Friday, April 29, 2011

Email Communication Is Dying. What's Next?

by: Oleg Ilin

Currently there are 3 main types of broadcast Internet messaging systems that you can use to deliver newsletters, e-zines and other informational materials to your customers.

I'm not going to cover here internal or intranet messaging systems, the main focus of this article is on the virtual world outside your local/corporate network.

The main Internet Broadcasting Systems are:

- Email broadcasts that are sent through sender's ISP and received with the email client of your customer (such as Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora, Web Mail systems, etc.)

- RSS Feeds delivered through web-based RSS Aggregators.

- Completely customizable and personalized multi-media messages that are sent through RSS Channels and received with branded RSS Readers (such as Private Mail Reader and Feed Demon).

E-mail communications used to be a very efficient way to deliver information to your prospects and customers. This was working well until we got spammers - thousands of unethical people trashing your inboxes with annoying junk offers without any permission on your part. Nobody really wanted these products, ISP customers were irritated with email-boxes full of irrelevant content, to say the least.

Big and small ISP companies (Internet Service Providers) responded by developing anti-spam filters and society at large was forced to work out a set of anti-spam laws regulating the use of e-mails.

So legitimate internet marketers had to accommodate themselves to these unpleasant changes by implementing various forms of opt-in verifications. In other words, now the customers have to confirm in some way that they give you permission to send them e-mails.

And you inevitably loose a percentage of your customers who for some reasons doesn't want to go through the opt-in process.

Unfortunately, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Anti-spam filters are now so tight, that they easily throw in the bulk folder even legitimate e-mails. How it could happen? Well, you may accidentally use some of the "bad words" - such as "free", "buy", "purchase", etc (there are hundreds of "spam words" and the list grows every day). You know very well what happen to the bulk folder emails - they are as good as trash. Chances that recipient will ever read bulk emails are slim to none.

You also loose some of your readers when you try to enhance their experience by sending emails in html format (which would allow you to add colors, and pictures to your email, use different fonts, etc).

You might want to go even further and insert audio or video streams into your emails to give your readers the opportunity to better comprehend the featured topic.

You might want to do other neat things....

Well, don't bother. Sorry to disappoint you, but your efforts will be in vain. Major ISPs consider html to be the format for commercial emails and as such it triggers spam filters almost automatically.

Some analytic companies estimate that you can easily fail to reach as much as 70% of your customers in the nearest future. According to Doubleclick, one of the e-mail delivery leaders, the average rate of opened e-mails in 4th Quarter of 2004 declined 11.4% from Q4 2003, and is now only 32.6%.

Very bright picture, isn't it?

Luckily, there is a solution, and it comes in a form of RSS technology (Really Simple Syndication).

To put it simply, RSS Feeds are the streams of information presented in xml format. This syndication allows webmasters to find the feeds of interest written by other authors and easily place them on their own web sites (with authors permission, of course). The Big Benefit is that this information is automatically updated every time when the particular RSS feed is updated.

In case of RSS aggregators, readers simply subscribe to the feeds and read them through web-based user interfaces (one of the popular RSS aggregators, for example, is My Yahoo - find the RSS Feeds of your choices, add them to your My Yahoo page - and you will receive the update on what is new on these feeds and will be able to read it in user-friendly format (you don't have to learn xml). Each time you go to MY Yahoo you will be informed which of these feeds were updated in the last 3 days.

And finally, there is a third option - RSS Readers. It gives readers the ability not to worry about the information of their choice being blocked by ISP anti-spam filters. They can simply download RSS Feed Reader and enjoy the benefits of private media-rich environment from your computer!

You don't have to go to any websites to get these data and you're not forced to receive this information, you decide where and when to receive it. (Whereas with e-mails you're facing the fact that anybody could send them to your mailing address).

There are a many good RSS readers out there. Some are free, other offer free trial. The most well-known is FeedDemon (has free trial), then goes SharpReader, NewsCrawler, Awasu, PMR etc.

Now it's your turn to explore the benefits of RSS technology. Use RSS messaging system of your choice and stay ahead of your competitors!

About the author:
Oleg Ilin, the president of 1EzHost L.L.C.- custom web design and development company, invites you to visit http://www.1ezhost.bizand get your unique and result-driven website done by professionals. Free gift for you: 2 valuable internet marketing e-books: http://www.1ezhost.biz/onoff1.php


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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ecommerce Hosting Considerations

by: Eric Lester

Website hosting can be a complex undertaking. Determining how much space you need, how much transfer, finding a reliable host, and getting everything online is no simple task. Add ecommerce to the mix and things become even more complex. This article will deal with some of those additional complications to finding a host for an online store. All of the same considerations to finding general hosting can be applied to ecommerce hosting, there are simply a few additional ones that need some attention.

Basics- Disk Space and Transfer
The core states of any kind of hosting, ecommerce or not, remain space and transfer, or traffic. Generally measured in monthly increments, your space and transfer will place a crucial role in determining just what size plan you need. Ecommerce sites will, generally speaking, require more space and transfer than an equivilant sized site without ecommerce. This is due to the presence of the shopping cart upon which the online storefront is based. Shopping cart programs are installed to the account on which they operate, requiring space, and their scripts for running the store will require additional transfer to handle customers as they browse, add items to their cart, and check out. Will there be a tremendous amount of extra transfer required by the cart? That depends on how many use the cart and on the cart itself. This is why its best to start small and having a clear upgrade path to handle future popularity.

Prospective online merchants will generally have a good idea how many products they'll be selling initially. This will vary wildly from merchant to merchant, and many merchants don't put their entire stocks online. It is wise to start with a considered selection of products first, especially if you wish to initially keep your hosting plan small and upgrade as the store prospers. Those with a great deal of products need to be aware they will probably be facing a bigger monthly fee for a larger hosting plan. Once the decision is made regarding the products, attention can be turned to finding a suitable shopping cart program to contain them.

Shopping Cart
The choice of shopping cart can be a personal one. Those entirely new to ecommerce will probably not have any experience with any kind of shopping cart software. There are a number of popular choices, and most hosting companies will provide one, if not a variety, from which you can choose. It is important to find a shopping cart that suits the individual user, as attempting to change your shopping down the road can be a long process that will, most likely, bring your store down during a transitional period. Don't immediately jump at the first cart a host offers. Ask if they have demos and try them out. Be sure it's a program you can learn and use, as it is the primary way you'll be doing your online business. Even if you have a large business and have a design firm setting up the cart, a rudimentary knowledge of the cart's processes is highly recommended.

Learn as much about your prospective shopping cart software as possible. Make sure it supports SSL, a common site security protocol that will help keep your customer's credit card numbers safe when ordering online. It will need to support your merchant account and payment gateway. In many cases a host might bundle these services, so compatibility isn't an issue. If you secured your merchant services separately from hosting, be sure they are compatible. Find out if the cart has a recommended maximum product limit and, of course, try not to exceed it. The store may slow down and perform poorly if there are too many products in it.

Finally, make sure it will do everything you want it to do. Some merchants sell services and downloadable items that don't conform exactly to the order-product-ship-product flow. If your cart doesn't support these features by default, there may be 3rd party add-ons that will provide this functionality. Miva Merchant is one such shopping cart with a very active 3rd party developer community providing a wide range of add-ons, or "modules" to extend the feature set of the original program. The merchant will have to buy these add-ons and have them installed on their own initiative, though, and the hosting company will not be able to support them.

Reliability and Support
Perhaps of greatest importance is reliability in your chosen host. Think in terms of a "brick and mortar" storefront. If someone locks the front door during business hours, then no customers can come in and nothing is sold. Similarly, if an online store is down at any hour, no customers can come in and nothing is sold. You want the most reliable hosting for such a mission-critical site. Never just take the word of a hosting company's site in regards to their uptime. Do research and look for customer reviews of your prospective host. Online merchants should always be willing to pay more for a reliable hosting company with good uptime and support. A good rule of thumb is to stay away from free or "bargain basement" hosts, since support and uptime are usually the first things to suffer with this kind of hosting.

Conclusions
Finding the right ecommerce hosting company requires a few additional considerations. Decide on your products, your shopping cart, and then shop for your hosting company. You will need more space and transfer than an equivalent site, but start small with your product selection and you can still save money on your hosting. Find a shopping cart that's easy for you to use and understand, as switching at a later date can result in downtime and a lot of work transferring your products. Finally, make sure your host has solid uptime, as an online store that's down isn't generating any sales.

About the author:
Mr. Lester has served for 4 years as the webmaster for http://www.apollohosting.comand previously worked in the IT industry an additional 5 years, acquiring knowledge of hosting, design, and search engine optimization. Apollo Hosting provides website hosting, ecommerce hosting, vps hosting, and web design services to a wide range of customers.


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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Disappointing Designs

by: Paul Hood

Fred Showker catches a line from a Pete Seeger classic, “Where have all the flowers gone?” His flowers are the web designers that he thinks are going extinct. He laments on the seeming “decay” in the art of web designing and says gone are the designers who made a difference in the making of web designs and who provided quality sites for the people to visit.

