you get a written quotation and be sure to get a physical address to send it to, not a mail drop or PO box (this way you'll have a paper trail and an address).
  • If you are setting up a hosting account for your new web site, if at all possible, try to set up a new account in which you don't have any active email address (This is sometimes unavoidable and that is were the trust comes in.).
  • Once your web site has been completed and uploaded to your domain, reset all your passwords. DO NOT USE A HOSTING COMPANY THAT DOESN'T HAVE A NUMBER TO CALL TO TALK TO A LIVE PERSON. This way, they can tell you if any other access accounts have been created.
  • Keep personal information to a minimum unless it is relevant to the project (This is not to say you can't be friendly. However, be wary of questions that are being asked that are unrelated to the project.).
  • Trust your gut if something smells fishy. Most likely it's fish.
  • Have another company give your site the once over when its finished, Most reputable companies should do this for a small fee without trying to sell you their services.

There are also a number of other things you can do to find a trustworthy designer.

 

Don't rush in

Once you have found a designer that interests you. Call him/her a couple of times with the same questions to see if their answers are consistent (Prices may change, but that's common.).

 

Ask to see references or if it is ok to contact people who have written testimonials of their work.

 

Obtain and confirm all contact information before sending any payment.

 

Look at their work

Look really hard at their portfolio and website. Every designer has a style, but you can always tell if the work matches the artist. The reason for this is you don't want to be charged for original work that turns out to be a pre-made template.

 

Contract Contract Contract

Whether this be in the form of a quote or a written contract, be sure to have it on headed paper in writing what is expected, how much it is going to cost, and their confirmed contact information. If they can’t provide this for you, walk away no matter how appealing the price is.

 

There are many pitfalls in this business, but, as long as you remember to get everything in writing, confirm the contact information and keep all electronic correspondence, you will be able to retrieve any loss though legal channels (and the fact that you are taking these precautions may in and of itself deter any intentions to con or mislead you).

por aga 16 ene, 2016

Good optimization requires constant monthly updating and monitoring

This is what most SEO companies would like you to believe because it means you will keep paying them monthly fees. The truth is, if you optimize the site correctly and stick to the search engines rules, there is nothing more you have to do. Search engines are designed for the consumer and not the company. What this means is, if your site is relevant to the search that the user enters, it will appear in the results. The more relevant, the higher your site will be listed.

 

The only recurring fees you should ever pay is for a good link exchange program. By good, I mean they will check to make sure every site you are linked to does not break any rules. They will make sure the links back to your site are in a format that helps your ranking and they will monitor the program on an on-going basis.

 

Our link exchange program is unique because we only include sites that we run or maintain. What this means is we have total control on how your return link is displayed, the links page is indexed (there is no point sharing links with a site if the search engines don't see the links page) and we also regularly check that the site is not breaking any SEO rules.

 

The more links to your site the better

This is not the case. You could have one thousand links to your site, but still have poor ranking. Links to your site are important. However, it's not the amount of links. It's the quality of links.

 

Using flash and framed pages will result in poor page ranking

That may have been the case five years ago, but not now. All the large search engine companies like Yahoo, Google and MSN update their web crawlers regularly to compensate for new technologies and techniques. Google can now even scan the text of a flash site with its crawler. We have put many flash-based or framed sites in the top ten using search engine accepted techniques.

 

The more keywords you have on the page the better

This is true if you want to have your site barred from the search engines. This technique is called "keyword flooding", which is frowned upon by Yahoo, Google and MSN.

 

Multiple domain names will give a site a better chance of showing in the Top 20

This is another method that can get your site barred. While it is good to have your domain name be a search term, you should try to limit your domain name aliases to less than ten.

 

Any link exchange is good

No. You can actually be penalized for linking to a site that uses any frowned-upon method of SEO. You should only link exchange with sites that have:

  • A good ranking
  • Are relevant to the content of your site
  • That link to your site
  • That don't break any of the search engine rules

Some SEO companies work with the search engines and can guarantee top placement

Ask yourself: Why would any search engine company that offers pay-per-click listings work with an SEO company to get websites listed in the top ten? The truth is this is something no company can guarantee. What they can guarantee is they will optimize your site to give it the best possible chance in the listings. There are a lot of factors that you can't avoid. For example, say you resell Dell computers and you want to be listed in the top ten under the search term "Dell". On Google, you are competing against 153,000,000 results, three of the top ten being Dell. To get listed in the top ten in the search, you would need to have at least 1,000 links pointing to your site, 25% of which would need to be from a site ranked 4/10 or higher. Your content would need to be targeted to that single search term and your site would also have to continue with a lot of pages all with unique content targeted at the said search term. What is more feasible is to have your site appear in a more focused search. For example, if you are based in California, you could focus your efforts to "Dell resellers California" or, if you stock a specific model, then you could use "XPS resellers California", and so on. This way, not only are you more likely to be in the top ten, but you will also be targeting your site towards your desired customer.

