Good news for users of the popular WordPress blogging platform: WordPress 2.9 has arrived, and it includes some major new features that make blogging easier, as well as hundreds of under-the-hood improvements to important stuff like databases and SEO. The most visible new features are a built-in image editor, a much easier way to embed video, a better plug-in updater, and a trash for your deleted posts and files.
The image editor allows you to resize, crop, flip or rotate your images from within WordPress, which makes fitting your image into a post a whole lot easier. Sometimes it’s just not worth opening Photoshop for those quick adjustments. On the video front, you can now paste a URL from any of several major video sites (including YouTube, Daily Motion, Blip.tv, Flickr and Google Video) and WordPress will recognize and embed the video automatically.
The new plug-in updater does batch updates, so you can install the latest version of up to 10 plug-ins at once. Previously, you had to click each one individually, which was tedious for people with lots of gadgets installed. The new updater also automatically checks to make sure a plug-in is compatible with your WordPress install, so you don’t have to fear something mysteriously breaking when you do an update.
Trash seems like something WordPress should have included a long time ago. Now instead of asking whether you really want to delete that post or file, WordPress will just move it to the new trash, where it can be recovered if you change your mind. It’s a simple feature, but I think it will avert a lot of data loss catastrophes and save a lot of hassle.
All in all, WordPress 2.9 looks like a major improvement, and it should make your blogging life easier and more productive.
Experts say that the most successful search engine optimization (SEO) efforts should begin before a character of code is written for a website. Every step of the way, SEO considerations must be addressed.
Keyword research, strategic planning, and a careful eye kept on web development tools are all part of the game for web designers hoping to successfully integrate search engine optimization (SEO) into their project, according to Eric Enge of Search Engine Watch. Enge also warns prospective webmasters that sites with effective SEO will require large quantities of quality content, or at the very least, smaller quantities of superlative content.
Enge recommends that two basic questions be answered before any work is done on a new or revamped website: First, what is the purpose of the website? And how does the firm that owns the website plan to market it? Poorly-planned and optimized sites are one potential consequence of a failure to answer these questions, according to Enge.
Search giant Google recently released an array of helpful tools for web developers, which could ease web design and make for more effective search engine optimization (SEO).
Photoshop.com Mobile app for iPhone and iPod touch is now available in the iTunes app store for free. The Photoshop.com Mobile app allows you to edit and share photos directly from your iPod touch or iPhone. It connects to your online Photoshop.com account if you have one, or you can use it to edit the photos stored directly on your device. If you don’t already have a Photoshop.com membership, the free basic plan will give you 2GB of online storage. A Plus membership is $50 per year and gives you 20GB of storage.
I don’t have an iPhone, but I have been playing with the app on my iPod touch and I think Adobe did a really nice job with this app. I can access all the photos synced to Photoshop.com from Photoshop Elements, as well as the photos I have synced to the iPod’s storage. You can also upload photos from your device to your Photoshop.com account–a useful feature for those who have an iPhone with built-in camera. (more…)
Every web site needs a good web design and in fact there is so much scarcity of good web design that people are eager to pay premium price to make sure that their web sites are attractive as well as easy to use. So if you have an eye for good design and you are comfortable with learning new technologies then you can make a good living designing web sites for various clients.
To become a web designer you need to be able to tick the following boxes?
- You will need excellent communication skills in order to promote your website design services.
- You will need to keep abreast of emerging web technologies and be able to implement them as necessary.
- You should be able to demonstrate your skills with current web design software.
- You should have some working knowledge of HTML, CSS, and a bit of scripting.
- You should definitely be artistically inclined or know some people who can create great layouts.
- And it obviously helps if you know Photoshop, Flash etc.
If you can tick all the boxes and are confident that you have the necessary skill set then one of the first things you will need to plan for is your own website to get you started in the web design business. If you can put together some client testimonials these will definitely increase your conversions. You will require a convincing copy on your main page and good content on other pages. Competing on the search engines for web design frankly is going to be a tough nut to crack but somewhere you will have to make a beginning. You can either hire and SEO Company to increase your search engine visibility or you can on your own spend some months optimizing your website.
You will also need to consider the more mundane housekeeping items, such as:
- Local advertising and marketing (formulating a marketing strategy).
- Stationery pack including letterheads, compliment slips etc.
- Setting up a business bank account.
It is also a good idea to have freelancers (particularly in areas where your own skill set is weaker) available to undertake work that you are unable to complete yourself for whatever reason.
Now, to the important stuff – what do your clients expect from you as a web designer?
- Great designing abilities.
- Ability to create pleasing color themes.
- Writing W3C compliant code and possibly no errors.
- Exceptional service. Transparent communication.
Whilst some may add low cost in to the mix, in my experience clients that appreciate an excellent service understand that more time is involved and are prepared to pay a higher cost (but this is only the case if they are aware of the extra value you intend to give them).
On the Internet, by the end of the day, it’s all about traffic, and more so, it’s all about relevant traffic. Relevant traffic is the lifeline of your online presence and you need to make a continuous effort to keep getting good traffic to your website. Now, you can get targeted traffic from:
The search engines: The search engines are the primary source of your relevant traffic, in most of the cases. It doesn’t cost you tons of money to get traffic from the search engines. Millions of users conduct billions of searches every month.
Pay-per-click programs: Maybe there are not quite as hot as some of the search engines but they do guarantee targeted traffic more or less instantly. Sign up for a pay-per-click program like AdWords and you’ll be getting traffic within fifteen minutes. Pay-per-click advertising options are present on independent content publishing websites too.
Inbound links from other websites: If you publish compelling content then many website owners put your link on their websites to add value to their existing content. Such links can be put their voluntarily, or through link exchange. Link exchange is discouraged these days, so the best way of making others link to you is to produce high-class, linkable content, on a regular basis. You can even interact on various online forums to increase your link visibility.
Emails: Up till a few years ago email marketing was considered the most effective advertising tool the world had ever witnessed. Spam killed its charm but in some quarters it still performs well, especially the opt-in email newsletters. Email advertising campaigns, provided they are done properly, are still the best way of getting highly targeted traffic.
Blogs and RSS Feeds: Only the most ignorant can discount blogs and RSS feeds as highly productive tools in terms of generating targeted traffic. Blogs are a constant source of quality information and hence they get instant traffic from other websites and the search engines. RSS feeds, without being intrusive like emails, instantly notify people whenever you publish something new on your blog or website.
Social media and bookmarking websites: Some of such websites are: Digg, Netscape, del.icio.us and StumbleUpon.
Offline sources: If you prominently display your URL on your visiting cards, letter heads, brochures and other stationery you can get some good traffic from there too. I have seen people printing their URLs even on their T-shirts and vehicles.
In order to get traffic from all these sources, you have to take care how you create your website and how you organize your content. Given below are a few things you should constantly keep in mind while creating and maintaining your website, and while writing content for your website.
Stick to your central theme as much as possible; if you can keep consistent with your central theme, the more expert your content will appear. Don’t try to create content for every interest under the sun (or the moon, or the stars). Think vertical if you want to get high-value traffic. Cover all the topics that belong to your central theme. It acts like fodder to the search engines. Search engines love specialized content; give it to them and they’ll give you loads of traffic in exchange.
Sticking to your central theme also earns you great respect and loyalty, and also hundreds of inbound links. When expert and linking to you becomes a prestige factor. It also increases your keyword-density across your domain.
Provide information that helps your visitors; this is what keeps them coming back to your website. Realistically it is difficult to constantly this thing or that thing. More than that, develop a bond with your visitors. Show them their happiness matters to you. Make your website a resource of useful information. Publish content that adds value. This is a sure-shot way of increasing traffic as well as loyalty. Information that provides help, for instance, how-to articles, get linked to a lot by other web masters and blog publishers, and this leads to higher rankings on various search engines.
Conduct a thorough keyword research before generating content; Most SEO campaigns fail to zero-in on the right keywords. You’ll be surprised to know what all keywords and key expressions people use to find businesses such as yours. Target a few wrong keywords and you can bid good bye to an effort of six months of SEO. It’s not always necessary to use keywords that your competitors are using. First of all, they might themselves be optimizing for the wrong keywords, and second, there might be a slew of keywords that are being used by the users but are being ignored by your competitors. Use your keyword research to find out such keywords and optimize your web pages for them. This will increase your traffic manifolds.
Create a simple, accessible but elegant design; when you create quick-loading, stylish and accessible web pages you accommodate the entire spectrum of your prospective market -you don’t exclude particular sections of the society. Even search engines prefer accessible websites because almost all accessible websites conform to the W3C web designing standards. Good design also means using the right colors (that cause no eye-strain) and right contrasts to assist seamless browsing. The navigation bar should be designed in such a manner that all your important pages should be reachable within 2-3 clicks. A well defined sitemap referencing all of your pages help your human visitors as well search engine crawlers. Do well-organized onsite optimization; Onsite optimization means using your keywords at all the right places like within the header tags, as anchor text (and especially in your navigation system and again within your bulleted lists). In addition, try to highlight (bold) the occurrence of your keywords here and there, but don’t overdo it. Although this is not necessary, use the keyword at least once in every paragraph. Create a title (the text that comes between) that not only carries your keywords, but also represents the true highlight of your page content. Never try to deceive your visitors with a title that does not completely represent the content of your page. Your title shows up on the search engine results pages when your link appears on them. A compelling title makes people click it, and having those keywords in your title that people are looking for increases their probability of being clicked.
Regularly create new, relevant content; People come to your website again and again if they are expecting something new there. Similarly, the search engines index and re-index your pages with greater frequency if you update your website regularly. Having many pages increases your chance of at least few of them getting ranked higher by the search engines.
Remain active on the Internet; Known people get more traffic on the Internet. Keep the buzz alive by maintaining an active blog, participating in the comments sections of other blogs and various subject-specific online forums. Blogs are a great way of getting high quality traffic both from the search engines and from other blogs and websites. If you continuously generate quality posts and encourage productive conversations on your blog more and more people gradually start coming to your blog and some of that traffic gets spilled over to your actual business website. Another benefit of maintaining a popular blog is that if you put your business website link their, it gets extra point when the search engines rank your website.
