When it comes to building the perfect WordPress websites, experts like Peter Brittain says there are a lot of things to think about. You have to try and create engaging, interesting content, draw visitors in, and make your site show up on Google. Doing one or two of these things isn’t too difficult, but trying to do all three at the same time can be almost impossible.
There are a lot of different things that you can do to help yourself achieve the perfect website. Learning how to use every part of the WordPress platform to optimise your content for search engines is essential. When it comes to doing this sort of thing, learning how to use categories and tags effectively is something that a lot of people don’t do.
What are categories and tags?
When you create new content in WordPress, you can label it in a number of ways. You can place it underneath an existing page, you can add it to a series, or you can simply label it by date and time. However, you can also add it to a category and add tags to it.
WordPress categories provide a way for you to sort your content into different groups, according to their themes, topics, and what they are about. This makes it easier for both search crawlers to find their way around your website, and for readers to find more posts that they are interested in. You can display categories in a number of places, including above or below your posts. You can also add multiple categories to the same post.
Tags give even more information about the content of your post. They basically connect related posts even more than categories. You should tag everything relevant about your post, while you usually only add one or two main categories. Categories are general, but tags are specific to your post or parts of your post.
According to the professionals over at Web Design Perth, web design is the process of creating content that is intended to be portrayed on electronic web pages that can be accessed by the end users by means of internet browsers.
Designing, of any nature, involves the collection of ideas and implementing or arranging them in an aesthetic manner using guidelines provided.
Here are some important elements Web designers always keep in mind:
This is the manner in which the text, ads and graphics are arranged on the Web. The main goal is to aid the viewers in locating, at first glance, the information they want.
It also includes maintaining the integrity, consistency and balance of the design.
The choice of colors is heavily dependent on the clientele and the purpose of the website. Designers can go for multi-colored or black and white designs based on the functionality and requirements of the client.
Depending on the purpose, you could be conveying the outlook of a brand, person or organization, using colors that are considered “Web-safe”.
Web Design can be effectively enhanced by using graphic elements such as icons, clipart, photos or logos.
Their placement is paramount when user-friendliness is in question, and should work with the content and color of the page, also making sure it is not slow to load or congested.
As you begin to narrow down the shortlist of web designers and the time comes for your web design to become a reality, there are several mistakes that many business owners make as the process begins. If you don’t want to make the same errors and end up with a poorly designed website, or worse no website at all, then read on to discover three crucial mistakes you want to avoid.
#1 No Clear Idea Of Your Needs
Before choosing a web designer you must establish what function the website has and what part it is going to play in the success of your business. Websites can vary tremendously in both their size and complexity so it is vital you know which sort of website you need. Is it a fully functional e-commerce site, a small single page email capture site, a corporate portal or a blog?
Of course, there are other types of website so whichever it is, ensure that you choose a web design company that has a track record of creating the sort of site you want and make it clear exactly what it is you require them to create.
#2 Making Your Decision Based On Price Alone
Every business has budget restraints, especially new businesses, so it is likely that you will need to have an eye on the cost of your web design. However, this does not mean that you merely choose the cheapest quote. Remember that your site may be the first contact any of your potential customers have with your business, so the last thing you want is for that impression to be of a cheap company with no pride in how it appears to the online world.
If your budget won’t stretch to all the advanced functions and eye-catching graphics you’d like, at least go for a designer who can build you a great looking site at a cost which is value for money. Ensure that what they design can be upgraded as your business revenue increases and a budget you can allocate to improving your website further, becomes available
As the internet continues to evolve, web design as a career will remain in demand. Currently, web design is a hot career choice, for many creative high school and college graduate types. Although a degree is not necessary, it is not useless to have one, especially while being interviewed. The important thing is to do the necessary research during the planning stage, so that you can determine if web design is the right career for you. Typically, web designers have an artistic background, or experience in art of some kind. Before we get into the specifics of web design as a career, let’s first take a look at what web design entails.