Más entradas
por aga 16 ene, 2016

There is basically nothing you can’t do on a web site. If you want to have DVD quality video streaming from your home page with multiple flash animations and 3D product demonstrations all on the same page, no problem. However, maybe 10% of your viewers will see it. The other 90% will be sitting looking at a blank screen for a couple of hours until it loads and then it will be dependent on how it plays on their system. The key to web design is not what you can do; it’s what you should do.

 

Things you need to consider:

  • Your target audience:   If you are selling electric wheel chairs, chances are anyone that sees your site is going to be using a basic setup with a DSL connection, but most likely a dial up connection, so you’re going to want to keep your site as basic as possible. However, if your target audience is computer gamers, chances are they all have above average systems with a high speed connection, in which case you have a lot more freedom to create more of a multimedia experience.
  • Your content:   If you are going to create a site that has a lot of text content to be read off the site, you are not going to want a lot of moving images and distractions. However, if your site is going to be product based, you are going to want to create a site that highlights the product as much as possible, while keeping in mind Point 1 above.
  • Your Company:   Your website is a refection of your company and should also project your company's image at all times.
por aga 16 ene, 2016

Once you become a site owner you will get a lot of requests to swap links with other sites in an attempt to increase your search ranking and the reciprocal's site ranking. There is nothing wrong with this in itself, however, there are a few things you need to know in order to make this a successful practice.

 

It has been suggested that the more links to your site the better. This is not the case. It has more to do with the quality of links rather than the amount of links to your site. If you have 100 links to your site from sites that have poor or no ranking, it will not do you as much good as having five links to your site with rankings between three and ten. The reason for this is search engines put more importance into sites that have higher rankings, so if you are linked to from one of these sites, you will be seen with more importance than if you are linked to from a site that has no ranking.

 

Be careful who you link to. If you link to a site that violates any or the search engines rules such as hidden text, gateway pages and so on, you will actually be penalized for their dishonesty.

 

Avoid link farms and link exchange programs. These are methods used to boost rankings and, while they work in the short term, once the search engines find them, they penalize them and you too.

 

Make sure the reciprocal site's links page is not hidden from searches. The website may have a high ranking, but the links page is not listed or even ranked. This will do you no good whatsoever. To find out a site's page ranking, you will need to to download Google's tool bar. Follow this link to Google's site to download their tool bar.

 

Try to focus your links to sites that are relevant to your site. For example, if you offer a limo service, try to be linked to from sites like hotels, tourist information sites and sites like that. While this will only make a moderate difference to ranking, you will have a better chance of your links actually being visited by people rather than just a web crawlers. That is the whole point after all.

por aga 16 ene, 2016

Bottom line is, this is a myth. No company can guarantee this. The reason being Yahoo, Google and MSN are companies and companies are in business to make money. That is why they all offer their own sponsored links placed at the top or on the side of the search results. This could be pay-per-click, meaning you pay every time somebody clicks on the link to your site or it can be a set monthly fee.

 

However, with that being said, there are things you can do to help get on the first page of searches.

  • Make sure the search terms that you want to be found under is in the text content of your site, preferably the front page. I.e., if you want to be found under "cure for cancer", be sure to have this text in as many places as possible on your site in text format, not image format, (meaning text on a .jpeg or other image type) as web crawlers will not be able to see it.
  • The more links you have to your site, the better. This is how web crawlers will find your site. By browsing other sites that are linked to your site, the more links the higher it will go up the rankings.
  • Submit your site (when its finished) to search engines. All search engines have a page to do this and it’s free.

The three steps above are ALL a search engine optimizing company will do to your site. If you decide to use a company for this purpose, make sure that is all they do. Below is a list of no-no's when it comes to search engine optimizing.

  • Gateway pages: (making pages full of search terms to push you up the ranking)
  • Hidden text: (adding text to your page that cannot be seen because it matches the background of your site)
  • Layers that cover text: (adding an image over the top of text to conceal it)
  • Spam campaigns: (whether this be email or splash pages)

There is no doubt that all these methods work and work well. However, when you get caught (and you will), your site will be dropped from the search results for good. Be sure to ask any company how they are going to get your site to the top of the searches. If they mention any of the above, I strongly recommend hanging up the phone right away. These methods are dishonest. Do you really want to do business with a company that has dishonest practices? There are a lot of companies out there that offer this service and a lot of them will base their fee on performance. This means if you don't get results, you don't pay. Be wary of any company that will charge you for this service up front without any clear contract of what they are going to do.

 

Note: Google and Yahoo send out their crawlers once per month. This index file changes every month, so some months your site will be listed high and some months it will not. It all depends on your ranking.

Más entradas
Share by: