Posts Tagged ‘website development’
Friday, February 15th, 2013
WordPress developers are a creative lot. They can jazz up your WordPress website or blog with just a few little codes and these codes can do wonders to make your site or blog look incredible – and do incredible things. The good news is, you can do it yourself with simple tools called shortcodes.
Shortcodes are little snippets of code you can insert into your WordPress blog or website to make it do some really cool things, such as:
- Add a Contact form on any page or blog post
- Create custom-designed Buy Now buttons
- Design cool-looking bullet points or Read More buttons
- Make your website navigation look great with tabs
- Improve your look and feel with sliders
Virtually anything you can do with a normal website or blog can be done with shortcodes. You can add shortcodes to your WordPress website or blog with plug-ins like Shortcodes Ultimate and J Shortcodes, two of the more popular shortcodes plug-ins.
What makes shortcodes such great tools is that you can turn any free off-the-shelf WordPress theme into a premium theme without shelling out any money. And they’re easy to work with. Be sure to follow the installation guideliness to a T.
WordPress developers are great people but some things you can do for yourself.
Friday, June 8th, 2012
There’s not just one way to design a website. Every website is different.
In fact, today there are so many different platforms to use for building websites that no two web developers will agree on the best one. Many website designers and developers still prefer to use HTML. Though, most of them are still using HTML 4 in the midst of a massive revolution toward HTML 5. Still others prefer to use a content management system.
There are of course many content management systems. There are open source systems like Joomla, WordPress, and Drupal. And there are many premium systems that you can buy. All of them have their own unique nuances, which appeal to a particular type of developer.
But what about the actual design of the website? Is there one way to accomplish that? Of course not. We’re talking about creativity here.
That’s not say that there aren’t web design principles that require our submission. You want your website to be easily navigable. After all, if your visitors can’t find what they are looking for, then you’ve lost them. Probably for good.
You want your website attractive, of course. You want it search engine optimized. You want it easy to use and functional. A lot of the web design principles you should adhere to depend on the type of website you want. Do you want a membership site or a simple small business website? Figure out what you want and I can tell you the best way to get there.
Sunday, February 19th, 2012
There are tens of thousands of small business owners who are fantastic at what they do. The problem is, they are terrible when it comes to running a business. Take a tradesperson as a an example. They could be the very best in their trade, yet they go bankrupt everytime they try to work for themselves. Are they doomed to working for someone else for the rest of their life? Not necessarily, especially if they are willing to build partnerships.
The same problem existed before the Internet. Smart professionals quickly learned to build those partnerships. If we take the tradesperson as an example, they could buy into a franchise (which offered training and support for the ‘business’ side of their business), partnered with accountants and bookkeepers for financial advice, and perhaps even partnered with marketing professionals. In some cases, these partnerships were formalized – a tradesperson partnering with a business manager – there are several highly successful franchise chains that grew from such partnerships. Most partnerships were informal, however, they were very personal with players on first name terms, and contact made on an ad-hoc when required basis. If there were changes in the law, the accountant would call with advice, if there was a marketing opportunity, your marketing expert would call.
You can achieve the same with an online business. You don’t need to create a formal business partnership, however, your online strategy can (in some cases should) form informal partnerships with those in a position to help you build an online business. Website design, content production, SEO and online small business marketing are several areas where an informal partnership opportunity exists.
How do these partnerships work? Rather than just hiring a website designer (for example), you work with them making them a part of your team. They get an insight into your business and develop a rapport with both you and your business. They, in return, have a product they can happily display in their portfolio, and you are happy to have their logo and name prominently displayed on for the world to see. You get a great website, they get a great promotional tool. The same can be said for content, SEO and online marketing.
If you have a great business idea, but no idea how to start and run your business, that’s when you look for a formal partner. To be successful, you often need help from successful people – don’t be afraid to build partnerships, everyone benefits when you do.
Sunday, January 15th, 2012
What’s the biggest threat to many small businesses in 2012? Most small business owners would probably point at their competitors. Others may point to the changes made to search algorithms and the effect it may have on their search rankings. Whilst these are threats that need to be dealt with, the biggest threat could come from hackers.
There has been a gradual shift in fraudulent activity in recent years with hackers slowly switching their focus away from big businesses and on to small businesses. Big business has the time, money and resources to guard against any hack attempts on their data. Small business has neither the time nor money, and in many cases, the know-how, to protect their data. This makes them easy targets for hackers looking for the personal details of customers, particularly credit card data.