Designers Make Web Pages Aesthetically Pleasing
Web designers are responsible for developing the general design details that make up a website. This includes, but is not limited to, the color schemes as well as the layouts of web pages. What is often misunderstood, is that web designers are not there only to make web pages aesthetically sound. Web designers are also responsible for, ensuring that the navigational aspects of a website are smooth. There is no use in having a gorgeous website, if your visitors are unable to navigate it. Web designers also need to have a basic understanding of SEO. Doing so, allows for their client’s websites to rank higher in the search engines. If this is done properly, websites can place ads that incur revenue and monetize content.
All web designers usually come from creative backgrounds, and many of them know a bit about coding as well. This is especially handy, when it is required of them to program in HTML and CSS.
The internet today is vastly different from what it once was. For many of us, we remember an internet landscape where watching movies, managing our finances, and buying and selling products, was simply beyond the grasp of comprehension. Those of us who were alive to remember using the internet during its early days, are comforted by how far it has come along, and the current level of convenience. It is true, that we rely on the comprehensive scope of capabilities that the internet provides today, much more than we ever have. Every day, it feels as though the internet becomes steadily more efficient. Taking the occasional glance back at the early, simplistic days of the internet before the advent of digital agencies like allows you to appreciate what we have today all the more. As technology has evolved, so has the Web Designer’s trade.
Early Uses For Webpages
While the internet was developing in the 1950s, it was also being used as something of an early academic social network. When the 60’s came around, researchers at Santa Barbara and the Stanford Research Institute, founded ARPANet. This is turn facilitated the transmission of messages, sent between researchers who were members of the network. This was an amazing feat! A new mode of communication had been discovered! A new and alternative form of communication was needed, in the event that phone systems could potentially be eradicated during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Early Web Design
Shortly after this advancement, the internet arrived. When the IPS (Internet Protocol Suite) was established, a guideline on data transmission that previously did not exist was now set in place. Essentially, this acted as an early manual of how the internet should be used. It was not until halfway through the 90’s, that WWW (The first Web Browser) was established by Tim Berners-Lee. From that point onward, we have witnessed the continual evolution of the internet.
When your website marketing strategy has ad revenue as the end goal, you have to expect that the game isn’t going to be as easy as you at first think it will be. Ad revenue is a very thin margin even in the best of scenarios. It takes volume to make it grow. And countless website owners have gotten frustrated or impatient with their ad revenue and gotten themselves in trouble by trying some dumb trick or another rather than engage a professional digital marketing agency.
Here’s a list to avoid being a statistic and having Google ban you:
Excessive keyword stuffing
Number-one with a bullet, people still try this nonsense today. Google already knew it would happen when they launched way back in 1997. These sites get found and blacklisted sometimes within minutes of posting! Trust us, Google knows when a search term is repeated just to pull in a search engine and focus an ad. That is why they are Google.
Altering the results of an ad click
This is an unexpected one, but lately some site owners have attempted to monkey with the ad click results in ways like framing the ad target site or redirecting it. Huge violation of TOS, and it’s happening more as AJAX methods get more sophisticated.
It is true that Google allows you to customize the colours of an ad unit to your taste, either making it stand out in contrast of blend in for aesthetics. Some site owners get cocky and set things like the ad unit’s text or link colours to the webpage background colour, or set it into a CSS div with the alpha set to transparency and then using absolute positioning to have different content behind it… There’s a million ways to pull little tricks to hide an ad, and they all spell “TOS violation” and get you banned.
Remember the late 1990s when blinking images were thought to be the best thing for any website? Well fast forward to today and that shouldn’t even be on your want list. You and your web designer need to sit down and hash out what your website is going to look like before they start building your site. If you are wondering what you need to do to prepare to get your website off the ground, you’re at the right place. Let’s look at 6 tips & strategies you need to think about.
- Who will be in charge? Who is going to make the development and design decisions? This can be a group of people or it can be just one person. If it’s a team one person, still needs to be handle the final approval. Otherwise, it can become quite chaotic as reworks are ordered by individuals in the group.
- What’s your niche? What do you sell? What’s your product or service? You need to be very specific. If you sell air conditioners to residential customers, then your need to focus on that market with what you say in your content and the images you show. Don’t show a beach when you sell air conditioners – it sends a confusing message to your visitors.