Showker argues that he has seen a decline in the quality of web sites basing from reviews he made of several sites. From his statements, I can see that he is well-versed in making analyses of web sites and is a credible source of information. Many sites came under his meticulous scrutiny and not one was spared.

Some of the sites that he revisited were dead and others that are still up failed to meet the expected standards. The changes he saw came as a shock since he did not expect many of them to go down the drain.

Riddler.com was one site that Showker said proved to be a disappointment as it took out of consideration the reading pleasure of the reader and instead took on a much commercialized look. Webshaker.com is similar as well.

Ben & Jerry’s ice cream was another site that was axe by Showker. Indeed, I was surprise to see a content in the site about the Black History month with Martin Luther King Jr.’s picture in it. I have to agree with Fred on this one as I see no relevance of the content in promoting B&J’s ice cream. Perhaps there is an underlying purpose for that but I honestly don’t see its bearing here.

Of course there are web sites that met Showker’s scrutiny like Hallmark, Camobell Soups and Smuckers. These sites provided a good site for browsing and had a good visual offering for the visitor.

Fred Showker’s main thesis in his review is the importance of the reader as an element in the creation of web sites. The site must be tailor-made for the reader for it to reap the fullest benefits. The content must be of relevance to the reader and not just provide a stiff approach to giving out information.

He further adds that a site may come up short on the design aspect but it still should follow this basic concept, "The reader is the most important element in the equation." Style gives way to message, and content is STILL king.


About the author:
Additional Information about the articles can be found at http://www.catalogprintingexperts.com



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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Design VS. SEO: Can My Site Look Good and Rank Well?

by: John Krycek

Do you have to sacrifice all of the creative and artistic elements of your web site to rank in the search engines? Later in this article I'll show you a real case scenario and the design and SEO approach used.

Thanks to the birth of professional search engine marketers the top ranks are saturated with the pages of companies that can pay for such insight. That said, it's certainly possible to employ high ranking tactics in your own website. Actually, the most basic tactics can move you up from an 800 position to a 300. However, it's the top of the scale where efforts seem almost inversely exponential or logarithmic, you put a ton in to see a tiny change in rank.

How do you meld the ambitious overhauls required to attain significant ranking and NOT compromise the design of your site?

DESIGN CAN'T BE IGNORED

If you have an existing site, you've probably tied it into your existing promotional content. Even if you've allowed your website to cater to the more free form of the net, it should still be designed as a recognizable extension of your business.

The reasons for doing so are valid, and can't simply be ignored for the sake of achieving a first age position, can they? If your research into search optimization leaves you shuffling around thoughts of content, keyword saturated copy and varying link text, you are correctly understanding some of the basic pillars of search engine optimization.

And, you aren't alone if you have this disheartening thought—If I do all this SEO stuff and reach number one across the board, who would stay at my site because it's so stale and boring I'm even embarrassed to send people there!

There are two ways to successfully combine design and SEO. The first is to be a blue chip and/or Fortune 500 company with multi million dollar advertising and branding budgets to deliver your website address via television, radio, billboards, PR parties and giveaways with your logo.

Since chances are that's not you, and certainly not me, lets look at the second option. It begins with some research into your market, some thoughtful and creative planning, and a designer who is a search engine optimizer, and understands at least basic CSS and HTML programming techniques. Or a combination of people with these skills that can work very well together.

DESIGN IS FOR BROCHURES, INSTANT RESULTS ARE FOR THE WEB

That's not the whole truth, but it will help compare and contrast design and SEO. In reality, SEO needs the quantity and detail of supporting text that a brochure has, but good web design has to catch a viewer's attention in 5 seconds. It's pretty difficult to read and absorb the content of an entire brochure in less than 5 seconds.

Search engines need rich, related, appropriate, changing and poignant content. And for them to rank you, all of that must be on your pages. But if it's not well organized and broken down into bite size chunks, no one is going to bother learning about what you're offering.

CONSTRUCTION 101- ATTRACTIVE DESIGN AND SEO

Sadly, it's very difficult to optimize a site without completely overhauling it. You'll soon understand why. Design and SEO must be strongly rooted into every aspect of each other, possessing a true, symbiotic relationship. Lets look at a simplified example of this. Lets say you are optimizing a page for the keyword phrase, "pumpkin bread recipe."

From a design standpoint "Pumpkin Bread Recipe" would be the heading for the page, in a nice, readable font with the words perhaps an orange-brown color. And lets add a fine, green rule around it.

There are many ways to create that simple, colored heading. However, there is only one way that is best for both design and SEO. That is to use Cascading Style Sheets, or CSS. In addition, that line of code containing "Pumpkin Bread Recipe" needs to be as close to the top of the page as possible (which CSS also allows).

To a viewer, the recipe text might be read more if it were located to the right of a photo of a buttered piece of pumpkin bread on a small plate next to a lightly steaming cup of coffee.

SEO needs to read that ingredient list and baking instructions. Search engines now understand on a rudimentary level that the ingredients are indeed related to the optimized words- pumpkin bread recipe.

Additionally, it would take many extra lines of code to make a table in this example if you didn't use CSS. Search engines don't like extra code. In fact, given enough times, that "extra" code will make the keyword phrases seem less important and hurt rank.

Note: In the page code, a few thousand characters more than you need to get all of that content organized would normally just add to your page load time, and might be acceptable. But to a search engine, that time can really add up. It wont read through page after page, site after site, billionth after billionth character of unimportant code to find the relevant text. Therefore, the less code, the better your chances. Moral- Less code, more content.

SEO USUALLY MEANS REDO

In the previous pumpkin example, CSS will eliminate the need for almost any extra code at all, and provide the means to place the text to the right of the photo.

Now, imagine that someone had already created this page, but done so using other programming methods. The page could very well be W3C compliant, well programmed and got the job done. However, without designing and programming for optimization as in the above illustration, the end result would have no significant rank compared to others that do.

You can be sure that there exist at least 30 web sites built to rank for the keywords "pumpkin bread recipe". Note- why did I use the number 30? It's safe to assume if you're not on the first three results pages of a search, you're not being seen.

While this is a simple example, hopefully you understand that it would be impossible to optimize this simple page without redoing it. This isn't always the case, but extrapolate this into detailed, multiple pages in an entire website and the issue is greatly magnified.


AESTHETIC IMPORTANCE VS. TRAFFIC


Everyone has an idea of what they want their site to look like. The pretty factor- splash pages, cool flash and graphics must now be justified as to their importance to the bottom line. If you want/need to establish an online presence, you will have to make some compromises in these areas.

Understand exactly the role your site should play in your company marketing.

Ask- What is the goal of your website and who is its audience? Is it for existing clients to see? Is it to reach new clients? To venture into yet untapped market segments?

Ask- How strongly do your other marketing efforts promote your site?

Ask- Is your website an extension of your existing collateral that must reflect the same graphical look?

Ask- Is your website meant to assist to your sales force or is it your sales force?

Chances are you wont have any single answers. That's ok. It will give you some meat for your designer/SEO to digest and develop a solution for you.

REAL CASE OF DESIGN BALANCED WITH SEO AND SALABILITY

If you sell jewelry solely online, you must have a catalog of exceptional photography and detailed, high-resolution close up images. But, you must be optimized and rank well if you want to sell any of that jewelry.

If such a company approached me with this project, my recommendation would be this: If you sell a product, people have to see that product. Lots of good images. The site should be slick and sheik and easy to navigate. The home page has to capture the buyer's attention. If it's very expensive jewelry, the site should have a lot of class and elegance. If it's home made jewelry, the site shouldn't look home made.

However, as you have no store front, if the online community can't find you, you're business will fail. So I'd have a very optimized home page with some discussion of the quality of your product, the history of your company, etc. This is also great sales copy. Ad a few special catalog pieces with descriptions below some smartly placed gifs, jpegs and readable type graphics built out of CSS and you've got a cool to look at, content rich, well optimized layout.

I'd make the link to your catalog very obvious and prominent. Note the catalog is not the homepage. I'd also include subsequent well written, in depth pages about the history of some specific pieces. Load them with targeted keywords and a few images. Again, make your catalog link very prominent. In doing so you're creating relevant content for search engines AND providing additional pages that can rank.

The catalog can be database driven, simple and changeable, and you have the foundation to build your search rank.

PLANNING YOUR SITE

If your designer is not a search engine optimizer, hire one to work with your designer from the initial development stage of your site. If you would like a visible presence that is not dependant on traditional marketing efforts to get your name around, then you will have to optimize.

However, with advances in html and css, text itself can be a very flexible and attractive design element with endless possibilities. Site optimization consists of some rigid, unbendable rules. It can be intertwined successfully with very creative and attractive design. If your Designer and SEO aren't the same person or company, make sure they have the same, close working relationship.

About the author:
John Krycek is a creative director at theMouseworks.ca Toronto website design.. Learn more about search engine optimization, internet marketing, web development and graphic design in easy, non-technical, up front English at http://www.themouseworks.ca!


