12 Website Design Decisions Your Business or Organization Will Need to Make

نوشته شده توسط:ramin h
چهارشنبه 26 مرداد 1390-10:09 ب.ظ

2. Decide Whether to Outsource or Do It Yourself

After clarifying your purposes, you need to decide whether to outsource the design of your website or to do it yourself. Let me tell you my bias. For nearly all businesses and larger non-profits I recommend outsourcing initial website design, but be very sure that you bring site maintenance back in-house. (See Point #12 below.)

Website design done right is complex and requires a number of different skill sets that aren't commonly found in any one person, especially someone that doesn't do this for a living. Some of these skills include:

  • HTML savvy. Good web design software can help. But the kind of HTML code produced by many WYSIWYG ("what you see is what you get") programs can be kludgy and hard to maintain. Fine-tuning your design requires you to get into the raw HTML code.
  • Graphic design, color experience and good artistic taste. No software package bestows artistic taste on its user, but good taste is indispensable for an attractive site. Of course, graphic software expertise is required to produce attractive and clean photos and site graphics, optimized to the smallest possible file size for quick loading.
  • Website navigation design and implementation. Helping visitors get where they need to go quickly and efficiently is difficult, especially on sites over 20 webpages or so. Good navigation design comes from experience, not from good software.
  • CGI and database programming. Even smaller sites use a "contact us" form and often a site search program that require CGI program installation and configuration. Larger sites may need to be integrated with an online database, which is no job for the faint of heart.
  • JavaScript and Flash programming. Functional websites are dramatically helped by Flash and JavaScript features such as animation, drop-down navigation menus, and small windows that open to answer a hyperlinked question. Automatic pop-up windows that encourage e-zine subscriptions can be effective, but can be annoying if you don't make them to turn off after one pop -- and these days are increasingly blocked by pop-up blockers.
  • Marketing and business experience. An outside company doesn't really understand your business like you do. Make sure you communicate exactly what you need to achieve. The best website design firms understand how to build Web marketing into the site design to make it search engine friendly, to make the sales pages really sell, etc.

What does outsourcing cost? For a simple five or six page website, expect to pay $750 to $1,500. For a more complex site you may pay $3,000 to $10,000 and up. For database-driven sites you'll need custom programming. Of course, sites designed for high traffic or for Internet-focused companies can cost much more.

If you have no money, it is possible to teach yourself website design. I did. Arm yourself by reading some website design books first and expect to make some mistakes.  A couple of great beginners' books are Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to (X)HTML, Style Sheets, Web Graphics, by Jennifer Niederst (Third edition; O'Reilly, 2007, ISBN 0596527527, paperback, 480 pages) and Web Design All-in-One for Dummies by Sue Jenkins (For Dummies, 2009, ISBN 047041796X, paperback, 656 pages). I find myself constantly referring to Web Design in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference, by Jennifer Niederst (O'Reilly, 2006, ISBN 0596009879, paperback, 826 pages). It's full of the nuts and bolts of website construction for more experienced developers who maintain and improve websites. You can also find lots of online help at WebReference.com, WebMonkey.com, and Builder.com. You'll need some good web design software such as Microsoft FrontPage or Macromedia DreamWeaver. Don't just forge ahead, though. Read and understand the design concepts first, then proceed step by step.

Another approach is to a build a site using built-in templates and site-building wizards that come with programs such as Ken Evoy's Site Build It! Evoy's Site Build It! has the added advantage of a dozen tools to help increase your rank on the search engines. I can't recommend this highly enough for newbies who want to learn how to do business on the Internet! http://sales.sitesell.com/

Another approach is to hire a website design firm to design the website templates, navigation system, CGI and JavaScript programming, and perhaps do usability testing. They would set up the basic structure, and you could build it out using their template and design. The old website design contract (www.wilsonweb.com/worksheet/pkg-con.htm) I developed when I was in the design business will give you an idea of some of the business issues that may come up when outsourcing. If you do outsource, be sure to conduct a "due diligence" investigation of the design firm by talking to previous clients, looking at their work, etc. Make sure they spell out in writing exactly what they agree to do for how much money, and provide a firm deadline by which their work will be completed. Partial payments should be made as specific milestones are reached and approved.