Data protection is an area that small businesses will need to deal with in 2012. Any breaches could leave a business wide open to legal proceedings from customers, and we are talking about group claims here, not just one off claims. Protection of data needn’t be a costly exercise. You do need a very secure website, particularly when it comes to securing your data. This will be one area where the cost of protection for your site could outweigh the risks associated with an unprotected website.
A professional website development team can help to ensure your website is safe from hacking. The cost would be minute compared to the cost of a successful group law suit against either yourself or your business. Is your data safe? Could someone hack your website and then proceed to download all the personal details of your customers. If you’re not full protected, talk to a professional webstite development team.
Saturday, December 24th, 2011
For most, it’s simple enough to understand that a small business needs a website. Alright, now that you have a website, how do you market it and what do you do with it? This question comes up a lot because it takes more than just having a website to make the site profitable to you.
You also hear a lot about search engine optimization. Once again, you understand it, but how do you do it? In order to drive more traffic to your website you have to continuously add content to the site. Even though you may be selling products, you don’t want it to just sit and become stagnant without visitors to the site.
Creating content, or information, or articles, or blogs, whatever you want to call it needs to be done on a regular basis. Talk about your business, talk about your products, give advice or how to steps about something that your business offers. Customers and visitors love information and will come back to you again and again if you have good content on a regular basis.
Social Media sites are wonderful places to market your business, but your website also needs your attention. You have spent a lot of time making it look nice and getting everything in its spot. It can be very depressing knowing that no one visits your site.
In order for the search engines to find your site, you have to have a lot of information on your site with good keywords. The more information you have, the easier it will be for the search engines to find you when someone does a search for something in particular.
You can always consult with internet marketers to have them help you if you are just not sure how to go about getting the right content on your website. Several are available. Just make sure that the right internet marketer is working for you and putting your best interests first instead of just taking your money.
Saturday, December 10th, 2011
How many times have we all gone to a website only to have a dozen things flying off the page at you or taking over your screen and you inadvertently click on something wrong? It happens a lot. A lot of people do not like these fly-in pages.
Not everyone is computer savvy and many people don’t even know what those pages are. Users want a clean, simple and user-friendly site. That will clearly state what the website is about and list some of the items that may be for sale if it is an e-commerce website.
Navigation is also key. Have clear, easy-to-read links to other pages within your website. This way, viewers can easily navigate from one page to the next. It is also important to make sure you have a clear place for reader comments. Be sure to read them and answer them. They may very well be a question about something they want to buy or maybe a suggestion about something. Interaction with online customers is just as important as face-to-face customers.
Making sure your links are working properly in addition to working shopping carts. This is the single most aggravating thing for a viewer. They have gone through the process, get to check out and the shopping cart is empty. Instead of going back and doing it again, they will just leave the site. You have then lost a sale. Another thing no one will wait on is page loading times. If your pages load too slowly because of the graphics, people will leave.
Take some time to visit your website and see what your visitors see. You will be able to determine where you need improvement.
Friday, December 2nd, 2011
It’s wonderful to have small mom and pop stores in local towns. That is what defines the town. Most people will stay loyal to their local shops because that is what helps the community stay alive.
Sadly, a lot of those same mom and pop stores are closing simply because they don’t have enough business in today’s world. This is due to more people using the internet for their purchases. For some, it is much easier to sit at home, in front of a computer, and purchase whatever you want and have it shipped, instead of visiting the local stores.
This is why it is more important than ever for those same stores to get a website and add a few products to the site and let people purchase from the site. It not only boosts the business owner’s revenue, but it puts that same business owner in the driver’s seat as far as keeping their doors open.
No one wants to see the quaint little corner market or antique store close. These businesses have been the mainstay for many small communities to stay alive and there is a bit of history and nostalgia associated with local business.
A challenge to all small business owners. Start a website, build your presence on the internet and get your business rolling again. The internet is here to stay and you should just hop right on and take your piece of the pie too.
You don’t even have to be computer savvy to do it. Hire a web designer. That person will get a domain name for you and design you a website according to your specifications. You will be surprised at how easy it is. You can then still retain the old world charm in the store itself, but your pocketbook will thank you.