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Monday, April 25, 2011

Designing Your Site For The Search Engines

by: Angie Noack

When you design a website, it's easy to focus on what your visitors are going to see. What you have to realise, though, is that you're going to have another kind of visitor with a completely different agenda: they're not going to be looking at your pretty logo and they're not going to be passing judgement on your background colour. What they're looking for is the content and structure of your page.

They're the search engine spiders, and they are in control of probably the largest section of your traffic. You need to please these spiders if you want your site to be successful. Here's how.

Make Your Structure Clear.

Resist the temptation to lay your page out in non-standard ways: you want it to be very clear to the search engine where the navigation is, where the content is, and where the headings are. As a rule, put navigation first in your page. Always use the heading tags (h1, h2, etc.) for headings and sub-headings.

Avoid using generic span and div tags and only making things clear to the user through CSS font sizes: instead, use every 'semantic' HTML tag that applies to your content. If you're quoting someone, use the blockquote tag; if you're posting program code, use the code tag. Search engines love this.

Keep Keywords Consistent.

It's not usually worth deliberately saturating your content with keywords in hope of a higher search ranking – the engines have pretty much wised up to this tactic – but do make sure that your keywords appear consistently when they occur naturally. For example, for these articles, I have stuck with 'website' throughout, as suddenly writing 'web site' instead would bring down my rankings.

HTML and Javascript.

It's worth noting that search engines read HTML, but they don't, in general, read Javascript. That means that using Javascript to insert text into your page is a bad idea if you want search engines to see the text. On the other hand, you might want to have just the text in HTML and insert all the other parts of the page with Javascript: this will tend to make your page appear more focused, although you should be careful not to insert navigation links this way if you want the search engines to follow them.

Use Meta Tags.

Yes, meta tags are out of fashion, and search engines pay no attention to them any more when it comes to ranking your site, but they're still important in one way: the meta description tag is still often used to decide what text search engines' users see when they find your site in their results! This can be just as important as the ranking itself – write something here that will look useful to the searcher, and you're more likely to get them to click-through. Don't forget that, while search engines are just machines and algorithms, the end result of it all does involve a human decision: to click, or not to click?

Avoid Splash Pages.

You might think it's a great idea to have a 'splash' page displaying a full-page version of your logo (or an ad) to every user who arrives at your site, but search engines really hate that. Using this trick will get you ranked far lower than you would usually be, so you should avoid it – it's annoying to visitors anyway.

Include Alt Tags.

Any time you use a graphic, include alt text for it – especially if there is text in the graphic. Remember that, as far as search engines are concerned, all your graphics might as well just be big black boxes. Test by removing all your graphics and seeing if your content remains relatively intact. If it doesn't, then you'll be turning search engines away.

Finally, Write Great Content.

The key with modern search engines (and, at the same time, the thing you have least control over) is how many people decide to link to your page from their page. How can you make more people link to you? Make your content useful. Make it something they'll want to quote on their blogs. Content is more King than it's ever been, and the best way to design for search engines is to make your content really stand out.

About the author:
Angie is the lead web designer for a fortune 500 company. Read her thoughts on web design on her blog... http://www.webdesignblogonline.com


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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Creative Ways to Gain Links

by: Jason Rickard
Creative Methods for "One Way" Links

Everyone knows the importance of getting other sites to link to you and the most common way is for a reciprical link. That is the kind of link that Click Sentrys reciprical tools address. These are great links and should always be sought after. However, there has been much discussion about Google giving less weight to a link that is recip. One of the ways to combat this is "triangle" linking but this can be very time consuming and hard to explain to new website owners. That brings us to another method:

One Way Linking

When most people think about one way linking their mind immediately turns to directories. These are a great source (and are seemingly endless) of one way links but there are even more creative ways to get them. I am going to break it into two very easy categories - Press Releases and Article Submissions

Press Releases - New websites seem to believe that people who need their service or product will just find them because of that need. Anyone who has started a site just to sit back and let the orders or visitors roll in has been quickly reminded that despite being the "web", people still need to know you are there.
There are plenty of great sites that allow you to "announce" your arrival. Even if you are an established site you are still able to write a press release to announce any new products or tools you may have. Somehow in the move from newspapers to internet many have lost the fine art of writing an engaging (and self serving of course) press release. I will write another article sometime about that lost art with step by step instructions. In the meantime, just read some of the other Press Releases and adapt your own. These press releases are spidered by google so it is a great way to not only get a link but to also drive traffic to your site.

Here are some sites to start with:

http://www.prleap.com
: Your free press release goes to google news(news.google.com) and searchengines like yahoo, msn altavaista and you can view the history and statistics.
For this release, your article must be professional.

http://www.prweb.com:
One of the best press release websites i come across. You can issue free press release which goes to related websites and article posting websites.
For a fee of 60+ only, your article goest to various news sites like yahoo news, business.com(iam not sure of this) and related big news websites.

Article Submissions - The second great way to gain links is to submit articles. Do you have a web design site? Write an article about Google starting to index flash sites. All of the good submission sites allow you to put an about the Author section with links to your site in it. This gives you an instant link from the site you submitted it to but MORE IMPORTANTLY, these sites allow other website owners to boost their content by including YOUR article in their websites. The only thing they ask is for the article and your link to not be modified. Write a good article and you may see 100's of one way links within weeks. Write 10 great articles and.... well you get the idea.

Here are some sites to start with:

http://www.goarticles.com
http://www.articlecity.com

Good Luck!!

About the author:
Jason Rickard is the webmaster of http://www.yourfavouriteshop.comand owner of http://www.graftonwebdesign.com.*Article may be reprinted provided it is not altered and links are live.*


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Saturday, April 23, 2011

CREATIVE SUITE - THE UNDERLYING INTEGRATION

by: Blur Loterina

Are you an Acrobat user and needs a complete tool for your print or web design projects? Read on.

A few months ago, Acrobat launched its main creative design packages including Photoshop/ImageReady, GoLive, InDesign and Illustrator. After a long period of silence, it came up with a much better package.

Adobe’s Creative Suite now comes in two new packages, the Standard Edition and the Professional Edition. The Standard Edition is composed of Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and InDesign. This package contains most of the print-oriented flagships. On the other hand, Adobe GoLive and Acrobat Professional comprise the Professional Edition, which focuses on web design.

Basically, these packages are combinations of the strengths each application offers. They are integrations of tools for handling colour management, screen display, type handling and more. They allow cross-application, meaning any file done in one program can be opened to the other programs as long as the file was created on one of the programs that comprises the packages. When a file is transferred, all other options can be applied. For example, when you open an Illustrator file to Photoshop, that file will be opened as a Photoshop file.

Every creative application on the package uses PDF file format. Not just a PDF format, they use the latest PDF 1.5 format. PDF format allows you to import and export directly. You can embed vector PDFs from Illustrator and bitmap PDFs from Photoshop in a multi-page InDesign PDF. This can also be exported for PDF web display or repurposed via GoLive.

Adobe Creative Suites has a new integrated file management system, which is essential in the software’s workflow and tight integration. Different components and versions of a project are hard to manage, especially when you are going to use a lot of programs, as in workgroups. But Adobe has a solution to this, the Version Cue. Version Cue, through the application of Save dialog, enables you to store all job elements and important version of your project. The Open dialog accesses visual thumbnails of the project file. You will also be warned if other users are using the same file. In other words, it provides file versioning and management.

The packages also contain XMP or eXtensible Metadata Platform standards. This allows you to search for files according to related information like keywords or authors.

Creative Suite applications are guaranteed excellent tools to provide you with your desired result. Think of these packages as the total of all these applications.


About the author:
For additional information and comments about the article you may log on to http://www.printingquotesonline.com



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Friday, April 22, 2011

Computer Learning Center for Kids is Committed to the Federal "No Child Left Behind" Law

by:

We would like to assist the educational community in meeting those goals by providing a small classroom environment, with a focus on individual student and adult learning at affordable prices.

Hiram, GA (PRWEB) February 23, 2004 -- Computer Learning Center for Kids exists to respectively serve as a highly valued resource for this regions educational, economic, social and cultural advancement with a commitment to a teaching / learning environment. And, provide computer training skills for children and adults of all ages in a diverse, ergonomic, safe environment and meet the technological needs in this technical world in which we live.

Serving Paulding County, Powder Springs, Carroll County, Cobb County, Douglasville and neighboring counties in Georgia.

The pride in understanding basic education and computer skills is priceless. Students will feel secure in the pace of classroom instruction due to the small class sizes and interactive teaching methods. Each student addressed at a personal learning pace that will boost their emotional appeal to learning the computer skills needed for tomorrow. The ease of use of the training programs will attract prospective students to our facility, and encourage existing students to return for more instruction. Computer Learning Center for Kid's Inc will benefit all peer groups of the community. Children will benefit from the advanced computer learning by increasing their appetite for technology and learning. Parents will benefit from the increased appetite for learning their children will experience, as well as the assistance of an additional educational institution to help raise their child's real world IQ. The benefits of our service extend beyond the realms of education into security of childcare and social activities with the belief in “No Child Left Behind”.

