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You Too Can Have an Amazing Website

how to build a websiteHow to Build a WebsiteIt is a well-known fact that a successful business depends greatly on how it is marketed. With an ever increasing dependence on the web, the use of a professional website is not only a necessity, but a priority. Although it is a common thought that only large businesses can have top-notch websites, with the tools available today, what seemed impractical, can now be a reality. Best of all, designing an extraordinary website can be done, without hiring expensive web developers to create your site from scratch. Usually the first comment I get from my customers is, “I have the idea, but not the tools.” In this article, I will recommend which tools are the most helpful, and where to find these tools, so that you too can have an amazing website.

So you say, “I have the idea, but not the tools. What are these tools, and where do I get them?” Let me answer that question with a question. Have you ever heard of web site templates? If not, they’re your answer to a professional website, at a very reasonable price, usually around R420.00 to R600.00. A website template is a ready-made website design, created for you to use as the foundation for quick and high-quality web development. There are thousands of templates available online, so you are virtually guaranteed to find something that suits your design, and format needs. It can be as easy as simply adding your text to the template, or rearranging photos along with your text, to produce the outcome you have been searching for.

Finding web site templates is easy, but be aware of the differences in template providers you will come across. Performing a Google or Yahoo search with the phrase “web site templates” will yield several vendor choices and not all of them offer the quality you demand. They all promise the best templates around, but that is obviously not the case. So, how do you find the right template vendor? First, visit some of the sites you come across and examine their templates. You will know you are on the right track if you answer “Yes” to the question, “Am I impressed with these templates?” Always trust your taste.

website templateswebsite templatesNext, explore how many templates the vendor offers and how often their database is updated. As a rule of thumb, the more they have the better they are. This helps assure you that your choice will be more unique than otherwise. If you choose a template from a vendor who only offers a few select quality templates then the chances are that a great deal of other customers have chosen that same template. You certainly don’t want a website that is practically identical to dozens of others online. You will also want a vendor who updates their site on a regular basis. Weekly updates are good, but daily updates are even better. This guarantees that they will have fresh templates on a regular basis for you to choose from.

Finally, you want to make sure that your template is editable. This means that your template will come with the appropriate files (PSD, HTML, SWF, and FLA) that will allow you to make the necessary changes to your template. Ask you vendor before making your selection. Most templates come with these files, but it is better to be safe than sorry. You should be able to download your selection immediately or your vendor will provide a link to do so.

web development technologyWeb Development TechnologyGreat! Now you have a really impressive template and can’t wait to make the changes that will get you a completed website that blows away your competition. Well, you’re halfway there. You have one more important choice to make. Who will do the editing? You will either have someone internally run with the project or you can hire someone and outsource the job. If you decide to handle things internally make sure you have the necessary software to edit your files and someone who is somewhat familiar with how to do the editing. This is what your template vendor probably didn’t tell you. Certainly it isn’t as easy as purchasing a template and plugging in text. If it were then there wouldn’t be a market for web design and development companies. If you’re confident about handling it yourself then great, but be careful. You might find yourself investing a lot of time and money trying to get your desired results.

Your alternate choice, hiring a development firm, will almost certainly get your site looking and functioning the way you want it, but for a fee, of course. It is easy to find a development firm to handle your needs and you can find several online. Simply search with the key phrase “web site design”. Call, or email a few of them, explaining your situation and needs, and ask for a quote to perform the editing for you. Depending on the amount of editing you will require, you should receive price quotes in the R4000.00 - R12 000.00 range. This is a very reasonable price to pay for a professional website design. Most likely, you will be glad you did.

Contact us today for a free quotation, or more information

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Your Logo: Much More Than a Decoration

Logo DesignLogo DesignWhat are the company logos that you remember the most? As you are about to design your corporate identity, take a look around and notice the logos that are all around us. Most of the time, they are very simple icons. Sometimes they graphically represent exactly what the company does, but others are a simple mark that makes an impression. Here are some tips to help you get a memorable corporate identity of your own:

1) Find a Designer You Can Trust

First of all, you need to find someone that truly understands the importance of the creation and implementation of a company’s identity. Beware of a designer that says “Yeah, I do logo design.” A logo is only part of the package. In order for the logo to work, it needs a color scheme, fonts that complement it, and a complete ‘look and feel’ that ties all your communications together.

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When Your Graphic Designer Costs You Money…

when your designer is costing a lotWhen Your Designer Costs Too MuchSo how do you know when your graphic designer costs you financially and emotionally?

When a file is not prepared correctly… When you go to press, and have your media material produced in prints, and find out that the file was built incorrectly, then that's the time when your graphic designer will cost you money.

Many pre-press operators have complained about having to correct graphic designers work. To have a file prepared incorrectly can have drastic financial, and emotional consequences, for the owner. The time needed to rectify the problem can cause major delays, and additional expense. This is due to the graphic designer's understanding that his job is done, when he produces the design that you require.

It is therefore necessary for a graphic designer to understand the basic principle of what you see on screen, may not be the same when it comes off the press. A designer should know how to correctly build a bleed; check that the panels fold correctly; and that colour separation is well understood. The list goes on and on. If these issues are not properly addressed, the customer will most likely pay for additional costs, because a print house, or service provider,will definitely charge extra for fixing the problem.