Link to others; Link to them and they’ll link to you. Getting links on the web is a two-way activity especially if you are not well known (if you are a celebrity people tend to link to you anyway). If you select the outgoing links with caution it also tells the search engines that you link to quality information sources. People who are looking for such links will visit your website repeatedly knowing that you constantly add new links.
More often than not people, to whom you link, link back to you.
Well, I could have written a 101 Ways of Increasing Traffic to Your Website but my main purpose was to give you exactly the pointers you can use to increase traffic. Follow the steps mentioned above and you’ll definitely notice a surge in your online traffic.
What makes a good web site design? Is it a design that showcases your prowess? Can a website design that prove what an excellent graphic designer you are? Will your website design bring you more designing awards? Or do you want your website design to establish a platform for you and your visitors to interact with each other unhindered by usability problems? What do you think? Is the last point the most important factor that establishes the basic difference between a successful and an unsuccessful website?
The criteria for good web design depends upon the person and the purpose of each site. That said there are some established conventions that you are advised to follow to ensure that your completed site has as wide a reach as possible. When you are designing your website, especially these days, you have to be constantly conscious of the fact that there are numerous browsers and numerous devices that people may use to access your website. No longer do people browse the Internet just through their PCs and laptops; there are many handheld devices that can directly connect to the Internet and enable people to browse your website; people can even browse your website using their mobile phones. The days when 99$ of the population used Internet Explorer as their primary browser are far behind us.
What are you showcasing or what is the main focus of your site as this will drive the overall design of your site: will it be just text or images or videos or a mixture of all these? You have to design your website accordingly. If it is merely text that you plan to publish then try to make it as less graphical as possible as people coming to your website will be interested in your text and not your images and videos. Similarly a website showcasing your Flash animation expertise will expect lots of Flash work so you needn’t worry about making your website textually accessible.
So when you are designing your website you have to take all these parameters into consideration. But does it mean that you’re always accommodating browsers and devises and do not focus on your own business, whatever that is? No, I’m not suggesting that. Just take care of the following website design guidelines and you will make sure that 95% people (well, there will always be those odd 5% who can never browse the web easily no matter what they try) surfing the Internet can access your website:
- Don’t use colors that cause strain to the eyes. If you want people to come to yourwebsite again and again and consume your content or do business with you then you must make their stay over your website as pleasant as possible. No matter how awesome your design looks if the color combinations are strain-full, after a while they will tire of your website and stop coming. Always take care that your background behind the text is far lighter than the text, and vice versa.
- Design your website using CSS because then you can make your content and yournavigation bar appears in a linear fashion. Since all the layout-related placements take place through CSS definitions no matter how your text appears texturally, graphically it will appear as a pleasant layout. The CSS designing techniques also enable you to dabble with intricate layouts without making your website inaccessible. CSS designing will always help you arrange your main content before the navigation link despite making it visually appear beneath the navigation bar or to the right of it. Follow these basic web design principles and you will have a good website design to boast of. Never forget that the main purpose of your site design should be to create a good user experience for your visitors, the design is not there to indulge your design whims and fancies, so do not get caught up in the temptation to over complicate things unnecessarily.
When it comes to eCommerce web site design the ultimate goal of the site is to lead customers to buy products from your site. Therefore the design needs to be aesthetic and not take away from the central purpose of purchasing. Nowadays there are many service providers who provide you with affordable web design for your ecommerce site. Here we outline some of the tips that make an ecommerce site more effective in design.
Buy paths that are structured
One of the most important elements of any internet web design for ecommerce is to create a structured and definite path to coax the customer into buying something. You could possibly create a flowchart that showcases the different web page elements on the ecommerce site along with the path direction in each. Even if it is a small business web design you are looking at, paying attention to these details can really go a long way in increasing the purchase rate from customers!
Prominent product button
It should be your aim to have the product buttons on display right on the home page itself. Any good quality custom web site design company will tell you this. It directly enables the customer to go to the product page and make a purchase. Also, since it will usually be the very first thing a visitor sees, there are more chances of having a success at purchase through this method. Most high quality eCommerce web site design approaches will place these product buttons on the top left hand corner as this is the area most frequently seen by customers. Also by using different font sizes or colors you can guide the customer to click on the product buttons.
Accurate search results
It is imperative that you have a search button as part of your internet web design in your ecommerce site. However, make sure the results are accurate. Ideally you want the results of a query to point to a product description web page. This narrows down the search and makes it easier for customers to find what they are looking for. Many vendors today provide you with top quality affordable web design as far as e commerce go.
As part of any good small business web design for ecommerce, you want the customer to have to click through as little as possible. That means when you display the product information you should also include the price upfront. This will prevent customers from having to click too much and will also increase your conversion rates. A good quality e commerce web site design will always focus on these elements. For simple, innovative and affordable web design solutions, there is only a single solution. Come visit us at KazakMedia.com for ecommerce, ebusiness solutions, ecommerce web design development, web hosting to small businesses at affordable prices.