I stronglyy recommend that you build your website using a Content Management System (CMS), rather than from single webpages uploaded and linked together. You can find such systems available from many popular hosting services. One I've used successfully is CMS Builder from InteractiveTools.com. It's not for the newbie, but if you're having your site built for you, ask your designer to build your site on using this program. It's very flexible! The big advantages of a CMS system are: (1) You can make changes yourself, without HTML expertise or contacting your web designer. (2) Your website is infinitely expandable as your business grows. Your designer sets up the basic templates; then you take it from there.What's the design decision here? To decide whether to outsource none, part, or all of your website project.

Worksheet. Decide whether you will outsource  __ none    __part   __all of your website project. What reasons motivate your decision? 

 

Where you lack the necessary experience, what will you do?

 

 




12 Website Design Decisions Your Business or Organization- part1

نوشته شده توسط:ramin h
چهارشنبه 26 مرداد 1390-10:08 ب.ظ

You may be on your first website. But more likely you're faced with redesigning a website that isn't functioning as well as it should. I see 12 vital decisions involved with developing a website, and I want to explain them with you in mind:

  • You're the owner or marketing director of a small business and know that getting your website to pull its share of the load is vital for success. But your budget is severely limited!
  • You've just been assigned the task of redoing your company's website. Congratulations, now you can be blamed if things don't work well. :-)
  • You've volunteered to take on your church or organization website and make some sense out of it -- without offending the person who built it in the first place.
  • This time around you've decided to outsource the job, but you have no idea of how to supervise a design company to make sure it does what you need. Good luck!

I want to help. When I built my first website in 1995 at the very beginning of the commercial Web, I didn't have a clue how to proceed. In those days there was no one to guide me. I've made every mistake you can think of -- some more than once, I hate to admit.

Since then I've built and assisted with dozens of online stores and hundreds of websites for all kinds of businesses and organizations, from mom and pops to major corporations and international organizations. I don't design websites for others these days, but I actively develop and maintain my own site.

There are twelve critical places in building a website where you must make the right decision, or you'll have to repeat this task again and again until you get it right. I won't be talking about how to write HTML; I want to help you with the mindset, the basic approach. I want to take you by the hand and lead you through the critical decisions. The better you grasp these essential points, the better your website will work and the happier camper you'll be.

Okay, let's roll up our sleeves and get started. By the way, why don't you print out this document and then mark it up with your thoughts and ideas as you read. It's designed to serve as a worksheet to clarify your thinking and provide direction at various stages of the project. If you decide to outsource the project, you'll want to share a copy of your marked-up copy of this document with your website designer. Print it out!

1. Determine Your Website's Chief Purpose

When you begin a website, you must have your main purpose clearly in mind. I say this because it's easy to have conflicting purposes.

  • If you're a website design firm, you may want to show off your high tech goodies with your client's site as the showpiece.
  • If you're an employee stuck with this task, you may want to look good for your bosses and not do anything for which you can be blamed -- you've got to protect your backside.
  • If you're a volunteer, you may just want an excuse to tinker and be praised for it.
  • If you're a business owner, you probably care about the bottom line. You're wondering, How much this will cost? and Will it be worth it in the long run?

Dear friends, recognize your own needs -- they're legitimate. But to build an effective website, you've got to look at the business's or organization's needs and make those primary. From the organization's perspective, what must this website do in order to be successful?

Let's look at some common website purposes. Put an X next to all that apply.