The learning facility is an 1800 square foot office space located at 1899 Lake Road, Suite 211, Hiram, Georgia 30141. The learning center has a restroom, break room, 6 computer workstations, along with fax-scanier, copier, printer, and e-learning educational manuals that will allow ample supplies for an effective learning environment. A sitting area is available for parents that allow visual observation of their child learning sessions. The learning center for children held at the facility with set business hours of operation of Monday-Friday 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM. Saturday hours 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

The primary objective of our organization is to teach computer skills to children of all ages to include adults and senior citizens.

On hand, experienced trainers will lead small class sessions from beginning to end of basic computer functions and tutorial programs.

Tutorial courses in math, spelling, reading. Computer training in computer basic, word processing, excel, e-mail,Internet usage and web design explored in a fully comprehensive instructional setting.

Visit us on the web @ www.clcfk.com or take a tour of the facilities. Mention this press release and receive 1-hour free computer class.

1899 Lake Road
Ste. 211
Hiram, GA. 30141
770.222.6414

Sincerely,

Carolyn Blassingill
President

About the author:
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Choosing Your Web Hosting Reseller Software

by: S. Rosendahl

As a web host reseller, one of your most important business decisions is your choice of web hosting control panel software. The web hosting software you use will save or cost you time, money, and frustration.

What reseller control panel features will reduce your workload? What hosting software programs are integrated with the reseller control panel or work with it? What website control panel features will your clients like?

In this article, we’ve compared four quality web hosting reseller software programs:

• Alabanza
• cPanel
• H-Sphere
• Plesk

All of these reseller control panels come with control panels for your clients. They all have numerous features — advanced email management, web statistics, pre-installed scripts, multi-language support, and more. They all work on Linux platforms, while H-Sphere and Plesk also work with Windows. According to the cPanel website, a Windows version of cPanel is in development.

Other features that set these control panels apart are their degree of automation, the number of features and ease of use for the end user, and the features and ease of use for you, the reseller.
Alabanza

When you become an Alabanza reseller, you don’t just have a reseller account — you lease a dedicated server from Alabanza. Alabanza owns the control panel the server, and you resell directly for Alabanza. If you lease a dedicated Alabanza server, you can create your own reseller accounts. However, only you can set up hosting plans; resellers below you will be limited to hosting plans that you create.

Alabanza offers resellers a high degree of automation with its Domain System Manager (DSM), which can significantly reduce overhead and time spent on routine tasks:

• Account creation
• Billing and invoice management
• Credit card processing
• Domain registration
• Email notifications
• Ordering fraud protection

Even novices can sell hosting with this level of automation.

DSM also integrates with bulkregister.com for domain name registration. It does not easily integrate with other domain registrars, though.

A key Alabanza feature that resellers can offer their clients is the Xpress Product Suite, which provides web development and email management tools. The Xpress Product Suite includes SiteXpress, a website-building program that features over 300 templates and requires no web design skills.

cPanel

For resellers and end users, cPanel is known for its ease of use and range of features. cPanel’s collection of over 50 pre-installed scripts and Fantastico auto installer help clients set up their sites with little web development knowledge.

A basic cPanel reseller account comes with two separate programs for resellers to manage their business:

• WHM (Web Host Manager) is used to create accounts and packages, add and suspend sites, modify passwords, view bandwidth usage, park domains, install SSL certificates, and perform other administrative functions.
• From the reseller’s cPanel control panel, a drop-down menu takes the reseller to the control panels for each of the sites on the reseller account, including the reseller’s site.

With the addition of an optional program, WHM AutoPilot, you can automate account creation and suspension, email notifications, and other tasks. WHM AutoPilot also integrates with common payment gateways and has a helpdesk, an invoice module, and other tools.
H-Sphere

H-Sphere is designed for both Linux and Windows platforms. Moreover, resellers can set up plans for both Linux and Windows and administer sites on different servers from the same control panel. The control panel, actually a separate server, also provides administrative access to the integrated helpdesk.

The H-Sphere control panel server automates account configuration, credit card processing, domain registration, and email notifications. It also includes a built-in billing module and supports over 20 payment gateways.

From the reseller’s point of view, H-Sphere has a higher learning curve than most other control panels because of its numerous features. For example, when setting up a new plan, the administrator has two pages of features to choose from, including setup and monthly pricing for optional services.

Beginning webmasters may find H-Sphere too complicated for their needs. More advanced users, however, appreciate the features and control that H-Sphere offers the end user. A key feature is the ability to have control over separate domains with multi-domain hosting.

H-Sphere comes with the website builder SiteStudio, which guides users through a variety of style choices and stores content separately from the layout. No HTML or FTP knowledge is required.
Plesk

Plesk is known for its stability and security. Resellers and end users like its simple navigation, its clean interface, and its professional appearance. It comes in versions for both Linux and Windows platforms.

With Plesk, all users use the same control panel but with different levels of control:

• Server administrator
• Client / reseller
• Domain owner
• Mail user

Each level of the control panel gives the user control of that level and the level(s) below it. Email users, for example, can log into their mail user control panel to change their password, add autoresponders, and change other personal settings without having access to the domain owner control panel.

Plesk handles SpamAssassin at the mailbox level rather than at the domain level.
This feature enables users to whitelist or blacklist email for each email address, allowing each email user to have individual settings.

SWsoft, the company behind Plesk, also offers SiteBuilder, a five-step website builder using pre-built templates. SiteBuilder has over 300 templates in different categories to choose from, and users can publish their sites without any HTML or FTP knowledge.

If your Plesk reseller account is with a web host that offers HSPcomplete, you will have some automation available with your account, such as credit card charges and email notification.



About the author:
About the author: Lois S. is a Technical Executive Writer for Website Source, Inc. http://www.websitesource.com. Her established writing skills coupled with experience in the website hosting industry have provided internet professionals with marketing, product and service ideas for many years.


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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Choosing A Web Designer: A Plan To Guide You Through The Minefield

by: Robin Porter

Choosing a web designer can seem like a daunting task. They come in all shapes and sizes – from freelancers working at home to glossy new media agencies, and there is as much variation in prices and service as there is in size.

So how do you choose the right one for your business?

Select Your Marketplace

Firstly, decide what market your would like to select from: local , national or overseas.

If you would feel more comfortable meeting your designer, and running through your project face to face (maybe it’s the kind of project that needs to “evolve”) ,and your ethos is “quality of service” rather than “Pile ‘em high, sell ‘em cheap” then a local web designer is for you. They can usually provide better back up, and be able to meet face to face to discuss your project and iron out any problems should they occur.

If you are a bit more budget conscious, then it makes sense to select from a “wider pool”. Getting quotes from designers across your country will usually obtain a more competitive quote. What you lose in face-to-face service is made up for in cost savings, and all but the largest web projects can usually be sorted out via telephone and email these days.

For the extremely cost conscious and value for money orientated (some would even say “brave”!) there is the overseas market. If you know exactly what you are looking for and can explain your project thoroughly and clearly in writing, then there are huge savings to be made. But what you save in price is invariably countered by having to do a little more work on your side – particularly when it comes to communication!

Finding Web Designers

To find a list of local web designers consult your Yellow Pages (or equivalent) or do a web search for “web designer “ “your area”. Looking further a field, you can do a web search or check out directories such as www.recommended-web-designers.co.uk . For overseas designers, go to web sites such as www.elance.com or www.rentacoder.com, the latter offering the benefit of escrow and arbitration services.

Draw up a shortlist

Draw up a shortlist of 3 or 4 designers to speak to. You can do this by visiting their websites, getting a feel for the type and size of business they are and looking at their online portfolio. Then call them – ask them questions about the type of clients they work for, timeframes and any other technical questions you have. Get a feel for how they communicate – whether they are on the same wavelength as you.

If you opted to go overseas, the websites already mentioned have ratings systems which can help you decide, and you can also send and receive private messages to ask questions.

Get Quotes

Once you have your shortlist, you can get quotes. For a straightforward website this can be a simple fixed price – for a more complicated project that is likely to evolve, you may just want to get a budget price at this stage, and then pin down details and a fixed price with your preferred bidder later. Always specify your expected timeframe for completion when obtaining quotes as this can affect prices.

Get References

Once you have your preferred bidder, get references. Any established web designer will be able to provide details of satisfied clients. Email them and ask if they were happy with the service received, if the job was completed on time, how unforeseen problems were dealt with etc.

Remember to trust your instincts: If you are not entirely happy with the references you obtain, walk away and select another designer.

Appoint your web designer

You now have a fixed price, references, and confirmed timescale for your project. Now appoint your designer!

Most have standard agreements –read them carefully, and if in doubt get your legal adviser to look them over. Make sure timescales and project milestones are specified, as well as payment terms. Find out how alterations to your project are dealt with – in terms of cost and delays – and how disputes if they arise would be settled.

Finally, when you are completely happy, sign on the dotted line and look forward to a productive working relationship with your web designer!

© 2005 Robin Porter.

About the author:
Robin Porter has been CEO of of London based web designer Arpey Internet (http://www.arpey.co.uk) for over six years.