- Who is your target market? It is important that you stay on target. You need to be specific. Back to our example. If you sell air conditioners then your target market will be homeowners and let’s say they have homes that are 25 years or newer and the age of the homeowner is between 30 and 50. So when you write about your services make sure this is the market you are talking to.
Web design has become very popular as a ‘do it yourself’ kind of undertaking. Website templates are a way of creating your own web design without the need to engage a professional digital marketing agency. You will be able to create a professional looking website quickly.
Website templates usually come with some ‘dummy’ content inserted to mark placeholders so you can just replace with your own text. Templates can be found in many different themes and tons of colour schemes, so that you can find the template that’s right for you. Many times these templates come with related graphics and these can be customized with your own graphics. Remember you do not have the copyright to the template, so make sure you are aware of what you are allowed to do with the template.
There are a number of benefits to using a template. Templates:
- Provide a basic web page layout
- Provide a consistent look and feel throughout your site
- Come with quality graphics
- Let you customize your graphics
- Allow you to easily add content
We love bucket lists for budding online entrepreneurs, so we’ll give Certified Social Media Specialist (drum roll) Joanne Burgess have a turn this time at telling you Top-10 things your website should have.
Why do we do these every now and then? Because there’s always first-time web design customers coming along, and it’s too easy to forget that our advanced chatter sounds like a babbling brook of techno-jargon to the first-timers. It’s necessary to include the new users, too.
When it comes to web design a great debate still rages about whether you should hire a pro or do it yourself. There are a number of important factors that can help you make your decision about which is right, because both have their pros and cons.
The days of a simple HTML website being sufficient are pretty much gone. Working in checkouts and taking payments can be complex, sights that look professional and compete against other sites is necessary, and understanding the technology that is involved in web hosting security, creating a quality site and a mobile load are essential. Some of you may have the necessary skills, others may not. This should help. Below are a few of the skills which Internet business consultants agree are necessary for modern web design and to build a site that works.
OK, you web design people all probably mumble hexadecimal color codes and CSS div tags in your sleep, but there’s a tool to generate CSS3 code on the fly anyway. Similar to the W3 School’s “try-it” editor, this is a visual tool to try out a trick and tweak it on the fly, then just copy ‘n’ paste the code.
Only downside is that you need a bleeding-edge browser to see it. But we’re all used to that; it’s been a fact of life since, what, 1992?
WordPress users are ruminating over the founder’s latest opinionated decision, and this author does us all the favor of explaining just why the guru prima-donna mindset tends to be the norm in open source development.
We see it all the time with open source project founders. The fact is, it simply takes somebody with a stubborn streak to launch a successful open source project.
Neither democracy nor oligarchy will do; you need the fabled “benevolent dictator for life”. The recipe for an open source founder is a self-starter, visionary, and rebel, with a touch of stubbornness and an unswerving aim for the Right Thing… which isn’t always the popular thing.
According to SEO Perth Experts, a post that wins the prize for the most technically detailed SEO advice ever is this one; Search Engine Land shares these discoveries about punctuation quirks.
Honestly never heard of most of these. Dashes vs. underscores, pipe characters, using only lowercase… How did it take this long to be discovered?
To explain about the underscores part regarding “Google was written for nerds by nerds” – Computers have always had a problem with the space character in the name of anything, because the space is how we tell the computer that a new name is starting. This is especially a problem in the early days of computing, in programming languages, and general file system tinkering. So there evolved work-arounds to keep it human-readable: One of them was called “camel case” where you write all one word using interspersed capitals (WordWideWeb), another was alternating upper-and-lower case (worldWIDEweb), one was using underscores for spaces (world_wide_web) and so on. Underscores became the dominant convention, so you’d want to avoid underscores unless you want them taken literally. Now memorize all that and bewilder your bar mates with this trivia!
You could say web design has its own ‘fashion statement,’ because each year things come and go. Let’s look at web design changes you can expect to see in 2013.
