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Your Web Designer Is Not The Boss - You Are!

web design and layoutWeb Design and LayoutA web designer shouldn’t tell you how to run your business. You need to make sure you find the right designer who understands what you want and can achieve your aim exactly as you want it.

Web designers are experts at constructing and managing websites and can be a great asset to your online business. That being said, there are some webpage designers out there who can get carried away and will try to design a website the way they want it, and not the way their employer asked them.

To ensure you don’t end up with a bossy designer, the following is a basic guideline you can follow to find the right web designer:

Know what you want for your website

How do you want your website to be laid out? Will you be using pictures or other graphics? What do you think would appeal most to the audience you are targeting your product or service to? The last thing you want to do is to seek out a web designer, and not have any idea how you want to build your website. This is how you can lose control over your project and be lured into using someone else’s ideas.

Recommendations:  If you have friends or colleagues who have used web designers, ask them for a recommendation.

designers portfolioCheck Designers PortfolioCheck out the designer’s portfolio

Once you find a web designer you are interested in, be sure to check out their portfolio to see previous work they’ve done. This will help you decide if you think their work is similar to what you had in mind for your own website.

Discuss your project – if you like a designer’s work, tell them about the project you would like to create. The designer should have plenty of questions for you. During this time you can get a feel for their personality and vision, and see if it will mesh with yours.

Request a quote Although web designers may not be able to tell you the exact amount a project will cost, they should be able to estimate a probable cost based on the project description you have provided. A webpage designer doesn’t come cheap, so be prepared for a high price. If for any reason you find the cost is more than you are willing to pay, check out other designers and request a quote from them.  This will help you determine who you should go with, or maybe to consider designing your website yourself if you simply can’t afford it yet.

WebDesignMeetingWeb Design MeetingRoutinely meet with the designer

Make sure you schedule appointments with the web designer to make certain everything is going according to plan. Your website designer should have no problem meeting your requests, or making changes, as long as you are not making unreasonable demands (IE asking them to re-work entire pages without additional pay because you’ve suddenly changed your mind).

Remember, you have total control over the design of your web page, regardless of what your web designer may think. You are designing your page with your customers in mind. Don’t let a website designer boss you around; even if they are an expert in their field. The bottom line is, it’s your website.

Contact us for a free quotation, more information, or to discuss your website requirements

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Why Should You Care About Your Web Site Colours?

white and blue web pageWhite and Blue Web Page**How Colours are Used in web design:**

Demarcates screen elements into groups- You can put a blue background for your navigational bar and white for rest of your page. This tells the visitor that the blue area has different elements and grabs his attention.

You can relate different groups of elements on your screen. If you also want to keep a navigational menu at the bottom of page, you can use the same blue background. This tells the visitor that both blue areas on the screen have the same information.

Highlights information- If you want to make a line of text prominent, you can use different coloured text instead of regular text or use a background for that line of text.

Looks nicer- Colours are always associated with our mood and perceptions. We always feel the colours. Coloured objects draw people’s attention.

Web safe color paletteWeb Safe Colour Palette**One should always use web safe colours?**

Nah... Unless your audience purely relies on 256 coloured monitors. Mostly a remote possibility. You can experiment and enjoy applying colours in your web design. The worst thing that will happen is the colours are shown to its nearest colour on 256 monitors. They won't look like exactly as they look on your monitor.

**What colours are best?**

One cannot say this exactly, because the blue which means professionalism to some, is death to some.

Here are some colours:

To indicate necessary action, use warm colours

Red, orange, yellow.

To provide calm and content feelings, use cool colours

Green, blue, violet, purple.

Green means growth and vitality.

Red means energy and passion.

Blue means intuitive, cool and trustworthy.

Yellow means enthusiastic and optimistic.

Orange means courage and success.

Purple means passionate and spiritual.

Greys and browns seem dull. But they can take on a more cheerful attitude with compliments of red and orange. Emotions like this will help your visitors to associate your site with stableness and confidence.

colour pickerColour Picker**Tips to follow in applying colours on your website:**

1. A white background is always preferable to hold your content. It makes it easy to read, and eye fatigue will be less with a plain white background.

2. To make the things elegant, use one or two contrast colours next to white. Like blue, green, orange etc.

3. Never use more than 3-4 colours on a page.(unless your site goes with graphics or other multimedia themes)

4. Check the colours and it's appearance on different browsers using online tools like- http://www.anybrowser.com/

5. For the background of your web site pages: ALWAYS use a web safe colour as a background colour to your web site. This makes your graphics and text appear on a clean interface on any type of monitors.

6. Download and use this colour picker for your web designs. Easy to use and very good free utility software: http://www.nattyware.com/pixie.html

For a free quotation or more information, please feel free to contact us.

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How Do You Get Folks to Look At Your New Website

website reviewWebsite ReviewI took a look at a new Website recently, in response to a request for a site review on one of my favourite forums. And, while the appearance was pleasing, there wasn't really much there. Too often, new folks to the Internet marketing world make this crucial mistake. They think that if they build a stay at home job website, customers will automatically show up and start buying stuff. When those customers don't materialize, the site owner often gives up and quits.