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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cheap Webhosting - Is It For You

by: John Pierce
There's an old adage which states that "You get what you pay for".

In most areas of life, and business, this holds true. Not necessarily so, however, in the webhosting industry. Often, you pay too much, and don't get what you pay for.

Several weeks ago I got a call from a web designer friend of mine.

"John," He said "You won't believe this".

He went on to tell me about a Plastic Surgeon he was redesigning a website for. This client was paying $600.00 per month for his webhosting account.

"The incredible thing is" He related, "I can't get the current host to return my phone calls or emails".

After looking at this clients needs, I was shocked to find that there was nothing special about his site that justified his being on anything other than a basic shared webhosting plan. We quoted him a monthly rate of under five dollars.

In this case, the client was being raped by an unscrupulous host who was not only overcharging him, but not even providing the basic support he needed.

This is an extreme example, no doubt, but it all to often characterizes the poor deal which most website owners fall into.

Several years ago, there was no such thing as a webhosting industry. Nearly all websites were hosted by local ISP's. The average monthly cost for hosting a website was $20.00 per month. Often, if you called the ISP with a technical question, they would tell you to buy a book or take a class.

Around 1996, we saw the emergence of a few "webhosting" companies. These were companies which were strictly committed to hosting websites. Using the economy of scale, they were able to offer incredibly useful webhosting packages for around $10.00 per month. What's more, some of these companies provided useful tech support which was geared towards meeting a website owners needs.

Fast forward to 2005 and we now see the emergence of a new type of web host - the cheap webhosting provider. These are companies which offer hosting for less than $5.00 per month.

Generally, cheap webhosting providers are newer companies. There's a reason for this. It's extremely difficult for the older companies to lower their prices when they already have a large customer base which pays higher prices. They'd be slashing their gross, and most companies just can't afford that.

So how do cheap webhosting providers offer such a low price to begin with?

Part of it is that servers, hard drive space and bandwidth are much, much less expensive than they were several years ago. Cheap webhosting providers capitalize on this.

Another part is that cheap hosting providers use a different business model than the older providers. Webhosting is a very competitive business. Until recently, web hosts attempted to compete by providing the most tools and features. The problem with this model is that not everyone needs everything. Most web hosts provide free backup services to all of their clients. Backups are costly, and not everyone needs or wants them, but everyone pays for them because they're built into the cost of the package.

A cheap webhosting provider, on the other hand, might give you the basic features that everyone uses, but offer weekly backups as an available add on feature, putting the cost of backing up websites on only those customers who want that service.

This all sounds great, I know, but what about service? Will I get competent and fast customer support from a company which charges me $4.00 per month?

The answer, surprisingly, is usually yes.

Obviously, not all cheap webhosting providers will give you great service. But not all expensive webhosting providers will give good service either. Our Plastic Surgeon friend couldn't get his $600.00 host to return his emails.

But, with a cheaper provider, the key for the providers success is customer retention. A savvy web host will endeavor to please his existing clients by providing the best support possible.

About the author:
John Pierce is a technology writer and the Customer Service Manager for Gold Zero Web Hosting - http://goldzero.com-and the Webmaster for Cheap Webhosting Info Guide - http://cheapwebhostinginfo.com


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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Building Websites for Charity

by: ARA
(ARA) - Learning doesn’t just happen inside a classroom. For The Art Institutes, learning is also creating opportunities for students and faculty to take their talents and skills outside the classroom, into the community, to help others.

This year, The Art Institutes will hold its second national “webraising” event, with schools throughout North America participating. Based on the Amish concept of a barnraising where neighbors gather together and build a barn in one day, webraisings build websites for nonprofit organizations in one 24-hour period.

Webraising is just one of dozens of volunteer efforts that some 5,000 students from The Art Institutes take part in each year, contributing more than a quarter million hours toward improving the communities in which they live and attend school.

For a webraising event, students and faculty of the Multimedia and Web Design departments of The Art Institutes work closely with nonprofit organizations several weeks in advance, conducting research, learning about the organization and the population it serves, and the purpose of its Website. They then work for a period of 8 to 10 hours to meet the launch deadline date.

"Webraisings are a unique opportunity for Multimedia and Web Design students to put their skills to work creating a critical marketing and communication tool for these non-profit organizations that they otherwise might not have the resources to create for themselves,” says Dr. Ameeta Jadav. She is coordinating the current effort underway.

In fact, many students who have participated in webraising events have continued to be involved with the organization as volunteers and Web site managers.

For Art Institute of Atlanta student Robert Horton, the experience of helping to raise a Web site for a local arts organization was overwhelmingly positive. “I liked the whole experience working with my team members and the organization representative,” says Horton. “My participation means a lot to me; it says that I'm a part of something that's productive."

“While the goals of the event are to develop a strong partnership among students, schools and their communities, and provide our students with professional hands-on experience, perhaps most importantly, we hope to instill in them a life-long commitment to volunteerism,” adds Dr. Jaday.

For more information on careers in Multimedia and Web Design and The Art Institutes, visit www.artinstitutes.edu/nz.

Courtesy of ARA Content

About the author:
Courtesy of ARA Content

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Breaking the Myth about Page Rank (PR)

by: Christopher Smith

The most difficult challenge most web designers face is getting traffic to your site. There are plenty of companies who promise to send traffic your way. Sadly, most of this traffic is not qualified. Yes, your hit counter will move higher, however, if its not qualified, you may find you have unhappy visitors to your site. Unhappy visitors will not click on your ads or purchase your products.

Once you have optimized your site, consider submitting it to every search engine. If you want to get spidered quicker in Google, have a web page with a PR of 4 or higher point to your site. Your site will be spidered within a couple of days!

One myth I would like to bust is that PR is a measure of a web site. Its not. I receive countless emails offering a reciprocal link with their PR5 or PR6 site. Unless my link is appearing on the main page, or a page that has PR6, I am not getting a share of PR6. Most likely, my link will appear on a page that has a PR2!

Page rank is Google's ranking of that specific page's relevance. Just because the main page has a PR of 4, does not make every page on the site a PR4. Beware of sites who claim that they will exchange links with you and its to your benefit since they have a PR5 or PR6. Where is your link appearing? If its on a page that has a PR of 4 or 5 or 6, great!

Reciprocal linking, if done properly, will ensure that your keywords are at the top of the search engine. If you have a popular keyword, you ll need to have more back links. Pick your link partners properly, and ensure that they are linking to your keyword.

For example: if your site is www.joesdinner.com, consider sending out requests to relevant higher ranking pages to start with, followed by lower ranking pages and ask web designers to link back in a manner so that your url is a hyperlink for your keyword, not your site url or site name.

Presuming their keyword is "best dining in new york", having links pointing to your site with an anchor tag incorporating your keywords will improve your search engine rankings dramatically.

Once you have established a collection of sites pointing to your site using your keywords, you will start receiving reciprocal link exchanges from other sites. This is where you can start to be particular.

If you want to maintain an effective PR and attract better sites for linking, follow these tips:

a) Is it indexed?
While their site may be indexed, the page where they are placing your link, is it at least indexed by google? If you type in allinurl:www.sitename.com/links/right_here.html and there are no results, consider declining their offer. If the page your link appears on has not been indexed, there is no benefit whatsoever to you. If your pages have PR, they may consider placing your link on another page. If the page your link appears on is indexed, but does not have PR, consider accepting their offer. While the page today may not have PR, it will in time.

b) How many neighbours?
The value of the page rank is shared with each of the links on that page. If you are splitting that PR with several other sites, your share of PR will be small, which doesnt help you. Reconsider accepting any link exchanges if your site is 1 of more than 30 - 40 sites that will appear on that page, unless its a very high PR. Further, if there are too many links on that page, Google may consider the page to be part of a link farm, which may end up penalizing your site.

c) Is it relevant?
Google is big on relavancy. Ensure your links pages are relevant. If you operate a site about golf, having links from cooking sites will not help you establish your page rank. It may cost you more than you get in return.

How to Find Good PR sites:

a) Do a search for them by typing in your keyword and start asking for reciprocal link exchanges. Take a look at their PR and go from there. Remember, its the number of sites that backlink to you that matters, not strictly the PR of the page. I would rather have 50 pages that have a PR1 pointing to my site, than to have 5 sites that have a PR5. Of course, if you can get 50 pages that have a PR5 pointing to your site, you are laughing!

b) Take a look at your existing link partners and check out their links pages. Its clear the people appearing on those links pages are interested in reciprocating.

c) Purchase software that will help find quality link partners.

It is important to attract higher PR sites when you are on a reciprocal link campaign. However, its not the most important thing when it comes to search engine rankings. Its the backlinks that point back at you that are key. The more of those, the better off you will be for your keyword.

Remember: every page starts off as a PR0. Just because its new doesnt mean it wont get a higher PR once google gets around to assessing a score. If the page your site appears on is indexed, and its a relevant site of quality, consider exchanging links. You'll grow a large list of link partners in a short period of time, and increase your search engine rankings in the process.