- Large Visual Impact Created with Large Images
While there is a focus on typography over images throughout the website, on the home page it seems big just might be better, as many websites are placing large images on the home page for a visual impact. Web designers are being conscious of data usage and bandwidth by providing these large images only to those with large screens.
- More White Space Please!
Over the past year or so, we have been seeing a move towards more white space, and this trend is going to continue in 2013. Finally, web designers are recognizing that white space creates a clean design aesthetic and a much easier read for the surfer.
- It’s All About Social Network Sharing
There will be more integration with social media on websites. We’re not talking about ‘sharing buttons,’ as that’s old news already. This is going to be much more in-depth and include things like ‘pay by status,’ ‘single sign on,’ ‘Instagram,’ and other new types of social media content.
Web design – there’s all kinds of discussion about what that should look like, but the one thing that seems to ring true across this discussion is that it should include easy navigation. In fact, professional web designers will confirm that your website navigation is a key element in determining your sites effectiveness. Let’s look at the important elements in website navigation.
For your site’s navigation to work it needs, to make sense to your visitors – remember that’s the average person. That doesn’t mean creativity needs to go out the window. There are all kinds of examples of creative, well designed websites that include an easy to use navigation layout in their web design.
Consider the purpose of your website and who your audience is when determining your navigation in your web design. Generally, it is to sell a product or service, other times it’s to inform visitors about a product or service, and many times, it is a combination of both.
Always remember the ‘three click rule.’ This is used by almost all pro web designers. What it means is that your visitor should never be more than three clicks away from getting the information they seek.
You should not use flash movies or other splash pages on your site. It’s better to keep your web design simple but attractive. It will load faster and keep your visitors happier. However, should you decide you must have Flash then make sure you use the Meta Refresh tag, which will automatically take the visitors to your home page after a couple of seconds.
You designed your website, and never really thought any more about it; but have you considered whether your web design is annoying? Visitors arrive at websites and when there are things they dislike, they simply don’t come back again, and you are blissfully unaware. However, those lost visitors are potential customers that you’ve lost. Let’s look at 5 things you should exclude in your web design so as not to annoy your visitors.
1. Huge Font Size – When you use huge fonts, you are in essence yelling at your visitors. The same applies when you use all caps. People don’t like to be yelled at so use a font that’s no bigger than 14.2. Small Font Size – Just like huge fonts are annoying, small fonts are just as annoying. You want your message heard so don’t whisper. Speaking in a normal volume by using a font size between 10 and 14 points.
3. Background Music – Unless your website is related to music, perhaps sells mp3 files or CDs, maybe is an online radio station, etc. playing music in the background on a website. Not only does it becoming annoying, it’s extremely frustrating for anyone surfing later at night to suddenly have music blaring through their computer. If you want to keep the visitor on your site, eliminate music from your web design.
4. Popup Windows – Popups are annoying, because you can actually land up missing information that you should know, when popup blockers block the popup from your visitor. Make sure you put your important messages on your main page so your visitors don’t miss out.
5. Overlapping Layers – There are times when overlapping layers are useful but they are few. Don’t try to force your message down your visitors throat, they’ll just become annoyed faster and leave sooner.
Of course, there are other annoying web designs but this will certainly get you on the right track with web design that keeps visitors on your site and coming back.
In the film Blazing Saddles, there’s a scene where the bad guys are coming to destroy a western town – so the townsfolk build a big cardboard replica of the town a little ways away and direct the bad guys to that one. The houses are all fronts, the townspeople are wooden cut-outs with bobble-heads, and so on.
That may fool movie bad guys, but it won’t fool your customers. SEMblog brings up this point in talking about best UX practices for SEO. If you have traffic coming in from organic searches, chances are good they’re going to hit a post on your blog or a sub-directory further down on your site map, rather than the first page. Lots of other good user-experience tips there too.
There are hundreds of web browsers in use around the world, each making use of W3C document standards in a slightly different way. As a result, web designers fight with making their websites work properly in the various browsers.
Of course, it is impossible to make your web page design work properly in all the different browsers because they all implement W3C document standards differently. But it’s a good idea to make your web design work properly in the top browsers like Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Opera.