In order for any stay at home job site to attract quality visitors, there are some things that need to be done. In this article, I will give you a small list of objectives, along with brief hints on how to go about meeting them. If you follow through, your site will advance in the search engine rankings, and before you know it, the visitors will be showing up faster than you can count them.

Search Engines Love Content

Involve yourself in an ongoing process of collecting, and/or producing articles for inclusion on your site. There are many sources of articles on the Internet. Some of them charge a small fee, while others are free. Look for articles that are relevant to the subject of your site, and add them. If these articles are rich with the keywords that you wish to target, so much the better.

You can also write your own articles. This allows you to concentrate on the keywords that you wish to target, and establishes you as an expert in your field.

By adding your resource box, with your URL, to the end of your articles and then submitting them to other sites and Ezines, you can generate additional traffic to your site. More about this later.

Invite your visitors to submit articles to your site for publication. This helps to build visitor loyalty, because everybody likes to see their name in print;)

seo links and optimizationS.E.O Links and OptimizationSearch Engines Love Links.

The second thing that you need to do is exchange links with other websites. Search Engines look to see how many links point to your site, and use this information to gauge the importance of your site. The more links you have, the better, but look for links that add value for your visitors. Make sure that you link to quality sites that are somehow related to what your visitors are looking for. In this way, you will get traffic that is targeted to what you are trying to sell. This will increase your chances of making sales, or signing up affiliates, who have a good chance of being successful in your business.

There are two basic types of links; reciprocal links and one way links. Reciprocal links occur when you trade links with another website. These are important because not only do they help in your rankings, they also generate traffic from the sites that you link to. One way links are a bit different. These are links that point people to your site, but do not point your visitors away from your site. As a result, they are more valuable. Not too many webmasters are willing to give away one way links, but there are a couple of good techniques that you can use to get them.< />

1. Write articles and offer them for publication. You will be pleasantly surprised by the number of sites and Ezines that are looking for quality articles to use for content. By placing your resource box at the end of the article, and including a link to your site, you can generate dozens, if not hundreds of one way links to your site. To find sites that accept articles, simply do a search for 'Free Website Content.' You will find several good sites. Also think about joining the Directory of Ezines. Many of the publications listed there accept articles, and some of them will even invite you to write for them on a regular basis.

online forum platformsOnline Forum Platform2. Visit several forums and bulletin boards that deal with stay at home jobs. Especially, those that are directly related to your field of expertise. Many of these allow you to include your URL in your signature block. By participating in these forums, you will be able to create many more one way links to your site. Just make sure that you offer sound advice, and make relevant posts. If you don't, you could be considered a nuisance or worse, a spammer.

The addition of content in the form of articles, and links to your site should be an ongoing process. If you concentrate on these two things, and continually add to your site, you will not only move up in the search engine rankings, but you will end up with a site that has great value to your visitors. Add to your site every day. Remember, you are in competition with a lot of other related websites, and chances are, they are already doing this.

For a free quotation, or more info, please do not hesitate to contact us

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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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Why You Need A Web Site

Small Business1Small Business"I have a small business with just a couple of employees and I don’t think my product can really be sold online. Do I need a web site?"

In this day and time, there is very little that can’t be sold over the Internet. There are over 20 million people shopping online, buying everything from movies to cars to real estate property. Research predicts that revenues will be over $200 billion in 2004 and will grow at a rate of 30 to 50 percent over the next few years. These numbers alone should be enough to persuade you that you and your business should be online.

Regardless of whether you sell your product online, you should at the very least have an online presence so that customers, potential employees, partners and even potential investors, can easily and quickly find more information about your company, the products and services you have to offer, as well as how to contact you.

website requirementsWebsite RequirementsBut Can I Afford a Web Site?

Given the competition and current market trends, you can’t afford NOT to. Think of your web site as your new marketing tool, which, when applied correctly, will generate a return on investment. Your competition is probably already online, and you need to use every possible avenue just to keep up. You should look at having a web site as an investment, in you and your company’s future.So whatever time or money you currently spend on marketing, supplementing it with a web site is probably a good idea. Your site will help you expand geographically, and compete on a much larger scale.

Leveling the Playing Field

One of the most wonderful things about the Internet is that it has helped to level the playing field when it comes to competition with the bigger companies. With a professional looking web site, your small business can project the image, and professionalism of a much larger company. It’s also a good signal to potential customers that you take things seriously.

breaking iceBreaking the Ice into e-CommerceBreaking the Ice into e-Commerce

Taking credit card orders over the Internet is quite an investment, especially if you don’t already have a merchant account. There are several e-Commerce solutions that can be custom-built for you that use payment gateways such as PayPal, which only requires a bank account, and an email address. Customers can pay you through their credit card, or even their checking account, and it’s a great solution if you’re looking to test the waters.

your business needs a websiteYour Business Needs a WebsiteThe Bottom Line

To be taken seriously, it’s not enough that you simply have a web site, but you must have a professional looking web site. Many customers now search for information online before making a purchase; your web site may be the first chance you have at making a good impression on a potential buyer. If your site looks like it was designed by Uncle Bob, your chance of making that good first impression will be lost.

No matter what size your business is, and even if you're not planning on selling online, a well designed web site is essential for any business. If you don’t have a web site, you’re already losing business to companies that do.

For more information, or a free quotation, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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