About the author:
Christopher Smith has been helping people make money through Google Adsense by providing them with the Top Paying Adsense Keywords for his visitors to Adsense Heaven. http://www.adsenseheaven.com


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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Blending Colors

by: Nashville
When you are familiar with software applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Flash and other drawing programs, I know you are also very much familiar with the swatches. Swatches contain selection of different colors that you can use during the creation of your web design, graphic design, and animation. Know what, we have a new innovation in these swatches. This is the so-called Color Blender.

According to the blog entitled “Color Blender” which was posted by Neil last October 27, 2004 at www.eightlines.com, the author mentioned that this Color Blender allows you to take two colors and see blends of up to 10 different ones from which you can get their HTML Hex codes.

How can you do it? It’s actually as simple as 1-2-3. The following procedures were also mentioned in the said article. First, you need to pick a color value format, input two valid CSS color values in the format you chose, and pick the number of midpoints you'd like to see. During this step, the palette will show the colors you input as well as the requested number of midpoint colors and the values of those colors. All numbers are rounded to the nearest integer. When you click on a square in the "waterfall" display, it will fill in the appropriate value for whichever input is highlighted. And, when you switch between value formats, it will translate whatever values are in place. Clicking on the "Clear" button removes all values and colors, but does not change the current value format.

With this, graphic art professionals and web developers can now experiment more in the color combinations in their projects thus, making them more creative and innovative in their line of work. I would like to commend the programmers of this simple yet so important program. More power!



About the author:
Additional Information about the articles can be found at http://www.catalogprintingexperts.com



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Friday, April 8, 2011

Big Business Web Design Disasters

by: Joel Walsh
When you think of the world's most successful businesses, what names come to mind? Most likely, consumer-oriented giants such as Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Sheraton, Disney, IBM, and General Electric. Not only have they spent billions on advertising to buy their way into your head. They offer convenient products and services that have made them a part of your life.

But when you think of the most successful web sites, what names come to mind? Names like Google, Yahoo! Amazon, AOL, Kazaa (for better or worse), and Hotmail.

The late-1990s mantra about the web being a disruptive technology that would destroy traditional companies may have been overstated. But a decade and a half into the web's existence, it is clear that the world's leading corporations have been sidelined on the web.

The biggest shopping site is not walmart.com but amazon.com. The biggest map site is not randmcnally.com but mapquest.com.

Established companies have usually only been able to buy their way into this market through acquisitions (as with Microsoft's purchase of Hotmail, which it used as a base for creating MSN).

Why, with few exceptions, were the world's most successful web sites not launched by the world's most successful corporations?

Many Big Name Companies' Web Sites a Vast Waste of Time for Visitors

The McDonald's web site talks about food, but has no real menu. The Coca-Cola USA web site has no clear ingredients list or nutritional information, no recipes for floats or mixed drinks, no company history, and nothing else useful to people who like Coke. All that information has been inexplicably located on the "company" page, which on every other web site is used for investor relations. The Johnson and Johnson web site has useful information if you can access it—when the author attempted to open it, it crashed two different web browsers (Internet Explorer and Mozilla) before finally yielding (to the Opera browser).

Many big-name companies' web sites offer lessons in what not to do in web design. The biggest lesson by far is not to sacrifice usability in an attempt to look cool, and never forget why your users came to your site in the first place. McDonald's may be the world's largest restaurant chain, but it didn't get that way because of its web site.

Why Big-Budget Websites Are More Often Bombs than Blockbusters

The web sites of many successful corporations (both B2C and B2B) are like big-budget Hollywood movies that spend millions on stars and special effects, and a quarter of a percent of the budget on the script. Worse, the special effects of blockbuster web sites are far more annoying than impressive.

Special Effect that Bombs Number 1: Flash!

When web sites don't offer any content—any useful information to read—what do they put up there instead? Spinning Coke bottles. Chicken McNuggets and French fries that zoom out toward you when you position your cursor over them. Changing pictures of generic-looking office buildings and men in suits (on the web site of real estate giant CB Richard Ellis—but that essentially describes the generic look of many corporate web sites).

Of course, Flash can be used as a way to present content—words, both printed and recorded, and pictures that actually illustrate something. But more often, it is used to impress. And most often, it ends up annoying. Who wants to spend the better part of a minute waiting for a rotation of generic pictures of smiling models?

Special Effect that Bombs Number 2: Splash Screens

You type in duracell.com expecting information on batteries—which you will find, if you have the patience not to hit the “back” button while the site shows a picture of a battery revolving painfully slowly.

On http://www.mcdonalds.com you're met with pictures of happy children playing with Ronald McDonald and a menu to select what country you're from.

Johnson's and Johnson's web site shows a logo before automatically redirecting you to the main page—that is if it doesn't crash your browser first (which happened when the author tried to access the page on May 2, 2004 ).

Another way big consumer corporations' web sites from Schick to Mercedes-Benz to Thomas Cooke waste your time with splash pages is by making you choose what country you're visiting from. This could have been detected automatically, or at least, useful worldwide content could have been placed on the homepage, with an option to choose a country prominently displayed.

Splash pages are the internet equivalent of making patrons wait in line out front before letting them inside. Unless a site belongs to a night club or a professional services firm with too much business, keeping people outside can't be a good idea.

Special Effect that Bombs Number 3: Overbuilt or Badly Built “Dynamic” Functionality

Every web surfer has a story about a shopping cart that malfunctioned just when they were about to click “purchase” on something they really wanted. Or a detailed form that lost all the information after the “submit” button was pressed.

Sometimes, malfunctioning dynamic content can distort the way an entire site presents itself. If the dynamic content is so complex that it presents problems for many users, it is unlikely the dynamic content is worth it. When I visited disney.com in May 2004, my first greeting was a message that your computer is sufficiently up-to-date (or not) to handle the site.

In short, you may want your small or medium-sized business to get as big as Coca Cola or Disney, but you'll never get there if your website looks like theirs do.

About the author:
[Formatting: for web, please use "website content writer" as the link's anchor text (visible link text)] Joel Walsh's business, UpMarket Content, lets him partner with web designers and other creative people, as a website content writer: http://UpMarketContent.com


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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Be Prepared Before Buying Software

by: Christopher Curtis
Before you go to the store to buy software write down your
computers specifications. You'll need the type and speed
of the processor. How much ram your computer has. What
kind of video card? How much disk space is available?
Usually, these things are easy to find on your computer.

On Windows you can navigate to "Programs >Accessories >System Tools." Then click on "System Information" and you should see a summary containing your computers operating system, processor, and memory information. Next click on the plus sign to expand the "Components" category. There under "Display" you will find your computers video card specifications. You may also need to know what kind of sound card is installed. Select "Sound Device" to see the name and manufacturer of this device. Under "Storage" you can select Drives to check how much available disk space you have. This will be labeled "free Space." Other information you may need, depending on the type of program, are network
and modem specs.

Once You have selected a piece of software make sure that it
is compatible with your computer. Most software programs
come on CDs now and will include their minimum requirements
somewhere on the packaging. They may require that you
have a special video card or adapter. It may require that you have a particular type of processor, so make sure that your computers processor is equal or better. Make sure you have enough ram to run the program. Usually, they will give a minimum and a recommended amount, but I have always
found that it is best to go with the recommended amount.

Another thing to take into account is pricing. Sometimes you can save a lot of money by purchasing an earlier version
of a particular piece of software. Just make sure that it has all the features that you want and that it is compatible
with your computer. The best place to look is on the Internet. You can compare pricing without having to run all over town. Go to your favorite search site, and search for the software that you are looking for. Sometimes you can buy online for less, but make sure you check the shipping costs.

About the author:
Chris Curtis is the owner of C-Double Web Development and
has been doing web design and development since 1997.
He began offering affordable web hosting and design in 1999
when he started his own business.
http://www.c-double.com


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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Review on “Power Shortcuts for Adobe Photoshop CS”

by: Nashville
If you want to produce outstanding and award-winning movies instantly, you can count on Adobe Photoshop CS software and its integrated web production application software. Photographers, graphic artists, web designers, and video professionals can take advantage of its indispensable features such as new design possibilities, improved file management, a more intuitive way to create for the web, and support for 16-bit images, digital camera raw data and non-square pixels. With it, you can truly create the highest quality results more efficiently than ever before. Truly, Adobe Photoshop CS is destined to become important.

According to the article “Power Shortcuts for Adobe Photoshop CS” by Michael Ninness which was posted at http://movielibrary.lynda.com, the book is a series of movie-based tutorials designed to help Photoshop users to become faster and more productive. Although the tutorials are grouped by topic, each movie is packed with timesaving tips and shortcuts and can be viewed independently. The included topics are palette shortcuts, screen mode shortcuts, navigation shortcuts, selection shortcuts, type shortcuts, dialog box shortcuts, file browser shortcuts, view shortcuts, layer shortcuts, and image adjustment shortcuts.

