Website Design Options

Website Design Options   When you’re creating a website there are a number of decisions to make. In addition to your budget and the creation process, there are features and functions to weigh up. There are so many fantastic technologies and options that the process can feel overwhelming!     #1 What’s the purpose of your website? This is perhaps your single most important consideration. When you know your website’s purpose there are some design options that just make sense. For example, if you’re going to be an affiliate marketer and your website’s purpose is strictly to provide information, then you’ll likely want a CMS or a theme-based website. Know your site’s purpose first! Then you can weight your options. On the other hand, if you’re building an e-commerce site you will want a shopping cart solution and a product catalog full of product photos and descriptions. #2 What’s your budget? Believe it or not, you can design a professional-looking website on just about any budget. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to hire a pro. That being said, you may want to hire a professional so the job is done right the first time. A professional can help you integrate all of the design elements and technologies right from the get go.     If you have a low start-up budget, consider having an existing template or design modified by a pro. For example, you can hire a WordPress designer to modify a template to fit your needs and website purpose. #3 Who is your audience? Your audience plays a very important role in the design...

Which Website Design Software Is the Right One for Me?

Which Website Design Software Is the Right One for Me?   Building a website is supposed to be easy, right? It can be, if you choose the right software for your skills and needs. However, with so much website design software to choose from, it’s hard to make a choice. Let’s take a look at some basic information to help you choose your ideal design software.       #1 Time How much time do you have to learn new software and design your site? If you’re aiming for a launch deadline, then you may not have tons of time. Some software programs have a steep learning curve. Others are intuitive and easy to use. Be realistic about the skills and knowledge you already possess and the time you have. #2 Features What is the purpose of your website? What do you need it to accomplish and provide? If you’re creating a very advanced site with a lot of bells and whistles, then you may want an advanced program to create it. However, if you’re creating a basic site, for example a theme-based site, then you may not need a professional software program. A simple site builder wizard may do the trick. #3 Budget Website design software ranges from free to thousands of dollars. Be realistic about your budget. If you’re building a website as part of a business, then be realistic about your return on investment as well. If you can recoup the cost of the software in six months to a year, then it’s likely worth the expense.     #4 Integration Some website design software is...

How Cool Is Your Website?

How Cool Is Your Website Is your website lacking a “cool” factor? It’s important to keep up with trends and technology. Visitors make a snap judgment when they visit your site. If it looks old and dated, it may discredit you. Here’s how to design a modern and cool-looking website to stay current and credible.     #1 When was the last time you updated your site? This is the first and most basic question. If it was more than a year ago, chances are you’re missing out. New technologies and website features are developed on a regular basis. You certainly don’t have to take advantage of all of them. However, you can freshen up and modernize your website at least once a year. #2 What features and functions do your prospects use? Social networking is an easy example. Just about everyone from the age of twelve on up is using some social networking site. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace are just a few examples. If your audience is using these, then adding them to your site makes sense. It’ll help keep it up to date. It’ll also provide a connection to your audience. #3 What can you add or modify to enhance the experience? Elements shouldn’t be added to your site just because they’re cool or cutting edge. They need to support your overall goals and purpose. Take a look at the technology offered today and how it might support your business. Explore how it might add value to your customers.     For example: * Do you use video on your site? Video is a growing trend...

Make Your Website Accessible

7 Easy Strategies to Make Your Website Accessible   You want every single website visitor to have a positive experience on your website. In order to make that happen it has to be accessible by everyone. Here are seven easy strategies to make your website accessible.       1. CAPTCHA – If you use a CAPTCHA to verify that a user is a person and not a computer or a program, you may be eliminating some folks from a user experience. Those who cannot read the CAPTCHA code may be unable to enter it correctly. Thus they won’t have access to the information. You can add an audio element to your CAPTCHA so visitors can hear the code and then successfully type it into their computer. You receive verification. They receive access. Win/win! 2. Tagging photos – If your images don’t load properly or a user has them blocked, they’re missing out on part of your website. If you simply add an alt tag to your images, then everyone is able to experience your website fully. An alt tag tells your visitors what the image is if it cannot be displayed or viewed. The Americans with Disabilities Act dictates that all images must have an alt tag. 3. Small files and quick download/upload times – Large graphics and files slow a user’s ability to upload your website. Their system may simply not be able to access your site. If you have large files you’re therefore making your site inaccessible to many. Make sure your website images, files and graphics are all as small as they can be. Quick...

Why Content Is Crucial for Your Website

Why Content Is Crucial for Your Website   There’s one sure-fire way to success online. Make sure you have an abundance of content on your website. Without content there’s really no reason for anyone to visit your site. Here’s why content is crucial for your site.   Value Your content is the single biggest value you offer prospects and visitors. Each time a new visitor comes to your site, they’re looking for one thing. They’re looking for information. Content is information.     Now, you don’t have to provide content in the form of articles or reports. You can provide audio content, video content or even snippets of content like tips and quotes. There’s a huge variety to the type of content your website can offer. Consider offering the type of content that your audience best responds to. Make sure it fits your business goals and provides value to your visitors and prospects.   Traffic Content is what search engines look for when they’re indexing your site. It’s how they know what your site is about. It’s also how many of your website visitors find you. They type into their search engine the keywords or the words that describe the information they’re searching for. The search engine provides them with a list of website results. They click on one or many of these results and they end up on your website. None of this would happen without content.     Sales and Profits Regardless of your business model, content helps you make money. Content helps you establish credibility and authority with your visitors. This gives them confidence to buy...