So what can you do in your web design process to make your site most accessible on the most number of browsers. Of course, you can’t be 100% compatible but it is possible for you to design your site so it works properly on the top browsers that we already mentioned. Conforming is a real challenge and will stop you from using some of the neater functionality and effects. Take advantage of online code validators to validate your HTML code, CSS, and also your links. It will check your code based on your web page doctype.
If you want to launch a website but don’t want to do the web design yourself, you’ll want to find a good website designer that’s affordable. This can be a wise decision, especially if you don’t have web design skills and are not sure what is needed to build a successful website. However, you also need to make sure that you get a good web designer that knows how to build a site that will do well.
To begin with, you should sit down and create an outline of what your business is, what products you sell, how you sell them, the various price points you have, your logo, colour schemes, etc. You need to have a clear picture of what it is you want to bring to your website and a collection of this information will make it easier for your web designer too.
Take some time to look at other websites. Note what you like and what you don’t like. Look at the layouts, the navigation, etc. and make notes of what you would like to see on your site. It’s a great way to get ideas that you can then pass on to your web designer for your quote.
If this is your first shot at web design, there are some things you should know before you proceed. First impressions are always the best impressions, and so it’s important for you to know how to make the most from your first impression. Let’s look at some basics to get you started.
#1 Make Full Use of the Space You Have
Your website shouldn’t be cluttered and should have white space, but it also shouldn’t look bare, and it certainly shouldn’t have more whitespace than content. Make use of images, text, and videos to bring your visitors the best experience. If you design your site right it will not look cluttered.
#2 Watch for Broken Links
It’s an easy mistake and it can cost you in the search engines and frustrate your visitors when links don’t work. Always take the time to check all of your links to make sure they do work and that you don’t get 404 errors as this can harm your website.
#3 Streamlined Navigation
Your website’s navigation needs to look good and be streamlined so that it is easy to use. There are numerous ways you can do this. Choose what works best with your web layout.
Building a strong brand is important to your business and web page design is where it all starts. Your brand is much more than just having a website online. Your corporate brand reflects the values of your company and when done right consumers clearly understand what that brand is. A website that focuses on establishing brand is one element in creating your brand perception.
Before you start to create your branding in your web design, you have to know our brand inside out. How is it you want your brand to be perceived by visitors to your site? Where do you want your brand in 5 or 10 years? What impression do you want to leave your visitors with? Once you know every detail about your brand, you can start to work on an effective web design.
The toughest part about branding is doing it on a budget without having to compromise. You’ll be tempted to work with the cheapest quote you get, but don’t be too quick to make your decision. Remember the old saying ‘you pay for what you get,’ well its true many times, so while cheap may seem the best way to save money in the long run it could cost you more. If you are going to do your own web design, you can look at using an out of the box template solution.
Here’s what we like to see more of in web marketing news: Case studies of giant retail corporations’ strategies and what their results were. Forbes analyzes Walmart and Starbucks on Facebook, examining the ways in which their strategies differ. It’s an informative read for every web entrepreneur.
Here’s one more element to consider: Both companies have radically different customer cultures. Walmart markets to the lower-class, being the super-cheap super-store, as proletariat as a sidewalk. Of course they get more traffic volume. Starbucks, the elite coffee hangout, markets to people like web marketers – tech-savvy (Wi-Fi comes with your frappuccino), smart, upwardly-mobile, and of course, ambitious. Naturally, their customer base is smaller, but more passionate (it must be the caffeine buzz).
The savvy marketing wizards at PPCHero have a dishy little post on Seven Ways to Increase CTR Without Even Looking at Ad Text. Hot, hot, hot tips including new innovations in Google adwords features – are you turning on site extensions like social and product extensions? If we’re speaking Chinese to you, you need to brush up on the latest tools.
By now, we should all know that about half your SEO traffic-attraction strategy should be based upon getting good links. And the way to a good link is to make social media love you. But what could go wrong with that plan? SteamFeed troubleshoots your social media strategy. And some of those bullet points are going to hurt – producing fresh, ready-made content for your website rather than rehashing somebody else’s stale leftovers is likely something we see on a daily basis, isn’t it?