Power Shortcuts for Adobe Photoshop CS brings with it many new things. I absolutely don't agree with those people who say that it is difficult to learn Photoshop CS when in fact, it isn't! Tutorials, such as Power Shortcuts for Adobe Photoshop CS, can help you in the learning process. Those of you who are not afraid of experimentation especially in movie making, this is the perfect time for you to enjoy this great field and become a movie making savvy person. All you need to learn, especially if you're learning on your own, are the desire and passion to improve your digital images, the flair to experiment, and excellent tutorials to guide you along the process.

You’ll truly enjoy using Power Shortcuts for Adobe Photoshop CS because there are endless possibilities to create anything that you desire. Of course, you have to be familiar and must be fairly advanced with the Photoshop CS program – this is a big thing. And, I can only assure you of one thing – Power Shortcuts for Adobe Photoshop CS is worth every penny that you’ll spend for it. I must say that it’s one tutorial that’s worth buying.

Truly, it's hard to believe that Adobe keeps on producing these kinds of stuff to help its avid users in the completion of their art projects. Now, creating films is very much simple through Power Shortcuts for Adobe Photoshop CS. Everything about these tutorials is a plus. Definitely! With it, you can totally do loads of other things and you’ll surely love Power Shortcuts for Adobe Photoshop CS. Congratulations and more power to Michael Ninness!


About the author:
For comentaries, explanation and additional info about the article you may contact the author at http://www.mypostcardprinting.com



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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Affiliates need to read their Newspaper.

by: Alex Hachtman

Millions of people check the news everyday-- in the morning paper, online, and on the nightly news. But far too often affiliates do not find out what has occurred in affiliate marketing that day; this is important because affiliate marketing changes daily. There are many resources for affiliate marketers to learn about the day’s happenings. The best way to learn about the changes in affiliate marketing is by visiting forums often.

Forums provide a great resource by allowing new affiliates to learn from the experts. New affiliates hear and learn about the different opinions and techniques that are used in the industry. In turn, this information helps educate the affiliates and helps them decide whether they agree or disagree on the particular subject or technique. By visiting forums often you can learn timesaving tips as well as common mistakes that you can avoid.

Here are some of the most popular forums that are most useful for affiliates:

· AbestWeb: http://www.abestweb.com/
Who it’s for: affiliate program managers and affiliate marketers.
With over 14,000 members this is a vast pool of knowledge that you can draw from.

· WebmasterWorld.com: http://www.webmasterworld.com/
Who it’s for: webmasters and marketing managers.
For all of your questions about anything having to do with Web design, this is the place to go. There are a lot of quality discussions that are segmented as well as moderated.

· Search Engine Watch Forums.
http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/forum/index.php
Who it’s for: webmasters and affiliate marketers.
Here you can find discussions and questions that deal with all aspects of search engines. Some of the topics include: Questions on specific search engines and directories, specific discussions on search engine optimization and web marketing, general search issues, and current issues.

· ReveNews.com: http://www.revenews.com/
Who it’s for: webmasters, affiliate program managers, and affiliate marketers.
This site is
a great location to find articles on various topics and learn about what is news worthy in the industry.

There are also forums strictly for affiliate managers. Here, managers can learn about those issues that are strictly pertinent for them, such as keeping an affiliate program in-house or outsourcing. You can visit http://www.10xmarketing.com/affiliate-program-management.asp to learn more about some of the options that are available to managers. These forums provide a great resource to learn about the technical details of running a program.

Forums teach valuable information about affiliate marketing that will make help make affiliate sites more successful. By visiting and posting often in these forums many people become experts on certain topics. Networking opportunities will also arise. Many of these forums help industry leaders form business relationships.

Forums are an amazing resource; do not overlook them because they are vital to ones success. Since affiliate marketing changes everyday, one should visit them as often as you watch or read the daily news.


About the author:
Alex Hachtman, of 10x Marketing, wrote this article. 10x Marketing provides companies with Internet marketing solutions that will increase consumer visits on a regular basis, thus increasing potential sales and revenue. Contact 10x Marketing today for more information about your companies affiliate program. See http://www.10xmarketing.com/res/ecommerce-affiliate-program.aspfor more information.


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Monday, April 4, 2011

90s Web Design: A Nostalgic Look Back

by: Joel Walsh


A nostalgic look back at 90s web design, and a warning to anyone whose website is an accidental anachronism.


Remember the days when every PC was beige, every website had a little Netscape icon on the homepage, Geocities and Tripod hosted just about every single personal homepage, and "Google" was just a funny-sounding word?


The mid-late 1990s were the playful childhood of the worldwide web, a time of great expectations for the future and pretty low standards for the present. Those were the days when doing a web search meant poring through several pages of listings rather than glancing at the first three results--but at least relatively few of those websites were unabashedly profit-driven.

Hallmarks of 1990s Web Design


Of course, when someone says that a website looks like it came from 1996, it's no compliment. You start to imagine loud background images, and little "email me" mailboxes with letters going in and out in an endless loop. Amateurish, silly, unprofessional, conceited, and unusable are all adjectives that pretty well describe how most websites were made just ten years ago.

Why were websites so bad back then?


Knowledge. Few people knew how to build a good website back then, before authorities like Jakob Nielsen starting evangelizing their studies of web user behavior.


Difficulty. In those days, there weren't abundant software and templates that could produce a visually pleasing, easy-to-use website in 10 minutes. Instead, you either hand-coded your site in Notepad or used FrontPage.


Giddiness. When a new toy came out, whether it was JavaScript, Java, Frames, animated Gifs, or Flash, it was simply crammed into an already overstuffed toy box of a website, regardless of whether it served any purpose.

Browsing through the Internet Archive's WayBack Machine, it's hard not to feel a twinge of nostalgia for a simpler time when we were all beginners at this. Still, one of the best reasons for looking at 90s website design is to avoid repeating history's web design mistakes. This would be a useful exercise for the tragic number of today's personal homepages and even small business websites that are accidentally retro.


Splash Pages


Sometime around 1998, websites all over the internet discovered Flash, the software that allowed for easy animation of images on a website. Suddenly you could no longer visit half the pages on the web without sitting through at least thirty seconds of a logo revolving, glinting, sliding, or bouncing across the screen.


Flash "splash pages," as these opening animations were called, became the internet's version of vacation pictures. Everyone loved to display Flash on their site, and everyone hated to have to sit through someone else's Flash presentation.


Of all the thousands of splash pages made in the 1990s and the few still made today, hardly any ever communicated any useful information or provided any entertainment. They were monuments to the egos of the websites' owners. Still, today, when so many business website owners are working so hard to wring every last bit of effectiveness out of their sites, it's almost charming to think of a business owner actually putting ego well ahead of the profit to have been derived from all the visitors who hit the "back" button rather than sit through an animated logo.


Text Troubles


"Welcome to…" Every single website homepage in 1996 had to have the word "welcome" somewhere, often in the largest headline. After all, isn't saying "welcome" more vital than saying what the web page is all about in the first place?

Background images. Remember all those people who had their kids' pictures tiled in the background of every page? Remember how much fun it was trying to guess what the words were in the sections where the font color and the color of the image were the same?


Dark background, light text. My favorite was orange font on purple background, though the ubiquitous yellow white text on blue, green or red was nice, too. Of course, anyone who will make their text harder to read with a silly gimmick is just paying you the courtesy of letting you know they couldn't possibly have written anything worth reading.


Entire paragraphs of text centered. After all, haven't millennia of flush-left margins just made our eyes lazy?


"This Site Is Best Viewed in Netscape 4.666, 1,000x3300 resolution." It was always so cute when site owners actually imagined anyone but their mothers would care enough to change their browser set up to look at some random person's website.


All-image no-text publishing. Some of the worst websites would actually do the world the service of putting all their text in image format so that no search engine would ever find them. What sacrifice!

Hyperactive Pages

TV-envy was a common psychological malady in 1990s web design. Since streaming video and even Flash were still in their infancy, web designers settled for simply making the elements on their pages move like Mexican jumping beans.

Animated Gifs

In 1996, just before the dawn of Flash, animated gifs were in full swing, dancing, sliding, and scrolling their way across the retinas of web surfers trying to read the text on the page.


Scrolling Text


Just in case you were having a too easy time tuning out all the dancing graphics on the page, an ambitious mid-1990s web designer had a simple but powerful trick for giving you a headache: scrolling text. Through the magic of JavaScript, website owners could achieve the perfect combination of too fast to read comfortably and too slow to read quickly.

For a while, a business owner could even separate the serious from the wannabe prospects based just on how (un)professional their business websites looked. Sadly, the development of template-based website authoring software means that even someone with no taste or sense whatsoever can make websites that look as good as the most biggest-budget design of five years ago.

Of course, there are still some websites whose owners seem to be trying to spark a resurgence in animated gifs, background images, and ugly text. 'll just have to trust that everyone is laughing with them, not at them.


About the author:

If you want to avoid these mistakes in your website Joel Walsh recommends you check out http://www.ezgenerator.com/documents/167.html?%20web%20authoring%20software[Publishthis article on your website!Requirement:live link for above URL/web address w/ link text/anchor text:"web authoring software" OR leave this bracketed message]




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Sunday, April 3, 2011

10 Tips For Web Success

by: David Risley


The webmaster's biggest job is to get their traffic up and keep customers/visitors coming back. Building the site is one thing, but simply building and posting a website does not guarantee traffic. In fact, a website could be beautiful and an example of all the latest technology and still not attract a single visitor if not promoted correctly. Here are 10 tips to guide you to success with your website.

