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What's the Fastest Way to Ruin a New Web Site?

planning websitePlanning WebsiteI’ve been asked, “How do I design a successful Website?”

I often respond, “Do you know the fastest way to ruin a new Web site design?” As you might suspect, the answer is, “Lack of proper planning beforehand.”

Let's put it another way. In programming, there's an old axiom, which states: "The sooner you start your coding the longer it takes to finish."

Planning out your Website before you build it is essential. To borrow a technique from the film industry, I recommend that you create a storyboard, which is a type of a flow chart of your new Web site design. You don’t have to be an accomplished artist to draw out your idea, but it’s essential to create it on paper first.

On each piece of paper, the goal is to have room for an image at the top, plus space underneath for writing down information. As you might suspect, the first page to start with is your home (or welcome) page, which will typically have the most information as it will contain the page the people visit before they enter your site and as people go through your site, the will encounter more information (in tiers) as they go down.

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What an Automated Web Site Can Do for Your Business

newsletterNewsletterAs your Internet business grows, your free time will dwindle. Site changes will become time consuming and stressful. Automate your site and you can use your time for better purposes.

Automating

Automating a web site can cut out tedious tasks such as updating HTML, FTPing pages and changing site designs. Advanced automated web sites can send follow-up emails, send out newsletters, manage sales, do invoicing, track users visits and more. There is practically no function that can’t be accomplished.

There are many different types of automated web sites. Typically, the platforms break down into two categories, prepackaged or made to order. Automated web sites can range in complexity from simply using server side includes to full database driven sites. Server side includes are little snippets of code that allow content from one file to show on many pages. A database driven site, on the other hand pulls content from an online database.

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What are Web Standards?

web standardsWeb StandardWeb standards are technologies, established by the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) and other standards bodies, that are used to create and understand web-based content. In order for the Web to reach its full potential, the most fundamental Web technologies must be compatible with one another and allow any hardware and software used to access the Web to work together. Therefore, to lead the World Wide Web to its full potential, protocols and guidelines have been developed that ensure long-term growth for the Web.

How does your business benefit from adopting web standards

Lower development costs:

This is due to simpler development and maintenance using more semantic and structured HTML. The one site will work with all major browsers.

Lower hosting costs:

Less HTML results in smaller file sizes and quicker downloads. Smaller file sizes mean lower bandwidth which will lower hosting costs.

Increase in usability:

Your customers will find your site renders and downloads faster due to the smaller file size. This will make them respond and showi more interest in what you have to offer in your business.

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What a Website Needs to Succeed!

designing websiteA Proven Formula for All Websites Designing a WebsiteEvery business needs a website. It is an absolute MUST! Nowadays, it’s like not being in the phone book. The In//ternet is a digitally-indexed database that is searchable. Whenever anyone wants to know more about anything, they look it up on the Internet, in their own time, 24/7, without the pressure of a sales person. With search engines, such as Gogle.com or Yahoo.com, the information they are looking for can be f/ound in seconds.

If you aren’t where people are looking, you CAN’T get the sale.

Even if you aren’t planning on selling anything online, you still need to have an Internet presence, telling your story and being a 24/7 sales person for you. The Internet is information. So, even if you just have an informational website, people can find out more about you, your company, what you have to offer, and why they should choose you over your competition. A website gives you the opportunity to get all of that across to your potential customer.

Following, are proven components of a website and why you will need them in yours.

A Home Page is the window into your website and should be short, sweat, and to the point. Statistically, it has been proven that you get about 3 seconds, once a person arrives at your website, to get them interested enough to click for more information. If you can get them to click, then you have them! If you try to give them all of the information at once, then you will lose them.

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What Could Be Worse Than Your Viewers Not Seeing Your Site Display Properly?

correct htmlCorrect HTMLWhat if they never get to your site to see it?

If you want your site listed on search engines then make sure that you have correct HTML code. Many search engines cannot properly catalog or index a site that has HTML errors. This can greatly reduce the amount of traffic your web site receives from search engines.

The lowest form of "browser" out there is the search engine. The search engine is about the equivalent of a version 2 browser. It can't read flash, DHTML, JavaScript, dynamic pages, - even having trouble at times with frames. Search engines may have difficulty crawling, indexing, and extracting the content of your site if you have broken HTML.

Search engines score a page by looking for relevant terms in key HTML components in specific places within a document. These key components are titles, descriptions, visible text, alt image tags etc. If they don't find them because of typos or other mistakes, the spiders may leave without reading the content of the page.

Poor document structure like a META tag placed in the BODY section of the page instead of the HEAD section - can cause the spider to ignore the tag and cost you a good ranking.

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