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What is Reseller Hosting?

reseller hostingReseller HostingReseller hosting is a type of web hosting package, where we can split up the allocated bandwidth and disk space of a hosting account, and then resell to other individual users as separate hosting accounts. It effectively means that we can buy hosting space from providers in bulk, and then subdivide it to be resold to other customers. It is a method for people to start making money of their own with web hosting. Interestingly, reseller hosting requires very little knowledge on how to get started. Hence, practically everyone who is comfortable with the internet, can start their own reseller hosting business.

The reseller hosting concept is a rapidly growing industry. This is due to the simple fact that it is an inexpensive way for hosting entrepreneurs to start doing business in this field. This type of hosting is normally used by companies, or individuals, who want to start a small web hosting company, and also chosen by developers, designers, or internet consultants. From the cost point of view, it is a cost-efficient method for webmasters who want to manage and host multiple number of sites, with separate control panels. It definitely has the potential to be a very profitable business, if the costs and margins are well-managed. Resellers are able to offer custom-made hosting packages for specific customers that are perhaps not offered by any of the current hosting providers. This, added by the fact that resellers can better control the quality of service, since they can pick their servers of choice.

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What to Do When a Client is Ticked Off

angry customer on phoneAngry Customer on PhoneMy client Jerry was threatening to sue. Worse, my programmer was dragging his feet and didn't see the seriousness of Jerry's threats. I was on the phone with Jerry for hours at a time.

The custom ordering system we designed for Jerry's web site needed some small changes that really weren't affecting the performance of his site. Jerry kept saying that the whole system was flawed and that it needed to be completely redone. However, he already had more than 600 sales adding up to more than $100,000. What to do?

We eventually got all the problems fixed up but Jerry ended up having the site and ordering system redone by another company so Jerry was now out of my hair. Was this a good thing or a bad thing?

Customer retention is crucial in all businesses and handling ticked off customers is a part of growing great long-term relationships. Sometimes you choose not to retain a customer even if they are happy with the work you're doing. The time and energy they cost you isn't worth the money you make from them.

High and Fire Clients Judiciously

Reflecting on the situation with Jerry, I probably shouldn't have ever taken him as a client because he smelled of trouble from the outset. The first time I came into Jerry's shop he was arguing with a customer while I waited. He was unbending and wasn't willing to make concessions.

Malcolm Gladwell writes of this in his book, "Blink". We need to be aware of when something doesn't feel right and do something about it before getting in too deep. I should have just walked. Advertising guru David Ogilvy proudly admitted that he fired more clients than fired him.

It takes bravado and diplomacy to drop a client, especially if they are a big source of income. You have to weigh the headaches they cause with the checks that are deposited in your bank account. Are they worth it?


boundariesSet BoundariesSetting Expectations Early and Realistically

I lost another client around the same time because I did not set expectations. Daniel and I had more of a friendship than a client/vendor relationship. He looked and smelled like a good client, but I realized later that he was a problem. He took a lot of my time and had too high of expectations for the work we were doing for the price he was paying.

If you have a friendship with a client, you still have to set strong boundaries with them. You communicate your expectations and bill them accordingly for the work you do. It's easy not to bill for your time if someone is a friend. You have to set the expectation that you will be billing them for all the work that you are doing for them.

angryAngryDon't Let Problems Fester

Daniel and I had a blow up when he misunderstood something that I had written in one of my blogs. He wrote me a strong email that I reacted to in kind by email. If he had read the blog or clicked on the link in the posting he would have seen I had great intentions. And the blog wasn't even about him-there was just a link on the side of the page pointing to his site.

If I could go back in time I would have waited a day or two to cool down. Then I would have written an email explaining my writing and suggested talking face-to-face or by phone. Live and learn.

things fall through cracksThings fall through cracksHire Skilled, Responsible People to Handle Your Client's Work

My problem was I was trying to do everything myself, and things were falling through the cracks. Now I tell my clients to communicate their web site changes directly to the designer and they will be billed accordingly. That way changes don't get stuck in my In Box.

Make the Hand-off Easy

If the client chooses to leave or you fire the client, make the transition as smooth as possible. Provide all the files and information they need to move forward if that is the nature of your business. Even if the break up is hostile, make a point to be civil and professional. They may never return as a client, but they may not badmouth you if things end more positively. Daniel got a new company to work on his sites, and I made the transition as smooth as possible for him. I doubt I will ever have him as a client again, but I needed to know in my heart that can make the transition easy for the next person.

smooch some hineySmooch Some HineySmooch Some Hiney

Okay, you have a client who pays well and is worth keeping. Now is the time to kiss some butt. You have to admit you did something wrong and make amends.

My client Scott didn't know some of the work we were supposed to do for him was done. But I knew. I took the risk of telling and then also told him that we would do work for him during the following month at no cost to him. It cost me $600 but it was worth keeping Scott as a client.

Handling ticked off clients is all about doing crisis management, and then deciding how far you will go to keep them as a client. You may choose to give up peacefully and let them go, or you can fight to keep them. Sometimes you have no choice. But when you have the choice and want to keep them as a client, do all you can to make things right. They may represent many more years of income.

Please contact us if you have any queries, or would like a free quotation

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