(1) The internet is a new medium.

At least compared to print, it is. A website is a waste if it simply re-hashes something which could easily be put into print. Don't have the site be just an online brochure. Put up features which take advantage of the internet as a medium of communication. Filter information for them. Provide search capability. Provide interactivity with features like forums, quizzes and tools. Web visitors like to interact.


(2) Treat the Customer's Time as Valuable.

When a person visits your website, you have their attention for that point in time. You either need to use it or you will lose it - fast. Most visitors have short attention spans, what you need to design your site homepage so that it grabs their attention and provides what they are looking for right away. Its like walking into a restaurant. If you walk in and just stand there and nobody comes to greet you, you might wonder what is happening. But, if the hostess comes and greets you right away and walks you to a table, then you will be there for awhile and eat. The same analogy goes for websites. Don't overcomplicate your website homepage. Best results will be obtained if you make it very clear where to click to find what they need.

(3) Design the site for customers, not the company.

Your site needs to satisfy the needs of customers, not the company. So, don't post content which is not really useful to the site's customer. And avoid over-flattering marketing hype about the company. It inflates the ego of the company more than it helps your customer.


(4) Involve the Visitor.

Keep the visitor involved and make them feel like a valuable contributor. Actively ask for the feedback and suggestions. Ask for communication from your visitors and answer that communication swiftly. When getting that communication, capture their email address. This will allow you to communicate with them long after they have moved on and forgotten about you.

(5) Keep it Current.

You need to have content on your website which is timely and relevant to the customer's life. Posting month-old news is not interesting. Posting dry product information which never changes is not interesting. Yes, you need to have product information and other information on your site that won't change much, but you can also post more timely content. You can, for example, post content about how your products can be used in certain situations in life. Provide tips and techniques - things which are immediately applicable and solve a problem.


(6) Pay Attention to Form/Design.

Some sites simply over-do it on the eye-candy. Big graphics just for the sake of graphics often impress the site's designer more than the visitor. Do not use graphics that are large and purposeless. Remember, some visitors may still be accessing your website via dial-up. Your site needs to load up quickly for all users. A slow website will cause your users to leave quickly. Also, pay attention to graphic and design size. Many web designers operate on fairly large screen resolutions and sometimes forget that even though a graphic looks great to you, it will appear enormous to somebody on a smaller resolution. On the flip side, don't go too light on graphics. A site which is poorly designed and using the default font and no color is not very aesthetically pleasing. Any web visitor, whether they admit it or not, judges your company by your website unless they have something else to go on. A well-designed site communicates professionalism. A poor design makes the site seem like an afterthought.

(7) Promote.

When a visitor communicates to you via email, it is best to use a web form. not only will this keep your email address from being picked up by spammers, it will also allow you to ask your customers for their email address and then store that address for later use. Employ the "push/pull" marketing strategy. A visitor coming to your website is the pull, but later you want to push content back to them in the form of a newsletter or other promotional material. Start a mailing list and use it. Invite visitors to sign up. Promotion makes or breaks a business, and as long as you respect the ethical considerations of your mailing list, you should use it.


(8) Don't Operate in a Cocoon.

The internet is a medium which is shared by millions. When you set up your website, don't operate as if you are a self-contained island. Get out there and keep in tune with what is happening on other websites related to your own. Participate in forums. Post links to other websites and ask for a link in return. Form partnerships with other sites if it is appropriate. When it comes to communication, people like personal contacts. Hiding behind general email address like "sales" and "info" is OK as long as there is a way to also email you directly. A company site which allows email direct to the management is good. Just remember how much you hate calling a company and getting stuck in their phone system. Sometimes you just want to talk to somebody. Give your visitors that ability.

(9) Have a Plan to Attract Repeat Traffic.

Use newsletters, out-going email, contests, forums, clubs, auctions - anything that will cause people to return to your website. When posting links to other websites, don't just send your visitors somewhere else. They may never return. Provide them an exit page. Give them a pop-up when they try to leave your site. Or at the very least make external links open in a new window.


(10) Track Your Visitors

Pay attention to your site's statistics and react accordingly. What are people reading? How are they finding you? Do they just come and leave right from your homepage? How long as they are on your website? Do they return? This data is immensely valuable in fine-tuning your website based on customer needs and wants. Remember, the biggest mistake of any webmaster is designing the site for what THEY want. A successful website is designed for the target audience, not to impress the site's owner.


About the author:

David Risley is a web developer and founder of PC Media, Inc. (http://www.pcmedianet.com). Specializes in PHP/MySQL development, consulting and internet business management. He is also the founder of PC Mechanic (http://www.pcmech.com), a large website delivering do-it-yourself computer information to thousands of users every day.

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Saturday, April 2, 2011

7 Fisherman's Tips to Avoid Losing Money on Your Web Site Design

by: Ian McAllister
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Web site design to hook a customer is very like fishing. Try these seven tips to make money.

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Step 1. Research.

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What - you don't think a fisherman starts with research? How does he know not to fish in the bathtub? How does he know not to fish for dorado in USA? How does he know that his favorite lemon meringue pie on a sardine hook won't catch sharks?

Imagine you've invented a 100% cure for Paraguayan piques. You pay a graphic designer to make your web site design. After a year you still haven't been able to make money. Your host tells you that the few visitors that you had only stayed for ten seconds.

Research would have told you that
*Your prospects speak GuaranĂ­ not English
*Most of them can't read GuaranĂ­
*Even fewer speak English
*Most of them don't have computers

A little research at Overture would have told you that only 3791 people looked for pique in a month, but most of them were interested in polo, not in an insect. Does your potion kill Jiggers? 1432 people searched on that word, and they were mostly North Americans. Perhaps you could make money from them?

If your web site design could inspire 10% of these searchers to visit your sales page and 10% of these bought from you that would give you 14 clients per month. Would that make money enough to pay for your web site design? You've been fishing in your bathtub!

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Step 2 Preparation

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As a fisherman you've discovered what fish are in your area, what will attract them to where you are, and found a spot where you won't get your line tangled up with other fisherman's lines.

My research for this article showed that 'web site' had half a million searches but people could be totally uninterested in web site design. 'Web site design' had only a third of a million searches, but readers were more targeted. There were 239 advertisers on Overture, which shows that it is popular, and there are only 24 million competitors.

'Build a website' had less than 50 thousand searchers, but 337 million competitors. Ouch! I think my lines would get tangled!

So the rule is: find what people want then design your web site with pages filled with the information that they want. If nobody is interested in your subject, advertise offline or find another subject for your web site design.

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Step 3 Get crowds

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You sprinkle oatmeal soaked in your secret ingredient on the water, and soon fish are following the scent back to where you are.

Your first task is to make your web site design attractive to visitors.

Tuna fishermen throw un-baited hooks into the mass of fish and pull them out in a sort of rhythm. The hook, which has no barb, snags a fish which falls off into the hold, and the hook is thrown out again, with the whole process taking a few seconds.

Google Adsense is excellent to make money from this kind of web site design.

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Step 4 Research

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But that was in step 1 you object? Your research should never end. Talk to the other fishermen. Visit fishermen's forums. Search Google for information. Your oatmeal has attracted fish, but when you put it on the hook it washes off.

You must find what bait will stay on the hook long enough for hungry fish to bite. This will vary from season to season. Experiment and record your results.

Research for your web site design should never stop. Try different ideas to make money and record your results.

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Step 5 Pre-sell

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OK. Your fish are crowding round you. Your bait has some colorful feathers disguising the hook. You want to persuade the fish that your bait is more attractive than the scraps of oatmeal.

Your web site design should start to describe your experience with whatever it is that you are selling to make money. You should try to communicate in all your web site design just how interesting you find what you are offering.

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Step 6 Arouse Enthusiasm

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Keep pulling your bait through the water so that fish will think

*I'd better act while the food is there!
*It's heading towards the other fish. I'd better be quick!
*I may get a better offer, but what if I don't?

If your web site design is aimed at affiliate income, don't try to sell yet. You strike only after the bait is in the fish's mouth. Let the vendor handle the last step.

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Step 7 Hook Them

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Once the fish has the bait in it's mouth you strike to drive the barbs home, then the fish can't leave go. Then you pull the fish in, and eat it.

Oops! I'm not advocating cannibalism! Once your web site design has hooked a customer the same rules no longer apply.

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Bonus Tip

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To succeed, your web site design must have ways to keep your customers so happy that they will keep coming back again and again.

Your web site design must obviously have a contact page. You should have a frequently asked questions page. You should offer further sales of related products to make money for you. If you eat your client you won't have her returning again and again.


About the author:
Ian McAllister learned fancy web design techniques from the local university, but you shouldn't use them! Instead design your web site to make money! Get a free step by step report on the profitable way to create a website
http://smarthomebiz.com/create-a-website


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