  • Build your brand. Create an online brochure that will help potential clients, customers, and partners learn about your company and look at it in a favorable light. You're trying to enhance your brand or organization image. I've heard people disparage this kind of website as "brochure-ware." But this is very legitimate for some kinds of companies, especially local businesses or organizations that aren't trying to conduct national or international commerce. You want people to know who you are, what you do, where to find you, and how to contact you.
  • Provide product information to drive local sales of your products and services at dealer locations. Auto sites are a good example. Many manufacturers don't sell on their sites, but point people to retailers who carry their products.
  • Sell advertising. A few sites are designed to sell advertising -- Yahoo!, Google, and other portal sites are examples. But these days, there's far too much advertising space and not nearly enough money to fill it all. Internet advertising is improving, but is still under-priced. You may be able to sell a little advertising if you're a portal site for an industry, or perhaps put some Google AdSense ads on your site. But these aren't big money-makers. Look at advertising sales as a hopeful bonus, not as a sure thing.
  • Sell products or services directly over the Internet. You want to conduct e-commerce and sell to a national or international market. You'll have some kind of ordering system for one or more products, or perhaps an extensive online catalog. You may offer an online service that can be delivered over the Internet or that can be initiated online.
  • Earn affiliate commissions for sales and leads generated through links on your website. Savvy marketers are building microsites designed to generate search engine traffic for a particular hot product or service. When a visitor clicks on one of their links, he is referred to an e-commerce site, and, if a sale results, the affiliate gets a commission. Perhaps a form on your site generates leads or subscriptions for another company.
  • Provide customer service and support. Websites are a great place for troubleshooting guides, FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions), technical information, etc. You can generate Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) labels. You can provide multiple ways for your customers to contact you (see under Point #9 below).
  • Save money by means of online efficiencies. Companies have used the Internet to save billions of dollars. Taking orders online with real-time credit card authorization saves paying call center operators and cuts entry errors. Online catalogs save lots in paper, printing, and distribution costs. Online FAQs and knowledge bases cut the number of customer service personnel you need. And I'm just scratching the surface here.

What's the design decision here? To be clear and focused about your site's objectives and purposes.

Worksheet. Now go back and put the numeral "1" next to the most important purpose, "2" for the next, and so on. Then in this space explain exactly what you want your website to achieve, in one or two sentences.

  

 

 

 

For more on this topic, see my article "Make Your Website Purposes Crystal Clear," Web Marketing Today, 5/1/1999 (www.wilsonweb.com/wmta/purpose-clear.htm).

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Understanding Term life Insurance Quotes

نوشته شده توسط:ramin h
چهارشنبه 26 مرداد 1390-10:04 ب.ظ

Understanding Term life Insurance Quotes

Understanding
Term Life Insurance Quotes

 

Term life insurance is protection for your
family in the event of your death. If you die while your term life insurance
policy is in effect, your beneficiaries will receive the value of your policy.
Term life insurance quotes are based on several factors – your age, family
status, occupation and lifestyle all influence your term life insurance quotes.
What you are basically purchasing is financial protection for your loved ones
in case you die suddenly.

 

Generally, term life policies are for 10 to
20 years, and the premiums for term life can be very affordable. Term life
differs from whole life because there is no investment portion and no cash
value. When your policy expires, you do not receive any cash value payout, but
you are also not paying someone else to invest your money. The difference in
term and whole premiums can be invested by you, and in many cases give you a
higher return than a whole life policy.

 

What
Affects My Term Life Insurance Quote?

As stated earlier, there are many factors
that affect your term life insurance quote. All term life insurance quotes are
based on your life expectancy. Your age is a major factor in determining the
amount of your
term life insurance
quotes
.
You will pay less if you are under 40 that if you are 40 and above. The
duration of your policy, the amount of insurance you want, your health, your
job and your hobbies all affect the quote you will receive. The longer your
policy will be in effect, the cheaper your life insurance quotes will be. Of
course the more insurance you want, the more you will pay for it. But if you
are young and healthy, this cost can be spread out for a longer period of time,
and your quotes will be lower than if you want the same amount for a shorter
period of time.

 

Your health is also another one of the
major considerations that companies look at to give you term life insurance
quotes. You will probably be required to submit to a medical exam before the
company will issue you term life insurance quotes. Insurance companies use
paramedicals to perform exams and you can’t get one from your family doctor.
Many paramedicals will come to your work or home and perform the exam and tests
there. You can also make an appointment at selected clinics to receive your
medical exam. Your medical exam will include your weight, height, blood
pressure, a urine sample, a blood sample, and if you are taking out a large
amount of insurance or are older, you may be required to have an EKG and
treadmill test.

 

The job you hold, your hobbies, and your lifestyle
are also taken into consideration. Life insurance quotes will be higher if you
have a job that puts you at risk – such as a police officer, firefighter, heavy
construction worker, or any other job that carries a high risk factor. If you
engage in hobbies and sports that put you at risk, these will also raise your
life insurance quotes. Engaging in harmful habits like smoking, excessive
alcohol consumption, or drug abuse will not only raise your quotes, but may
prevent you from getting
term life insurance at all. All of
these combined factors help insurance companies determine life insurance
quotes.





Why Hire a Los Angeles Web Design Company

نوشته شده توسط:ramin h
چهارشنبه 26 مرداد 1390-10:03 ب.ظ

Why Hire a Los Angeles Web Design Company

These days it’s important for all businesses to have a website because if they don’t they will be considered behind the game and will lose out on potential sales. However, the problem that most businesses have is that they really don’t know how to create a great website. To add to that, even when a person thinks he or she can put together a great website, it usually doesn’t end up being created right. That being said, it’s time for people to take advantage of what a los angeles web design company has to offer.

One reason why businesses should hire a los angeles web design company when looking to create a great website for the business is because the web design company knows how to make the website look great. Let’s face it, a lot of people can create a website when they put enough time and effort into it, however, not a lot of people know how to add certain animations or make the website work right. That being said, people should bypass those problems and just hire a web design company to put the website together for them.

When people are trying to create a website on their own they usually have no idea how to make sure the website is going to rank high in search engine results. It’s important for companies to use good search engine optimization tools in order to get the website to rank high in search engine results because otherwise the website won’t be worth a dime. However, a los angeles web design company knows exactly what to do in order to get the website noticed and attract a lot of traffic.

Lastly, a business should hire a los angeles web design company to put together the business’ website because if they do they’ll have the website completed in a timely manner. It will usually take people a very long time to create a website when they don’t know what they’re doing and any lost time is lost business for the company. So, businesses should make sure that their website is created in a timely manner and should do so by hiring a web design company to build it for them. Hopefully this article has helped any business owner trying to figure out if they should get help when it comes to building a website for the business.




Upload Web Pages to a Hosting Provider

نوشته شده توسط:ramin h
شنبه 22 مرداد 1390-11:15 ق.ظ

Upload Web Pages to a Hosting Provider

Transfer Files from Your Hard Drive to the Server

By Jennifer Kyrnin, About.com Guide

See More About:
  • beginning html
  • html tutorials
  • uploading files
FTP Screen Shot

FTP Screen Shot

Jennifer Kyrnin

Once you have created a site on your hard drive you need to get it up on to the web. This is called "uploading" or FTP.

The first thing you need to do is decide where you are going to put your pages. Many ISPs offer free web space for their users, and that is often the simplest option. However, if you don't want to use your ISP, or they do not offer web page space, there are many hosting options available, from free to expensive, with lots of different features.

My web Hosting profiles can help you to choose the provider that is right for you.

Once you know where you're going to upload your files, you need to find out the following information:

  • your username
  • your password
  • the "host name" (this is the machine you will be connecting to to upload your files)
  • your URL or web page address

Once you have this information, you can use it to upload your web pages and images to the website.

  1. Connect to the Internet
  2. Open up an FTP client: Best FTP Clients for Windows and Best FTP Clients for Macintosh
  3. Put in the host name of your website
  4. Put in your username
  5. Put in your password
  6. Connect to the site
  7. Highlight the files you would like on your website and click on the option to transfer them to your website

Don't forget to transfer images and other multimedia files that are associated with your website.

Most Recent Articles




Adding Images to Web Pages

نوشته شده توسط:ramin h
شنبه 22 مرداد 1390-11:14 ق.ظ

Adding Images to Web Pages

Images and Graphics on Web Pages

By Jennifer Kyrnin, About.com Guide

See More About:
  • web images
  • graphics
  • beginning html

To add an image, icon, or graphic to your web page, you need to use the IMG tag. You place the IMG tag in your HTML where you want the graphic to display:

<img src="graphic.gif">

Images are easy to add to your web pages. The IMG tag has only two required attributes: SRC and ALT. The SRC attribute tells the browser which image to display, and ALT tells the browser what to display if it can't show the image.

The IMG tag also has two other attributes that you should use when you put a graphic on your web page:

  • WIDTH
  • HEIGHT

The WIDTH and HEIGHT attributes tell the browser the size of the image. The browser then knows exactly how much space in the layout to allocate, and it can move on to the next element on the page while the image downloads. You should use the actual dimensions of your image, rather than having the browser resize it for you.

How to Find the Height and Width of Your Images

If you load the image in Firefox, the width and height are displayed in the title: filename.gif (GIF image, width x height pixels). Internet Explorer displays the height and width that are written in the HTML not the actual image size if you right click on the page and choose properties.

The IMG Tag

<img src="URL to the image" width="width in pixels" height="height in pixels" alt="alternative description of the image">




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